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How To Create Useful Audition MP3 File Names

Hey, there!

I was installing home equipment for a client recently, and as part of that experience, I led her through how to use Audacity to export an MP3 for submitting as an audition.

She was surprised to find out that I actually care a great deal, and get really picky, about how that audition MP3 file is named.

Here’s the skinny.

I want you to be as useful to the people you audition for as possible.

It’s why I strongly suggest that, no matter what, you slate your auditions. (Because you don’t know how or where the person making the decision will be listening to your stuff.)

I have a very specific format for how you should name your actual MP3 files.

Don’t be lazy, and just name them vo-audition.mp3.

Make your audition file name able to convey a great deal of information to the casting director, voice seeker, or client – who may be receiving thousands of auditions per project. And, as an added bonus, you’ll make the filename useful to you for filing purposes.

Included the following items, in this order, divided by hyphens (no need for underscores anymore) in your filename. Then, I’ll show you the format I use, as well as an actual sample, below the list):

1 Your name. You can use your full name, your first initial and last name, your nickname – whatever you like, as long as the receiving party (CD, agent, voice seeker etc) can keep you separate from others. There happen to be 16 other David Lawrences in the business, hence, I use my full name.

2 The date. This should be in YYYYMMDD format. Why? Because it keeps everything in numerical order – if you used the more typical MMDDYY format, next year’s Januarys would follow this year’s Januarys, and precede this year’s February submissions. This way, your files line up in chronological order.

3 The client. A short, one word reference to whoever’s going to be hiring you to do the job. No need for Bank of America when bofa will do the trick.

4 The project. This is the campaign, the product, the new service, the show – whatever’s being advertised. It’s often part of the script title, so choose something that delineates that campaign from others from the same client.

5 The role. This is really important – you may be asked to audition for multiple roles. Alter this part of the file name to reflect what the listener is going to hear. Take the role from the script itself – vo, annc, Man 2, salesman etc.

6 (optional) The version. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to make an adjustment and re-submit your audition. To keep everything straight, and so you don’t send an earlier version by mistake, use this: v2, v3, v4 etc. And, no, you don’t need to add a v1 to every one of your initial auditions.

Here’s an example of the file name I used for an audition I just did the other day for my agent:

davidhlawrencexvii-20131108-peets-newpods-annc-v2.mp3

So, to break this file name down, you see my name, a YYYYMMDD formatted date, the name of the client (peets), the name of the project (newpods), the role (annc, short for announcer), and because this was the second version I’d sent, v2 (for version 2). And note that I prefer everything to be lower case.

If you do this relentlessly, your list of auditions will be easily searchable, in date order, and your hard drive will be that much more organized. And the people you’re sending them to will thank you for making their job easier.

Hope this helps.

David

9 Responses to 6 Steps to a Perfect VO Demo

  1. Kelli August 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I feel really good about my demo. It is a quick and fun process, even for someone like me who gets very self concious. :)

  2. David Britz September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The demos are great. Superb quality. Why go anywhere else?

  3. David Britz October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to record my Narration VO Demo!! :))

  4. Mike Brang December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Having a well-produced demo is one of the most important things in the VO business. I had a number of demos made from other producers in the past and they all had one thing in common — that manufactured, cookie cutter sound!
    What sets David apart from the rest, besides his affordable price and tremendously fast turn around time, is that all of the clips you record with him sound unique. Each spot sounds like an actual commercial you recorded for a job.
    My agent loved the quality and even asked who produced it to refer his other talent there!

    Thanks again, David for producing such a great, high quality demo for me. You made the process relaxing and enjoyable. I urge anyone reading this unsolicited reply to listen to David’s student demos to hear the difference for yourself. Anyone would be lucky to work with him

  5. Kristy Liles February 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I can not thank you enough. I worked so hard on 15 page IVR project, one day I cryed, look for answers, pull my hear (not really) but I was about until another VO send me this great tool. Thanks!

  6. Frank June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    David

    When v123 indicates the audition is for a student/ nonprofit are we to assume it is for $0. If so, why does the audition ask for an amount to be entered?

  7. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    David,
    I did get this scam through Voice 123. In our discourse, they offered me the gig and they gave me the name of a legit local place to record and the same runaround with the money. I didn’t send anything, but instead, I called the studio to make sure the booking was for the day we set up, and lo and behold, the people there had no idea what I was talking about. I then tried to call back my “contact person” who was setting this up and there was a fax machine beep on the other end. I immediately contacted Voice 123 and told them what had happened. You know what they say…if it sounds togaed to be true, it probably is. Thanks for the reminder!
    Shirley

  8. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    …too good…not togaed.
    The one time spell check didn’t work!

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