Let Yourself Be Heard: Your Step-By-Step Guide for Doing Voice Over

Are you interested in pursuing a job in voice over acting? There are a lot of opportunities out there, but you'll want to ensure you're using the best equipment and setup possible, so you stand out.

If you want to grab your audience's attention and keep them listening, you'll need to step up your game.

Learn how to do a voice over and improve your audio quality with this step-by-step guide.

What Is Voice Over?

Put simply voice over is recording voice work for a video, commercial, audiobook, or other work in which that person will not be seen. It's not the same as narration, although these terms are sometimes confused or used interchangeably.

There are many types of voice over jobs, from advertising and commercials to audiobooks to animation and more.

You might want to pursue a career doing voice over for educational videos, documentaries, video games, etc. Whatever your particular area of interest, you'll need quality recording equipment to get started.

Do You Need a Great Voice?

When you think of great voice overs and voice over actors, what names come to mind?

Perhaps you think of someone that can change their voice to suit a particular character or situation, such as the talented Tara Strong, who has contributed voice over work to some of the most iconic cartoons of the 90s and 2000s. Or maybe you think of the distinguished James Earl Jones, famous for producing Darth Vader's voice.

However, you don't need an incredibly smooth or particularly malleable voice for every type of voice over work. A unique voice can help you to stand out, but it isn't a requirement.

Let's cover what is essential for great voiceovers:

  • Audio clarity
  • Volume
  • Pronunciation
  • Tone and inflection

You wouldn't want to listen to a video where the audio was too quiet or difficult to hear. Distracting background noises can also turn off your audience and hurt the video's value.

How to Record a Quality Voice Over Step-By-Step

Now that you know what's essential to voiceovers, how do you ensure you're recording quality voice work? How can you make sure you have the right volume and clarity?

To start with, you'll need the right equipment and software. You should also be prepared to do some tweaks and editing.

The Equipment

Having the right equipment is key to producing great recordings. Depending on the type of voice over you'll be focusing on, you may not need a top-of-the-line mic. Consider your budget and then do some research.

USB microphones, such as the popular Blue Yeti, are excellent choices for beginners. Consider getting additional add-ons such as a pop filter, which eliminates the popping sounds common in recordings.

You'll also need a computer capable of handling recordings and editing, as well as recording software. Grab a pair of quality headphones so you can listen to your recordings and block out distractions, and a nice set of speakers.

Creating a Recording Environment

While you can record almost anywhere, the type of room you use will impact the quality of your recording. Avoid big rooms, which can make your voice sound distant. You'll also want to avoid places that echo.

Softer furnishings can help improve sound quality.

Once you've found the right room, it's time to set up your recording environment. As a beginner, you may not have access to a lot of soundproofing material, but there are still things you can do to ensure a good recording session.

Make sure you close all windows and doors and eliminate interruptions. Consider putting a sign on the door to tell others you're recording.

Create a comfortable setup with all your equipment.

Find the right mic location. Make sure the microphone isn't too far or too close to your mouth. Five inches away is usually a good place to start.

Next, you'll want to get familiar with your recording software.

Choosing an Audio Recording Software

Take some time to familiarize yourself with your recording software. Many beginners use Audacity since it's free to use and relatively straightforward.

You can follow this guide at https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-record-sound-on-mac to learn how to record quality audio on a Mac.

Whatever you choose, make sure you learn how to use the program before recording. Mess around with some test recordings before you start recording your final product.

Do you hear background noises? If so, make sure you don't have any electronics or fans or anything that might cause noise in the background.

Are you too loud, or too quiet? Troubleshoot and tweak your settings if necessary until you're happy with the way your recording sounds.

Start Recording

Before you begin recording, make sure you do everything possible to reduce or eliminate disturbances. If you share a house, tell the others in the house you're recording. Make sure you close all your doors and windows, so noises from pets, kids, and the street don't interfere with your recording.

Gather all your notes and anything you'll need for the recording session. Make sure you're nice and hydrated, and your voice is good to go.

Get comfortable, and start recording. Don't be afraid to make mistakes—they're bound to happen, especially if you're new to this. If you mess up, make a note of where or record in sections.

Try different recording methods, such as continuous recording or recording in parts, to see what works best for your work.

Listen for Mistakes and Make Edits

After you've recorded, it's time to listen to your audio track. Play it back and listen for mistakes, background sounds, or quality issues. Take notes on the program itself or in a notebook.

Adjust the tone of your voice with EQ, if you need to, or leave it alone. Start with subtle adjustments until you find the ideal settings for your voice.

Make edits, cut out parts where you made a mistake, add music, or whatever you need to do. The editing process can take a long time, and you might get frustrated, but keep at it. The more you do this, the better you'll get.

Get Busy and Start Recording

You can read all the tips and tricks you'd like about how to make a great voice over track, but you'll need to keep practicing and gaining experience before you really stand out.

Use these voice over tips to get started recording, and try different types of voice over acting to see what you like best!

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our other tech-related posts to learn more.

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