Many of us hate our voices in recording. We often get self-conscious when we know that an audience would listen to our voice recording. It can be intimidating, but voice-overs are essential for explainer videos, podcasts, and at times professional presentations. However, there’s not much to fret about if we get down to the technique and art of voice recording.
Yes, it is a skill that may take time and practice to make it right. As you become sure of your techniques, you would automatically become more confident with your voice. In many cases, like when you are adding audio to video online, voice-overs would be most crucial. You must be sure that it conveys your message correctly. Here, we shall explain to you a few essential points to begin with.
Get the Right Space and Tools
The first things you must collect are the best tools and equipment that fit your budget. Get a good microphone and a pair of headphones. They don’t need to be expensive, but they must avoid any friction in the voice-recording. Choose something of good quality that will last long. It would help if you had a decent computer for the editing process, which is crucial.
Apart from that, the software you use for recording and editing would be of prime importance. There is a variety of audio recording software available online as well as offline. Choose what goes best with your specific device. Some of the top recommended software are WavePad, Adobe Audition, Techsmith, Audacity, and Sound Forge.
Do your research to decide the right tools according to your budget and convenience. The next step is to find a good space for recording. You don’t need to find a fancy studio with sound-proof walls. But definitely, try for a quiet place which has the least amount of disturbance or outside noises.
You can easily do it in your bedroom by closing the windows and doors. Shut off devices that make any noise while recording. Be conscious of the fact that the microphone shall take in every sound that it detects while recording.
Prepare in Advance
When you are preparing for an audio recording, there are several things that you must check off. Test your devices and your room before you make the final recording. Practice with different microphone positions to understand which angle would be best to capture your voice.
Mental preparation is a must so that you do the recording in your most confident flair. Make a script if you have to and keep it handy; but don’t simply read off the script. Take time to practice to add voice fluctuations and intonations as it will make the information more interesting to listen to.
Ensure that nobody would bother you at the time of recording and perhaps switch off your phone. Keep an open mind about little mistakes that you might make. You don’t have to sound like a robot at all. Have a bottle of water nearby. When you are sure that everything is in place, you can finish the recording in one go.
Listen and Take Notes
Once you have finished the first recording, be prepared to be an honest critic. Take a slight break to clear your mind, and then listen to the entire voice recording. Note down the points where you might have glitched. Maybe your voice went low at some portions, or it could be a disturbance in the background.
You may take note if your voice sounds too flat at times. Some of the glitches might be solved while editing, but you may also take a second recording if you feel so. Use your notes and make the attempt count.
Elements of a Polished Voice-Over
There are a few key pointers that can make your voice-over stand out.
Firstly, the volume of the voice should be right. It should be high enough for the audience to make sense of it. If it is too high or too low, the voice might sound fuzzy making it hard for people to understand. Every word should be audible.
Make sure you don’t gulp down words at the end of sentences. Also, you don’t need to rush over information. Clear out the pacing of your words and make every sentence count. Understand that you are not talking, but speaking to be heard.
You should enunciate well so that people don’t end up being confused about words. You must keep in mind the language of your target audience. People from different regions often have different accents, which makes it tough for everyone to understand. You don’t have to be perfectly mimicking accents but make sure that your words are clear to your best capacity.
Every person has a unique intonation, and you must employ it to your advantage while recording. The tone of your voice should sound natural. Depending on your content, you can play with the inflection in the voice tone, but don’t overdo it. Intonation can have a massive impact on the audience to understand your message more clearly.
Editing is the final crucial step, and if everything above goes fine, there would be few things to tweak here. This is the part where you can crop out unnecessary portions of the recording. Cut out parts where there are too many external disturbances or long silences. If you are to add music to your video, make sure that your voice is heard clearly over it. The music should not be a disturbance, but it can add to the mood of your recording.
Use tools like the equalizer, compressor, and noise gate to eliminate noises and make your voice clearer. If you are a beginner, use the help of a professional or video tutorial that can guide you. Most of the software is easy to use, and you shall get handy with them over time.
Finally, make sure the format of your export is compatible with the platform where you decide to upload it. Voice-recording is a very dynamic way of sharing information. As you do it more, you will be bound to get better and have good fun at it.