There are a few steps you need to take if you want to become a Voice Artist.
If you are completely new to the world of performing and voice acting, I suggest listening to as many different styles of Voice Overs as you can. This will help you decide what styles you connect with and possibly want to pursue, but also can be a good learning tool by observing what the Voice artist is doing with their voice.
Different styles include:
Commercials - Instead of skipping the adverts when you’re watching a YouTube video or the TV, listen to the voice over and note down how they bring the words to life.
Documentary Narration - It’s very easy to find documentaries on channels such as Netflix, Amazon prime, ITVX, 4OD and so on. Listen to how the narrator immerses you in the story of the documentary and how they keep the story of the documentary moving along.
Corporate Voicemail - Voicemails are generally found on any company phone number you call. The job of the voicemail is to be inviting and welcoming to customers. Next time you have to call a company, listen to how the voicemail does this or perhaps doesn’t do this … if they don’t appeal you to, ask yourself “What is it about this voice that doesn’t make me feel very welcomed?”
Next you want to set yourself up with the correct voice recording equipment.
There are 3 different types of microphones - condenser, dynamic and shotgun. Each one brings different qualities and your choice will depend on the level and effectiveness of your sound proofing.
A quick note:
You can usually choose between XLR and USB when buying a microphone.
XLR microphones require an audio interface, but you do get better sound quality and more control of the sound levels.
If you are on a budget, a USB might be a better option as they tend to be cheaper to buy and don’t require additional equipment to run. They are still effective but you will lose some of the quality you get with an XLR.
Condenser Microphone A condenser microphone has high sensitivity and records the best quality audio in my opinion, but you will need really good sound proofing if you choose this option.
https://amzn.to/3Kowemi (My Personal Favourite!)
Dynamic Microphone Dynamic microphones are good for blocking out excess room/background noise, so if you haven’t got a completely sound proofed space, this would be a good option. However, it won’t give you as much vocal quality as the Condenser microphone.
Shotgun microphones are highly directional and pick up the sound directly in front of it and blocks out noise behind the microphone. A downside to these microphones are they are usually quite expensive and are not designed to be used in small spaces. So if you have turned your cupboard under the stairs into your voice booth, this probably won’t be the best option for you.
If you have chosen an XLR microphone, here are some Audio Interfaces to take a look at:
https://amzn.to/3XMEZtx - ££ (My Personal Favourite!)
https://amzn.to/3kgqArS - £££
Sound proofing is key to getting good quality audio. Without effective sound proofing your microphone won’t be used to it’s fullest and can end up giving you some really dodgy audio, even if you have a really expensive microphone.
Here are some different materials you can use to sound proof you space:
Duvets are the cheapest option for sound proofing, the higher the tog, the more sound proofing you’re going to get.
Double Duvet Quilts - 13.5 Tog
Isolation Vocal Booth
If you’ve got money to invest into your voice over career, an Isolated Vocal Booth or ‘Whisper Room’ will be the best most effective option as it’s a fully soundproofed booth and designed by sound engineers.
Portable Isolation Booth
A portable isolation booth is slightly cheaper and can be set up temporarily whilst recording if you don’t have a whole lot of space.
Foam, Panels & Blankets
If you have a room spare in your house that you are turning into a vocal booth, you can use sound proofing foam, sound panels and sound absorbing blankets to achieve effective sound proofing.
Sound Proof Foam
Sound Proof Panels
Sound Absorbing Blankets
Lastly, if you’re really on a budget, a reflexion filter will do just fine whilst you are beginning your voice over career.
Lastly is the most important part - Performance!
If you are a complete beginner and haven’t got a background in acting or performing, you really want to invest some time into learning everything you can about the craft of voice acting. There are plenty of great videos on YouTube that can help you develop your inner performer, you may want to take a look at ‘Bill DeWees’ or the ‘Improve your Voice’ channel for helpful tips on performing voice over.
If you prefer to read, here are a few recommendations of mine:
The Art of Voice Acting: The Craft and Business of Performing for Voiceover by James R. Alburger - https://amzn.to/3JSX30h
Freeing the Natural Voice by Kristin Linklater - https://amzn.to/42SCV6V
Vocal Warm Ups & Exercises For Actors, Speakers & Voice Artists -https://amzn.to/3Kk5UJF
If you feel you would benefit from a more hands on approach, ‘A VO’s Journey Elite Academy’ has 4 weekly group classes on subjects such as Voice Acting, The Business of Voice Over, Sound Editing and more! They also have guests sessions with legendary voice actors such as Pat Fraley and Angela Ohlfest.
You can find out more or sign up here.
1 to 1 Online Sessions
If you find you learn better in a one to one style setting, I provide personalised sessions based your current level and the goals and outcomes you want to achieve.
To find out more information on what I can offer, click here.
Or if you would like to book a free consultation, please click here and I look forward to talking with you soon.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips and recommendations on 'How to become a Voice Artist' - as always, if you have any questions please email me on email@example.com
Coach Kat x