So, you have a great voice and you want to use it professionally?
Having a great sounding voice is only the first part of what a recording studio will look for when hiring a professional voice over artist. The right voice over artist can earn a great living in the audio production industry. Many voice over artists start out in the industry doing a read here and there but can quickly progress if they have the right stuff to do this full time. In this article, we explore what makes the difference between and amateur and a professional voice over artist.
Magic Studios is approached time and again by people wanting to become a professional voice over artist. Many have great sounding voices but once they are in front of a microphone quickly realise that there are many more factors to consider.
5 magic tips on becoming a professional voice over artist
- Be Punctual
Primarily, this means “Always be on time to recordings!”, but also refers to being punctual in provided demos to potential clients when asked, delivering completed audio to your clients on time (and in the right format), and maintaining prompt communications with clients, agencies, etc. In the fast-paced marketing world, and with many voices vying for recording spots, keeping people waiting is not good business! A reliable voice-over with a quick turnaround time will often win out against slower competitors.
- Be Prepared
First and foremost, read the script before the session! Get clarification on any uncertain pronunciations, people’s names, places, etc. that you may be unsure of. If you can, familiarise yourself with the client and their brand identity. Ascertain their intentions, the purpose of the read, and the kind of tone and pacing they’re looking for. Also, be prepared for the times you may need to do ‘cold reads’, where you don’t have the opportunity to preview a script before voicing it. Practice this by reading aloud assorted texts you’re unfamiliar with, to learn how to ‘read ahead’.
- Good Microphone Technique
A basic understanding of microphone design, operation and technique is crucial. A difference of a few inches in the wrong direction can lead to distant, echoed recordings, or an overly ‘in-your-face’, plosive-filled read (Plosives are like small booms into the microphone when excess air from the mouth is used to sound out ‘P’,’B’, ‘T’ words. To feel this in action, hold your palm in front of your mouth while speaking to feel the extra air movement. These translate to low-pitch ‘bumps’ in the audio, which can overload microphone inputs and annoy audio engineers, so always use a pop filter!) As a good starting point for a ‘natural’ tone, ensure you are face-on, or at not more than about an 8-degree angle to the front of the mic, and at a distance of about 5-8 inches (13-20cm). If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask the audio engineer.
- Be Professional
Act professionally at all times with clients and associates! At a recording session, this means not wasting the engineer/client’s time with chit-chat, and always listen attentively and carefully to all instructions and needs of the client, such as read style, pacing and such. Remember, your clients want the best read for their job, so be ready for their feedback, both positive and negative, and be as accommodating as possible with requests for changes. Yes, even if you’ve already read the same line 5 times! Oh, and it’s ok to get frustrated with a read, particularly for a complicated script, but an expletive-filled rant on-mic won’t do much for your PR!
- Be versatile
When it comes to voice-over work, it pays to be versatile in your delivery of a read. This means being able to swing between natural, casual voicing, to fast, upbeat tones, to relaxed, compassionate reads, without fuss. You don’t need to be versed in every character voice out there (unless that’s your gig), but having a basic understanding of common read styles and what sets them apart is important to attract diverse work. Listen to lots of examples of the styles you want to emulate and practice reading them aloud to find how your voice best suits each of them.
Explore your voice over artist range and record a showreel for just $199
So, are you ready to take your voice to the next level? Recording a quality showreel is essential and a solid investment if you are serious about professional voice over work. Magic Studios have highly skilled industry professionals and voice over producers. We can assist in producing a quality voice over demo reel that make the most of your natural abilities. We will provide you with suggestions and valuable tips and feedback in the studio session to maximise your performance. Our sound engineers will then edit and mix the audio with music and sound effects for a professional finished product.
In this one hour voice over recording session we explore:
- Warming up the voice and preparation
- Microphone techniques and best practices
- Discover your best voice tone and range
- How to read a script based on a client’s brief (speed and delivery)
- Read styles based on real industry scripts (corporate, compassionate, character, upbeat, etc.)
- Production of 4-5 completed audio samples professionally edited and mixed with music and sound effects.
- Supply of your new voice over showreel via email/Dropbox or on to your own supplied storage medium.
To book your voice over studio session in please call us on 1300 100 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Set your voice free! Its just $199 fully produced!