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5 commandments of a quality Voice Over
10-07-2019 Posted by Ingrid Sanghee Edwards in Other

Voice overs create good jobs for actors and models. By learning about them, it can expand the knowledge created about our wild world of acting and since there are just a few well know female voice-over actresses, there is much room for a Wikipedia update. Some voice actors you may know are Robbin Williams, Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, Seth McFarland, Hank Azaria, Gilbert Gottfried, and Mila Kunis for their well-known sounds and hilarious or badass characters.

The five commandments of a quality voice-over artist.

Some VOA that you most likely have heard, (but only the experts truly know) are:

James Jonah Cummings:  Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Tigger (Winnie the poo)  Darkwing  Duck(Ducktails)

Richard West: Fry & Dr. Zoidburg, Professor, & Zap Branigan (Futurama),  Bugs Bunny & Elmer Fudd (Space Jam)

Tara Strong: Rikku (Final Fantasy 10), Harlequin (Batman Arkham City)

Don La Fontaine: Staring in over 5000 movie trailers, Video Game Announcements, Network Promotions, and  TV Advertisements.

Jen Taylor: AI (Halo 4)

Today we hear many models, actors, and actresses say they don't know how to start when it comes to voice overs, so here are our 5 commandments to remember when you want to become a quality Voice Over Artist.

1.       Settle Thyself:

Listen for outside noise: While most professional recording studios are well prepared to record your voice over work, by noticing your surroundings in each recording studio you record in, then you are sure to get a good start in making a quality recording.  Listen to your environment with and without headphones...recording and not.  Just for a few minutes, try to see if you can trace any dogs, bells, people, cars, scooters, kids, airplanes, or booming bass from your new rap star neighbors. 

Listen for inside noise:  Acknowledging the sounds in your direct environment is most important when preparing.  Good mics and poor mics can pick up wavelengths sounds and maybe even entities floating about the air whether you know they are there… or not.

Listen for Internal Noise:  Sometimes we have the internal voice in the back of our heads babbling away. Things we need to remember, things we may have forgotten, (shit did I leave the stove on?), the nagging internal critic-who always tells us that we could have prepared better, and the internal protector that states “why even do it in the first place, if there's a chance of failure?”.

 Oh…heh.. just me? Ahem.  >>clears throat<<

Despite how loud, soft, positive or negative your inner voice can be, the best way to turn off that inner monologue is through exercise or meditation.

So if you can run around the block…great!

Know some mouth exercises….? Perfect!   (Pun sort of not intended) 

Or even a little “woosah” …?

Find 12 mini meditation techniques to calm your mind and body Here.

2.       Level Thyself: Remember to check the distance between your mouths to the mic. Keeping your mouth about a fist size amount away from the mic allows for a good recording. Listen if you sound too harsh or not loud enough on your playback to and adjust accordingly. 

As for home a beginners guide to home recording experts say:

Keep the peak at or around -3dB

Have an Average RMS between -23dB and -18dB

Have a noise floor at or below -60dB

*It is important to know however that each person has a different set up of levels due to the differentiating characteristics of voices.   Just as professional musicians have their own sized instruments; voice over artist should get to know their best levels.

Acoustics & Room Reflection: Sometimes we need to record voice-overs on the run, and have no time for making it into the studio. It's really important whether you are home recording or recording a voice audition on the run.  One can record in a closet full of clothes or hang blankets on the walls.  Why not try making a blanket tent recording studio and record some ghost stories in there while you are at it.   If you are trying to set up your home studio, you can never go wrong with acoustic foam. 

3.       Know Thyself:  Well... I mean... know your performance flaws, in a matter of speaking.  Sometimes have a Snakey S, a Poppy P, or a Crusty C? (again, pun sort of not intended)  No one likes it but many of us have it.  To save yourself from making yourself crazy (personal experience), first get a pop filter.  This takes away the harshness of these nasty little letters.  Next try to pull slightly away when you say these letters, and don't drink liquids just before you read.

4      Review Thyself: Probably thee most important commandment is to review your recordings.  Despite not having time to check before you send, it would be better to send a late but great recording, than to send an on-time bad one.  Make the time to listen to your final exports for your voice over audio files before uploading or sending in and you will always make the grade. 

5.       Gear Thyself: While the best research is done by you and for your personal taste and budget here are some of our finds and links where to buy for each price range.

 

Headphones:

Poor Homey: One Odio- Around 33

Middle-Class Joe:  Audio-Technica ATH-M30x- Around 69

Rich Bitch:  MH40- Around 250

 

Microphones:

Poor Homey: MXL V67G – Around 60

Middle-Class Joe: Rode NT1KIT-Around 200

Rich Bitch: Neumann TLM 103 – Around 1100

 

Computers:

Poor Homey: Anything with at least 8 GB of RAM and the ability to capture audio in real time.

Middle-Class Joe:   Same

Rich Bitch:  Same

 

Pop Filter:

Poor Homey: Pantyhose

Middle-class Joe: Aokeo Pop Filter

Rich Bitch: Aston Shock Mount & Pop Filter

 

Editing Software:

Poor Homey: Audacity Free Download

Middle-class Joe: Garage Band (free for ios users)

Rich Bitch:  Adobe Audition

 

Acoustic Foam:

Poor Homey: Egg Cartons

Middle-class Joe: Acoustic foam

Rich Bitch: Foamly

 

 

Thanks to these YouTube accounts for some of the information on this blog:

Voice Acting 101

Funny Guy Tim

Voices.com

Top 10 Archive

 

Have any additions or suggestions on our tips or gear? Let us know about it!

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