Voice-over is an audio production technique where a voice is recorded for various uses. Voice-over is of varied types and different genres.
The pre-recorded announcements inside a metro train, the messages you hear on the phone while calling someone, audiobooks, explainer audios, voices in YouTube videos, voices in documentaries, TV commercials, Films, Radio, etc. are a few examples of voice-over.
A person who lends his voice or records his voice for this kind of project is called a Voice-over Artist or a Voice-over Actor or Voice Talent.
So, now you know that those unique and inviting voices that we hear everywhere around, belong to these specialized breeds of artists who not only are the owners of beautiful voices but also have a deep understanding of and command over the craft of voicing.
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Who Can Become A Voice-Over Artist?
A good voice is definitely inevitable to become a voice-over artist, but only a good voice is enough, which is certainly a myth. Not every person with a good voice is a voice-over artist or can become one.
It is an intricate art that requires way more skills, ingenuity in modulations, voice-acting virtuosity, technical training, unwearied hard work, persistent practice, dedication in pursuance, undiminishing commitment, business acumen, and a lot more to become a voice-over artist, especially a successful one.
Becoming A Voice-Over Artist
First Things First :
If you recognize that you have a good and unique voice or if someone ever points it out to you, if you seem also possess the other raw characteristics to become a voice-over artist, and if you desire to become one as well, then go all out there. Give it a shot!
But, hold on here!!! voice-over is not as easy as you might think. It doesn’t just mean standing in front of the mic and speaking with a good voice.
Had it been the case, almost every other person would have been a voice-over artist. You certainly need to have and/or develop a whole lot of specialized skills to pursue this path. Some of the top skills required to up your voice-over game are :
- Perfect Pronunciation & Diction
- Proper Voice Intonation- Pitch, Tone, Range
- Voice Modulation & Projection
- Speech Clarity
- Proper pacing
- Voice Acting skills
- Character development skills
- Understanding of script for a perfect delivery
- Microphone & Recording techniques
What you can do to develop these skills
There are a lot of ways to acquire and develop the skills required how to become a voice-over artist. The following few are the most common and inevitable ones:
Practice Aloud: It is a must that while practicing, you read things aloud. When you speak aloud you can hear your own voice and it gives you a clear idea of your mistakes and areas requiring improvement.
It also helps you to experiment with modulations and understand the projection of your voice. It will also help in building speech clarity. Make it a routine that you read out loud for at least 20 minutes every day.
You can read anything ranging from newspapers, magazines, books, novels, stories, poetries, and scripts to just about anything. But try reading a wide variety of things. It will give you vast exposure to different genres of voicing.
Practice Breathing and Vocal Exercises: There are a lot of breathing techniques that help build your lung capacity and help in proper projection and throw of voice and improve speaking stamina.
It also helps you to use your diaphragm while speaking. Vocal Exercises help in developing vocal cords making them strong. Voice-over artists use their voices more than other people.
Excessive use may times create fatigue and discomfort. These exercises also help in relaxing vocal cords and adjoining muscles.
Practice Listening: It is rightly said that only a good listener can be a good speaker. And this rule applies in the voice industry as well. Early on, when you start your voicing journey, it is a must that you listen to various good voice-over artists.
It doesn’t mean that you start copying them. It is to only understand and learn this craft. The more you listen to different artists and genres, the more skilled you will become in your craft.
Remember, eventually, you have to be original and carve your own style, but listening to others intently is an effective way of learning. Listen and practice in your own style.
Practice Acting: It is not sufficient to be a voice artist, it is equally important to be a voice actor. A voice-over artist has to emote a whole range of emotions depending on the script.
Modulations with the proper depiction of emotions and a sense of perfect timing is a voice-acting skill that is indispensable for any voice-over artist. And there is no shortcut to acquiring this skill. Practice is the only resort.
Practise Recording: It is important that till you become an adept artist, you record something every day and you don’t need any fancy mics or software for this. You can simply record on your mobile phone.
Recording and listening to your voice will give you a deep understanding of your shortcomings. It is the best way to improve your voicing skills. It also gives you the confidence to eventually record using a microphone.
Practice technical Know-how: It is incumbent on a voice-over artist to have technical knowledge related to recording and editing. The artist should be well aware of the nitty-gritty of using a microphone, various recording and editing software, and acoustic settings.
With any glitch in the technicalities, even the best voice-over piece can fail. It definitely requires some practice to learn and get used to these technicalities.
How can you develop these skills?
In today’s digital age, there are many ways by which you can learn these skills. You will get a lot of content and videos online which will teach you the above skills and techniques.
But it is strongly recommended and always advisable to join a proper voice-over training course with some good institution or trainer.
With a personal trainer, you will learn things much faster and easier than you would on your own. Feedbacks are a very important part of this learning and no better person than your personal trainer to act as that catalyst.
However, don’t forget to check the experience and expertise of the trainers who will train you.
Also, make sure that they are guiding you with the recording of your voice samples to make you industry ready and assist you to pave your way and carve your niche in this competitive industry.
There are many good voice-over institutes in India, that offer a variety of courses. Choose the course as per your requirements.
Barge with a bang :
Once you are done with your training, ready with your voice samples, and confident enough to face the voicing world, just barge with a bang.
- Start sending your samples, along with your resume, to various studios and agencies that provide opportunities in this industry.
- You can also start posting your samples on your various social media handles. It is a good way to market yourself and even get good opportunities.
- You can also land an opportunity through your network.
- Also, apply for the openings you come across anywhere.
- There are several other ways as well which your trainers will guide you or you will learn eventually as you march forward in this journey.
By now it must be clear that there are no shortcuts in this industry. Diligent efforts and commitment are the only way out to becoming a successful voice-over artist. All the best for your journey. Hope to hear your voice soon. Happy Voicing!