Voice Over Education Blog

Welcome to the Voice Over Blog

Welcome to the blog designed for anyone investigating, starting, and building their voice over career.

Here you'll find practical articles written to help you skip the "trial and error" often associated with pursuing and building a career, and instead gain a candid look into the voice over industry, where the work is, why some people get it, why some don't, and tips and techniques to help you reach your goals.

Remember that your voice, interests, and potential are unique. For this reason, our articles provide multiple ideas and scenarios so that you can make the right decision for your career.

Feel welcome to share any experiences and comments by posting them below each post. We're always glad to listen to you. After all, listening is what we do best!

DAW! You can’t VO without it.


What is a DAW? What does it do? Why do I need one for voice over? So many questions… 

Well, stick around and read this article and you’ll learn the answers! 

“DAW” is an acronym that stands for Digital Audio Workstation. Simply put, it is the software application you use to record audio on your computer. You’ll need a computer or smart device to use it; it’s software, like Microsoft Word, or an app, like twitter. 

But it does a lot more than just capture your awesome voice.

DAWs are an essential part of your home recording studio. Your studio may consist of a closet, the corner of a room, or a full-blown VO booth. No matter your recording environment, you have to have some way of recording, editing, post producing, and exporting your voice over performance. 

That’s where the DAW comes in. 

There are many products on the market ranging from free and easy to use, to very expensive and you’ll need a degree to run it. The good news is no matter which one you chose, they all produce high quality recordings. All DAWs have mostly the same features like recording, editing out unwanted audio, the ability to move audio clips around in time, as well as post production features like EQ, Compression, Noise Reduction, Normalization, and the ability to export in many file formats to meet your customer’s needs. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular products.

Audacity

Building a Global Voice Over Brand


Most of us have spent the past month sheltered in our homes, diligently watching the news to see how the Covid-19 pandemic will play out. In the headlines, leaders from around the world face an unprecedented challenge: how to safeguard their citizens’ health without gutting their economies? This crisis has deeply affected all of us, but those of us working in voice over should be counting our blessings. Afterall, we’ve been running successful businesses from our homes for quite some time now. And, more importantly, we make our livings as communicators: a role that has become essential to global business.

I’m an American citizen who has spent most of my life living abroad. A year-long foreign exchange program to Brazil during my senior year in high school opened my eyes to cultures outside the United States. In college and shortly thereafter, I aspired to venture further – embarking on extended excursions to Europe, Australia, and Africa. By my early 30s when I finally started to set down roots, I had come full circle, returning to South America where I met my wife, Simone Kliass. She worked as an on-air TV talent and she recorded voice over. I built a home studio for her work and she encouraged me to record as well. That’s how, unwittingly, I started a job that would evolve into a career.

What may come as a surprise to those reading this article is that, although I speak Portuguese fluently, I only record in my native English. What’s more, I rarely record for clients in the United States or other English-speaking countries. In fact, the majority of my regular clients are production houses and ad agencies located right here in São Paulo. So why the demand for English-language voice overs in a city where people speak Portuguese? With over 21 million inhabitants in its greater metropolitan area, São Paulo is the biggest city in South America and the business hub of Brazil.

The Science of Speaking Like a Pro


Improve your skills as a voice talent – by embracing your inner nerd!

~ How a linguistic approach and a basic knowledge of phonetics  (the study and classification of speech sounds) can improve your reads and make you sound more like a pro.

You have no doubt heard it said that there are no shortcuts to becoming a better voice actor. This is certainly, definitely, always true.

EXCEPT when it isn't...  

Students often ask “What is the difference between formal and informal reads?”, “How can I sound more polished?”, “Why do I always stumble over certain words?” and my favorite, “Why do the pros I hear on TV just SOUND BETTER?”

Well, let me tell you why:

Throughout my career I have been asked to vary reads in a myriad of different ways, from basic conversational to formal and sophisticated – with all stops in between. As a former speech-language pathologist, I have found my background in anatomy, physiology, phonetics, and linguistics in general extremely helpful in enabling me to do this successfully.

The Benefits of Remote Training in the VO Industry


Learn why Edge Studio CEO David Goldberg says training remotely is actually BETTER than training in-person

The unique thing about being a voice actor is that typically, no one sees you.  In other words, voice actors, directors, and clients usually work together remotely. You, as the voice actor, record from your home studio while a producer patches in to direct you.  So training remotely is better practice for the real world and provides significantly more applicable training.

Sometimes voice over students claim that coaching by telephone or Skype will be less effective than working with a coach face-to-face in a studio. Well for those students, it’s even more critical that they learn how to be directed remotely so they’re adequately prepared for when they’re hired and directed remotely. After all, in the modern voice over marketplace, the vast majority of jobs will be recorded remotely.  

It’s simple: turn on your speakerphone and set it beside you. Or use Skype or Zoom or whichever software your coach prefers.  Yeah face-to-face is nice; but if you travel to your coach you will both still be looking at your scripts rather than each other the whole time anyway. So avoid the commuting time (psssst, use that extra time for extra practicing!) and avoid any commuting costs (and use that extra money for more coaching, or better marketing, or new equipment, or for a celebratory meal out when you book your first job!).

Unraveling the Mysteries of Online Casting


Let’s play a game.

I’m going to say a word (well, four words actually) and you’re going to tell me the first thing that pops in your head.

Ready?

Pay-to-Play sites.

What was the first thing you thought of?

“Scammers.”

“They’re awesome!”

“I never book anything on them. What am I doing wrong?”

“Non-Union scumbags. They ruined the industry.”

“It’s the only way I know to find work.”

“What’s a Pay-to-Play-Site?”

Let’s say one of the above more or less line up with your initial reaction. How closely do your feelings about Pay-to-Play sites align with reality? Do your assumptions and expectations match the truth?

Some voice actors assume their only way to get into the voiceover industry is to use Pay-to-Play voiceover sites.

Some veteran voice talents whose voiceover careers pre-date the advent of the Pay-to-Play business model assume that if you use Pay-to-Play voiceover sites to find work, you are unethical.

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