If you are new to the industry, it is important to learn the voice over essentials you need to achieve success. This equipment will allow you to maximize your skill and produce high-quality work.
Voice overs are considered an important part of media. They can be utilized to persuade and inform people and even change narratives. In today’s digital age, voice overs can be found in almost all mediums, whether it be in movies, news, events, or explainer videos. Voice over essentials ensure your output impresses your audience.
While the main component of a great voice over is stellar voice quality, there’s no denying that voice over essentials and the tricks of the trade greatly help to make the output as good as it can be. Since you need gear to capture sound, the quality of your work depends on your available tools, as well as your skills and abilities.
This post has been updated in August 2021.
The Importance of Voice Over Essentials
By now, you may already have a rough idea of how important voice overs are. But to refresh your memory, recall all your favorite documentaries. As you enjoy jaw-dropping cinematography, a mesmerizing voice booms. Voice overs are not only an effective narration device but also as a tool to intensity emotional effect in viral videos or commercials. With voice over essentials, you can communicate effectively with your audience.
The voice over is added during post-production. This way, viewers are not limited to only the visual elements of the video. To create a voice over, many talents book a professional recording studio or simply do it in their home studio. For newbies, it can be puzzling to figure out how to get a voice recording done that is a high enough quality. But don’t worry- we got your back.
What Is Your Budget?
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, it can be difficult to determine how much you need for your voice over essentials. First, you need to establish your budget. Prepare to shell out at least a hundred dollars for low-end gear and up to $500 to $1000 dollars for high-end products. While this may seem a significant upfront cost, a voice over home studio will allow you to save money in the long run.
Before any voice over artist begins, they need a script that contains all the words for the video. These words will accompany the visuals. One of the voice over essentials is to have a clear sense of the visual elements that correspond to the script.
To say that the success of a voice over relies on the script is an understatement. This sets the tone of the whole narrative and whether you can capture your audience’s attention. Overlooking the script would cause huge problems since it can ruin the production.
A script needs to have a clear message. Before writing your script, set your goal, and remember the key message. It is easy to get distracted and lose sight of your purpose. Allowing your goal to dictate the whole process is the only way you can make an effective voice over script. Aside from this, it is also integral to pick a tone and language that your audience can relate to. Think about it – a video aimed at men aged 50 to 65 will have a very different tone than one aimed at millennials.
The script should also be flexible. Sometimes, it looks good on paper, but it won’t sound perfect when read by a voice talent. Follow your instinct and change it so it can suit the situation better. Also, record alternative versions to make editing easier. In these versions, edit parts that seem awkward and make the script sound as effortless as possible.
Another important tip to keep in mind is to never forget your call to action. Let your audience know what you want them to do in the final line. Ask them to e-mail, text, or visit, or whatever the client wishes.
All About Soundproofing
Talking about voice over essentials does not just concern your equipment. You also need to consider soundproofing, especially when you’re working in your home studio. Isolation should be your priority since it would prevent disturbances from outside the room. It would also limit the chances of someone disturbing you as you are recording. The last thing you want is to hear your housemate’s blaring music in the background of your demo.
Thanks to soundproofing, your recording quality will improve and sound more professional. It would be impossible to get the most out of your voice over if you don’t invest in soundproofing. This step is one of the most important voice over essentials since it is the only thing that can give you a noise-free and acoustically accurate environment where you can record and create your work. Without this, you’ll end up producing subpar results.
Soundproofing your recording room
Soundproofing a room may sound complicated. But you don’t need to transform an entire room. Simply pick a small space such as a closet to create your very own sound booth. And it’s actually quite easy to soundproof your recording room provided you follow the right steps.
First, you have to increase the mass. This term refers to the size of the elements present in the area, such as ceiling and walls. It is the standard method for soundproofing a home studio. Thick drywall is an amazing material because it has a dense mass relative to its size. You may even add a second layer of drywall later, and attach it with a soundproofing compound to increase the sound reduction to around 40 to 44 decibels (dB).
Another factor you need to consider is damping. This step includes anything that scatters kinetic energy made by the soundwaves by turning it into heat.
Since the vibrations produced by sound can move from one structure to another, you also need to decouple to block this transfer. This step works by isolating the points of contact with a dense rubber.
Finally, you should fill in any air gaps in the holes and cracks of your home studio to make it airtight. These spaces, albeit small, can present the opportunity for unwanted sound to enter. One of the most common materials for this is a foam gasket used for doors, windows, and even electrical outlets.
Soundproofing requires a bit of effort and money. However, you shouldn’t skip it even if you have limited resources.
Voice Over Essentials You Need
Now that you understand the importance of a good script and soundproofing, it’s time to check out other voice over essentials.
Voice Over Essentials #1 – Microphone
One of the biggest purchases you will make as a voice talent is your microphone. And as the piece of equipment that captures your voice, this tool is among the most important voice over essentials. So be sure to choose the best mic for your needs. And don’t skimp if you can handle buying a better microphone.
Newbies may lean towards getting a USB microphone that directly plugs in your computer’s USB port so you can capture sound quality that’s above average. Without question, this is the best choice if money is your major concern since it’s very affordable. With this type of microphone, you can record your reel directly to your laptop or computer without additional equipment. However, this kind of mic is dependent on your computer, making it not as versatile as other types. If you want to record the best quality possible, the USB microphone is not your best choice.
Dynamic Broadcast Microphone
You may also invest in a Dynamic Broadcast Microphone, which gives you excellent performance if you want to get rid of popping “p” sounds and hissing “s” sounds. Albeit more expensive, this type of microphone is easier to use compared to condenser microphones since it does not need phantom power. This microphone gives you a warm sound, but it cannot cater to high frequencies. You will also need additional equipment to use it with your computer.
Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Another choice available is the Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone, which can give you an impeccable response. This microphone, coupled with proper technique and settings, will let you capture high-quality sound. However, this microphone is very sensitive and bound to capture unwanted vibration and plosive noises. Just like the dynamic broadcast mic, you also need additional equipment and phantom power.
Voice Over Essentials #2 – Headphones
Without headphones, you won’t be able to hear your recording properly. Many talents prefer not to use headphones while recording since it may impede their ability to hear their natural voice. But it comes down to personal preference. The purpose of headphones in editing is also unmatched.
Make sure to get headphones that are comfortable to wear even after long hours of use. Pick a closed model to ensure sound won’t bleed into the microphone when you’re recording. A simple pair of earbuds cannot reproduce sound with high-quality fidelity, and as a result, are less than ideal. You wouldn’t want to submit a project to your client and receive a complaint about noise distortion you cannot hear in your earbuds.
Voice Over Essentials #3 – Audio interface
The audio interface is one of the voice over essentials you need for your studio. This equipment enables you to control and translate the signal from your mic to your laptop or computer. An aspect of the audio interface you should be familiar with is the pre-amp, which drives your mic’s signal strength. If you purchase a weak one, your signal to noise ratio will be negatively impacted since you have to increase the gain.
Voice Over Essentials #4 – Pop filter and shock mount
When you record, do you notice annoying “p” and “s” sounds? These plosive sounds are picked up by sensitive microphones. With a pop filter, you can get rid of these sounds and keep your audio clear and crisp since it controls the blast of air you produce as you pronounce certain consonants. Get one made with a stretched and perforated material and position it a few inches away from your microphone.
Aside from your pop filters, you also need a shock mount to eliminate unwanted noise. The shock mount is responsible for suspending your microphone and eliminating noise from vibration, handling, and rumbling.
Voice Over Essentials #5 -Editing software
You can’t simply pass your work without editing it first. For this, you need audio recording software. This step touches up your voice. Polishing your recording before exporting it is vital since it will ensure that your output is flawless.
There are free software options you can download. However, get a premium software that will give you complex features you need if possible.
Get Your Voice Over Essentials Ready
Deciding on your voice over essentials is not as hard as you once thought, right? The equipment and tips mentioned above will enable you to work from home and still produce professional-quality output that can fetch hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When choosing your voice over essentials, remember to keep your personal preference and style in mind. Now that you’ve covered your voice over essentials, you are ready to tackle the industry.
Start your own voice over artist career today with Bunny Studio.