Do you have a convincing and captivating voice? Do you wish to use your voice modulation skills to influence and entertain an audience? You are at the right place.
You can start your career as a voice-over artist from a small room in your house with some essential equipment for voice recording. Once you have established yourself as a commercial voice-over artist, you may invest and upgrade your equipment.
The following guide will help you understand the basic and advanced equipment needed to start your career as a commercial voice-over actor.
- Get a Computer: In today's competitive and technology-driven world, computers are a bare necessity to start your voice-over career. New or a second-hand computer, it doesn't matter. Investing in a computer helps you store your voice-over files and to send these files to your clients.
- Storage Space and Devices: The number of voice-over recording files will increase as you progress in your career. Your computer might not be able to support such extensive storage. The solution to this problem is to back up your files by investing in cloud storage options like iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, or a plug-in external hard drive.
- Software for Recording and Editing: As a commercial voice-over artists, your voice recordings will need editing to enhance the quality of the recorded voice. Invest in a Digital Audio Workstation. A Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW, is an electronic device or software that helps you record, edit and enhance your voice-over recordings.
- A Good Quality Microphone: Never be tempted to buy a cheap microphone to manage your budget. Your career as a voice over actor might never flourish because of a low-quality microphone. Invest in a microphone that has a high-quality output.
There are two types of microphones that commercial voice-over actors prefer -
- Condenser microphone: The condenser microphones have enhanced response sensitivity. It helps to pick up the slightest detail in the voice.
- Dynamic microphone: The dynamic microphones are less sensitive to the micro details in the voice. It is a good option when the soundproofing is not the best.
Before selecting a particular microphone, keep your budget in mind and try out as many different styles as possible.
- Pop filters: A pop filter is also called a pop screen or a pop shield. It is a simple yet essential device for every commercial voice-over artist, and it is a shield to be attached in front of the microphone. A pop filter eliminates any unwanted noise like that popping sound that comes out of your mouth while saying consonants like p, b, and many such letters.
There are two types of pop filters -
- Pop filter with nylon mesh: You may opt for the nylon mesh pop filter to start a career as a voice-over artist. It is popular among commercial voice-over artists as it is budget-friendly.
- Pop filter with metal mesh: The metal pop filters are smaller in size when compared to the nylon mesh pop filter. It is also long-lasting.
- Audio Interface: You will also need hardware to control and translate the signals from the microphone to the computer. This hardware is called the Audio Interface, which also enhances the quality of your voice. Commercial voice-over artists prefer audio interfaces having a sturdy built-in microphone preamplifier system. The microphone preamplifier system drives your microphone's signal strength and boosts the sound. It is compatible with any microphone you choose.
- Good Quality Headphones: Voice-over artists have to wear headphones during the voice recording. Headphones help you to listen to the video playback without the speakers. The speakers will decrease the sound quality and create a feedback loop that can damage your hearing and the equipment. Hence, choose a good quality headphone that is comfortable to use for a long duration. Closed-back headphones are the best choice for commercial voice-over artists. Since the back of the ear cups is closed and solid, it prevents sound leakage.
- Studio Monitors: Invest in good studio monitors that provide you with the overall sound quality of your voice recordings. Studio Monitors help you hear what is being recorded, and it lets you balance your sound mix.
- A Microphone Stand: You will need a microphone stand or boom arm to hold the microphone in place even if you are moving to modulate your voice. A scissor arm microphone stand is ideal if you are recording and editing in the same spot. Choose an on-stage tripod if you have a separate booth for recording and editing.
- Shock Mount: Every action or movement in the recording room or booth generates vibration, and this can reflect in your voice recordings. Use a shock mount to prevent unwanted noise and vibrations from traveling up your microphone. For instance, your foot movements can produce vibrations that travel up from the floor through your microphone. If you have a boom arm that I attached to the table, your microphone will pick up the vibrations when you touch the table while recording. These vibrations might seem irrelevant otherwise, but it drastically reduces the voice-over's quality.
- Music Stand: A pedestal with a frame to hold the voice-over scripts is called a music stand. Commercial voice-over actors prefer using a music stand to prevent the rustling noise of the papers. Depending on your voice recording setup, you can choose a music stand that can be placed either on the floor or on the table.
- Soundproofing: Now you have your recording room and all the equipment to get you started with your career as a voice-over artist. One last thing is vital for delivering the best voice recording. Soundproofing and acoustic treatment for your recording room or booth to block all the unwanted noise or sounds from your voice recordings. You can choose the best soundproofing method that suits your budget.