Audio-visual technology can be complex, and the options available for any given task may seem confusing. Here we hope to clarify some of the most common questions you may have about the services we provide.

Audio

What kind of recording can you do? I have a script, can you record it? Do I need to hire professional voice talent? I want to sell CDs of my seminar / conference. Can you produce them? Do you record music demos? I have an old recording. Can you still play it? Can you clean-up / enhance my recording? How long does it take to convert something to a CD? What happens to my original recording?

Video

What kind of video projects can you do? I don’t have a script yet, can you write one? I already have the footage shot, can you just edit it? What video formats can you shoot to / edit from? Why is your VHS-to-DVD price higher than the photo place in the mall? What kind of DVD will I get? Will it work in my player? Can you copy home movies from my Mini DVD camcorder? What if I have more than two hours of video? What if I only want a short part of a longer video?

Q What kind of recording do you do?

A In our studio, we typically record voice talent for video narration, radio commercials, web and multimedia projects, and educational or entertainment projects. We have a library of licensable music and sound effects should a project require them. On location, we record seminars, conferences, presentations, and some performance arts. We’re not a music studio, however, so we do not record bands or mix music demos.

Q I have a script. Can you record it?

A We can conduct the recording session, edit the resulting audio, and produce a finished master tape or CD of your script. The best person to direct, however, is you! You know your message, and how you want to deliver it. You can provide voice talent, or ‘audition’ talent from our library of free-lance professionals. We’ll make sure the session results in the best quality recording, while you help make sure the talent delivers your message just the way you want.

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Q Do I need to hire professional voice talent?

A The benefits of hiring a professional voice talent – even for smaller productions – are numerous. While voice talent may seem like an unnecessary cost, using inexperienced, in-house personnel often results in more time and money spent editing, only to yield an inferior finished product. Non-professionals take longer to record, are harder to edit cleanly, and they may not deliver your message as clearly or effectively as a professional. Contact us to discuss how professional talent can work for you and even save you money overall.

Q I want to sell CDs of my seminar / conference. Can you produce them?

A Yes we can. We can provide the sound reinforcement and recording during your seminar to ensure the most professional results. We record direct to digital on site, set up tracks back in the studio, and finally burn a set of master CDs. From these masters, we can create as many copies as you need, with a variety of labeling and packaging options available.

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Q Do you record music demos?

A No, we do not. Our studio primarily records narrations for videos, training tapes, commercials, on-hold systems and similar projects.

Q I have an old recording. Can you still play it?

A We’ve been around a while, and though we don’t have every old machine made, we can still probably play your recording. From metal-core 78 RPM albums to 3” reel-to-reel tapes, we can handle a variety of obsolete formats. Contact us today to see if we can convert and preserve your old recordings.

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Q Can you clean-up / enhance my recording?

A Yes, most recordings can be enhanced to a degree. That said, Hollywood would have you believe that this process is perfect. Sadly, some especially poor quality recordings (muffled, echoed, quiet, scratchy, etc) can not be adequately cleaned to recover the original sound. Some processing can still help make voice more intelligible, however. Call us to schedule an appointment to have a technician listen and assess the amount of enhancement we can perform.

Q How long dos it take to convert something to a CD?

A Most things have to be played in real-time into a computer before we can make the CD itself. After ‘capturing’ the sound, we can adjust the volume and save each track. Typically, it takes one and a half hours of studio time to convert approximately one hour of original sound to a CD. If any clean-up or other processing is desired, it will take longer. Contact us to discuss any special requirements you may have.

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Q What happens to my original recording?

A Nothing. Your original recording is returned to you in the same condition we receive it. In rare cases, very old and damaged recordings can break while playing, or be unplayable at all. In case of a small clean break (usually in open-reel tapes), we will splice it back together, and attempt to continue playing it. If the tape is too fragile to play, we will call you.

Q What kind of video projects can you do?

A We do projects ranging from 30 seconds to an hour or more, from TV commercials to corporate communications to dance recitals. There is a tremendous range of production options, far too many to list here, so we encourage you to contact us to discuss your project.

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Q I don’t have a script yet. Can you write one?

A We are primarily a production service. While we can recommend writers, we do not have a writing staff in house. Typically you are the most knowledgeable person for what it is you are trying to communicate, thus the best qualified to write about it. We can certainly discuss with you how to present your message effectively in video.

Q I already have the footage shot. Can you edit it?

A Yes, as long as it is in a format suitable for editing. These include BetaSP, MiniDV and SVHS. DVD footage is not a practical video source, as it is highly compressed, and in a format not designed for accurate editing. Like tape-based video, DVD video must be imported analog, in real-time, to be edited.

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Q What video formats can you shoot to / edit from?

A If we are producing a typical corporate video, we may shoot either BetaSP or MiniDV. These are both high quality formats, suitable for editing and DVD authoring. For smaller budget productions like recitals or small seminars, we may shoot SVHS, or direct to DVD. Typically these kinds of videos go straight to duplication with minimal, if any, editing.

Q Why is your VHS-to-DVD price higher than the photo place in the mall?

A While many photo finishers have begun to offer such video services, they don’t have the equipment or staff to do the work in-house. They mail your tape out, making you wait up to two weeks for your DVD. At D&K Sound Services, our experienced technicians can often return your video within a day or two. We use only high quality DVD’s, personally check the disc, and can even personalize the menu and label for you.

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Q What kind of DVD will I get? Will it work in my player?

A The DVD “standard” has become complicated, and many variations have been introduced to try to capture the market, or improve the technology. Typically, we will provide you with a high-quality DVD-R that will play in the majority of DVD players in use today. Some older players and less known brands may be incompatible with some brands of discs. If you have a problem, we may be able to exchange your disc for a special DVD+R format that may work with your player.

Q Can you copy home movies from my Mini DVD camcorder?

A Yes. There are a few ways to do this; the one we recommend most is that you bring us the camera the disc was recorded in. Because of subtle differences in discs and cameras, this is the MOST reliable means to copy and preserve all your home movies onto a full-size DVD. Remember to bring the power supply and video cables, as each brand uses different connections on the camera. If you can’t provide the camera, we may be able to read the disc anyway, though there may be some additional setup charge for this.

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Q What if I have more than two hours of video?

A We can do it. While a DVD has the capacity for 2 hours of high quality compressed video, by adjusting the recording, we can easily fit a little more on the disc. We regularly record up to approximately two and a half hours onto a single disc with no visible loss of quality. If you have three or more hours of video, we recommend recording to more than one disc.

Q What if I only want a short part of a longer video?

A We can begin and end recording a copy where you tell us. To be sure you get exactly the part you want, our technician may play your video with you so you can show us where you want to begin and end. Copying only a short part of a longer video isn’t considered editing, and you typically only pay for the length of the part copied, not the length of the original video.

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