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Voiceovers: What You Need to Know

In the world of video, a voiceover is simply an offscreen voice inserted over the video. When making videos, it can often be helpful to have a voiceover explaining or narrating what is happening. 

The most famous example of voiceovers is David Attenborough, the natural historian, and narrator of decades worth of wildlife videos. But it’s worth noting that you don’t need to be a world-traveling adventurer to provide a strong voiceover. In fact, you just need a few simple tools to get started. 

The first and most challenging step is to get used to hearing your own voice played back in audio. Yes, it sounds different and maybe not what you thought your voice sounded like, but this is completely natural, or rather biological. The reason behind this discomfort around hearing your voice audio is actually connected to the bones in your head. 

Once you’ve become accustomed to hearing your recorded voice, you can get to work on making the best possible voiceovers. 

Tips for Approaching Your Voiceover

Don’t worry about your voice. It’s fine. In fact, it’s better than fine. It’s perfect. You don’t need to be a professional or have “that radio voice” to make great voiceovers. But there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Speak clearly and at an average pace. If you find yourself rushing through your voiceover script, then stop, take a deep breath, and begin again. Good voiceovers take practice, and there’s nothing wrong with making several takes. Even professionals will do this until finding a version they like. 
  2. There’s no need to use an inauthentic voice for your narrations. Your natural speaking voice is ideal. One useful trick would be to sit a teddy bear on your desk and talk to it like you would speak to one of your friends. Now this doesn’t mean you should mumble or speak too casually as you may with friends, so make sure to speak clearly and authentically.  

Recording Gear

You’ll need something to record audio with. There are many microphones for nearly every use, but one main item you will want is a condenser microphone. When it comes to exactly which type of condenser mic you should buy, that becomes a matter of budget and how much gear you want to haul around. If you are a beginner in conducting voiceovers and producing your videos, try a USB mic that you can keep on your desk and plug directly into your computer. 

The difference in audio quality between using a microphone vs. a mobile phone or your computer’s built-in microphone will be immediately noticeable to you and your audience. Using external microphones will go a long way toward enhancing the impactfulness of your videos. 

Finding the Right Environment for Recording Your Voiceover

You don’t need a recording studio to achieve professional-grade audio, but there are some things to keep in mind that will improve the quality of your voiceovers. Most importantly, you want to minimize background noise. If there’s a lot of street noise, try putting a blanket over the window to conceal the sound or wait until a quieter time of day. Even better, record in a room without windows. 

If you’re at work, find a quiet corner of the office. Let your coworkers know that you’re recording, and if necessary, ask that they avoid the area until you’re done. If there are ambient sounds, like an HVAC or humming that are producing a lot of echo and reverb in your audio track, try a trick used by podcasters: throw a blanket over you and your microphone. 

When recording your voice with a microphone, don’t be afraid to get up close and personal. About 6 inches away from the microphone is an appropriate distance for voiceovers, especially if you’re going for that NPR sound

Recording software

Whether you’re using a USB microphone or a microphone and audio interface, you’ll need software to capture the recording. If you’ve already got video editing software, check to see what the audio capture options are. You may be able to record directly onto an audio track. This can be especially useful when you need to narrate or explain what’s happening on the screen. 

Keep these tips in mind when recording, and you’ll notice a massive improvement in the quality of your voiceovers. To ensure your voiceovers are flawless, you can also outsource your video production services to a world-class company that knows everything about video-making. At Dream It Reel, we will cover all steps of your video creation from pre-production, production, and post-production, including your voiceover editing and more. To begin your quality video creation,  contact us today!