Marketing Messages is a leading provider of Telecom and multi-media applications. With a voice roster of over 180 talents, spanning over 80 languages, we specialize in delivering large, multi-language jobs. Professional Voice Prompts are our bread-and-butter, our creme de la creme, and our flagship product in a large line of offerings.
How has Marketing Messages garnered its reputation? Strong customer service, rapid turnaround, and accurate scripting and translation are important aspects. Our audio production practices are important as well. This article addresses audio recordings and the technical side of our work. In business since 1984, we’ll share what we’ve learned about high quality audio, and how our attention to detail sets us apart.
Quality Audio In, Quality Audio Out
High quality audio starts with voice recording. So let’s start with the talented individuals that record for Marketing Messages—our voice talents. Each with years of experience in Auto Attendant, IVR, Messages-On-Hold, narration, and other areas of voice recording, our voice talents are committed to their craft. They record in quiet, sound-treated spaces—studios often built right in their homes. But before they press “record,” they absorb the context of the script, knowing—based on feedback and experience—what each specific client expects. Finally, they deliver CD quality recordings to our Production team. All this attention to detail means the production process begins with professional performances and quality audio.
Perfect Audio Is the Goal
Once our customer’s chosen voice talent has recorded his or her audio for Marketing Messages, our in-house editors get to work.
First, our Production team verifies that the audio meets our baseline technical requirements and that it’s free of background noise and other unwanted sounds. Another set of ears listens to every paragraph, phrase, and word, to make sure it exactly aligns with our customer’s script. At the same time, we listen for correct pronunciation, especially when it comes to company names and brands. If we find problems, we go back to the voice talent for corrections, or “pickups.”
We utilize a number of high end software processing tools including de-clicking, de-essing (reducing or eliminating excessive sibilant consonant sounds), leveling, and compressing—all tweaked to our specifications—to make sure each word is audible, clear, and comfortable to listen to.
Our editors are pros at tweaking audio to sound just right. They quickly prune through every word of every sentence, making sure all breaths are removed, in and out points are perfect, pacing is natural, and any distracting noises are removed. Instead of having to delete chunks of audio, they’re able to highlight to specific frequencies and remove just the offending portions of audio while leaving the good stuff intact. For example, the mouth often produces natural “clicking” sounds that most people are so used to, they don’t even notice. But in our production process, all those noises have to go. Our editors can remove these clicks even when they fall directly within spoken portions, all without any loss in sound quality.
As all of our incoming audio is recorded in CD quality sound, we can provide our customers with finished, digital audio in almost any format, sample rate, and bit depth, including A-law and mu-law WAV and VOX files for telephone systems, right up to full frequency, CD quality WAV files suitable for audio narration.
Finished audio files are delivered electronically, either via email or FTP (customer’s choice). A script is always included with the finished audio so that the customer can read along while listening; verifying the work that they paid for.
So that a customer’s audio recordings are consistent over time, and the caller’s interface sounds smooth and professional, we capture any special requirements in a system that our whole company (customer service, production, and sales) can access. These special requirements might include silence time before and/or after the prompt starts, music break lengths, peak decibel levels, style and pace guidelines, etc.
From time to time, a customer may have reason to request that a particular file—or even an entire job—be re-sent. For that reason (and many others), Marketing Messages archives all of our customers’ productions. When our customers find themselves in a pinch, they can call on us to quickly re-send voice recordings.
Archiving also allows us to re-encode audio from previous work. Let’s say a customer has a new phone system that requires a different, higher quality file format. Because we originally recorded and archived high quality audio, we can re-encode the voice prompts to the customer’s new specification.
We’re Meticulous about Our Work
We hope this inside look into our production processes gives you added confidence as to the “full-service” aspect of our offerings. From hands-on customer service to meticulous audio production, our high standards and attention to detail are what set us apart.
If you’re interested in speaking to our sales team about an up-coming project and want to see if Marketing Messages can provide the right fit, please contact us. We’d be happy to set up a time to discuss your voice recording needs.