How to Do a Voice Over

By | October 8, 2022

Do a Voice Over: Voice overs are ubiquitous in videos of all kinds. Simply put, a voice over is just someone speaking while a video is playing, though the person is usually not directly in the scene. From commercials to feature-length movies, a voice over is a great way to get information directly to the audience that it might not otherwise pick up. Thanks to improvements in microphones, computers, and audio equipment, a good voice over is now something anyone can accomplish at home.

Do a Voice Over

Preparing Your Video For Voice Over

Write out a script. If you are doing commentary on something, like a YouTube video, you should at least view the video several times to get a feel for what happens. For all other voice overs a script is essential. You need to know how long you have to talk, if you are responding to any characters or cues in the video, and what you’re going to say. This script may change when matched with the final video, but you can never go wrong with a little pre-planning.

Understand the role of your voice in the video. There are, generally speaking, two types of voice acting, each used for two very different types of video. The style you chose to follow will be dependent on your script and the video you’re shooting:

  • Conversational Voice-Overs are used in animation, films, and some commercials. The point is to sound clear but natural, as if you are dialoguing with the video/audience.
  • Hard Sell/Announcer Voice-Overs are used in commercials and events, and speak over people instead of to them. You are grabbing attention and feeding key information, and your voice is crisp and authoritative.

Related Article: How to Set Up a Sound Board

Get a good microphone and computer for recording. Many laptops have built-in microphones that will record moderate-quality audio, but investing in a microphone is always the best idea. You can buy USB mics that hook directly into your computer, or get a more expensive microphone and mixer for high-tech options.

  • You will need a computer program capable of recording as well. For beginners, download Audacity, which is free. If you plan on recording often, you should get a program like Logic or Pro Tools for complete customization of your voice.
  • You can also get pocket recorders, like Tascams, for portable and efficient audio recording.
  • A windscreen, which prevents the air from your breath from reaching the microphone, is an incredible and essential tool that you can get cheaply online.

Practice your part until you know it down pat. You need to treat voice-over just like an acting gig. Each line you say is, in essence, like delivering a line for a movie, except you don’t have your body and facial expressions to help sell the line. The best way to practice is to record your voice and play it back, making notes about how to change things. Above all, you need to get to a point where you are:

  • Clear and concise. Each word needs to be easily heard and understood.
  • Emotive. You need to get the emotion or idea of the line out only using the tone of your voice.
  • Consistent. This is especially important if you are playing a character. The best, most unique voice in the world is useless if you slip out of it every 3-4 words.

Take care of your “instrument.
“‘ Voice actors treat their throats like a good singer treats theirs. You want to make sure you have full control over your sound when you start recording, and that comes from taking care of your voice box:

  • Avoid yelling and screaming whenever possible.
  • Stay hydrated with a liter or two of water each day.
  • Avoid heavy dairy on the day you record, as it creates mucus around your voice box.
  • Avoid cigarettes and alcohol, especially a day or two before recording.

Pay attention to pitch and inflection.
 This refers to the highness and lowness of your voice. Variations in pitch are called inflection, and they keep the audiences engaged (it’s hard to listen to monotone for very long). Think of inflection as the melody of your speech. Use inflection to emphasize key words, keeping in mind that emphasis affects audience interpretation.

  • Take the sentence “The ball is on the table.” “The ball is on the table” conveys a different meaning than “The ball is on the table. Use inflection to help get your message across to the listener.

Related Questions: How to Do a Voice Over

  1. Is it voice over or voiceover?

    To get a good sound you need to experiment with microphone position and distance from your mouth. Hit record, and start talking with your mouth 5 inches from the microphone. Listen back to how it sounds. Try getting closer to the mic, then try moving further away.

  2. What means voice-over?

    Definition of voice-over

    1a : the voice of an unseen narrator speaking (as in a motion picture or television commercial) b : the voice of a visible character (as in a motion picture) expressing unspoken thoughts. 2 : a recording of a voice-over.

  3. How do you use voice over in a sentence?

    The voice-over was quite hard as we kept on stuttering at times and we had to start all over again. The game begins with a quick voice-over synopsis of the story ‘s opening events. I do a lot of voice-over for commercials, television, radio so that keeps me going.

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