To record professional-quality voice over, you need excellent phrasing, vocal flexibility, a good equipment, and a lot of knowledge you can’t learn overnight, so it would be best to hire someone who has mastered these practices. The specialist who records voice over is called a voice artist or voice actor, and they work on everything from audiobooks and commercials to games and automated phone messages. It’s up to you to get the right talent onboard and make sure your next big project is a success. With countless websites and voice over actors to choose from, deciding who to hire is anything but simple, as it’s about more than matching your requirements to a checklist.
If you make videos, especially how-to videos, you’ll need to record voice overs, which comes with its own set of quality parameters and technical challenges. Here are a few tips to get the best possible outcome.
Put The Right Mic in Place
Undoubtedly, the most important voice over tool is the mic, which makes a world of difference to the end quality. There are several factors to consider when purchasing a mic, such as your budget, the sound you’re trying to achieve, and your recording space, so you don’t need to fully understand the technical components to make the right choice. If possible, experiment with different mics to see if one or more of them make the actor’s voice sound like you want it to. Pay close attention to the mic’s frequency response. As a rule, adult voices fall between 110-210 Hz, so a good mic for voice over recording will have a frequency of around 80 Hz.
USB mics are not only portable, but also plug directly into the computer. No matter what type of mic you opt for, you’re going to need a mount or tripod with easy height adjustment. If you find buying accessories too intimidating, don’t worry because some come pre-accessorized. It’s recommended to place the mic 8-12 inches in front of the actor’s mouth – in other words, to get up close. Getting closer is key to capturing a warm voice, but make sure you don’t overdo it because there’s the risk of picking up too many plosive sounds. A pop filter helps protect against this.
Cut Out Ambient Noise
It would be best to record in the quietest environment possible to have the least amount of echo or background sounds. Background sounds, such as people talking or cars driving by, distract viewers from important information from the person speaking in the video. There should be a balance between ambient noise and speech. There are several ways of increasing the speech-to-noise ratio, such as using carpeting, eliminating electronics, and even installing acoustic filters that eliminate unwanted background noises. Adding voice to your video is a huge undertaking, so you might want to consider hiring audio production services, especially if you’re in charge of a large project. You can streamline your time to market with a proven solution that helps you move on content quicker and with better results.
Have A Copy of The Script and Keep Notes
The script matters because the content can’t be visualized without it. The voice over actor will modulate their speech based on the requirements of the script; they should be work accurately off a script. The actor should get the chance to read and annotate lines ahead of the recording so that they arrive with a fully formed performance. It’s a good idea to have a copy of the script so that you don’t lose track of what’s happening. Once you’re finished recording the voice over audio, it won’t seem like a blur. Your notes on the script shouldn’t be too detailed, so use markers to indicate takes.
You can use a music stand for the script, even if it’s only a few sheets of A4. The voice over actor can maintain a correct distance from the mic, not to mention that you can eliminate the sound associated with turning papers as the pages are slid instead of turned. Without a stand, there’s no place to place the script, so the professional will have no choice but to hold it in hand, which can undermine their focus. It’s difficult to look down at the script and act comfortably. The last thing you want is poor audio content quality because accessories are lacking.
Record Multiple Takes
When recording voice over, you should record at least three takes because you won’t get the perfect shot in the very first take. You can test the speech for timing and impact using a voice synthesizer, which allows you to go from voice to text without much difficulty. If you haven’t managed to capture the right tone, tenor, urgency, or personality, go back to the tapes and start all over again. The extra takes will turn out to be life savers when you dive into editing. How many you record is up to you, but do more than one take. Start with a couple of test recordings to see if everything sounds okay.
The simplest way to deliver the best quality audio sound is to work with a voice over actor who makes the content more appealing to viewers. This relationship takes effort, so foster and nurture the feeling of trust. As far as the recording process is concerned, there are many things you can do to improve the outcome, such as controlling the mic distance, avoiding popping, allowing the voice actor freedom, and recording multiple takes. This list isn’t exhaustive, of course. Poor audio becomes distracting, and the scenes lose their impact, so your budget should include costs for audio-post production.
While you can do everything yourself, it’s a good idea to consider expert help, as professionals know everything about this art. You can become directly involved in the process by giving feedback. If you want to take your business to the next level, you now know what to do.