Susan Berkley here with the Inside Voice Over Video training blog. The subject this week is some tips for working in what we’re going to call an outside studio. Not at home, but there might be times when you get called to go into a professional recording studio in somebody else’s space. There might be a customer there, a client, and certainly there’s going to be an outside audio engineer and you just get to show up and be the talent, which is a wonderful position to be in. But there’s a few things you need to know about working in this kind of professional setup. I want to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself and you’re really familiar with the studio etiquette.

Now, the first thing is that you’re going to walk into a voice booth and the audio engineer’s going to follow you. Do not tap on the microphone. Is this thing on yet? Don’t touch the microphone. He or she is going to adjust that for you and then go out on the other side of the glass and set the levels for you. Now when you’re setting levels, you want to read the script the way you actually think it should be performed. Do not say, “Testing one, two, three” or anything like that. And here’s another safety tip. Put the headphones around your neck or up here. Don’t put them on your ears until the levels are adjusted. That is to protect your ears from feedback, which can happen from time to time. Want to make sure that you’re nice and safe.

Then you’re going to adjust the script so it’s at eye level. Now that, you can touch. Don’t be afraid to raise and lower the copy stand. If you need help, the engineer will come in and help you do that. And they’re probably going to be talking to you once you do the session. Once the session begins, keep the headphones on one ear so you’re not listening to yourself so much. I find that that helps me perform better, but you can still hear the client and the engineer over what they call the talk back.

And expect delays. Often they’re going to say, “Hang on a minute.” That’s fine. And they’ll keep you waiting there for what will feel like an eternity. It does not mean you screwed up or you did something wrong. They’re probably just adjusting the copy or even ordering lunch. So those are my tips this week, and I’ll be back next week with more Inside Voiceover.