Sure, we’d all like to believe that everyone is honest. But unfortunately that isn’t necessarily the case. One way to make sure people aren’t just grabbing your audio files and using them “as is” without compensating you is to not record the whole script (some people also recommend doing things like leaving off part of a phone number). But watermarking (or adding digital signals embedded in the audio) is another way to protect your files until you’ve sealed the deal with a client.
So how do you watermark? Well, every audio software should have a way to do this. It’s usually called “Generate Tones.” I use Twisted Wave, and in that software it’s under the “Effects” tab. It’s pretty easy to do! Just put the playhead on the specific spot(s) in your audio file where you want to add a watermark, and select “Generate Tones.” You should be able to adjust the length, volume and pitch of the tone, and of course you can play it back to hear the final result before saving.
If you opt to watermark a file that you’re sending to a client for approval (as opposed t0 watermarking auditions), don’t forget to save a version without watermarks, in case they love the file as is and don’t want to make any changes! That way you can just send them the non-watermarked version and you’re good to go.
Also, note that some auditions specifically mention that they DON’T want you to watermark. In that case it might be a good idea to try one of the tips above.
Happy voicing, and happy watermarking!