The Audio Description Process

We have designed and implemented a proven 5-step process to ensure the delivery of the highest quality audio description services.

Quality Control Inspection and Preparation

Each video we receive is logged in by our traffic department and reviewed for each of the following:

  • Completeness
  • Sequential time code
  • Audio quality
  • Video quality

As the review is being conducted, the program is digitized and/or transcoded to one of our production servers. Any problems with the video, or any discrepancies between the video and the client’s original description of the project, are noted and communicated to the client.

Script Production

Using one of our state-of-the-art workstations, a description writer accesses the digitized program and carefully reviews it, noting the gaps in the dialogue where descriptions could go. The writer then crafts clear, concise, objective descriptions, using age appropriate vocabulary, that provide the most essential information within the limited time available. Not all gaps in the dialogue are filled with descriptions; only those where description would truly add to the comprehension of the program. The description writer also sets the specific timecodes within the program where the description would begin and end, making sure that the speaking rate of the proposed descriptions is consistent with the tone and pace of the program.

Script Review

Upon completion of the script, the description writer performs an initial review, watching the program in real time with the text of the script appearing at the specified timecodes. A senior description writer then performs a second review and makes any necessary changes to the script file. At this stage, we offer clients the option to review the script and make any proposed changes.

Voicing

Using high quality digital recording equipment in soundproof booths, our voice talent records each of the descriptions within the specified timecodes. They carefully match the style, tone, and pace of the program but with a delivery that is clearly distinguishable from the other voices in the program. We assign voice talent based on the nature of the programming and typically use the same person for an entire series.

Narration Review

Upon completion of the narration, the voice talent performs a full review of each of the narrated descriptions. An audio description manager then performs a second review of the narration and, to the extent necessary, the voice talent re-records particular descriptions.

Mixing

Using professional audio production equipment, our audio engineers check and adjust the volume levels and fade curves of each description to ensure that levels are matching and appropriate to the original program audio. After first creating a description-only audio track timed to the original program, our engineers professionally combine the description-only track with the original program audio, resulting in a fully mixed broadcast-quality audio description track.

Layback

We can provide the mixed description track to our client for final layback or do it for them. We can provide our clients with a fully mastered tape, digital file or DVD/Blu-ray disc.

Learn more about our Audio Description Services.