The Engineer is the person responsible for all the machines used in the voice over recording session working perfectly; their job is to capture all the vocal magic. While they could easily be regarded as ‘button pushers’ or machine-focused; the fact is, that the Engineer put his/her heart and soul into each project and their performance cannot be understated or overlooked. One could argue that they are out TinMan – seemingly machine, but truly much heart.
It is the Engineer’s attention to the detail and their knowledge of each component that allows the other members of the team, namely the writers, directors and voice actors, to focus on their creative responsibilities.
Not only must the Engineer must keep all recorded takes organized for the final assembly of the project, but s/he must also keep any reference tracks handy for the director in case, at anytime they request a source for ‘playback’.
During the voice-over recording session, it is the Engineer’s responsibility to maintain a high quality recording of the voice-over actor’s performance. S/he must be sure the actor is the correct distance from the microphone, the actor’s voice is recorded clearly and that and no additional noises are heard on the track.
After the voice-over recording session, the Engineer will deliver all the tracks and will have edited or spliced together selected takes, which will become the first semblance or edit, thus bringing the project to life.
After the voice over recording session and throughout the editing process, it is common to ask the engineer to pull up additional takes or certain lines as options potentially used to perhaps better match the upcoming visuals, which will be added in later. Just because the audio edit is done does this mean the Engineer’s job is over; they are usually on call right up until delivery.
While it can be easy to overlook the crucial role of the Engineer, we must realize that we need their experience and passion to optimize any voice-over recording session. They are an invaluable part of the team, and had a huge heart all along.