If you’ve ever had to add voice over effects for a project, you know how challenging it can be. When you get a script, not all of the voice over work you need to provide is included.

Voice over effects are crucial despite not being present in the script copy. The entertainment industry needs to have background noises that can only be made through human voices. To do this, productions usually hire voice over talents. Without this important addition, an audio recording’s impact is heavily reduced. 

Voice over effects are one of the most overlooked aspects of the industry despite their importance. If you’ve ever wondered what voice over effects are, how to make sounds, or how to change your voice, you will find your answers below.

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This post has been updated in October 2021.

What Are Voice Over Effects?

There are many types of voice over effects. Some of the most common ones which need voice actors are noises such as screams, animal noises, grunts, and background audio like restaurant crowd and traffic. Many professionals in the industry teach themselves how to do voice over effects in hopes of diversifying the job opportunities they can do.

Whether it’s in movies, video games, audiobooks, or television, voice over effects are an essential part of production designed to aid the overall quality of the output. If you are a professional who chooses to market yourself as someone who specializes in doing voice over effects, you can immediately gain footing in the voice over industry since it is one of the most in-demand jobs sought by casting directors, producers, and casting agents.

The other type of voice effect is the altered voice, which is important in character development. Can you imagine Darth Vader sounding just like any other human? He wouldn’t be as intimidating if that were the case. Voice over effects need to stop being the afterthought of production companies because it has legitimate emotional and psychological impacts that cannot be taken for granted. The audience will feel something is lacking if this element is absent, which is mostly the case with low-budget productions that cannot afford to hire a sound engineer and voice over actor to craft needed voice over effects.

The Role of Voice Over Effects

Foregoing voice over effects is one of the most common mistakes of filmmaking and media. Many people assume that the script must be followed without allowance for voice over effects not captured on set.

Voice Over Effects for voice actors

On movie sets, the microphone focuses on the main actor or actress. This fact decreases the important natural sound which happens during the shoot, such as passing cars or other people talking. This clean dialogue is unrealistic since it presents the audience with a sound vacuum where background audio is absent.

Why Not Use Just a Computer?

You may be thinking, if some of these sounds can be made by a computer, why do productions still hire voice over talents to do voice over effects? When directors and sound engineers use digital sound to imitate what voice over actors can do, it just won’t sound right or authentic.

The audience may pick up audio that’s enhanced digitally. Imagine if you hear fake laughter on your favorite sitcom. You will be distracted, right? Humans can immediately pick up sounds unnaturally made since it does not sound pleasing to the ear. Because of the complexity of the human voice, it has hundreds of dimensions that can never be replicated by computers.

Learning Sound Effects

Unsurprisingly, the best voice over effects are created by voice over professionals. Their original voices sounds can be edited or enhanced in some way through pitch and intensity changes.

The ultimate way to learn how to do voice over effects is through practicing constantly. In time, you will get better at what you do. If you have resources, you may also consider attending voice acting schools or training with a coach. These methods are awesome ways of cultivating your talent and learning how to market yourself as someone who does voice over effects. Once you’ve honed these skills, you can start gaining experience.

Importance of Voice Over Effects

Here are some of the reasons why producers should always use voice over effects in projects.

Provide authenticity

The best way to present a realistic and well-defined setting is by using all important elements at your disposal. And one of the most critical ones you cannot miss out on is audio. For films, producers hire special effects directors to decorate scenes with lightning, visual cues, and a lot more. This step is done to elevate the set. Not only that, people spend thousands, if not millions of dollars, to hire great actors to deliver splendid performances. You will only put this money and effort to waste if you do not pay attention to the sound. Whether it’s gentle footsteps or the sound of people chatting in the background, voice over effects are the ultimate addition to improving the realism of any media.

Set the mood

The perfect and easiest way to set a mood, whether it’s suspense or comedy, is through voice over effects. Whether you are shooting a horror, romantic, or corporate video, pay close attention to the voice over effects you will be adding since it can increase people’s interest in your projects. Most feelings of the audience are built upon the information onscreen, but the audio will fuel their speculation about what will happen next.

For example, a camper sits alone by his fire, and then the sound of a lion roaring is heard nearby. Watchers will think of the danger ahead. On the other hand, if voices were heard, it would signal that they are not the only person there. Whether the feeling is fear, danger, or anticipation, voice over effects can move people off their seats and signal what’s coming up in the film.

Auditory cues

Not everyone knows and appreciates voice over effects as a narrative element. This method can be used to develop and even disrupt the auditory themes in your project. For example, a person shouting in the background can be interpreted in hundreds of ways. If you develop voice over effects for your production, you can dictate the expectations and perspective of your audience without them knowing.

Despite the importance of voice over effects, less is still more. Overloading a scene with these subtle additions will take away the focus from the major element. For example, the audience doesn’t have to hear the exact conversation of extras in a restaurant. Excess voice over effects will take away the focus on the important parts of the media since humans are not good at selective hearing.

Story development

The potential of voice over effects is endless, especially when it’s used properly. This effective storytelling tool will give your audience important information about what is happening in the narrative. Whether it’s hysteria on the street, or people walking, voice over effects can be used like any other visual cue.

A popular trick many directors use is sound layering to create a new effect. This step is usually done when no one can make a voice over effect to bring life to characters like monsters, whose sounds do not exist.

Create an illusion

Audio creates an illusion in a film, show, or audiobook. For instance, a video clip shows two friends walking into their favorite bar, and people are sitting at other tables and having deep conversations. The two characters sit on the counter stools, and the camera follows them while they have a conversation. The final output would appear fake as the people in the background cannot be faintly heard. By adding the chatter of the other people, the audience will think that they are still in the same place even if the camera shifts to a close-up shot. Producers do their best to cut costs so they would not need to pay extras to sit at the tables off camera. They just need voice over talents for the walla, which refers to the sound of people talking inaudibly.

Apps You Can Use to Change Your Voice

It’s going to take a long time before you can master changing the way you sound. Thankfully, there are easy ways you can play with your voice through mobile apps. You may even prank your friends with it.

Voice Over Effects in voice acting

Best Voice Changer

The Best Voice Changer is one of the leading apps for a reason – it’s easy to use, and it delivers amazing results. This application offers a wide range of voice features that can make any voice change sound compelling. This application also allows its users to record a file and import it directly. After you’ve done this, you can edit it out to various vocal effects such as robot, bee, alien, and a lot more. Most of the effects are also very realistic, which is very helpful for voice over talents.

Voice Changer

If you want to explore weird voice effects such as a chipmunk, alien, or duck, try this app. It will enable you to apply the effect on pre-recorded files. Although the interface seems old school and you cannot use it while you are on a call with someone, it still does the job. It also has ads, but most users do not mind because the app is free.

Call Voice Changer

If you just want to change your voice to prank someone, you should download Call Voice Changer. This app can change the pitch of your voice and has a ton of sound effects to choose from. This app requires a fee, so before you buy it, try the demo mode first. This way, you can determine if it works for you. The free version lets you have a free 2-minute call so you can see if it fits your needs.


Most people use Snapchat because of its wide array of adorable filters. Whether you want to look like a dog or glammed up without putting makeup up, Snapchat is your best choice. However, did you ever think you can use the app for its voice filters? Just click the loudspeaker icon on the bottom left when you record a clip. There are a lot of options you can play around with, so have fun experimenting.

Funny Call

Another voice-modifying app meant for calls, Funny Changer allows you to record your voice and change it with its numerous voice effects. Unlike Call Voice Changer, it does not offer a demo mode. However, half of its effects are free. The interface is quite confusing for beginners, but once you get the hang of it, it will be a breeze to use. However, the app shows full-screen ads from time to time, which many users find intrusive.

Excited to Make Your Voice Over Effect?

Voice over effects are more than just the cherry on top of a cake. It’s an integral element of media production. Give yourself time to learn how to do voice over effects since it will grant you numerous work opportunities in the future. Soon, you’ll realize that adding voice over effects will amplify the realism of the production and bring the script to life in a way you never thought was possible.

Get your perfect voice over effects today with Bunny Studio!