Many may have not noticed, but voiceover has become such a part of our lives, that people are almost taking it for granted. Voice-over is “a type of off-stage or off-camera dialogue.” That means that while the intended audience can hear dialogue or narration, the individual doing the voice is not seen. How then can potential clients have a voice-over quick start?
The use of voice over is currently so widespread, that you can encounter it in practically any daily experience. It can be a TV or website commercial, radio broadcasts, announcements, movies. Practically everywhere.
This probably has a lot to do with to what research points out – the sound of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as the content. It is no wonder then that most businesses resort to utilizing voice over as an element in many of their daily operations. What they are looking for in those cases is, as thevoicoverguide.com notes “a voice that’s confident, responsive, and utterly believable.”
But for a business to successfully use voice over for their needs, it is very useful that they be aware of where, how and who they can use for such a purpose so that they can get most out of voice over service.
A voice-over quick start should give potential clients the ability to:
- In what situations can they use voice over;
- The kind of quality of service they should be looking for;
- What is involved in the process of voice over production, and what is their role in it.
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This post was updated in May 2021
What are the possible situations in which you can use a voice over quick start?
The number of professional agencies or freelancers offering voice-over quick-start services is growing daily, but it is those that have been able to establish themselves so far in this business that is truly aware of the range of situations in which organizations, businesses, and individuals use voice over. Here is only a partial list:
- films in general
- dubbed foreign language films and programs
- animation shorts or films
- tv programs
- radio or audio dramas
- video games
- IVR phone systems
- live events – conferences, press statements and similar
- TV and Radio promotions
- training / e-learning
Let us take a look at some of the potential uses of a voice-over quick start.
When speaking about the voice over as an industry it has become, one of its services points out that one of its probably most widespread uses these days is in advertising. Worldwide, the current spending on advertising is about $583.91 billion. At the same time, most of it relies on TV, web, film theatre advertising, where voice over is a dominant element. There, getting the right voice and matching the production values to the set script is in most cases essential. That is if the money spent on a commercial or a set of commercials is to have the right effect.
In films, TV series, or documentaries the production teams often encounter problems. Simply, the quality of the sound, particularly the spoken dialogue might not be quite right. There, their production teams use a technique called Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR), when voice actors re-record the dialogue or speech. This technique is also used for language ‘dubbing’, when the film, commercial or other has to be transferred into another language.
Cartoons, audiobooks, e-learning and other uses of voice over
Cartoons and anime as its sub-genre require quite a wide range of acting from voice-over performers. This is one of the elements that potential clients should have in mind when seeking voice over services. On one hand, as the above-quoted voice service notes, animations, in general, are “often very dramatic in nature and require voice talent to be larger than life in their delivery.” As far as anime is concerned, in addition to these voice actors, most of the time need to work during long intervals. That is possibly a reason many of them try to avoid doing anime.
Audiobook narration often requires similar acting skills as those voice actors need to form film and animation work, but storytelling is a specific category that often doesn’t require acting extremes. E-learning is developing at an exponential pace. It requires similar voice-over qualities as those needed for audiobooks since often they can overlap. Many eLearning clients find it beneficial when the voice actors that will do voice over for their purposes have a specific background, like fluency in, medical, technical or legal background.
Two other fields where clients require voice over are interactive voice response (IVR) phone systems and gaming. For IVR, clients should usually seek a voice actor who has a recognizable voice and an adaptable approach to callers/customers. On the other hand, a recognizable and a responsive voice means probably long-term work for the voice over service.
As elsewhere, quality voice over can be essential for the success of any video/ computer game. There, it is quite possible that a voice-over client will require voice actors or actors with both, acting and narrating qualities. For example, role-playing games often contain thousands of lines of narration or dialogue.
What kind of vocal and acting qualities should a client look for?
In practically any case, there are two qualities that any voice over client should look for – a good voice and a voice actor that speaks well. Easier said than done, or shall we say found. That is why most potential clients opt to seek their voice actors through specialized agencies than go directly to a freelancer, even though that is a less expensive option.
Still, when you say a good voice that speaks well, there is a number of characteristics to look for. Here is a more detailed list:
- Clarity of voice – voice actor needs to properly articulate every word so the listener(s) can hear it properly;
- Cleanliness of speech – the actor should not make any unusual or additional sounds, like clicks and pops;
- Consistency – this refers to voice actors being able to give a quality performance with every recording;
- Relevance – there should be complete harmony between vocal delivery and the text that the actor is reading. In essence, the reading should be authentic and believable;
- Conversational tone – this is something that only good and/or talented voice-over actors can achieve – sounding as they are really talking and not reading;
- So-called ‘cold reading’ – something that experienced voice actors are often able to do is instantly adapt to the text they have to use, no matter how different was the text they just had to read for another client;
- Characterization – ‘regular’ acting and voice acting jobs often overlap, and it is often a case that voice over clients ask for an actor from the big or TV screen with whose voice they are familiar with;
- Voice control – clients should usually look for a voice actor that has good control over their voice. This includes elements like pitch, volume, prosody, inflection, and breathing;
- Confidence – an element that secures a good performance.
Production and client involvement
Before contacting a voice-over agency or a freelancer, the potential client should always have a clear idea what the purpose of the commercial, documentary, feature, audiobook or any other service for which they want to use voice over. Based on that idea, they should develop a script. Practically every time, this should be done in cooperation with a professional scriptwriter or translator if the translation from or to another language needs to be done.
If possible, and there is time available, the client should do a trial run using a voice-over from somebody they are familiar with, possibly even within their organization. Who knows, in some simpler cases this might be sufficient.
Still, in most cases, making a good voice over requires not only professional actors but also very strictly defined recording conditions that are usually not available to most ‘everyday’ customers. That is why the potential voiceover clients usually opt for professional acting and recording services.
Currently, the preferred choice for many is the online voice over services like Bunny Studio. There, the potential clients should always request the raw recording files, as the currently standard mp3 files will not offer a high-quality good voice over end-result needs.
It is always good for any voice over the client to be familiar with some of the technical elements of voice over, like audio export settings. This is something they can always check with the producers of their end-product.
Quality voice over can represent a quick start or…
Yes, getting a quality voice over service for your needs can represent a quick commercial, business, even political start. On the other hand, if it is treated as just another add-on or even a nuisance, it can represent a certain dead end.
To be able to get quality that you need from a voice-over quick start it is more than welcome to understand what comprises the process of voice over production and what qualities the clients should seek from voice actors. Of course, they should also know and understand the role they play in the whole process.
Looking for the right voice-over agency? Submit a project with Bunny Studio and hire one of the best pros in the business!