4 Tips for Creating An Effective Voice Over

Male Talent Recording an Effective Voice Over

Despite being a regular subject of debate among filmmakers, voice overs remain an immensely popular narrative tool. That may be because for every poor or improper use of a voiceover, there are numerous high profile examples of extremely effective voice overs, in everything from cinema to commercials. So what makes a voice over effective? Speaking from years of experience, ProVoiceUSA has some insights that can help.

Ask Yourself If It’s Necessary

As with any tool in your filmmaking or narrative arsenal, not every technique is effective in every situation. Whether or not a voice over will be appropriate for your narrative will depend on what message you want to send, and how you want your audience to feel about it. The ideal situation for most voice overs is when you need to deliver a complicated message in a short amount of time.

Match The Voice With The Message

There are countless messages, and nearly as many voices to deliver them. Don’t settle for a voice that is just adequate for the story or message you are sharing; choose the perfect voice, one that doesn’t just transmit your message, but enhances it.

Provide Originality

Your audience has seen a lot of stories before, heard many voice overs. To make your mark on the audience, you need to make yours stand out. This may be by having multiple actors engaged in dialogue in the voice over, or putting a new spin on a popular style, or even having the actor sing the lines.

Don’t Put Too Much Weight On Voice Alone

There’s a lot of good that a well-done voice over can do, but rarely is it intended to carry a performance on its own. If the visual story is weak, or poorly made, even a good voice over won’t be able to fully compensate for that. Place the emphasis where it belongs. Similarly, try to develop your production so that it can still be understood with the sound off, as modern viewers commonly watch videos without sound, particularly on mobile devices.

In Conclusion

A good voice over can dramatically enhance a narrative and turn a decent film or video into a great one, while used incorrectly, it can hurt the effectiveness of a narrative. These tips will help you pull off the former. On top of that, the team at ProVoiceUSA has all the voice talent you could wish for your project! Contact us today to schedule a recording session and hear how it’s done.

3 Ways to Better Control Your Voice

Top-Notch Vocal Performance

Voice acting is a profession that demands a lot of endurance from a fairly sensitive part of your body. The strain on your vocal cords can be pretty taxing, and more so if you don’t properly control your voice. Fortunately, your ProVoiceUSA team can help. There are a lot of ways to practice good voice control, and we thought we would highlight some of the big ones.

Breathe Well

Good voice control starts before a single sound comes out. Good voice control starts with good breath control. Fortunately, breathing comes even more naturally to us than talking, so it’s a great place to start the right habits. Learn how your body feels and moves when you breathe deeply and fully, then learn how to do breathe while keeping your upper body still.

Limber Up

Like with any kind of exercise, your body benefits greatly from some loosening up beforehand. You can stretch your voice just like you might stretch your legs before a run. There are a wealth of excellent vocal fold exercises that are good to do, beginning at least fifteen to thirty minutes before making a recording.

The Lip Trill

Lip trills are, you guessed it, a lip exercise. They help you loosen your lips for better pronunciation and also help warm up your vocal chords. The end result will be more coordinated breathing and vocal fold control.

Voice control can make all the difference between a good recording session and a great one! That’s what makes the big difference in our top quality voice work at ProVoiceUSA. Contact us today to schedule a recording session and hear how it’s done.

Caring for your Voice as a Voice Actor

Caring for Your Voice and Livelihood

As a voice actor, your voice is your one and only tool, your professional portfolio, and the source of your income. Caring for your voice should be a number one priority, no matter how harsh a role can be on your voice. At ProVoiceUSA, we understand this better than anybody. Here are a few tips you can follow to help keep your most vocal and valuable asset healthy and strong for all of the work you do.

Hydration

Of all the things you should do for your voice, the best thing you can do is keep your vocal cords hydrated. Not only does it keep your voice from drying out and becoming hoarse, it will protect your voice from unnecessary strain while acting. Water keeps the vocal cords loose and flexible. You should drink a good amount of water at least an hour before every performance, and keep a water bottle handy during each session.

Keep Sinuses Clear

Taking care of your sinuses is also important, as it determines the resonance of your voice. Keep in mind that a decongestant spray or tablet will work in case of emergencies, but it will also dry your mouth out. If things get bad, consult with an ear, nose, and throat doctor. Some actors who have been diagnosed with deviated septums have found a lot of success with surgery.

Physical Exercise

You might not think it, but good physical exercise is a great way to maintain your voice. Voice work depends on a lot of breathing control. You’ll find that the better your fitness level, the bigger lung capacity you’ll have and consequently more control. Without a lot of breath control, long-form voice work like audiobooks becomes a lot more difficult.

Here’s a short list of other things voice actors should avoid to keep their voices strong:

  • Caffeine (it dries the throat)
  • Alcohol (same as caffeine)
  • Smoking (while some actors do this to change the quality of their voices, smoking can make work in a booth very difficult for yourself and others)
  • Eating right before a session

Remember to care for your voice: it’s your moneymaker! For the best voice work and some of the fastest turnaround in the business, you can rely on the professionals at ProVoiceUSA to get the job done. Contact us today.

Becoming Competitive in the Voice Over Market

Audio Mic

Becoming a voice actor in this day and age is about as difficult a field to break into as you’d find. And it’s a common misconception that having a naturally resonating and well-toned voice will automatically find you work in the industry. Some artists may say that becoming a talented and successful voice artist requires a little bit of luck. Perhaps that’s true, but along with talent, practice, and hard work, there are some things you can do now to improve your chances of finding work. Here are a few we at ProVoiceUSA have found.

Audio Setup for a Voice Over ActorFind Professional Representation

Finding your way into the industry on your own is nearly impossible these days. If you’re serious about finding work as a voice actor, you need someone who can actively advertise your unique voice and offer quality services to you. This is where ProVoiceUSA can come in handy. With the right demo and a quick turnaround time, you can present yourself as a reliable and high-quality voice actor.

This leads to the second point…

Produce the Best Demo Possible

Like an artist’s or writer’s portfolio, a voice-over demo needs to demonstrate the best and highest-quality work you can produce. If you have the voice over gear at home or in a private studio, you could do it yourself, but a better method would be to save up and splurge on a coaching and recording session at a professional studio. This may set you back on average $1000 or more, but you’ll have the best example of your work possible to show potential agents and clients. It might also pay off to research and pick the right studio to produce the right demo for you: some specialize in commercial work, some in television, and others in video games and interactive media.

Practice Perfect Timing

With voice work, it all comes down to timing. Practice reading different scripts or pieces of writing with different enunciations and inflections, keeping track of yourself with a timer. Remember, it’s about eighty words for thirty seconds. Eventually, this will become instinctual. One of the best skills a voice actor can have is performing lines within the perfect time frame.

If you have what it takes to become a professional voice actor, contact ProVoiceUSA today. We offer only the finest professional voice-over work in the industry with great response times and competitive pricing.

4 Ways to Improve Your Voice Over Skills

Invest in a Quality Microphone for your Voice Over Work

Getting into the voice over industry is challenging. It’s as competitive as any other acting career, sometimes more so, and you have to have a thorough control of your voice to succeed. Here are some tips from ProVoiceUSA for enhancing your skills and launching your career.

Voice-Over Actor in a Recording StudioKnow Your Voice
In the past, voice over work was dominated by the ubiquitous “Mr. Announcer” style of voice overs; a deep booming voice with a consistent tone and enunciation. You have probably noticed that this isn’t as common anymore, and when it does see use, it is often in parody. Today’s voice overs are more commonly very relaxed and conversational in tone and style. What hasn’t changed is the importance of being able to speak clearly and give your voice presence.

Use Good Gear
Talented as you may be, there’s more to selling your talent as an actor than just what you can do with your voice. You will often have to share your skill in order to get work, and you want to have good equipment when you do that, which will represent you well. Invest in a quality microphone and good audio software.

Exaggerate
While voice overs have become more casual, there is a little something that’s lost in a truly casual tone when recording it. To compensate, you’ll need to exaggerate a little bit; enunciate more clearly in certain places. This is usually easy to figure out by recording yourself and identifying places where you might sound a little slurred or unclear, and focusing on them.

Learn the Material
Some voice over jobs depend on a very specific script. Others offer some flexibility for ad lib and variation. In either case, you should know the intended material backwards and forwards. The better you do, the better you can deliver it exactly and the better you can add your own flavor if needed.

Provoice USA understands the ins and outs of voice overs for all kinds of purposes, and we offer a wide range of services including on-hold messages, commercials, IVR, and more. Check out our rates or contact us now for more information.

The Early History of Voice Acting

The Early History of Voice Acting

For over 100 years, voice acting has been included in everything from movie trailers and animated movies to radio and television advertisements. But everything has a beginning: where did real voice acting begin and when did it become possible to hold it as a full-time profession? ProVoiceUSA owes its success to the recording pioneers who came before. Here are a few moments in history that defined the voice acting field and made it the valuable avenue of work it is today.

The Very First Voice-Over

Perhaps the first name that comes to mind when you think of voice acting would be Walt Disney, specifically, his very first voice-acted role as Mickey Mouse in “Steamboat Willie”. But believe it or not, this role took place 28 years after the very first voice over! The honor of first voice actor (as well as first radio broadcaster) is a Canadian-born inventor named Reginald Fessenden. Working for the United States Weather Bureau, he developed early radio technology and provided one of the very first weather broadcasts ever given on the coast of Maryland in 1900, with his speech reaching about a mile from the broadcast point. And although still debated, on Christmas Eve of 1906, Fessenden reported that he presented the first radio entertainment broadcast which consisted of violin and sung Christmas music followed by him quoting a Bible verse. A second broadcast was given on New Year’s Eve of that same year. Since radios were not commercially available at the time, not many people heard it; the broadcast was meant to be heard by radio operators working on vessels sailing near the coast.

Animation and Voice Acting

While not the very first voice actor, Walt Disney certainly brought the profession of voice acting to the mainstream public by bringing his characters to life with the spoken word. A year after “Steamboat Willie” in 1929, Looney Tunes was brought to audiences from Warner Brothers and Leon Schlesinger Productions, with Mel Blanc – “The Man of a Thousand Voices” – joining in 1936. Blanc voiced dozens of characters including Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, and many others, setting the bar high for future voice actors. Today even screen actors prefer to work in the recording booth because of the ease of work when compared to all the preparation necessary for on-screen roles.

If you’re looking for professional voice work for your next multimedia project, consider working with the professionals at ProVoiceUSA. We’ve trained and learned from the best in the industry. You won’t be disappointed!

Important Elements to Consider when Commissioning a Voice Over Video

Professional recording mic

If you’re planning to commission a voice over video for your company, there are a lot of different things to consider before going to production. Some of the most important elements include:

The Purpose. A voice over video can be an extremely effective sales tool in a lot of cases, but there are times that a voice over video is more a waste of money than it is a boost for business. Consider the purpose of the video before production. If the purpose is to educate customers or to advertise a sale or promotion, it may well be worth the money.

The Script. Once you’ve decided to create a voice over video, it’s time to come up with a script. The script shouldn’t be a lot of information that viewers can’t easily digest. It should be interesting and engaging. If you’re having a hard time coming up with a compelling script, a great formula to follow is to present a problem your clients face, show them that you have the answer to that problem, and give them a call to action.

The Talent. When you’ve got the script written and ready, it’s time to search out talent. Be sure that you find professional talent that can provide you with a portfolio of their work. They should have access to high-quality equipment so that they can provide you with high-quality productions. Consider too, though, that although you may’ve found talent that you like, they may not fit with the overall message and purpose of your video and you should find the talent that is the best fit.

The Cost. A large agency may be able to provide you with the talent that you’re looking for, but keeping them on retainer, or even paying them for just one project could cost you more than the project is worth. At ProVoiceUSA, our rates have been the same for over 13 years. We believe that you can have quality work for an affordable price. Our rates include fully edited and polished files, ready for production and our rates aren’t based on the market size or for how long the video airs. We simply charge for the work we do.

Need a video voiced over? We offer a wide range of services including on-hold messages, commercials, IVR, and more. Check out our rates or contact us now for more information.

3 Things To Know Before Hiring Voiceover Talent

You’re ready to launch your new marketing campaign; all you need is a little voice talent. Trouble is, you’ve never hired any before. How to go about it? What should you look for? ProVoice USA has you covered. Here’s what you’ll want to consider before hiring a voiceover actor for your campaign.

  1. What Do You Need?

You already know you need voice talent. Begin to define what kind of talent you need. Does your campaign demand a certain age rang for the actor? Should they be male or female? Would a regional accent be appropriate, or problematic? As you check off these questions, your ideal candidate will be clearer, and you’ll be able to further guide the actor you choose to meet your needs.

  1. Define A Budget

Know your budget before you start your search. This will keep you from overspending on talent that you don’t need. A larger budget will give you more options, which is an important consideration. You’ll need to decide if the campaign us worth investing in to have the highest quality voice work.

  1. Equipment Matters

Get the right gear. Unless you’re doing a very simple, low budget recording, you’ll need to reserve a proper studio to do your recordings. Don’t skimp on the studio or equipment, as that can make or break the quality of your campaign just as much as the actor themselves.