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!

The Proper Way to Use Our Free Resources

Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of voice actors; casting them for paid work, directing them for clients, and helping them get more work. And of all the resources Edge Studio provides to the voiceover community, there are three that consistently help all levels of voice actors the most.

But we often see people using these resources incorrectly, as a shortcut to become successful. These shortcuts will actually hinder your career, and blow up in your face down the road. It’s important to understand that we provide these free resources as a supplement to your education, not the solution to immediate success, allowing you to hone your voice over skills on your own time.

So, I thought I’d share my thoughts on some and outline the best way to use these resources. That way, you will get the most out of Edge Studio’s free resources.

Here are my top three that I recommend to every student I work with:

The Great Slate Debate

As an advertising agency producer, I have listened to thousands of voice over auditions for all kinds of voice over projects.  The projects I worked on were varied and I had the pleasure of casting all sorts of  voice actors – everyone from “straight forward announcer” to “polka dancers” to “talking squirrel.”

I’ve listened to thousands of auditions that ran the gamut from guy/gal next door to straight-up quirky character. I learned quite a lot about voice over from listening to those auditions and I find that my background in casting has been helpful in my own voice acting career.

One of the things I learned was the importance of the slate.  As a producer, the slate was often the reason I would or would not listen to that actor’s entire audition.

To understand the great slate debate, it’s helpful to understand what a slate is: a slate is an actor simply saying his/her name at the beginning of the audition.

It’s the way the producer or casting director is able to identify who they’re listening to. It’s the first thing that anyone hears when listening to an actor’s audition, so you should consider it your first opportunity to make a good impression on the client.

If you are wondering whether to slate or not to slate, the answer is: Yes!  It’s the professional industry standard to slate your name at the beginning of your commercial audition.  Commercial producers and casting directors expect to hear your slate.  

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.


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.

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