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Voiceover output per hour?
Thread poster: Ghislaine van der Burgt

Ghislaine van der Burgt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Dutch to English
+ ...
Mar 16, 2011

Hello colleagues!
I have been asked to quote for a voice over job and stated my hourly rate (which incidentally, seems a little low after searching the web for the answer to this question...), but the client now wants a price for the job as a whole, but I cannot be specific unless you help me.

There is a text of between 8000-9000 words that needs to be recorded and the client wants to know how long this will take.

Could one of you give me some guidelines?

Thanks in advance for your help!


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 11:27
English to Russian
+ ...
It depends upon your experience and type of the voiceover Mar 16, 2011

Hi Ghislaine,

To record and edit/clean 1 minute audio you may need from 3 to 20 minutes depending upon your experience and type of the voiceover.

NK


 

Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:27
German to English
+ ...
Done it before? Mar 16, 2011

This casual reader asks if you are already aware of what a voiceover entails? Cos it's kinda hard to make a quote if you don't.
Good luck!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Whenever I've done it Mar 17, 2011

... which isn't very often, I just quote my usual hourly rate, which is the same for most viva voz assignments. It's never taken me more than an hour, but the texts were shorter than yours, probably a maximum 2K words.

 

Ghislaine van der Burgt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not the hourly rate that is worrying me Mar 17, 2011

The client wants to know how much it will cost overall, to read 9000 words. I have told him my hourly rate and that wasn't satisfactory, he wanted to know an indication (albeit one he will probably hold me to) of the total cost involved in reading this much text.
So my problem is not about the hourly rate or how many minutes we could get out of me reading, but an actual estimation of how long it would take to read this many words!

I have done voiceovers before, but they have been shorter texts, where the papers have been pressed into my hand as I entered the studio and I haven't had time to do a quick wordcount...

I don't want to tell the client that I can read these 9000 words in two hours, and then take all day over it! Because I am sure my client's 'budget' will have magically adjusted itself to two hours.

Incidentally, 9000 words is the average daily output for an adult female...


 

Natasha Dupuy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:27
French to English
A whole day Mar 17, 2011

No one here can know how fast you can read, how quickly you get tired of talking, etc.

Is your client responsible for cleaning up the files? Are you just expected to read?

I have done a 9K job before and from memory it took about 7 hours. But I don't recall how long my breaks were, since I don' take those into account: I bill the client for the entire time I am away from my office and thus unable to work for my other clients.


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 11:27
English to Russian
+ ...
You should ask YOURSELF Mar 17, 2011

Ghislaine van der Burgt wrote:

So my problem is not about the hourly rate or how many minutes we could get out of me reading, but an actual estimation of how long it would take to read this many words!


Ghislaine,

Do you want US to estimate how long it would take YOU to read this many words? How can anybody answer this question knowing nothing about you and your abilities? You should ask this question YOURSELF.

NK


 

Ghislaine van der Burgt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just looking for some sort of average Mar 17, 2011

NK[/quote]
Do you want US to estimate how long it would take YOU to read this many words?
NK [/quote]

There must be some sort of average? I could probably read them very quickly, but spoken clearly and concisely, there has to be some kind of indication, right?


 

Ghislaine van der Burgt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's helpful Mar 17, 2011

I have done a 9K job before and from memory it took about 7 hours.


Thanks Natasha, that gives me an indication of the time needed and what I can use in discussion with the client!


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 11:27
English to Russian
+ ...
Rough estimate Mar 17, 2011

Ghislaine van der Burgt wrote:

There must be some sort of average?


No.

I would suggest the following:

1) Take 100 words and and do the whole required working cycle over them noting down the time it will take you.

2) Multiply the resulted time by 90 and you will get a rough estimate.

NK

[Edited at 2011-03-18 11:44 GMT]


 

Natasha Dupuy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:27
French to English
Give yourself some leeway Mar 17, 2011

Since this is not something you do on a regular basis, your eyes will get tired, your voice will get tired. You will no doubt trip over certain words and have to repeat sentences. This is even more likely if you did not write the text yourself.

Also, who is the recording intended for? I record training modules for an international audience. In order to be understood by non-native English speakers I have to make a conscious effort to speak slower, articulate more and neutralise my accent. This all takes time and energy.


 

Narrator
Local time: 04:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Voiceover industry standards Mar 18, 2011

Hi Ghislaine:

You're correct. There are averages. An average read speed is 150 words per minute. Of course that varies some depending upon the material and the pacing required -but it's an industry standard upon which you can begin to base your quotes. At 150 words per minute a one hour finished narration will consist of 9000 words. Which is the length of your narration.
Now you have other factors to take into account. Will you simply be narrating a raw file and turning that over to the client and leaving it to them to edit? Or will you be editing the files? If you are editing, to what degree are you editing? Are you simply editing out mistakes and leaving the client to finish and master the audio? Or are you turning in a finished product? By finished product I mean not only removing mistakes but lowering or removing distracting breaths, pacing the narration etc.

If you are turning in simply the raw audio files, depending upon the complexity of the material, an experienced narrator will typically take 2 hours to record one hour of material. Editing can take from 2 to 4 hours for each hour - so you're looking at 4-6 hours to turn in one hour of edited finished narration - IF, this is a big IF, you are experienced in long form narration. Long form narration is very different from commercial work. Compare it to a sprinter and a long distance runner. On the physical side it's like any muscle - you have to build up to it. On the acting side, which narration is, you have to be able to maintain the same tone and pacing for the length of the narration and draw the listener into the story and keep them involved throughout. Yes, even for dry technical and medical narrations you have to make it interesting.

Typically a fully edited 60 minute narration would come in somewhere around US$2,000. For a professional narration. It's not just talking.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions. I've posted previously on professional voiceover rates - you can find them if search on Narrator. I'd be happy to answer any other questions!

Melissa


 

Ghislaine van der Burgt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great info Mar 18, 2011

Melissa,
Thank you so much for your help!
Completely invaluable.
The text is very simple, a tour of a museum (apart from the Welsh words, which I practised all evening...) and I am going to the studios of a production company to read the text, so I am not responsible for anything other than speaking clearly!

My previous experience has not extended beyond smaller assignments for telephone systems, so hopefully this will add much-needed experience and a better understanding of what's involved.

Once again, thanks a lot.


 

Ghislaine van der Burgt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to everyone who contributed Mar 18, 2011

Just a big thank you to everyone who was kind enough to reply to my question, your information has been very helpful.

I will be leaving for the client's studios in half an hour, so I am glad you all 'jumped' on this thread promptly!

Thanks again!


 

Natasha Dupuy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:27
French to English
Good luck Mar 18, 2011

Ghislaine van der Burgt wrote:

I will be leaving for the client's studios in half an hour, so I am glad you all 'jumped' on this thread promptly!



Good luck, Ghislaine!
If you have time, let us know how it went, how long it took and what you found challenging.

Cheers,

Natasha


 
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