Most professional voice actors can record, approximately, up to 1,500 words of standard narration wild in one hour. This includes time for listening back to the audio and re-recording any mistakes. However, the time varies depending on the type of project. For example, a professional narrator can frequently record, approximately, 1,500 – 1,800 words for an Audiobook in one hour. This is because they may be well prepared and/or are able to sight read making very few errors. The same narrator reading a technical eLearning programme may only record 10 mins of audio in the same hour.
If the voice over must be time-synced to a video or recorded within a specific duration this will take about twice as long as a wild recording. This is because the actor will have to repeat the sentences many times to get the pacing right. It’s even more difficult if they must match an on-screen speaker or actor phrase by phrase, particularly if the speech is fast. Most voice actors can record, approximately, 8-10 minutes time-sync in one hour, but it can be less for foreign voice over, technical subjects or where timing is more complex.
Lip-sync voice over is extremely time consuming, it will take 4-6 times longer than a wild recording. The voice actor will have to repeat their lines dozens of times to get the timing right. And if they are performing a character role it can take even longer trying to get the timing and the emotion right. There are also pre-production costs associated with foreign dubbing projects because the script will need to be adapted (condensed) to match the lip movements. For this reason, lip-sync recordings are un-common and predominantly used only in feature films, animations or video games with higher budgets. Most corporate videos are dubbed time-sync instead or in a UN-style like a news interview where the voice over acts as an interpreter.