Have you ever heard of the term “Voice Over”? This term often appears in the world of radio, film, or advertising. Yups, Voice-Over is a separate audio production technique that some creative’s people make to fill the sound aspects of making videos. Voice Over (VO) is an essential audio aspect and medium to provide information, narrating a brand, or giving life (tonality) to film work.
Making a voice-over is a complicated but fun thing. It takes experience and skills that you have to prepare to produce a good quality voice over. If you have gone through each process and get perfect VO results, it will make you happy and satisfied. So, what kind of preparations are needed to produce a good and high-quality voice over?
Here I will provide simple steps that you can prepare before making a lovely voice over to hear.
1. Prepare Your Voice Well
Making a voice over will definitely really rely on the voice you have. It’s a good idea to “warm-up” your voice first so that it sounds round and ready to be recorded. This is very important because our voice will usually sound normal in tone if it has not been “heated up.”
You can heat up your voice first so that it sounds rounded. By practicing the vocals of Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Si, Do continuously over and over again with higher and higher tones, or you can also sing, or with humming, you can prepare your throat for the job.
Also, by exercising little training above, you can train the muscles around your mouth simultaneously so that they are flexible, not stiff, and manageable. With this training, you will be able to reduce the risk of mispronouncing words during the recording process. Yes! With articulation and intonation exercises a few minutes before you start recording, it will help you shape your flexibility and fluency when start taking voice-over session.
2. Find a soundproof room
After you are ready with your voice, then the next step, you can find a place that can support you when you are going to do the recording process. You can choose a closed bedroom or choose a room where some objects can dampen sound well, such as sofas, cupboards, or other items that can reduce the risk of excessive sound reflections.
Then, choose a room that doesn’t use wooden plinths or floors because wooden floors will easily reflect sound. It would be better if you have carpet in your place because it can absorb some of the sounds, thus reducing the sound that might be reflected.
Choosing the right room is an important supporting factor for the clarity of the results of your recordings. Make sure to select a space that can minimize other sounds’ entry into the mic you use when recording. If you don’t get a completely soundproof room, you can reduce the leakage of outside sound or you can cancel outside noise by covering your entire body with a blanket.
3. Prepare Recording Equipment
Prepare your recording equipment from the microphone, microphone stand, cables, audio interface, pop filter, headphones, laptop, USB connection, and most importantly, a mixer/soundcard that functions to make your voice sound clear and crisp.
The equipment I mentioned above is the standard equipment for making a voice-over recording; if you want maximum results, I suggest you have it all, or if you are constrained to buy it, you can also just record your voice with your cellphone. Yes! I have tried it several times. If your cellphone comes with a “voice recorder” application, use it and rely on it. As long as you pay attention to the noise of the room when you are taking your voice, you are good to go.
4. Open the Audacity Software
After installing your recording equipment, you need to open your laptop and start capturing your voice using the audacity software. This software is free and reliable software that you can use for your voice and your music career. This software is straightforward, so you don’t need much time to set it up. Audacity is an audio processing software. Just like word processing software, Audacity can be used to process all types of audio. Regardless of your audio format is, for starter, this software is the best choice.
With this software, it will be easier for you to edit your recordings. And besides that, you can change your voice’s pitch control quickly with the available menus in it. From high to low or fast to slow, the choice is yours.
5. Study Your Voice Over Script
In addition to the recording equipment you have prepared, you must also pay attention to the material or script you will record. Read over the script that you already have in your hand, pay attention to the semicolon, study the intonation, and pay attention to every word’s emphasis.
As we all know that the quality of a voice-over actor/actress depends a lot on how he or she uses correct intonation and pronunciation to process the script
Therefore, to lower the chances of mistakes during the recording, you must first study the material script correctly and adequately.
6. Practice your Script Reading
After you have studied the script correctly, the next step is to practice reading the script as if you were recording it. This training would turn your recording process later smoother, more fun, and quicker. Besides, this exercise also serves to make your voice even more “rounded”, when your voice is “round” and warm, it means you are ready to go up the recording.
7. Determine Your Best Microphone Position
Don’t regret your unsatisfactory body height. The good news is that you can adjust your microphone position the way you want. This is very important to get a good sound; you need to experiment with microphone position and distance from your mouth. Usually, the best distance to record new sound is 2 adult fists. You can try it at home, but if you feel it is lacking, once again, you can adjust it later according to your taste.
After you determine your microphone’s best position, record the test voice, and then listen to the results. If you think it’s excellent and clear enough, then go ahead, but if you still hear too much sibilance (an ‘ess’ sound) and plosives (popping a ‘p’ sound), try moving the microphone off the axis. Point your mouth right at the side of the microphone. Then try again until you get your best microphone position.
8. Start Recording
This is the most tiring process. At the time of recording, you will be tested mentally and physically. There will be moments where you feel annoyed with yourself because you sometimes mispronounce a word or have the wrong intonation of a sentence repeatedly.
Keep repeating these mistakes because there will be times when you find a satisfying result to hear. Don’t give up too early. It is perfectly normal to record the same part over and over again. Don’t move until you are happy.
In this eighth step, you need to be patient, especially if the room you are using for recording has a slight sound leakage that makes outside sound is heard on your microphone. It will be a little annoying, but you have to be patient until everything is quiet, then you can continue recording your voice.
There could be times when you get frustrated and ask yourself why you are always wrong during the recording process. One factor that triggers the errors to occur during the recording process is that you may not be relaxed enough. Knows that it is a regular occurrence and not only during the recording process. For example, if someone invited you for an audition, the judges and audiences include the camera seems scary, that suddenly you get more tense and uncomfortable the longer you there.
You just need to relax to get over it all; take a deep breath from your stomach and then take a breath and smile. After you do that, feel it, you will definitely feel much more relaxed than before. Repeat it, train it if necessary until you feel your confidence has returned. Next, resume your recording confidently and with more energy.
10. Evaluate your Recording Results
In this stage, it’s time for you to listen to your recorded voice again. This is very important to find out which parts are still wrong in terms of pronunciation or intonation. in order for you to re-record it again later or fix it. I mean the faulty parts.
To make it easier for you to evaluate your recorded sound results, you can take a small note to mark the minutes you made a mistake. After that, you can refine it again. This might be a little tiring because maybe at the beginning, you have to put all your energy into it, but believe me, there is no maximum result without maximum effort.
11. Edit your recording file with Audacity Software
After going through the recording process and you confident with your recording, now is the time for you to edit the recording with audacity software. At this stage, you can identify which parts should be cut or thrown away. And you can identify long blank or silent parts of the recording, then trim them properly.
You can also increase the volume or maybe reduce your recording’s sound if you feel that the recording volume is too high or too low.
With this audacity software, you can “perfect” your recordings with a little touch or polishment. Rinse and repeat until your current voice is better than the previously “raw” material.
12. Make Edits with Final Touches
Based on my experience, this is the penultimate stage after the editing process. You can add other sound effects if needed. These finishing touches are more of an extra thing that you think you need to add. I usually add background music when I speak. In this point, in my opinion, this is the most enjoyable because I can explore music, find a music theme that I think appropriate to play as the background of my voice over.
Besides that, I usually add sound effects such as clapping sound effects, laughing sound effects, or people screaming sound effects. You can adjust all of that based on the voice over script you made. This stage comes after you have finalized your voice-over editing. In other words, make sure you don’t miss every vital information available in your script.
13. Eliminate Background Noises
In the audacity software, there is a tool called “noise gate”. This tool functions to lower or remove the background noise during the recording process. Typically, there will always be a background noise in every recording voice process that sounds like this “Esssss ..” the background noise can be minimized or even removed using the “noise gate” earlier. This is very useful for making your recordings softer and clearer.
However, FYI, this tool comes with level control. Suppose you reduce the background noise too much. In that case, it will affect the quality of your recorded voice. With that concern, first, you need to measure how much reduction is still relatively reasonable and doesn’t change the quality of your original recorded voice.
14. Change Your Voice Edits Into Audio files
And then, you come to the very last process, a time to convert your edited material into an audio file that you can use to complete your video files. This process takes a long time, depending on the length or duration of the recording you make.
But before entering this export stage, you must be able to make sure you have finished editing everything. Before converting your edited voice file into an audio file, re-check and re-confirm it from the intro; mid to closing, make sure everything is included and ready for the final process.
This checking process is vital to minimize missing important file parts because of the accidental trimming process or cut.
After you are sure that everything is ready for export, hit the export drop-down tab, and wait few seconds (or minutes).
15. Synchronize Your Voice-over with Your Video
And this is the last process of our long journey to produce a video completed with voice over. Now is the time for you to combine your voice recording edits with the video material include footages and images you prepared beforehand. This process doesn’t take a long time; you just need to adjust the video content with your voice as precisely as possible. This process requires precision. So make sure you zoom in your video timeline to match the minutes and seconds of how your voice actually fits in a particular part of your video.
After you feel it is right to combine your video and sound, you can export your sound and video’s combined edits into an Mp4 file or video file. And It’s a Wrap. Finally, you just produced a lovely video with a voice-over that comes with a destiny to go viral and reach millions of souls available on the planet earth and beyond. Good luck!