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  • Nikita Mani

Want to start voice-over as a career?

Updated: Sep 12




This simple guide is the solution.

In this guide ,I will show you everything related to the industry....platforms ,income ,scope in the field and many more....

Voice-over (also known as off-camera or off-stage commentary) is a production technique where a voice—that is not part of the narrative is used in a radio, television production, filmmaking, theatre, or other presentations.

The voice-over is read from a script and may be spoken by someone who appears elsewhere in the production or by a specialist voice talent...

Synchronous dialogue, where the voice-over is narrating the action that is taking place at the same time, remains the most common technique in voice-overs. Asynchronous, however, is also used in cinema. It is usually pre-recorded and placed over the top of a film or video and commonly used in documentaries or news reports to explain information. Voice-overs are used in video games and on-hold messages, as well as for announcements and information at events and tourist destinations. It may also be read live for events such as award presentations.

WHY TO START A VOICE-OVER CAREER?


If you want your voice to leave an impact to projects around the world...


Even small voice over projects can make a big splash. Every client you work for, whether it’s an international power house or a local small business, is being made better by the voice over you provide. It can be extremely fulfilling to witness what success is achieved with your help.


The Ability to Work from Anywhere, on Your Schedule


By far, one of the most appealing aspects of the voice over industry is the ability to work from anywhere that has an internet connection, and on a schedule that works for you. Some of the most successful freelance professional voice actors on Voices.com have expressed gratitude for their ability to create a work-life balance that works for their family, as well as their personal schedule.


The Freedom to Make as Much Money as You Like


Voice actors are often entrepreneurs – their voice is their business, and they treat it as such. When you’re your own boss, the sky’s the limit on how much you can make. Although, that’s not to say that becoming a successful voice actor is easy. As a business owner, be prepared to work hard and learn a lot in the process.

THE KINDS OF VOICE OVERS

Character voice-over


The voices for animated characters are provided by voice actors .Charactering techniques in voice-overs are used to give personalities and voice to fictional characters. Characterization has always been popular in culture and all forms of media. Instead, radio began to create serial talk shows as well as shows with fictional story lines.

There is more freedom in voice acting, because there is no need to match a dub to the original actors, or to match an animated character.

Producers and agencies are on the look out for many styles of voices such as booming voices, which may be perfect for more dramatic productions or cute, young sounding voices that are perfect for trendier markets.

Some examples of character voice actors include Jim Cummings,Tara Strong,Mel Blanc.,Frank Welker

Narration voice-over


In the context of voice acting, narration is the use of spoken commentary to convey a story to an audience.

A narrator is a personal character or a non-personal voice that the creator of the story develops to deliver information to the audience, particularly about the plot. The voice actor who plays the narrator is responsible for performing the scripted lines assigned to the narrator.

In traditional literary narratives (such as novels, short stories, and memoirs), narration is a required story element; in other types of (chiefly non-literary) narratives, such as plays, television shows, video games, and films, narration is merely optional

Some narration voice actors include Morgan Freeman,James Earl Jones, Kiefer Sutherland,Peter Cullen.

Commercial voice-over


One of the most common uses for voice acting is within commercial advertising.

The voice actor is hired to voice a message associated with the advertisement. This has different sub-genres; television, radio, cinema, and web-advertising. The sub-genres are all different styles in their own right.

Marketers and advertisers use voice-over all over their projects, from radio, to TV, to online and more! Total advertising spend in the UK is forecast to be £21.8 billion in 2017.

Voice-over used in commercial adverts also is the only area of voice acting where de-breathing is used. De-breathing means artificially removing breaths from the recorded voice. This is done to stop the audience being distracted in any way from the commercial message that is being put across...

Some commercial voice actors include Tim Allen, Bill Hader, George Clooney, Jon Hamm.

Translation


Dub localization is a type of voice-over. It is the practice of voice-over translation altering a foreign language film, art film or television series by voice actors.

Voice-over translation is an audiovisual translation technique, in which, unlike in Dub localization, actor voices are recorded over the original audio track, which can be heard in the background. This method of translation is most often used in documentaries and news reports to translate words of foreign-language interviewees.

Automated dialogue replacement


Automated dialogue replacement (ADR) is the process of re-recording dialogue by the original actor after the filming process to improve audio quality or reflect dialogue changes (also known as "looping" or a "looping session"). ADR is also used to change original lines recorded on set to clarify context, improve diction or timing, or to replace an accented vocal performance. In the UK, it is also called "post-synchronization" or "post-sync".

Automated announcements


Voice artists are also used to record the individual sample fragments played back by a computer in an automated announcement. At its simplest, each recording consists of a short phrase which is played back when necessary, e.g. the "Mind the gap" announcement introduced by London Underground in 1969. In a more complicated system, such as a speaking clock, the announcement is re-assembled from fragments such as "minutes past" "eighteen" and "p.m." For example, the word "twelve" can be used for both "Twelve O'Clock" and "Six Twelve."

Automated announcements can also include on-hold messages on phone systems and location-specific announcements in tourist attractions.


AI-generated and AI-modified voice


Software to modify and generate human voice already exists. Different software companies have presented their solutions, e.g. AI startup Dessa created a computer-generated Joe Rogan's voice, Ubisoft company used speech synthesis to give thousands of characters distinguished voices in the new open world game Watch Dogs: Legion, Google has a solution to generate human-like speech from text

How much do voice artists earn?

The earnings as a voice actor range from: $35 for a small market radio spot, $150 for a 15 second recording for say a small website, $250 – $350 for a 30 second major market radio commercial (Plus use fees) to about $2000 $5000 per audio-book, as an established voice talent.

With project rates, the individual quoting may think of their time in ‘blocks’ – like half days, or full days. Example: A job that is estimated to take a day ($800) and a half ($400) would be around $1200.

BEST PLATFORMS TO EARN AND SHOWCASE YOUR TALENT

Voices and voice123” are platforms specially for voice-overs ...They need an yearly cost of around $500 to audition for projects posted.

Fiverr” This is the best platform I have experienced....

Though it includes all the services, but voice-overs never remain unnoticed .Its a totally “free” platform .You only need to post your portfolio in the form of gigs..

Gigs in form of videos have higher chances of getting work .....

Create your free video with https://bit.ly/31HGkrM


Clients notice them and offer you to record their stuff. You can also offer to work on their projects when they post a request. With fiverr, earning is fun...

Some other platforms include Upwork, freelancer


How to record a good voice-over?

EQUIPMENTS

· Microphone You can buy best microphones - https://amzn.to/350G7BU https://amzn.to/3bhuBmR https://amzn.to/2Gct5Hl

· Accessories- https://amzn.to/3gPtRXz

· Computer

· Software- Audacity

· Headphones/Speakers https://amzn.to/32EWz89


1) Find a good room


The room that you record in will have a big impact on the sound of your voice recording.

A room that is too big will make you sound distant and difficult to understand. Imagine sitting at the back of a large lecture hall or class room. Not great.

A room that is too small will have a louder echo. Go into your bathroom and clap or speak loudly. You’ll hear what I mean.

Something else to consider is how ‘hard’ the room is. The more soft furnishings, the better.

A room with lots of hard, reflective surfaces (like a kitchen or bathroom) will always sound a lot worse than a room with lots of soft furnishings (like a bedroom or living room).

Make a list of all the rooms you have available to record in. Pick a room that has the most soft furnishings and isn’t particularly large (like a lecture hall) or small (like a bathroom).

When you record, you aren’t just recording your voice. The microphone will also pick up the room and the way that your voice interacts with the environment around you. Watch this video to see a short animation of room acoustics in action.


2) Set up your equipment


It’s time to start setting up your equipment!

Put up your mic stand, attach your microphone and plug it in. If you have a USB microphone, plug it directly into your computer. If you have an audio interface, plus your microphone into it with an XLR cable and then connect the interface to your computer.


3) Open up your DAW (audio recording software) and set your levels


Open up your DAW of choice and create a new track. A lot of people use Audacity.

Arm the track and start recording. Speak into the microphone and set your levels. You don’t want to be anywhere near the red area, otherwise known as “peaking”. You want to be in the yellow (around -18dBFS if you have a meter).

There’s no need to record at a high level to get more volume. This will ruin the quality of your audio. Record at a low level – you can turn up the volume at a later stage in your audio editor/DAW (more on this later).

Listen back to the recording. Is there any obvious background noise? Fans, A/C, electrical appliances, street traffic? If so, fix this now. Turn everything off and close all windows and doors.


4) Find the right microphone position


This is a crucial step that most amateurs would skip. But that’s not you!

To get a good sound you need to experiment with microphone position and distance from your mouth.

Hit record, and start talking with your mouth 5 inches from the microphone. Listen back to how it sounds. Try getting closer to the mic, then try moving further away. Listen to how it affects the tone of your voice and find your favourite position.

If you’re not sure, 5 inches will work in most situations and is a great guideline.

If you hear too much sibilance (‘ess’ sounds) and plosives (popping ‘p’ sounds) try moving the microphone off axis. Point your mouth just to the side of the microphone.

5) Prepare for the session


You need to make sure nothing will go wrong when you’re recording. There’s nothing worse than somebody walking into the room halfway through a good take.

Let everyone know that you’re recording. Turn off any electrical appliances. Put a sign on the door. Get your notes ready, and make sure they’re all there. Check that the mic stand is properly tightened and that your phone is on silent. Grab a glass of water to keep your mouth wet. Now you’re ready.

6) Mentally prepare for the performance


A high quality recording is useless if your voice sounds boring.

Before you go for your first take, mentally prepare for the voice session. If you’re doing a voice over of a fictional character, remember that you are first and foremost an actor. Become the part. Get into their head. If you’re recording something informational, you still need to make it interesting. Fluctuate the speed and pitch of your speech. Put on a ‘YouTube Voice’.


7) Press record and… action!


Go for it! Record your first take. Give it all you’ve got.

Don’t worry if you mess it up, though. Sometimes you get it first time; other times it’s the 102nd take (trust me, I’ve been there).

Don’t give up too early. It’s perfectly normal to record the same section over and over again. Don’t move on until you’re happy.

Depending on the length of your voice over, you could record in sections or do the whole thing. But try not to record over your mistakes – just keep going along the timeline of your DAW or record on a new track. You might decide to use a section of your first recording, and if you record over it you won’t have that option. When you mess up, leave an ‘audio note’ for yourself for when you’re editing. Say into the microphone: “Whoops, I just messed that bit up, going back to the beginning of this paragraph”. Your future-self will thank you.


8) Start editing and cutting out mistakes


The exact process for this will depend on which DAW you use.

In this stage you want to cut out the mistakes, move around the different sections (if necessary) and remove any long silences.

Once you’ve done that it’s a good idea to add some volume automation. Using the envelope tool in Audacity (or the automation tool in other DAW’s) you can balance out the volume of your voice over. If a section looks particularly loud, turn it down a bit. Turn up the quiet parts.

Try and make your recording as consistent as possible. This process plays a large part in creating a professional, ‘polished’ sound.


9) Adjust the tone of your voice with EQ


Now that you have a final edit it’s time to start adding the finishing touches and shaping the sound of your voice recording.

When it comes to EQ, subtlety is key. Never boost or cut more than 5dB, otherwise you can quickly ruin your voice over. 3dB is usually more than enough. Experiment and use your ears. Remove the bad stuff and exaggerate the good stuff.


Take a look at your notes from earlier – how do you want to improve the tone of the voice? Make it brighter (boost the top end), warmer (boost the low end), or clearer (boost the high mids).

It’s not always necessary to use EQ. Just remember to be subtle. If you’re not confident, don’t bother.

10) Use a noise gate to eliminate background noise between phrases


Like EQ, this stage is optional. A lot of people use the noise removal tool in Audacity to get rid of noise. Don’t – it will trash your audio and remove a chunk of the sound.

If you want to eliminate background noise between phrases, use a noise gate instead. Noise gates block all sound below a certain volume, so when your voice drops out the gate ‘closes’ and removes the noise.

Unfortunately Audacity doesn’t come with a noise gate. Instead use Reaper, which has an unlimited free trial.

11) Use a compressor to make your voice sound more consistent


A compressor compresses’ the loudest parts of your recording to make them more consistent with the rest of the recording. This in turn allows you to raise the overall volume of the recording without the loudest parts peaking.

Compression also gives that polished, professional finish that your voice needs. Too much compression, though, sounds unnatural. As with EQ, subtlety is key.

Radio presenters and adverts tends to have a lot more compression on their voices. In these situations heavy compression is used as an obvious effect, giving that powerful ‘in your face’ sound.

12) Export the recording as an audio file


That’s it! You’re all done. Have another 10-15 minute break to give your ears a rest. Come back and make any final adjustments.

Once you’re happy, it’s time to export your track. Different DAWs have different names for this process. ‘Bounce’, ‘export’ and ‘render’ are the most common. This is the process of creating a normal audio file out of your session, with all the effects and edits.


Always export in the WAV format rather than MP3. The only time you should export to MP3 is if your client has requested it, if the video editing software you are using doesn’t support WAV, or if you have a particularly long voice recording (like a podcast) and you need a smaller file size for quicker upload speed.

Check the settings when you export. The bit depth should be 16 bit. If you’re syncing the voice over to video the sample rate should be 48kHz. Otherwise, it should be 44.1kHz.

14) Syncing your video voice over


If you’re trying to learn how to voiceover a video, the next step is to import the audio in to your video editing software.

Create a new track with your audio, and sync it up to your video. You might need to make small edits within your video editor to get it perfect.


Now you know how to do great voice-overs!

Congratulations! You’ve recorded an awesome voice over. Not too painful, huh?

Before you leave, I have one more request of you – make sure you complete the following action steps.

All of this information is worthless unless you put it into practice.


THANK YOU!






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