A few easy tips for getting great Video Voice Over
Video voice over is often an important part of video production, and a high quality recording can be what makes your video seem more professional. There are various different productions that may require a voice over, such as:
- Audio Books
- Video Games
- Trailers & Promos
- Radio announcements
You can read about each of these categories in detail on this article, but today we are going to focus primarily on video voice overs.
1. Get the right mic and put it in the right place
There are a lot of microphones out there to choose from, so you should start by making sure that the one you want sounds just as good. If not then look at some other options!
The best way to ensure a clear and present voice on your podcast is by starting with the microphone 8–12 inches in front of you. This is close enough for the voice artists voice to sound clear, but far away enough that they don’t sound muffled due to the microphone’s proximity effect.
2. Use a pop filter
For video voice over, a pop filter is an immensely helpful tool that not only prevents plosive sounds from coming through but also helps position you at the correct distance from your mic. Placing the filter 4-6 inches in front of the microphone gives the speaker a visual reference to stay 4-6 inches away from the filter, instead of always worrying about standing 8-12 inches from the mic.
3. Use a music stand
Make sure the script is easy for the voice artist to read, you can open it up on an iPad or laptop if it’s a digital file and place it in front of them, or if it’s a printed script you can use a music stand.
Music stands are often used by voice-over talent to stand the correct distance from their microphone, but they also help reduce sound of papers rustling since pages are slid instead turning when script is on a standard flat surface. Plus you can position it high enough so that your vocal cords won’t be restricted while looking up at rather than down as well.
4. Keep notes on a copy of the script
If you’re recording something long like an audio book or the narration for a feature film, make sure you keep notes on a copy of the script, to keep track of all the different takes. This may seem unnecessary, but in the editing stage it will really come in handy when trying to find the right audio clip.
5. Use a quiet recording space
It can be quite easy to add any necessary ‘roomy’ sounds to an audio recording, whereas it can be very difficult to remove background noise. So to make sure your video voice over sounds clear and professional, and mixes well with any music, record it in a quiet space. Ideally you’ll be using a professional recording booth, but if you’re not you might want to invest in a reflexion filter.
7. Stay hydrated
If you’re the person speaking in the video voice over recording, make sure you remain hydrated. Keep a glass of water nearby, ideally warm or room temperature and take sips between takes. This helps avoid certain noises a dry mouth can make, such as smacks, pops and clicks which become very audible in a recording and lower the quality of the voice over.
8. Warm up
Warming up your voice is not just about funny vocal warmups that actors learn, it can simply be reading the script out loud before recording. This will help you become accustomed to the words, as well as find the right level of projection, pacing and volume for the video voice over recording.
9. Speak, don’t talk
Speaking and talking may sound synonymous, but the way we talk with people is surprisingly different to how we need to speak in a recording. First of all we can’t express anything with facial expressions or gestures, so we need to express everything through our tone and intonations.
You need to speak as clearly as possible, at a comfortable pace and with a healthy pause between words and sentences, while at the same time avoiding a pace so slow that the listener will get bored. It’s a fine balance to find, which is why professional video voice over artists are so helpful in productions.
10. Listen back and take notes
When you’re done recording your video voice over, take a brief break to refresh and come back to the recording with a clear mind. Then it’s time to listen back to what you’ve got so far and keep notes on what might be an issue, what needs editing and what needs re-recording. For example, your voice may sound muffled, you may slur some words or notice some background noise.
You might just not like the tone of your voice in it or notice some pops. Your perspective will be best and fresh the first time you listen back to it, so make sure you note down everything you notice before listening back to it again.
For any of your video voice over needs, contact Nostairway today for a chat about how we can help. You can check out our range of voice over artists on our website as well as the other video production services we offer.