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So you want to be a voice-over?

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

The cost of setting up a home studio and getting yourself technically prepared to be a voice-over artist has never been easier. Get yourself a decent microphone, pair of headphones, small audio mixer with all the bells and whistles to make your voice sound fab and that's it right....well not quite! If you want to break into the fiercely competitive world of voice-over you need patience, thick skin, determination, be prepared for lots of knock backs, take constructive criticism on the chin and above all, have a good voice. If you posses these basic qualities you're on the way. It is now relatively affordable to set up a home based studio, but it has in my humble opinion, watered the industry down for the simple reason just about anyone and everyone is doing it. With a wide variety of free and subscription based online voice-over agencies overflowing with talent, getting a foot in the door, least of all getting the job you applied for, can be exhausting. Most of us in the industry have our profiles featured on the top online voice sites, but just because you pay a subscription, doesn't necessarily mean you get the big jobs. It all depends on how the casting agent is feeling when they listen to your carefully crafted voice demo. But, the most frustrating part with most of the online agencies is that you never receive feedback of any kind. With many newbies having little or no experience in the industry wanting that big break, it has led to a few issues, mainly offering to do jobs for much less than the going rates, or worst still completely free of charge. If becoming a voice-over/actor is something you've always wanted to do, then pursue that dream and spend some serious money on doing it the right way. Before you even splash out on setting up a studio, gather a few voice scripts together to practice reading into a recorder or your mobile phone, play it back to yourself, family and friends and get some good solid criticism. You could even copy some radio or tv commercials, as long as it's for your own use. Listen to how the pro's do it. It's all about style, voice inflection, gear change between sentences. Is it hard sell, soft sell, passionate, romantic, business, corporate, the moods are endless. If you've got the money, book yourself a slot at one of the many voice-over production companies. They have endless scripts and producers to help you with your demo reel. The demo is then carefully mixed by a pro engineer and packaged up for you to take away. Simply search 'voice demo production' and you'll be amazed at what comes up. Here's an example.

Once you've got your demos together, it's time to start sending to voice-over agents and submitting to a few of the many online voice platforms - but please don't hold your breathe, many agents are over subscribed and unless you have an outstanding demo, you'll have to wait your turn to be added to their books. Still happy to continue? Right - now you can start thinking about building your home studio. The most important investment is a good microphone (see my other blog on mics) a decent quiet room with soundproofing (I'll be writing a blog on this soon) audio interface that you plug the mic into - which plugs into your computer and some editing software. Add some headphones, mic stand, cables, optional loudspeakers and you're almost there.

It's a great industry to be in and I love it, but as I said earlier it is very competitive so be prepared for some serious ego bruising and a few re-takes! I wish you every ounce of luck on your voice-over journey.

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