Hello, and welcome to my voiceover 101. I created this page due to overwhelming requests about how to get into voice over work.
First off, let me tell you that I am not going to lay it all out there for you. I think it is utmost important that you do your own research. That is how you really learn, and if you really want to be successful at anything you have to do your homework. I will guide you on the path, but you must do the work and find out the information for yourself. It is really important to know about the equipment you are using and how to use it. You will only learn this by doing your research.
Now, let's discuss why you want to do voice work. For me personally I have been in theater, film, and music for a few decades, so this comes very natural for me. Like anything in the arts, do not go into this with expectations of fame or money. It's always something that is a possibility, but not likely. For me I do it because I enjoy it and it is a skill I already have. It is certainly something that really anyone that can speak can do, but it is not easy, so only the passionate will prevail. This is a fierce business and in order to really make a go at it you'll need a lot of technical skill, and thick skin. Remember, just because you can cook it doesn't make you a chef. Just because you can talk does not make you a VO artist.
Let's now talk what you'll absolutely need to get started:
1. A Computer. Any decent one will do.
2. A good working knowledge of a DAW. What is that you ask? This where Google becomes your best friend. RESEARCH! Find out what a DAW is, and the best and easiest to use for VO. You will need to learn to record and edit and master with this to keep up.
3.. A good mic. Condenser mics are what you want. There are two kinds, usb, and standard that will require an interface. Find what will work for you.
4. A very quiet place to record. Condenser mics are super sensitive. They hear everything. Room noises, street noise, the washer, planes, lawn mowers, etc. can wreck your recording. I use a spare closet that I have insulated with foam and moving blankets. You want as little echo as possible. Put as much carpet and insulation around you as possible. A normal room will not work. My space doesn't compete with professional studios, but I make it work with a few effects(more on that later).
5. Can headphones. Crucial for editing.
6. Knowledge of running your own business. Yes you are starting a business.
Still with me? We are just getting started. But that's the way it goes. Got that all set up?
You'll need to make a killer demo. Again, this business is really packed with talent, so you need decent demo's to stand out. Google voice over scripts. Google voice over artists and listen to theirs. Pretty intimidating. I've done over 1500 jobs and I am still learning.
Headshots. People want to see what you look like. Google.
Now, the next thing you need is get some training. I studied theater at a college level where we studied diction and speech. I have taken private film and voice over lessons. It's worth it to spend that money and get proper training. Again, just because you have a voice doesn't mean you can do voice work. Google vo training.
Got all that? Still with me? It is not for everyone. But if you really have a passion for this you can make it work.
Now we will get into the more advanced stuff. Learn how to e.q., compress, use a noise gate, and noise reduction. Google. It can be complicated. This is where my recording background helps. Learn it, live it, know it.
You are now ready to set up your profile online. There are many websites for VO. Some are free., some charge, some require an audition. Google what is right for you.
Next stop, mouth noises! Guess what, when you speak into a condenser mic your mouth likes to pop and smack. You will need to learn how to either stop them or edit them out.
Up next, how do you like criticism? Some clients will love what you do, and some will absolutely hate it. And they won't pull punches. I have praises and I have very harsh feedback. I'm not a fan, but I suck it up and make the changes with no ego. This where your training helps. Got that?
Ready to keep going?
Next you'll need to learn to make deadlines. You will get offers that conflict with plans. Go to the movies or deliver the job? You decide.
Now, there are two guys that can help more with their videos.
Booth Junkie-discusses the technical aspect of things: mics, rooms, etc. very valuable and free.
Bill Dewees. Talks a lot about technique. Lot's of great info. Requires a subscription for a lot, but a lot of free content.
If you have done all this, done your research, done your homework, made your demo, taken headshots, and still have questions, contact me. I want to help you on your way, but only if you are really serious.
I wish you all the best of luck!