Voice Over Experience

Beyond Tech, Features — By on April 23, 2014 5:08 am

There are different types of career options in the arts and entertainment area, the most common one being acting. Some people may not like to act on camera so they go on to their next option: voice acting. Voice acting, also known as voice over, involves just using your voice. This career option can be used for acting out cartoon characters, reading storybooks, or advertising. Recently, I have had an experience of voice over, which was a course that took place for five days. It was valuable since it also included making a demo, or a recording, of your voice in different roles, needed when auditioning for parts you want to apply for. After this amazing experience, I have a whole different perspective of the career.

Voice over is lending your voice out to be used in production of animated movies, cartoons, storybook recordings, television advertisements, radio advertisement, and other things. You first have to start out with exercising or playing with your voice. If you’re a singer, it will be easier since you will be used to this process. You can make random noises of low pitches and high pitches, different volumes, different mouth structures. Basically, just make “ooh” or “ah”¬† noises¬† with different sound levels and stretches so that when you are speaking lines from your script, you have an open-like voice. After the voice exercises, you can practice reading from a script you have. Always remember to have a loud, clear voice since that’s one of the important steps when auditioning. Pronunciation and emphasis of certain words with feeling is a big key factor, especially when voicing a character. People need to be able to sense the mood or tone of the character or advertisement. Voice over is not just reading lines from a script, you have to put yourself in a character’s shoes and act like they would based on their description or appearance. Advertisements involve you to be actually persuading or convincing people of the positivity or negativity of the subject. It seems so easy from afar but when actually doing it, the experience becomes difficult.

When taking the voice over course, I had to go into a sound proof room when recording my voice. The room had a very heavy, glass door that prevents sounds outside the room from coming in. Inside the room, there was a type of music stand that you could clip your script onto. Along with the music stand was a microphone with a pair of headphones. The headphones allowed you to take directions from the people outside of the room that are recording your voice. When recording, the microphone had to be placed directly in front of the mouth, but not too close. While speaking, you had to make sure you were saying each word clearly and correctly. It took me about five tries until I finally managed to speak one entire sentence correctly by making sure I was sounding out every single letter. After this activity, the people that recorded your voice would then play it back for you to hear in the headphones. Sometimes, they would ask you to talk in a certain accent or tone and record those too. Finally, after making sure that you were also satisfied with what you were hearing, the recorders would make a demo out of what was recorded. Your sentences that you recited would have sound or background music added to it depending on what you were reciting.

I had to wait about 2 to 3 weeks until a disk came in the mail with my voice over demo. The process of making a demo is very lengthy, requiring a lot of editing. The demo can now be given to people you are auditioning for. Voice over in general was harder than I thought at first. I won’t make a career out of it but at least it’s something new that was learned. It was definitely a great experience for me since it was one of my interests.