A voice-over is something in a video that we rarely notice, yet it is an extremely critical part. It is also one of the aspects of video making that we tend to neglect. You may feel that doing voice overs is a complicated task, but it is not.
The Importance of a Good Voice-Over:
The audio track of a video may contain two components – music and the voice over. Some videos may only include music, some only a voice-over, while others may have a combination of both. The voice-over explains the content of a video.
Considering the importance of the voice over in a video, if you were to do a voice-over, you would want to do an excellent job of it. Follow these simple tips to become an expert:
Make a Script
The first thing you want to do is make a script. Watch the video several times, and you or a scriptwriter need to write a script. It is critical to have written content at hand because you can’t narrate extempore continuously for the video’s duration.
The script gives you an insight into what you are going to say, and you can also practice your voice-over offline. Read your script several times before you stand behind the microphone. Once done, you will feel more confident about speaking.
Know the Material
This rather obvious point is very critical. As we mentioned above, you should read the script several times before you are ready to record it. As you read it, keep in mind what the script describes and its structure.
Even though you are only reading a written document, there is no harm in trying to understand a bit about what is written. For instance, if there is a lot of technical jargon with tongue-twisting words, you can familiarize yourself with them.
Practice Your Script
Even the best-written content can contain long and complex sentences that look good in writing but are a bit challenging to read. Keep a pencil handy with you as you read to make notes, which will be useful when you are recording.
Read out the script aloud and listen to yourself. Does your speech sound fluent? Or, do you sound monotonous? You can try adding a few inflections and try to avoid hesitation noises. That way, you will speak more fluidly when you finally record.
There are two valid reasons for standing. Firstly, standing allows you to breathe more freely as it relaxes the muscles you use to breathe. It, in turn, enables you to speak clearly and consistently. You will find it easier to breathe between sentences.
The second benefit of standing is that it gets you to become more animated. By standing, you can visualize speaking to another person, and your speech becomes more natural. Gesticulating may also help you in more impactful speaking.
Use the Right Tools
If you are doing a voice-over of your video, tools like Voice2v will help you along. You can also use a noise gate to get rid of background noise. Avoid using a graphic equalizer because you will compromise on the sound quality.
A compressor is also a useful tool that compresses the recordings that are the loudest and allows the speech part to stand out. Radio presenters use compressors extensively. However, ensure that you don’t overdo the compression.
Find a Suitable Room
It isn’t required to always record in a professional studio. If the room is suitable, you can record a perfect voice-over at home. You need to ensure that there aren’t too many hard, reflective surfaces like you find in a kitchen or bathroom.
You need a room with preferably many soft surfaces that can absorb the sound, like sofas, beds, and heavy drapes. Then, you shouldn’t choose a space that is too big and empty, as the sound tends to reverberate in such places.
Choose a Suitable Microphone
Not to get into too many technical details, it is sufficient to say that you need an external microphone of at least moderate quality. We have highly-sensitive microphones on our laptops and phones today, but avoid using them.
You don’t have to invest plenty of bucks on a good microphone. A reasonably good USB microphone comes for $100.00 or less. Ensure that the microphone you finally use has a pop filter to suppress consonant sounds like “B” and “P.”
Use Your Microphone Correctly
Once you have a suitable microphone, you need to use it in the right way. You can try using different microphones to find out which one sounds the best. Then, positioning the mic is also a critical factor to consider.
Positioning the microphone between 5 to 12 inches from the speaker’s mouth usually works quite well. However, it is good to try recording at different distances because the ideal space can vary from one person to another.
Do a Test Recording
Now you have the basics in place; you need to check to see what is coming out. A test recording will not only let you as the speaker, gain confidence in the setup, but you can also ensure that all the equipment is up and running correctly.
You only need to record a few lines for a couple of minutes to get a sufficient sample. When you play the recording, use a set of good headphones. It will enable you to hear all the minor sounds and noises in the background.
The Editing Stage
Your final result will depend on which editing tool you use. Whether you add audio to video online or download video and audio editing tools, you need to use suitable software. You can find various online tools as well.
You will need to remove dead space, filter out hesitation noises, and trim the audio’s starting and ending parts. Video editing software contains numerous filters and clipping tools to make the audio smoother and more compatible with the video.
Becoming an Expert in Voice-Over is in Your Hands!
Executing expert voice-overs is not such as intimidating, as you may have thought initially. It would be best if you were a bit organized and have an appropriate setup. You also need to use suitable tools that will add a professional touch to your voice-overs.
As you complete more projects successfully, you will find that it isn’t that hard, after all. Just follow these simple tips and keep practicing, and you will soon become an expert in voice-over.
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