"As a professional actor of 27 years experience, I have a strong understanding of the
demands and the requirements of both the acting and voiceover industries. Voice
reels produced at SonicPond are tailored specifically for various needs, whether it be
acquiring a voiceover agent, updating your old reel, or targeting a specific
voice job. " - Martin Fisher
Once the recording date is booked in, clients are invited to have a consultation over the phone, (which lasts around an hour), where we
can discuss the kind of voicereel you want, and talk about the balance of pieces
needed to play to your strengths most successfully. (see breakdowns of all the kinds of voicereel we provide further down the page). I can guide you through the whole process of finding and choosing pieces for yourself, and have a huge database of scripts to provide you with some of the material if desired. (Or indeed all, though many clients enjoy personally tailoring the choice of pieces for the reel with my guidance, rather than using the studio's scripts. In my experience, the very best reels are a combination of the research the client does, and what we pull out on the day based on which direction your voice goes in). The aim throughout is to create an atmosphere where you will be relaxed and
confident enough to create your strongest work. (and have fun doing it!) The way the reel normally breaks down in terms of pieces is described here, tho do consider this list as a general guide, not a definitive set of requirements.
We try to make all reels as unique and personal to the client as possible. All material used will be original pieces
devised between myself and the client, or adapted from existing material taken
from numerous sources, such as online script sites and even YouTube. We also of course have a large database of scripts to use should you need them. Recording will
be done over one full 5 hour day, so that there is no
pressure to get everything 'first take'. The key to a successful reel is
confidence, positivity, time, and meaningful direction. I approach each reel with the same attitude as if it were
my own, and painlessly coach you through the whole process, however little experience you
may have. We also have an extensive, searchable database of high quality Hollywood sound
effects and music to
enhance the soundscape of your final reel, as our aim is always to make each reel sound as dynamic and captivating as possible.
The final reel will contain 9 pieces, made up of a
mixture of commercials, promos, idents and
character ads, as well as 'straight' or 'narractive' reads' from fiction or documentary, and will include your natural accent, as well as any vocal talents that you feel you can present well (see here for suggestions of the kind of material to look for, tho this is a broad guide, not an essential must have list). A
dynamic 90 second or so montage of the pieces will kick off the reel. We can also
provide you with clips for your online Spotlight page, either from the pieces you record for the agent or radio reel, or as session on its own (see Price list for cost of extras). You can listen to examples here
When we edit your reel, we 'comp' (compile) each piece from the best versions of each take, often using different lines from many different takes to reach a final 'perfect' version. We then add carefully chosen music and sound fx to enhance the final sound, creating a 'straight from the radio' feel, and finally edit the highlights of all the pieces into the montage. We then upload all your material onto our server, so that you can then review and approve your performance and the order of the pieces, from the comfort of your own home, before we send out your finished MP3s.
High quality MP3s of everything will be
provided upon completion, (optionally, fully labeled CDs of the final reel are available for a small extra cost. As standard, we would include on the cd label an itemisation of the pieces, including length,type, all relevant contact details, and your photo/headshot of choice. (see examples here). Other digital media options are also available if needed (We can send you the WAVS for example, if you'd like them). Please be aware that Voice Agents almost exclusively ask for MP3s these days.
If the usual agent reel doesn't suit your needs, there is an hourly rate available to be able to record whatever you wish to. If you just need a cd of clips for your
Spotlight online CV, or you need something not mentioned here, we can provide you with a revised quote by recording
fewer pieces, or working to a shorter time frame. Feel free to contact us about
We run a special package to provide you with a Radio Drama Reel, specifically tailored to the requirements laid out by the BBC radio drama company, know as Soundstart. Full details of their recommendations for people supplying reels can be found here.
The session is very similar to the agent/commercial reel session, except the consultation is phone based, and the recording allows for 4 hours studio time to record a maximum of 8 pieces of one minute each (as determined by the BBC requirements). Typically these would cover a wide range of styles and characters, including modern drama, classic drama, comedy, prose/narratives, poetry etc. The important thing is to remember that they are a repertory company, casting across many projects and scripts, so the greater the range you show of accents, character types and age range, the better chance you have of success.
As with all our packages, we will give as much advice as you need on how to approach the session, and as much direction and coaching on performance as you wish to have on the day. Since studio producer Martin is an actor with over 25 years experience of the industry, the level of direction you will receive can be as detailed and thorough as you need it to be.
The consultation is less crucial here, as the BBC Soundstart web site lays out the needs for the reel extremely clearly, tho we will of course always offer whatever extra guidance we can by phone and email.
If you have a gift or passion for character voices and animation, a talent for accents that aren't your natural voice, or simply want to get into the games industry, we now run a package that deals directly with this skillset. We have made specialised animation reels for years now (hear some here), but game voiceover is fast becoming a huge area for VO artists to expand into. (most high profile games make many times more profit than a typical Hollywood film, and employ many times more performers). You can either blend animation and games together into one single montage - typically around 90 seconds - or specialise in just one or the other. (Games makers are increasingly demanding games specific reels). The package price and session time is the same whichever you choose. At SonicPond, we've had a bit of a passion for games for many years now, and we're especially excited that the VO world is beginning to take it as seriously as it now does. Come to us, and get a game reel made by someone who not only knows games and gamestyles, but loves them!
For games or animation, the session runs much the same - it allows for 3.5 hours studio time to record around 10 or so characters, 5-15 seconds long each. These should cover a wide range of styles and characters, including the widest range of voice types that you can show. We will of course point you in the right direction at the consultation as to what works best, and enable you to research about games and animation for yourself. We have many scripts here at the studio should you need them, but there's an enormous amount to be gained (and huge fun to be had) delving into these worlds before you record with us.
On the day, we will direct you fully on how the specific styles of each game or animation sound, and use a 2 hour edit session after you've left to create the widest possible sound design that we can, so that each world we create for each voice is tangible and recognisable. We believe there are very few studios that put this much focus on authenticity with their character based reels, and none that we know of that create specialised gaming reels. (it seems those years playing RPGs wasn't wasted after all). We hope the results speak for themselves.
Record any two reels from our available packages in one day (Spotlight reel excluded), and get a huge discount on our normal prices (see current up to date price list here). We can do this because we only record one reel a day, to give you maximum attention. So as long as additional reels aren't taking up a separate day, we can add them on for much less.
The options could be, for example:
1/ Commercial Reel + Radio Drama Reel. - 8 pieces of one minute each for the radio reel, 8 pieces (some commercial, some narrative) for the Commercial reel.
2/ Commercial Reel + Animation or Game Reel. - A 60-90 second montage of 10 or so voices for the animation/games, and 8 pieces of commercial and narrative for the Commercial Reel. We've added this as a new option very recently, due to a huge increase in demand of gaming specific reels.
3/ Animation + Games reel - as separate entities, for people who wish to really specialise.
SonicPond has a great deal of experience recording in languages other than English, and will be happy to provide foreign language clients with the same level quality of voicereel.
We have so far recorded reels in (to name but a few) Welsh, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Romanian, Polish, Hindi, and Hebrew!
(click on language name to hear an example of each)
Payment is due on the session day, either by cheque, cash or bank transfer. Occasionally we can issue invoices upon completion if the final cost is initially unknown. Payment is then to be made within 14 days. A PDF invoice will always be provided. No material, including test edits and masters, can be sent out until full payment has been received.
Missed sessions, ie failure to attend without sufficient notice to fill the slot, will be charged up to the full session fee at SonicPond's discretion.
We fully understand that castings can tend to come up the day before, and often can't be moved. However, cancellations on those terms with less than 17 hours notice will incur a £75 cancellation fee, as it wouldn't give us time to fill the empty slot. Mostly, we've found castings can be moved to start or end of the day, to enable to the session to go ahead as planned.
Many of our
clients have gone on to acquire Voice agents, and worked extensively and
successfully in the voiceover industry. Have a look at the column on the right
to see a few of our most successful clients, who they signed up with, and listen
to a few examples of the reels they recorded here