To add Music and SXF, or Not Toa Add music and SFX?... That is the Question!

What does everybody in the general consensus think? Add music and to your reads or not? Most seekers don't specify wether or not they need it! So should you not use them by default leaving them to their own devices, or add them to help sell your read?

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Iv'e heard that for Auditions you keep it clean and let them know you can add music later.
This sounds like a good policy.

What about just making it your way as well as you possibly can? try to go the full 9 yards to really give them what they want?

I overthink everyhting, so shoot me some perspectives! :)
I just got a job thru an audition where the guy told me that he only reviewed around 15 submissions (that would be a lot back in the day..but not so much today)...and he said that he has his own music bed that he wanted to put under each audition. Therefore...any of the auditions that had MUSIC under them...were discounted. That doesn't completely answer the question but it is one clients insight and reasoning~~
Personally I think you have to play the room, and no where you are on the totem pole of VO.

What I mean by that is if you're an established sought after stud like Jeff...then of course you dont have to.
If it's for some national camera campaign where they have pro's doing the audio work...of course you dont have to.

But if you're like me, a first year full time VO guy(with 20 years of radio under his belt), without an agent, sending stuff into Voice 123 where the majority of the clients are newbies as well or dont understand production or have the ability to do it.

Then yeah, by all means blow them away with SFX, Music and processing. Almost every gig Ive ever gotten has had music under it.

My humble, low man on the VO totem pole opinion only.

Mutt:))
Dry voice only. It's all in the read.
I agree with Mutt,
You have to play to the room. Last year i was in Larry Maizlisch's Seminar at Voice 2008. Larry talked about auditioning, and how talents can get ahead in the new online Wild West. Larry played a series of auditions for a spot that had a female newscaster, and a traffic reporter in a helicopter. All were dry voice, Then Larry played the audition that won the gig. I had open music, the female newscaster and the helicopter reporter, processed with actual helicopter SFX in the bacground and an announcer tag. It sounded like the real deal. I was flabbergasted.....it was MY audition! The client actually used the audition AS the SPOT! (the tag was changed slightly) In this case my instinct was to over produce and it payed off. Another example came last week on Voice 123. The job posted was Cartoon Voice for a sock puppet. They wanted something akin to the old Pet Smart puppet. One very dry line was given for audition. I gave the line, but mixed it with a second voice, the studio engineer...I improved the interplay between the two and created a "scene". This way the ad libs of the sock puppet could be showcased. Long story short? The agency made a video of the actual puppet in front of a green screen mouthing to my audition.....the video was presented and the client wants to build the campaign around the adlibbed puppet hilarity. Was it the best puppet voice? Nope.....was it Good and Different? Yes! Pat Fraley would be proud. (I just finished his Audition seminar in LA 2 weeks ago....highly reccomended) Audio of the auditions I referred to is attached. Bottom line? Use your judgement......think about how you can solve problems for the client or voice seeker. There are still a few rules that apply to auditions to be sure......but when you break them, be very selective. If you're going to add production elements be sure that you have the expertise to mix audio professionally. Hope this was helpful. All the BEST
-j+
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