From character voices to movie trailers, hilarious commercials, and radio ads. Voiceover work is its own industry within entertainment. While tight knit, there can be a lot of opportunties for voiceover work with the right tools.
Finding success in the pursuit of voiceover work comes down to more than just the audition process. It can be very useful to prepare yourself for the best opportunities by having the right tools. In VO work there are a few recommended items to have as well as some DIY ways to create these tools on your own.
A great investment for VO actors is a good quality microphone. The Blue Yeti mic or a CAD like the CAD u37, makes a huge difference in sound quality. While one versus the other comes down to pricing, the choice is truly yours as both help deliver crystal clear sound.
Shock mounts help to remove the extra sounds that the mouth makes by blocking the air hitting the mic’s diaphragm capsule. These are essential but can be home-made for those on a budget with a pair of tights and a coathanger.
PC OR LAPTOP
This is, of course, something you likely already have and will need to manage your voiceover business. When recording and editing your voice recordings and your dialogue you will need your laptop.
It is very important to use a good pair of headphones when recording your voiceovers. This is because you don’t want the microphone to pick up sound from your speakers, or even sound egress from poor quality headphones.
|Adobe Audition||Mac OS X; Windows||Automatic speech alignment; pitch correction; parameter automation; HD video playback; clip spotting; cross-platform design. Importantly has an editor view and a (limited) multitrack view. This is a professional program.||$15 p/m|
|Audacity||Mac OS X; Windows||Conversion and remastering for old recordings; multi-track recording; multi-file import and export; sync-lock tracks. It does have issues but good for starters.||Free|
|Sound Forge||Mac OS X; Windows||Noise reduction plug-ins; musical instrument file processing; floating window docks; tabbed browsing; interactive tutorials. This is a professional sound editor.||$399|
|Pro tools||Mac OS X; Windows||64-bit sound engine, powerful AAX plug-ins, killer virtual instruments, and extensive range of other features, Avid Pro Tools provides professional-level toolset and is used throughout the world. It is a multi-track environment.||$599|
|Logic Pro||Mac OS X||Logic Pro provides easy to use audio and recording facilities for voiceovers. It is affordable compared to other recording software in the industry but includes just as much audio recording and production power. Again, is a multi-track environment.||$199|
|Garageband||Mac OS X||This Apple only audio recording and editing software is easy to use. It can also be used as voice over the software to create radio-style shows, record and edit voiceovers; record interviews add jingles or sound effects. It is very limited in its capabilities and doesn’t have audio-metering which is essential for professional use.||$5.99|
|Twisted Wave||Mac OS X||TwistedWave is an easy to use audio editor. It supports Audio Unit plug-ins and many file formats have good multichannel and lets you easily add, remove or reorder channels.||$79|
|Reaper||Mac OS X; Windows||Reaper provides a powerful and simple to use set of recording tools that are inexpensive, yet professional-grade. At the time of writing is in its infancy compared to other programs but is improving. It does have issues with plugins like the compressor which doesn’t have proper leveling.||$60|
|Cubase||Mac OS X; Windows||MIDI composing and sequencing; music notation; chord generator; multi-track editing; warp quantizing; user community. This is a professional level multi-track system and also a music production system. This is GFTB’s program of choice coupled with Audition on a mac or Soundforge on a PC.|
As a voiceover artist, there are certain skills to keep in mind when pursuing the craft. Aside from deciding what type of VO artists you would like to be, you will need to build the structure of your talents in the field.
- PATIENCE: VO work is more than speaking out loud into a microphone. It takes time and dedicated energy like any other acting opportunity.
- PRACTICE: Just like any skill one wishes to be great out, practice makes perfect. It’s not just about rehearsing your lines, it is about honing in on the different voices you intend to carry.
- DISCIPLINE: Actors working in VO have to commit to the craft. Being focused on your script and undistracted by your surroundings is key for success. VO auditions are just as important as any other audition and require the same amount of focus.
- SENSITIVITY: Since VO is about bringing your emotions out through your voice, you have to be sensitive to the words. Knowing how to convey each moment of the script and bringing it to life through the mic is essential.
- SELF RECORDING: The majority of VO auditions will be done from the comfort of your own home. Getting comfortable with self-recording is one of the most important tools you’ll need for VO success.