One of the benefits of having a career in voiceover is the flexibility. As long as you meet your deadlines with quality work, you can choose to do the job on your own schedule. That can even include when you’re traveling. The next time you’re taking a trip out of town, you can be prepared with all the knowledge and tools you need to get your voiceover work done and keep getting paid while you’re away from your studio. Here’s how you can never miss a voiceover job while traveling.
What you should bring
The first thing you’re probably wondering about is what equipment you should bring with you. If you typically record in your home studio, you might think you’re probably going to need to bring a lot with you. Surprisingly, you don’t. As advanced as technology has gotten, you could pack as little as an iPad and a mic, and still be able to create a quality project for your client. Other things you could bring with you could be your laptop, a pop filter, headphones, a portable mic stand, and cables. Do your best to take only what you’ll need to get the job done so your equipment doesn’t take up much space in your luggage. One way you could condense your equipment is carrying shorter cables.
Ideally, it’s good if you can carry everything in a carry on bag, that way you won’t have to worry about your equipment getting lost. Be sure to know the carry-on baggage policies before your flight, as they can vary between different airlines and different countries. In general, it’s good to arrive early for your flight, but it’s especially the case for voiceover artists. Given all the electronic equipment you’ll be carrying, it will probably take some time to get through the security gate. Arriving early will ensure the time you have to take getting through the security gate won’t cause you to miss your flight. Lastly, some voiceover artists have an equipment setup only used for completing projects while traveling. Doing this keeps their home equipment from being at risk of getting damaged or getting lost or stolen.
Setting up your hotel
These days, Airbnb gives voiceover artists the ability to book a whole apartment or home where they can quietly record their work. Nonetheless, if you still opt to stay at a hotel, there are certain requests you should call and ask for before you get your room booked. The earlier you make your reservations, the better chance you have of getting the specific accommodations you need. Most hotels will try their best to help you out. Try to request a room that’s far from the elevators so there’s less potential of noise from people walking by.
In addition, see if it’s possible for you to get a room that is facing away from the hotel pool or a highway, and that’s located on the higher floors of the hotel. Some voice artists even choose to get the highest floor to avoid the potential of upstairs hotel residents causing too much noise. Perhaps most importantly, be sure there is a safe you can store some of your equipment in when you’re not in the room, and Wi-Fi access to be able to send your completed projects to your clients. For those that do decide to opt for an Airbnb, make sure internet access is provided, and make sure it’s stable.
You can look at reviews of the location to see if anyone had any complaints about it. In the event the Wi-Fi stops working, be prepared with a list of restaurants or cafes nearby where you can go to access Wi-Fi and still be able to send your client the completed project. You should also look out for any noise complaints as well. For example, if people note that there’s construction going on near the location, it’s probably best to look for another option. It also might not be a bad idea if your Airbnb or Hotel is not far from an electronics store. If you should have a problem with your microphone or other equipment, you’ll be able to easily get to the electronics store and get a replacement.
Setting up your travel studio
When setting up your studio space in a hotel or an Airbnb, minimizing noise is the key. See if you can switch off the refrigerator, the air conditioner, and any other items that might cause noise. You could also walk around the room, speak out loud, and see where you feel like you get the best acoustics. Once you decide on a spot that seems suitable, then you can set your studio up there. Some voice artists use the closet as a makeshift studio. You can make use of towels and pillows to help reduce any reverb in the room that you choose to record in or could use a portable travel VO booth.
Keeping up with your voiceover work while traveling can have its challenges, but it is possible to do. You just have to do your best to prepare for all of the unexpected issues that could come up. Following all of these tips will help you stay prepared, and have the best chance of completing your voiceover projects while you’re traveling.