How to use software for voice edition
For many beginners, starting out in the voice over industry can be an intimidating challenge.
For many beginners, starting out in the voice over industry can be an intimidating challenge. As with any profession, research is an essential component in increasing and sustaining growth of industry related skills and understanding. Voice over websites are frequently saturated with physical technique and professional etiquette guides. Having studied such articles, many individuals question how to move into the professional realm.
In order to advertise and promote yourself, one must have a solid collection of vocal recordings to compile a demo reel. With this being the digital age, relying purely on auditions is to narrow ones opportunities. To accompany a website and social media, voice over recordings are a surefire way of grabbing potential employers’ attention. However, a low quality production can have the opposite effect, leading to your talents being dismissed and overlooked.
Booking time at a voice over recording studio can be very pricey, due to this many burgeoning voice actors purchase their own equipment that allows for industry standard recordings. This is often seen as a strategic move as once you have the utilities to do so, you are able to record an unlimited amount of voice over takes. Having researched the best microphone, audio interface and associated accessories, one reoccurring hurdle often battled with is choice of software. There are a wealth of applications suitable for voice over, many of which retain an expensive price tag.
Audacity is a free audio editing software developed by Soundforge. Despite being without charge, do not underestimate its capabilities and power. Many professionals within various media industries such as journalism use Audacity on a daily basis. Due to its simple interface, extensive add-ons and advanced features, Audacity is a great place for any voice over artist to start recording. Though eager to begin, chances are that you are not all that familiar with many elements found within sound production software, such as terminology and commonplace actions. This guide aims to help you get started on your first voice over takes, as well as show the educated some new tips.
Assuming that you already have Audacity downloaded and installed to your desktop or laptop, begin by selecting your audio input and output. If you are using an audio interface, both input and output should be channeled through this device. Next you will want to test that audio is passing into and out correctly. Be sure to have your headphones or speakers turned to a lower volume or you could be in for a rather loud surprise.
Navigate to the ‘Generate’ tab at the top of the screen and selected ‘Tone’. You should now see a bar of audio appear within the audio track channel. Select ‘Play’ or simply hit spacebar for playback to begin. If set up correctly, you will hear a phone-like flat tone audible through your output of choice. Next you will want to check that your input device and microphone are being recognised by Audacity. At the top right of the screen you should notice two Left and Right meters, with the left block representing output and the right block representing input. Under the right pair of meters you should notice a microphone icon with a drop down menu. Clicking on this arrow will greet you with an option to ‘Start Monitoring’. By enabling this and producing sound into the microphone you should be able to see the right meters activating, this means audio is being received by Audacity.
Now that the equipment has established a connection to the software, you can begin recording your voice over dialogue. Simply hit the record button in the top left toolbar and commence speaking. Upon launching you will notice a waveform of your vocal appearing as your audio is recorded.
You will likely find that input and output levels will require adjusting to accommodate your voice and location. However, don’t fret if it isn’t sounding exactly as you’d hoped, mixing and mastering stages are undertaken by every audio technician. It is worth noting that the closer you can get your initial recording to perfection the better. To delete certain parts of your waveform, highlight using the ‘Selection Tool’ and then hit the backspace button. To zoom in on a particular area of audio, select the Magnifying icon to click with your mouse, to zoom out click with your mouse whilst holding Tab.
There are many techniques and actions available to sculpting a voice over audio file after the recording has ceased. Part 2 of this feature will discuss a few tips on how to smoothen out your voice over, as well as explain audio associated terminology and their inherent capabilities.
Jessica Wight is the author of the above article. Jessica works for a digital agency and at the moment she is taking part on a project for San Sebastian hoteles, a touristic accommodation provider in Spain. Jessica is also collaborating on project for Dentistas en Donostia. You can interact with Jessica on Twitter in her profile @JessicaWight3. Jessica loves reading, The Beatles, video games (she plays VR with Oculus), the business world and walking her dog.