Conversational vs Announcer Voice Over Styles

Conversational vs Announcer styles in Voice OverYou only need to read through a handful of audition descriptions before you run into the word “conversational”. Or you may find the direction more negative such as “no disc jockey or announcer”.

As voice over styles evolve, there is a trend toward a more natural, personal read. But what exactly is this “conversational” sound and how do you achieve it?  Here’s how to perfect your conversational technique. Continue reading

Posted in Acting Skills, Auditioning, Commercials, Narration | 2 Comments

Sound: Voice Over’s Friend and Foe

Abstract color sound wavesVoice Over is unique artistic performance because it is entirely produced with sound.
There are other performances of sound–a live rock concert for example– that depend on sound but they have other aspects that contribute to the experience: costuming, lighting, pyrotechnics.  But voice over is only sound.

Think of an audiobook.  The setting, the weather, the characters, the plot and the emotions are entirely conveyed by the reader’s voice. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

But as you create a voice performance you’ll find that some sound is your friend.  And some sounds are your foes. Continue reading

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Voice Over Audition: I Care! I Don’t Care! Cure Audition Separation Anxiety

Voice Over Audition Happy and SadSo you raise your voice over audition up properly, give it the finest preparation, a positive attitude and an engaging personality.

You sigh and you heart beats faster as you send your mature baby out into the world.  You have such pride and great hopes for its success.  And as you leave the casting studio or press the upload button…

You slam the door and think “get out of my life! I never want to listen to you again!”  What’s up with this? Continue reading

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Why WHY Is the Most Important Word in Voice Over

Why Question Mark Voice OverThe first WHY is inside you

This is the first WHY you need to answer. Why do YOU want to do voice over? Do you like to communicate? Do you enjoy it when your listeners “get it”? Are there ideas that you feel strongly about?
Do you like the logic of the presentation. Or the feeling you can inspire.
You see, your INNER WHY is what will drive and motivate you to succeed in voice over. Because that WHY is really WHY you do this.

Continue reading

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Why I like for Voice Over Jobs

woman reading a script for voice123I’ve talked about my Three Legged Milking Stool voice over marketing strategy. One leg of that strategy is using Online Casting to begin marketing your talents. The two biggies in this “pay to play” universe are and You’ll hear pros and cons of these sites but they’ve both been around for over ten years so they must be doing something right.

I consider both to be the “minor leagues” of voice over but in a good way. They are a non-critical arena to learn to hit the various curve balls you may encounter in the voice over business. You can practice self-direction, auditioning, recording, editing, taking direction, formatting finished files, uploading files and… getting paid. Continue reading

Posted in Auditioning, Marketing, Voice Over Business | 2 Comments

What Is Microphone “Gain” in Voice Over Recording?

gain knob

This one goes to 11

There’s a term that has moved from the domain of electrical engineers to the everyday world of the home voice over studio. Unfortunately the “techie” baggage the term brings with it confuses or even frightens many aspiring audio engineer/voice talents.  And that term is “gain”, specifically microphone gain.

So what is gain and how do you control it to produce the best voice over recordings?

Continue reading

Posted in Equipment, Home Recording, Professionalism | 5 Comments

Normalizing Voice Over – The Last Thing You Want to Do

Normalizing Digital Recording of Voice Over

Tame those “spikes” in your audio with Limiter effect

When you’re recording voice over you want to use my “Goldilocks” theory of recording: Not to Hot or the sound will clip and distort.  And not too Cold or your voice will compete with the noise floor of the recording.  And you want to err on the conservative side of a lower recording.  So you often end up with a recording with a lower volume than the optimum.

Many talents try to fix this by “Normalizing” the final recording.  But if there are volume “spikes” in your waveform, normalizing can have little effect–or actually turn down the volume of your recording.  This video shows how to do it properly by adding an effect called a “Limiter”.

Posted in Auditioning, Equipment, Home Recording, Voice Over Videos by William Williams | 3 Comments

Fluent Reading For Better Voice Over

Fluent Reading starts young

Fluent Reading is Important in Voice Over

I’ve been teaching voice overs for twenty years and every student begins with the same declaration: “I can talk and I can read, so I can do this”. One of the first things we discover is that half of these talents can’t read. Now, I don’t meant they read like in the first grade, “See Spot run. Run, Spot, Run”.

I mean they can’t get through a sixty second ad without stumbling on words, missing words or substituting words. Some aspire to read audio books in their career. Well, trust me, if you can’t nail a sixty second spot, you’ll never get through a 257,000 word Harry Potter book. Continue reading

Posted in Animation, Auditioning, Commercials, Narration, Professionalism | 1 Comment

Does Singing Help with Voiceover?

Singing helps voiceoverPeople come to voice over from a variety of different backgrounds. Some come from the broadcasting world. They bring clear enunciation and solid reading skills. Others come out of on-camera or stage acting. They have and edge when it comes to voice acting, which is a required skill in modern voice over performance. Still more are cartoon or game junkies. And they have an acquired reservoir of of characters stored away in their mind. But what about singing? Continue reading

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Here’s Why You Don’t Want Voice Over Jobs

It Ain't Ditch Digging

OK, voice over ain’t ditch diggin’

What? Are you crazy? Of course I want jobs!


Well, in most voice over jobs you work as a private contractor.

So unlike in a job job, you may have several different employers each week.  And several different bosses.

A steady stream of these jobs is the life blood of a voice over career. So jobs is a good thing, right?

But if you are just chasing jobs, you need to change your focus. Continue reading

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