Hello everyone, Alex here. Not only am I the co-founder of Audio Catch but I’m also the Audio Director for the Orange County Gaming Group that has sponsored over $13,000 worth of tabletop gaming audio over the last year.
We thought it would be of value to the artist community to share some thoughts regarding auditions which not only apply to all future fantasy based audio tracks I am involved in posting but also provide some useful insights for artists to use when auditioning in general.
1. Own the Creative Brief
Nothing gets me more excited to listen to an audition when I can see and hear that the artist has truly owned the creative brief. If the brief allows for a good amount of creative license and interpretation from the artist, it usually pays off to do a bit of homework on the context of the Gig. For example, recently there was a Gig for an Elven dirge thrown up which sought to create a lament rich in the nuances of fantastical Elven culture. Hearing tracks which use Elven lyrics with the right intonation one expects from elves proves to me that that artist has done his/her homework and that audition is likely to produce an interesting extrapolation of the brief. Even taking the time to include a simple signal such as labeling title of the track is in Elven is enough to raise an eyebrow and prime the listener for an intense review.
2. Provide the Narrative
Whether you are auditioning for a music or voice over Gig, don’t be afraid to send over your vision for the sequence of the piece or the interesting backdrop provided via chat that paints the picture you wish to unfold for the client. Even though you are following the creative brief as close as possible, there is usually a story that is being told or a unique background or accent that is distinctly yours, and understanding the approach you are taking can help in providing feedback should it be needed. Moreover, there can be instances in which the proficiency of the artist is clear but the direction followed is not what the client is seeking thus explaining the imaginative angle taken can help to bridge such understandings.
3. Learn and Keep Trying
For clients such as myself that don’t come from a professional audio background, there are some facets of a sought piece of audio that are hard to convey in a written format. Sometimes, some artists just ‘get it’ and they are marked as “Favorite” in order to facilitate revision and provide a shortlist to the larger decision making group when the Gig ends. If your audition gets heard and is not marked as “Favorite”, don’t get discouraged! If you have the capacity, try again and listen to those tracks that were Favorited to give you a strategic map to plan your next submission. There are two ways to go. A review of shortlisted tracks can reveal those insights not expressly conveyed in the brief which you might have missed, providing an audible guide on characteristics such as energy, tempo, arrangement, and complexity that might have been lacking in the brief. Be very careful however since copying or ripping off of another’s work is not only prohibited but robs you of showcasing your specific style and interpretation which is not likely to generate any interest by the client. Another angle would be to provide the client an angle not already tried, showing the client a fresh perspective to the piece.
Well, that’s what I have for now but there’s a whole lot more to share. By no means, do not be shy and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any burning questions or would like me to cover another aspect of the process that I can help answer.