Your demo is your calling card in the voice over world. It is used by you, casting services, agents and clients to evaluate and market your skills.
With the availability of high quality recording equipment there is a tendency to attempt to create your own demo. But recording is only one aspect of a top-notch demo. And a “home-brewed” demo could restrict your opportunities for the best work.
Here are six aspects of a quality voice over demo. And some reasons why working with a demo producer will give you the best results.
Yes you need the ability to record at home to be a voice over talent. But if you’re just beginning, keep it simple. Here are the four things you need to create broadcast quality recordings. Any other tips? Let me know in the comments.
Ever since the “Talkies” were invented, film has been a combination of the visual element – the film – and audio elements – dialog, ambiance, sound effects, “foley” and music. The first problem they had to solve was “synching” the sound with the video. A primitive way to do that was the slate clapperboard. When they clapped the top of the board together it provide a visual cue and an audio cue which they could align when they married the sound and picture together. Later techniques involved time code that connected the camera to the sound recording equipment. Continue reading →
Don’t wait for them to come… promote your voice over skills
We all remember the line from Field of Dreams. Kevin Costner kept hearing a voice in his head that said “build it, he will come”. If you’re interested in being a voice over artist you have to, indeed, build it. Establishing a firm base in voice over includes getting solid instruction. Learn what you’ve mastered and what you need to work on. Always keep improving.
It also means getting the technical equipment and knowledge necessary to compete in this 21st century cyberworld. Learn to record at home and ship your audio files to anyone in the world in any format.
But unlike the figure in Field of Dreams, you can build this correct foundation–but they WON’T come. The missing ingredient is PROMOTION. Here are five steps to follow to promote your skills. Continue reading →
I was talking to one of my students. He had invested in taking my commercial class and showed good potential. He had also purchased the bare equipment needed to record at home. He sent me a MP3 of a test recording and it sounded fine: quiet recording, good levels, and good performance.
Then he said: do I really need a professionally produced demo? I can’t afford it. This surprised me because he is also an on-camera actor. He has the required professional headshots and a resume. And I know he’s taken several acting classes to fill that resume.
So I asked: Why are you interested in doing voice over? His answer: Because I want to earn money doing what I love.
I’m usually not so abrupt, but I said: Then you can’t afford NOT to have a professionally produced demo! Continue reading →
To record voiceovers you need four things: A computer, a microphone, headphones and a recording application. You can get fancier if you want, but these four items will get you where you want to go. I recommend Audacity as a effective and simple program to record your voice over demos. It’s easy to use, it produces high quality audio and it’s FREE. You can’t beat that. But Audacity has some “idiosyncrasies” that drive me crazy. Here are the top three annoying oddities and how to work around them. Continue reading →
I am a firm believer that speeding up auditions equals more auditions turned in equals more jobs. And this efficiency means mo’ money per hour of auditioning. When I read an audition there is often a sentence or two that I “pick up” so there is usually some quick editing involved in creating the final audition.
I also like to clean the beginning and the end with silence. So no rattling paper sound or me mumbling “man this copy really sucks…” But then the question arises “should I take out the breaths?” The answer is no… and yes. Continue reading →
Ok, you’re signed up with voices.com or voice123.com and a new audition is posted with a budget of $1000.00. Looks good to me… until you open the project description. This is someone’s autobiography and it’s 110, 000 words. Yikes! That’s less than a penny per word. Oh, and the author wants edited, mastered, finished tracks. All of a sudden that 250 word narration for $500.00 looks a whole lot better. The moral of this story? Always watch the word count. Continue reading →
If you record with Audacity Recording Software you notice that each time you record certain file specifications are used. And when you export certain specs, such as the bit rate for your MP3s, are used. And you may notice that these specification choices are all wrong! Not to worry! Audacity Preferences to the rescue! Continue reading →