What is Session Link Pro?
Session Link Pro is a German company that provides remote recording solutions for audio and video studios around the world.
When you get going in your voice over career, you will often be asked to provide a live session from your studio. This means that you will need to connect your recording space to your client’s studio, over a broadcast/studio quality connection. Essentially, when you’re performing the voice over, it needs to sound as if you’re in the studio at their location.
Different forms of technology offer differing levels of quality, so there are a handful of established, recognised systems that studios use. One such system is Session Link Pro which is most popular in its native Europe.
Live Voice Over Sessions From Your Home Studio.
As the traditional ISDN continues its decline into obscurity, services like Session Link Pro have become increasingly popular. It allows bi-directional audio at studio quality. This means as a voice over artist working from a home studio, you can connect over the internet and perform a live session as if you were in the room.
Another area where Session Link Pro comes into its own is the ability to stream for video production. This makes it ideal for voice over dubbing where the voice artist needs to perform in sync with the visual picture.
It’s also possible to record locally with timecode, so that the audio track can be placed later.
As A Voice Over Artist Do I Need Session Link Pro?
In most cases, I would say no. Session Link Pro is more useful as a tool of production studios. If they have it and use it, they can send you a link to connect with them without you needing a subscription.
If you get the chance, it’s very useful to have some experience of working with a client on this platform, as you can confidently say that you know it works with your home studio set-up and you can commit to a live session.
How Does Session Link Pro Work?
It uses webRTC technology and the OPUS codec.
webRTC stands for Web Real-Time Communication. It is an open-source, free project which facilitates real-time communication between web browsers and mobile applications. Essentially it’s a set of standards that allows computers to talk to each other in a ‘live’ setting.
The Opus Codec is one of the most popular codecs for audio on the internet. “Codec” stands for Code and Decode. It’s essentially an audio format that allows for audio to be transmitted with a low-latency.
Latency is the lag that you might experience when talking to someone over the internet. If you’ve ever watched one of those difficult TV news interviews between a guest and host in two different places, you’ll see and hear latency problems when there are huge gaps in the conversation or they constantly talk over each other because what they are hearing is a few seconds out of step.
To make it a little easier to understand, think of the Opus codec as a thing that translates your sound into a format that can be sent over the internet, and the webRTC as a standard for the way whatever Opus generates to be sent. A little like an old fashioned telephone and the landline it used.
Other Uses for Session Link Pro:
Although we tend to look at Session Link Pro through the prism of voice over, it has a wider use in the worlds of video streaming and conferencing.
As Covid 19 has changed the way many businesses work, this is something that is likely to be a larger part of their business.
For branding purposes the company presents itself as “SessionLinkPRO”. Others sometimes refer to it as “Session Link Pro” or “SessionLink Pro”. It can be a useful Source Connect alternative.
As a voice over artist, you will always have to make choices about which kit or services are most important to you. My own simple advice is to get what your clients ask for. When it comes to Session Link Pro, you’re in the lucky position of not actually needing it, but you should be aware of it and how it works, so that you can join a session when asked.
About The Author
Tony Collins-Fogarty is a British Voice-Over Artist, with a background in broadcast, alongside training as an actor. His radio career began in 1988. He began providing voice-overs regularly in 2005, becoming full-time in 2012. Commercially, he is best known as the brand voice of Tripadvisor, on TV in the US, Canada and the UK.