When your project calls for an Irish speaker, nothing else will do. Whether you are looking to voice over a project with an Irish voice or you want a voice with an Irish accent to work on your project, this voice can have quite the impact on your work. Think about your audience to fine-tune the voice for a perfect fit. Once you have the details and the purpose of your audio needs, you’ll be able to narrow down the characteristics to choose the perfect Irish voice for a successful piece.
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Dubbing, Voice Overs, Voice Actors, and Irish Voices
There may be a wide variety of purposes for an Irish voice actor. You might be looking for dubbing, voiceovers or a voice actor for a specific piece. It’s important to know about each of these so you are getting your actor for the right reasons. Let’s take a look…
Dubbing – BunnyStudio shares a great definition: Dubbing is a post-production process where the original language of recording is swapped with audio in a different language. It is then mixed with the audio of the media to make it sound as natural as possible. A talented voice actor can make dubbing a natural and smooth version of the original piece. An example of this could be an American film that now has Irish dubbed content. Irish voice actors will speak the audio so that Irish speakers can understand the film better. Sometimes it can be a matter of speaking with a particular Irish dialect so it is more understandable.
Dubbing creates a much more natural and immersive experience for things like movies, television shows, and video games.
VoiceOvers – Voiceovers and dubbing may seem similar, but they are actually quite different. Dubbing takes on a natural feel as the voice is worked directly into the film. The actors include nuances and emotion in dubbing. Voice overs are able to convey the message, but they don’t always have the emotion.
Voice overs are widely used in narration and corporate or educational pieces. Documentaries often have voiceovers in them as well.
Voice Acting – Voice acting is just as it sounds; any type of voice in an audio piece is voice acting. Voice acting can be in a commercial, documentary, video game, educational or corporate piece, or a commercial, plus other audio or visual pieces. Often when people hear voice actors in their own dialect or with a shared accent, they feel a connection to not only the speaker, but also the product, character, or subject of the piece.
If your needs require any of these with an Irish voice, go ahead and find that actor. The right voice can make all the difference. An Irish voice has not only the ability to connect to Irish people but also others. Many people find an Irish accent very appealing.
Some Well-Known Irish Voices and Why They are Appealing
The Tab explains why the Irish accent is so darn appealing, Every time an Irish person speaks, it’s a sweet symphony to the ears, one that you wish would never ever finish. It crackles like a smoking log-wood fire. Maybe that is why it’s so nice to listen to one. The Irish voice is comforting. It’s not so smooth that it’s intimidating, but with the lilt and the lift of the words, it’s like being rocked gently in a boat at sea. Comforting and safe. So it doesn’t hurt to include this in your project.
Who wouldn’t want to listen to these Irish actors/singers talk for hours: Micheal Gambon, Niall Horan, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell…Though you probably can’t get one of them to voice your piece, you can still find a voice actor with the lovely Irish lilt to be the voice of your project.
Finding a Voice Actor with an Irish Accent
Maybe your target audience is made up of people from Ireland, or maybe you just want to include the lovely Irish accent in your piece to appeal to everyone else. Whichever the case, how do you find an Irish voice actor?
Just like with any other voice actor, you can work with a voice agency or you can find a freelance voice actor. There are pros and cons to both, and just like you are looking for a specific actor, you have other specificities to fill. One of these options may be a better fit for you.
Freelance voice actors may be cheaper to hire. But then again they may not. It can depend on the actor and the agency. If you are looking for a simple project, a freelancer may work well, but it also won’t hurt to check out the cost of a professional service.
Some people like to work with the actor directly, and for them, a freelancer may be better. They can work out all the details themselves, from payment to scheduling. If this isn’t you, an agency does all this type of work for you. Also, with an agency, they have an established reputation and the actors with them should, too. You can check on the backgrounds and experience that the agency has already verified.
An agency can also help you find the specifics you’re looking for. You may know you need an Irish voice, but what else? Do you want a male or female actor? Someone who is old or young? Do you want the voice to be more rustic or more refined? Most agencies have recordings of their voice actors so you can sift through them to find just what you need. They offer a variety of services, and it may be worth it to check some of the best voice services out to see what they can provide and how they work. They may be able to help in ways you didn’t know.
What About Experience
Depending on your project, experience may be a consideration for you. Has your candidate done this type of work before? Some other questions you may want to ask are:
- What projects have you worked on before?
- Do you speak other languages?
- What is the longest project you’ve worked on?
- Tell me about your favorite project and your least favorite project and why you felt this way.
- How do you record? In a home studio/professional studio?
When it comes to your Irish voice actor, you may want to find out a little more. If it’s important to you know if he or she is a native Irish speaker or if the accent is learned, ask. You may want to know if the actor has experience with other languages, too.
Ireland has a few different regions and dialects, so if your character is from a specific one, make sure the dialect matches. You wouldn’t cast someone with a strong southern accent to play a native New Yorker even though they’re both American. So be careful with your Irish voice.
According to Bitesize Irish, there are three main Irish dialects.
- Munster, spoken in the southern part of the island (Counties Cork, Kerry, and Clare).
- Connacht, spoken in the western part of the island (primarily Counties Galway, Mayo, and Sligo).
- Ulster, spoken in the northern part of the island (Mostly in County Donegal, but also in parts of Monaghan, Cavan, Derry, Antrim, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, and Tyrone).
You will lose credibility with your piece if your Irish voice does not match your region. In some cases, it may not matter, but if it does, make sure you’ve got it right. It may be helpful to know that Connacht Irish has the most native speakers. It also may help to know that in each of these three areas, there are even more dialects. Think about a Southern accent, you’ve got the genteel voice, the country voice, the accent from the hills or the coast. They all are similar but include subtle differences.
Characteristics of a Strong Voice Actor
Whether you are hiring someone for speaking in a commercial, working on a dubbing project, or voicing over a piece, there are certain characteristics that make a strong voice actor, Irish or not. A voice actor isn’t just a good speaker with a lovely voice, they are artists who use their voices as tools. They can manipulate and control their voice to create a mood and tone that captivates the listener bringing them right into your piece.
The skill of natural articulation is an important one for a voice actor. According to LongTrainProductions.com, This quality comes from being a native speaker of a specific language and also stems from years of experience. This is one reason you may want your Irish voice actor to be a native speaker.
Another important quality for a voice actor is perfect enunciation. Again, this comes with experience and being a native speaker. It’s one thing to pronounce words correctly, but it’s another to be able to speak them in a clear, confident, natural manner. This adds authenticity to the piece and helps the flow of the language.
Speaking of the flow of the language, appropriate pace is an important characteristic of a voice actor. A nice, smooth pace will keep the audience engaged while still allowing them to understand everything. And with that lovely Irish brogue, who wouldn’t want to listen.
To Sum It All Up
No matter the language or dialect you are looking for to do voice work, choose the best actor you can. When it comes to an Irish voice, whether it’s for a commercial, a voiceover, dubbing, or something else, look for someone who is credible and trustworthy and sounds authentic. No one wants to hear a fake or a bad accent or dialect. Keep it real and keep it credible. Your actor shouldn’t just have a good voice, but he or she should know how to use it, like a finely tuned instrument. Turn to a voice agency if you need help finding the best voice actor, sometimes it’s best to let the professionals handle that part of it.