Mastering Audio at London Audio PostSeptember 18, 2015
Peter on Audio Post Production for FilmMarch 6, 2017
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 productions. 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. 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-over is 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.
How to Get Started:
1. Practice Your Acting Skills
Just because you have a good voice doesn't mean your destined for voice-over stardom. Before you invest your money in home studio equipment and a demo reel, go to your local theatre, get on stage and practice getting into character. Don't try too hard by over enunciating your words and avoid becoming “flat”, where there is no emotion in your voice and all your sentences end the same.
2. Find Your Voice
Voice acting is a huge industry so you should find out where your voice fits in and what you like to do. Some people like to do character voices, others just like to stick to commercial, announcer and presentation style reads.
After you've done this you should get some honest, professional feedback on your work.
3. Get Your Voice-Over Demo Produced
Different jobs require different demos. DON'T make a compilation reel that has several styles all on one file. If a client is looking for someone to read a commercial script, they don't want to hear your cartoon characters.
4. Set Up Your Home Studio
Start small and reinvest the money you make into upgrading your equipment and set up. All clients expect crystal clear audio recordings. You MUST be recording in a professional recording environment with professional equipment.
What you will need:
A quiet space to record in away from traffic, kids, dogs etc.
Professional soundproofing materials
XLR cable (most mics come with one)
SOUNDPROOFING IS AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR RECORDING EQUIPMENT!
Microphones are going to pick up ANY noise or echo and amplify it. You might think your in a silent environment, but your microphone works differently to your ears!
The best thing to do when auditioning for a voice-over job online is to think from the client's point of view. The most valuable thing to a client (more than money) is time. When you save them time, you make them happy.
Follow directions. Make sure you submit your audition in the requested audio format, labelled properly and slated according to their specifications.
Don't slate over 5 seconds. A slate is the first part of an audition that usually includes the talent saying their name, the name of the project and the number of takes included.
Make sure you meet all project requirements before auditioning. A client may request ISDN or phone patch, production services etc. in addition to the voice-over. What you should remember is that sometimes you are not auditioning for the end client, perhaps the ad agency or production studio is then relaying the auditions to their client. You could be wasting a lot of people's time when you audition for a job that you can't fill.
Keep remarks short and sweet. Thank them for listening and be nice, this is not the time to criticize the script or complain about the budget.
For more about our voice over services at LAPP please click here.
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