• Homiyar Sachinwalla

How Voice-over and Dubbing Services Demand has gone up during COVID

Covid is having a lot of impact on business activities which includes the e-learning and generally the audio recording industry. A lot of disruption has been taking place in diff industries, at the same time our mother Earth is being rejuvenated. One of the major shifts is the work from home culture. A culture born out of the necessity of not being able to have proximity to colleagues. Thus, everything thing has gone digital. While video conferencing is taking over actual meetings, e-learning modules are taking over actual training sessions. As the culture of trainers offering training in person went away (temporarily) due to COVID, a new culture of learning through animated videos is gaining ground. Teams of content writers are coming up with training modules. The same is shared with content localisation agencies such as voiceoveranddubbingservices.com

Here, we select voices matching each character and get it recorded, either in a home audio recording setup or in a sound recording studio. Voice recording is one thing and the sound/ voice editing that takes places after that is another. Voices that have been recorded in different locations (due to social distancing) need to be equalised to give audiences the perception that the characters on screen are interacting in the same room. The sound files are also QCed for clicks, blows and fumbles and sent to the animation team. Here it gets integrated with the visuals and viola a training module is ready. One which could be accessed from any part of the world.

Prior to Covid hitting upon us, the voice-over industry used to operate out of audio recording studios with very few home setups. Well, all that changed in Covid as recording studios had to shut down like most other industries but the demand on the other hand went up. To cater to this added demand, home setups had to be installed, which included a HIFI mic connected to an audio correction software via a laptop. In some cases recording was done on mobile phones and then the files sent to audio engineers having a home setup to clean, QC and equalise the sound files. Recording at home was an added challenge with the presence of ambient sounds like, human voices, pet sounds, kitchen utensils within homes and external disturbance like, traffic, honking, stray animals and bird sounds.

Also the binge watching on OTT meant more subscription for those platforms by viewers having comfort levels in different languages inducing a huge demand and therefore a boost for regional language dubbing.

To sum it up, COVID has had a boosting effect on voice-over and dubbing services industry.

As far as future of this industry goes there may be a disruption in not so distant future. With the help of MLAI (Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence) there are now softwares that can replicate/imitate human voices. Although matching the tone, pitch, pace and inflexion with the script is far from satisfactory softwares might eventually catch up but like every other disruption in history human value addition will never go out of style and human creative randomness may not be duplicated by machines in the near future, if ever. All in all it looks like for now the voice-over/dubbing industry is here to stay and grow.

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