5 myths about voiceover work
I have just read an article about how easy it is for a video producer to record their own voiceover and have it sound amazing. It was very interesting, although so way off the mark it made me raise my eyebrows a few times.
Not perhaps for the reason you think. I am all for anyone doing what I do and would encourage anyone to be a voiceover. What surprised me was that the author was just giving bad advice to the reader. So I thought I would share the guy’s information in this article.
- You can do voiceovers anywhere
Yes, you can do voiceovers anywhere if you want them to sound like an echo chamber, or next to a main road. Have you noticed the difference in sound between your bathroom and your bedroom? If you are desperate to record something then at least use a duvet to deaden the sound around you.
- Use your smartphone’s earbuds for recording
You know, the ones with a built in microphone. Well it does pick up sound I suppose, and it’s great if you want to sound like you were recording over the ‘phone. Before writing this, be assured I have actually tried it, and yes there was a massive difference between my mic and the mic in my earbuds!
- You can get a professional microphone for under £20
Yes you can get a microphone for less than £20. In fact my eight year old daughter has a pink one with her karaoke set. Just don’t do it, please. Good mics are pretty inexpensive, but they start around £100 and keep going up into the £1000s.
- No training is needed to do a voiceover. You just read a script.
There is a learning curve to get anything to work just right. To get the sound to be acceptable by the listener, there is a bit more to it than just speaking into a microphone (or set of ear buds). That’s why people have written books about how to do it. I know seasoned voiceovers have the expertise to read a script, interpret the emotions which need to be portrayed, and make a connection with the listener.
- Voiceover voices are just super snazzy radio voices
Well mine isn’t, and I cannot think of any of my colleagues who are either. Unfortunately I am not the weekend DJ called ‘dave double-decks’ either. Voiceover artists come in many different forms from the gravelly movie guy to the squeaky cartoon character. Most voiceovers are, to a degree, vocal chameleons.
To get a great sound and a great performance takes more than just a small amount of cash. It takes a substantial investment of both time and money. It’s the same as any profession. If you were a video producer, you wouldn’t necessarily be asking someone without any experience or training to film your next project on an iphone. Well, unless you wanted that kind of ‘raw’ effect I suppose!