Friday Voiceover Tip: Solve your Background Noise Problems

There are lots of voice over opportunities and interesting jobs in the industry than ever before because it has been reshaped by the age of the internet and affordable recording gear. Today we will be discussing noise reduction techniques. Most voice seekers prefer to do post‑production work themselves. Sometimes, they want the files ready to go, which might mean using slight EQ and compression. A more natural-sounding way to clean up a voice recording, is to record in absolute silence. To do this, wake up early, when your house is quiet. Then record a full minute of silence at whatever bit depths and sample rates you’re likely to be using. Repeat this process for each different mic you use, and save each file.

 

 

Run these files through any standard EQ high‑pass and low‑pass filters you use, zoom in on the waveform, and select a one‑second strip of silence from each recording. Save these strips as separate files. Ideally, the noise floor of each strip will be lower than ‑60dB. Now, when you have to remove a bump or a squeak between words, you can paste in a piece of these strips instead of muting, which would draw attention to the edit. Using EQ to reduce low‑end rumble and high‑frequency noise will make your recording sound better, and will be beneficial if you’ll be adding compression later. Used moderately, compression can reduce dynamic range, improve intelligibility of the words and will leave you with a natural‑sounding result. 

 

 

Not all noise can be tackled in this way. You need to listen for clicks, plosives, digital glitches and so on. These can be repaired by using a ‘heal’ tool or a pencil tool to redraw the waveform. Popped ‘p’s can often be ‘fixed’ using a high‑pass filter set at 100Hz. For a single glitch, you can zoom in and cut out the cycle of the waveform in which the glitch appears. Just be careful to start and end the cut where the waveform crosses the center line, otherwise you will inadvertently add another digital glitch. If glitches are frequent, it’s likely that there is a problem with your audio interface’s buffer settings, it may be just a playback issue. Also listen for sibilance. Strong ‘ess’ sounds are best corrected at source, by using good mic technique, but sometimes they’re unavoidable. If you hear an ‘ess’ that really sizzles in your recording, you can manually reduce its volume. You can use a de‑esser, but do be careful, as applying some de‑essers to the entire audio file can alter the sound of your recording. It is best to apply them to short sections, either offline or using automation. Make sure you record some silence at the end of each take. That way, if a great performance suffers from noise issues, you have something to feed your noise‑reduction processors. Just don’t rely on this technique too much. 

 

 

Have questions for us? Simply set an appointment and we will get in touch for a little chat.

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Amazing Voice Over Profiles on Piehole Voiceovers

2-1384795125_juliet_prew-10_copy_profileJuliet Prew

With nearly twenty years as an actress, my voice work covers a broad range from BBC Radio Drama (inc.”The Afternoon Play”, “Short Story”and lots of Radio Dramas, playing RP, Northern, Scottish and Australian characters) to corporate, IVR, kids and animals! I am the current voice for all of TalkTalk’s on hold stuff and Hilton Hotels, so am equally at home doing straight, precise reads as I am with full blown characters. In fact, I thrive on variety! I record at home with a Rode NT1A mic, M Audio Firewire Solo and Mac/Logic Express software but can easily get into a studio being based in Central London. 

 

 

Judyheadshot2_profile_profileJudy Fossum

I admit it, I love words and audio. Together they combine to form inspiring, intriguing and educational messages that I, as a voice actor, can help you bring to life. Having been behind a mic for over 20 years, it is nearly like my second home. In essence, I am here to help you. I provide clear, professional voice overs for businesses and educators including commercials, narratives, audio for the internet and message on hold (MOH) that result in increased revenue and market share. I help corporations and educators relay information about their products and services to their clients and potential clients. My recording studio (powered by renewable energy [wind] thanks to a Skystream 3.7 wind turbine) is where I record, edit and produce high-quality audio programming that can be sent to clients anywhere with a quick turnaround time. I can easily save the audio in any format needed as well (mp3, wav, aif). I will be happy to help you add background music to your project as well. Your ideas will be clearly voiced. 

 

 

05_smile_profileAlan Thorpe

Passionate and articulate with years of experience as a character actor in Theatre, Film, VO, Radio and Corporate role play. I love the challenge of quickly finding the voice and delivery that suits my client’s needs. With a home studio and an ipDTL link that is so much better than ISDN, my client only needs Google Chrome as a browser and we can set up real time direction or I can record and send within minutes of receiving a script. Having lived as a younger man in both Tasmania, Australia and the USA finding the natural flow of these accents is as natural as British English. 

 

 

Adam_diggle_2_profile__2__profileAdam Diggle

Adam is a northern voice actor from Manchester, based in South London. He trained at the prestigious Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, graduating in 2009. He has been working in the voiceover industry for the past 3 years in a wide variety of areas, from ELT and telephony to animation and computer games. Adam’s natural voice has a great friendly and relatable quality, perfect for adverts and promos, but he is also very adept at softening and neutralising his accent for other work, such as corporate narration. His range of accents is extremely impressive, making him an ideal choice for cartoons and computer games. Adam also excels at impersonations with Nicholas Cage, James Stewart, Brian Blessed, David Attenborough and Christopher Lee being just a few of the names in his repertoire. Adam works constantly on his skills, broadening his range and strengthening his voice on a daily basis. He applies this diligence and dedication to every job he undertakes. In his spare time Adam likes to play guitar and is an avid boxing fan, he doesn’t get into a ring himself though, it wouldn’t be wise considering the career. 

 

 

Ajb__2__profile_profileAndrew Betts

I have a background in teaching within the private school system. I was for twelve years Housemaster of a boys’ boarding house and have been used to dealing with all sorts of people and situations. My voice has been a tool of my trade for the past twenty years teaching French and German as well as in frequent public speaking. I am best suited to audio books, narration and documentary work, although I turn my hand to serious advertising, promotion and telephone work. I have my own home studio and can turn round small to medium jobs very quickly, in a matter of hours or overnight if needs be. Larger jobs will take longer. I am always willing to re-record where necessary and to send samples during the recording process if required. I did my voice training with Gary Terzza in London. I have a BA in Medieval English, Postgraduate Diplomas in Linguistics and Translation (French to English) and a PhD in German Linguistics as well as Grade 8 exams in Singing (Baritone voice) and Oboe! I speak fluent, near native-speaker quality French and German. 

 

 

Invoice-logo_profileAndy Barnett

Andy is a full time voice actor based in the United States. 
He works out of an ISDN equipped, professionally designed home studio. He has worked with a number of clients for commercial work, narration, training videos, elearning modules, as well as taking on character roles in video games and animation. Andy has also ventured into the world of audiobooks, having narrated several titles. What is Andy best known for? His warm, friendly voice. His ability to relate with the audience and portray characters in a real and genuine fashion. Versatility is something a lot of actors claim, but Andy has demonstrated his ability to play a number of roles with authority and authenticity…just listen to his demos. What about training? Andy has studied under the tutelage of Pat Fraley in Los Angeles, David Lyerly in New York, and recently completed a full year of professional training in improvisational comedy.

 

 

Grainne_profileGrainne Brookfield

Gráinne is a regular in RTE currently working with the RTE 2 promo team . Gráinne narrated the harrowing documentary of Savita Halappanavar which was broadcast on TV3 in March 2014. You will hear Gráinne on top national campaigns for VHI Swiftcare Clinic, West Coast Cooler, Meteor Mobile, National Lottery & Vodafone. Gráinne also has experience overdubbing for film and loves playful character voices for animation. Having worked as a professional singer for more than 15 years, Gráinne has an exceptional advantage. Not just in terms of studio experience and etiquette or even vocal ability but with the ability to receive and react instantly to direction. 

 

 

Jenprofile_profileJenny Maxwell

Over 11 years experience in professionally voicing everything from National and International TV/ Radio commercials, Narrative pieces, Animation and a game. Check out the testimonials to hear what my clients have to say! I am a full-time voice over artist known for taking direction easily and delivering what my clients want. I am all about speedy replies and fast turnarounds, I don’t want to waste anyone’s time! Bright, clear delivery with a youthful sound. Great neutral reads and a wide range of accents and characters. Children’s and teenage voices a specialty. 

 

 

Have questions for us? Simply set an appointment and we will get in touch for a little chat.

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Voice Over Interview with the Amazing Rebecca Saye

How did your interest in voice over work come about?

1620725_10153789239555484_1107719465_n_profileI have always had a strong, commanding voice and so did a lot of MC and compare work from the age of 18. When I trained at drama school to become an actor, I learnt how to use my voice productively, and in a variety of ways. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I enjoy recording smooth, slick VO’s for corporate and commercials etc, but the performer in me loves playing around with characters and accents to create new and interesting voices.

 

 

 

Pick one style which you feel represents you best?

Commercial- anything from hard sell to silky Christmas chocolate adverts!

Female Voice Over UK   Rebecca Saye  Husky  warm  inspiring  gravitas  energetic   British Professional Voice over

 

 

What’s a typical day for you and have you done anything interesting lately?

I like to involve myself as much as possible with workshops and talks, anything to increase my knowledge of the industry, and any opportunity to enhance my vocal skills. Having my own recording equipment set up in my home also means that I can practice read scripts, commercials, books etc- practice makes perfect after all!

Next week I am doing a tongue twister workshop with Sugar Pod Agency, run by industry professionals Kerry Corran and Tony Mahama.

 

 

What has been your favorite voice over job to date and why?

My favorite job was with Media Bounty for an app called Twizoo. I was the voice over for a corporate piece of animation and had to align my voice with the on screen action. It was my first professional job and I recorded it in record time, and the client was ecstatic with the outcome.

 

 

Do you recommend setting up a home studio or using a commercial record facility?

I like being in a professional environment when I record, I like as many people to be there as possible to ensure the client has full control of the end result and is 100% satisfied with their choice. However, this isn’t always possible, and some jobs are so last minute that there isn’t time to rent studio space; this is why I have my own equipment, but I would always prefer to meet the client/production team and have the freedom to discuss the piece in person.

 

 

Do you have a favorite VO and what do you want the world to know about you?

There are so many fantastic voice overs and so many different styles, too many to pick a favorite I think!

I want the world to know that my dream is to make it to every corner of the world with a different VO job under my belt. I want to be the voice of the biggest brands, for the biggest campaigns, everywhere!

 

 

Do you think regional accents hinder success in the voice over industry? 

I’m originally from Suffolk, so when I moved to London 5 years ago I had a slight ‘farmer’ twang. I consciously squeezed it out through my acting training as I really didn’t like it! Luckily I am able to slip back into it as and when, but for me RP is my natural speaking voice. I definitely don’t think having a regional accent is detrimental though, who better to advertise Scottish tourism than a true Scott?! Each accent has it’s place.

 

 

Any advice and recommendations for aspiring voice talents?

There is a lot more to being a voice over than just having a nice voice to listen to, I think a firm background in acting/vocal training is imperative. If you don’t have that training, Excellent Talent has a brilliant package with loads of information and tips on being a great VO.

 

 

Have questions for us? Simply set an appointment and we will get in touch for a little chat.

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

 

Friday Voiceover Tip: How to Create Voiceover Website

Unless you’re a household name, no one’s going to be searching for your unique voice over services by your name alone. They’ll use keywords such as “professional voice over” or “male voice actor” or “female voice actor” and many more. If you want to make a good impression that will have voice seekers visiting your page over and over again, read the tips below. Some of the things you need to think about are,

  1. What does your first page say about your site?
  2. Does it grab the attention of visitors? 
  3. Does it load quickly? 

 

 

The most important thing to do is to make sure your website loads as fast as possible. The thing about speed is that people only notice it when it’s absent. One good reason to make your webpage load fast, is that search engines like faster sites better than slower ones. Use HTML5 because it has search-engine friendly text and the ability to function on many of the popular mobile operating systems without requiring a plug-in.

 

 

Don’t have audio start to play when someone lands on your site. Even though your site is a voice over webpage, voice seekers want to hear your audio but on their terms. This is about servicing your clients, not bombarding them. It’s all about considering your potential audience. Just as a courtesy to your visitors, allow them the opportunity to listen to your audio if they want to, not because they have to.

 

 

Use color strategically. Using a neutral color palette can help your site project an elegant, clean and modern appearance. Using small splashes of color for headlines or key graphics helps guide visitors to your most important content. It is also important to use a color palette that complements your logo and is consistent with your other marketing materials.

 

Since you will be creating a voice over website, it means it will be a site with one specific purpose. An informative front page gets that purpose right out where the reader expects it. Don’t forget to add call to action buttons. Create a form submission buttons that are appealing to visitors. Put your call to action in the upper portion of your website, along with your phone number or email address (if you want customers to call or email you).

 

Choose fonts that are easy to read across devices and browsers. When choosing fonts, keep in mind that people will be looking at your website not just on a laptop but on mobile devices. Some large-scaled fonts may read well on a computer monitor but not scale or render well on mobile, losing the desired look and feel. Use a universal font.

 

 

There are many other things I could mention, but I will keep it short to avoid this blog being too long and boring. Here are more tips to keep in mind when creating a voice over website:

  1. Avoid using a Flash intro or graphical “splash” page before your visitors can enter your site
  2. Avoid using only Flash or graphics within your site
  3. Remember to add meta tags! Having a title and description meta tag is very important.
  4. Try and purchase your own domain name. It just looks more professional.

 

 

Have questions for us? Simply set an appointment and we will get in touch for a little chat.

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Friday Voiceover Tip: How to Use your Profile Stats

Check Profile Stats

British Voiceovers   stats userThere are many ways to drive traffic to your page thereby increasing the number of jobs you can land. Just remember that lots of traffic is not the be-all and end-all. You need the right type of traffic. Now check out the profile stats, you will be able to see your personal profile page hits and the number of demo listens you received for every month. Your stats page is available to you on your profile page. After checking out your stats, go through your profile. 

 

  1. Do you have your most current head shot on your profile?
  2. Is your bio current or has it become outdated due to changes in your life or business?
  3. Are your most current demos posted?
  4. Is your client roster up to date?
  5. Are the links to your web site, contact information and social media sites updated?

 

Set aside some time to review your profile. Go through all your content, demos to make sure everything is absolutely current and perfect. While you’re at it, set yourself a reminder to do it again in six months that way you’ll be promoting your most current information.

 

Have questions for us? Simply set an appointment and we will get in touch for a little chat.

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Voice Over Stats | UK Demo Listens

Curious on how much traffic your profile page received and if it was the right type of traffic? Piehole is used by major ad agencies to source voice over talent. Yet some voice actors have less traffic on their profiles than others. Just remember that lots of traffic is not the be-all and end-all. Here are demos that more listens for the month July:

 

 

Male Voice Overs

  1. John Cavanagh 43
  2. Boet Schouwink 42
  3. Adam Justice 38
  4. Robert Eldridge 30
  5. Peter Baker 19
  6. Paul Hernandez 17

 

 

Female Voice Overs

  1. Jenna Sharpe 40
  2. Elainor Knight 32
  3. Elizabeth Ollier 29
  4. Lisa Armytage 28
  5. Cromerty York 26
  6. Nicky Lloyd-Williams 22

 

 

Have questions for us? Simply set an appointment and we will get in touch for a little chat.

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

 

 

Friday Voiceover Tip: Voice Over Jobs Gold Mine

What is this gold mine I’m talking about? Pause for a second and guess what I’m hinting at….. I am talking about E-learning voice overs jobs. Did you guess right? E-learning have been around for ages now and still remains a good way to earn a living. The internet has opened up the door to vast opportunities for voiceover jobs that were not available to you in the past. This means your voice jobs opportunities have broadened in the last 10 years. E-learning is a fast and efficient way to teach courses online. There is a wide variety of e-Learning tools are available, from e-books all the way to webinars. Many businesses have jumped on the e-Learning bandwagon because they recognize the effectiveness of this tool at teaching their employees and at educating their clients on specific aspects of their business. Many of these e-Learning methods need narrators who can bring the material alive and make the video personable. More and more companies that are offering e-learning services today are looking for voice actors who can record materials for them.  With a whole new field opening up, the competition for what used to be only a few available jobs has dropped dramatically. Here are some quick tips on how to record personable and lively E-learning audios:

 

 

  • Have pronunciation and acronym guides handy.
  • Make sure your script is properly formatted so it is easier to read.
  • Mark any words that need emphasis; underline them or change them to bold or italics.
  • Watch out for page breaks in the script that split up sentences or paragraphs. Make a note so that you will be able to anticipate them, or else re-write the paragraphs on one page.

 

 

 

Remember that E-Learning producers use voice actors who can bring excitement and impact to the script without being overly melodramatic. The right inflection and expressive flow can make even the driest material fascinating and memorable. Voice the script in a way you would like to hear it if you were a student taking the E-Learning lesson.   

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Interview with Amazing Voice Actor Robert Perkins

Your interest in voice overs, how did it come about?

Rp_profileI am an actor and one of my very first jobs was a commercial for a cheese in Holland called Slankie. In the shoot I had to be naked and was asked to walk up the stairs. After a few takes the camera man stopped and explained that there was a problem with my under carriage. We did the take again with my legs very close together – difficult when walking up the stairs!! Needless to say the voice over wasn’t so problematic.

 

 

 

What has been your favorite voice over job to date and why?

British Airways.
It was so lovely reading those wonderful poems.
No free flights though!!

 

 

What’s a typical day like for you?

I am an actor and a film maker as well so there isn’t really a typical day but I love my studio. Again, I like the variety and I think it makes me a better voice over artist.

 

 

 

What do you recommend, home studio or using a commercial recording facility?

Only if you are good enough and you are getting the work.

If you are: GO FOR IT!!!!!


 

Pick one style which you feel represents you best?

I think the British Airways and Blue Planet voice is me, but my work is varied and I like the variety

Male Voice Over UK   Robert Perkins  Versatile  warm  sexy  bright and clear.   British Professional Voice over

 

 

Do you think regional accent affect the ability to have a successful  voice over career? 

Regional accents rock!! The latest trend is definitely not to sound to Voice Overy to sound natural. A useful tool to have in the box

 

 

Do you have a favorite VO?

Louis Macleod
He is a genius.
I know him and he’s a good lad as well.
Beth Chalmers is also a mate and she is a brilliant MVO.

 

 

Any advice and recommendations for aspiring voice talents?

Listen to the top guys and girls – they are good.
I’m rubbish at online marketing! Soz.

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Friday Voiceover Tip: Finding Relevant Followers

social_media_320_wideIf you are looking to grow a larger and more relevant social media following, then this blog is for you! To build on last week’s blog post, Social Media Myths for Voice Overs, we will be looking at ways to build relevant followers on your social platforms. Many people, brands and business have found success on social media platforms because they are engaging their audience. Accessing your social media is low cost, immediate and its potential of making new age culture go viral, makes it a favorite tool for everyone from news organizations to celebrities to small businesses. There are easy ways to finding people who are relevant to you. There are a great number of tools, directories and actionable strategies available to help you do it. Now lets get to it!!

 

 

 1. Create a perfect profile

Build a complete profile. Most people will check out your profile before following you, it’s important to present yourself in the most engaging way possible. Make sure you’re using a photo of your face for your personal account or a logo for your business account. Let people know why they should be following you.

 

 

 

2. Cross promote all your social platforms 

Leverage the following you have built elsewhere to promote your other social platforms. Include links and call to action to follow your other platforms whenever possible.  

 

 

 

3. Find and follow relevant people

You can use search directories such as WeFollow to find relevant people to you on Twitter. Use tools like these to search and find fellow voice over artists or other individuals in the industry. The great thing about WeFollow, it lets you tag your account with different keywords or interests. Since it lets you create tags you want, you can add yourself to the relevant communities that have the most followers. Then you can join the conversation in the communities by mentioning them, answering questions and otherwise engaging them.

 

 

 

4. Post interesting things

Use Google Alerts, check trends on Facebook and the like to get inspirations for your posts. Sharing photos and videos are a proven way to engage your audience. Use photos to share your activity or events so your business will get click-throughs and comments as we do on Facebook. Check out what your followers are talking about and engage them in that conversation. Ask questions, answer them, like, retweet and respond.

 

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Friday Voiceover Tip: When Should You Quit Your Job?

6a017ee949a238970d019b00fd7c58970b-800wiOne very sensitive questions a voice over artist asks at least once in his life is: “Should I put my eggs in one basket now and become a voice actor exclusively?” Unlike other fields of employment, the voice over industry can be a goldmine for others and an uphill battle for some. Many voice over actors want to branch out of their daily jobs and start working full time as voice artists because it is their passion but they are held back by how unpredictable the voice over industry can be. The great part about becoming a full time voice artist is that, you have independence, there is flexibility in your schedule and more opportunities to learn about the industry. When you start your voice over career, you will discover that your chosen path leads to a more creative and productive endeavor. Of course, many blog articles teach you how to perform well on your voiceover career but not many of them talk about when you should start working as a voice artist full time. In this blog, we will be answering the question ‘When should I quit my job and start voice over work full time?’

 

 

Why is it important to time your resignation?

There are definitely a lot of answers for this question. One reason you need to time resigning is because you have to make sure that you have enough resources to start your new voice over career. If you have an agreement with a voice seeker, that he will use your voice over services exclusively, that’s even better way to start your endeavor. In a nutshell, you need to be financially stable, have something to fall back on so when you leave your job, do it on good terms. Try to have a sure deal with voice seekers before becoming a full time voice actor.

 

 

When you have acquired enough experience

Becoming a full time voice artist is not easy, especially when you have nothing to show experience wise. Serious reputable voice seekers want voice over artists with experience. I assure you, they will not hire people who have no proof of how good they are. Create an online portfolio, include the projects that you do ‘out of boredom’. Find a voice over coach and take some voice over lessons. If you are open to working at a low fee when you are starting out, take small pay until you build a solid voice over portfolio. If you have no experience, then, create the experience. That is what a successful voice over talent does.

 

 

When you quit your job, you will probably get a considerable amount of severance pay. Consider this as your starting budget. As a full time voice over talent, you have to understand that you won’t get regular voice seekers in an instant. It will probably take months before it happens and that is not even assured. So, before you start your new full time job as a VO, better make sure to prepare your pockets for the following:

  • Food expenses for a couple of months
  • Enough money to pay the bills
  • Expenses for your voice over needs (e.g. your voiceover website payments, business cards, etc.)

Of course, this will be a painful experience. You will surely live on a tight budget, but this is a pain you have to endure. Starting out in the voice over industry is pretty rough, especially to those who have just started, but you’ll get through it. Believe me.

 

In conclusion, after reading this article, I hope that you would have learned how to time your resignation so that you’ll be in a safe spot to kick start your career as a full time voice actor. If you want to become a full time voice actor, you have to prepare heavily because it might become your career for years. You should be ready to work on your own at home most of the time. Know how to manage your time and be business minded as you are now your own boss. Also know when to quit your other job. I think you should start thinking about quitting your job the moment you feel that you are no longer enjoying it. When you feel lack passion, miserable each time you wake up, don’t work well with your co-workers, when you feel like your talents are not utilized, when you are stressed and it makes you physically unwell to be at your job. The most important reason of them all to quit your other job, is when you are ready and prepared to start your journey as a professional voice actor.

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.