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Hello all you lovely little voice over squishes!

Hope this is the right place for this - I've just started a VO YouTube channel. I'm going to be vlogging about my progress and equipment etc and just recording the journey of a total noob! Hopefully I'll be able to get some helpful tips and advice to other newcomers in the process [Image: 1f642.png] If you want to check it out the link is below and PLEASE subscribe! Much love! [Image: 1f642.png]

Check it out here!
Hello again everyone!

To all the students of Voice Acting Space, I advise you to take advantage of university as much as possible!

As a Cyber Security student I've been pestering all the lecturers I can for opportunities. I've recently been booked into the recording studio for free to record for my projects, while my mic is repaired by Audio Technica. I've also been able to voice for a couple of games made by game development students.
University isn't just for getting a degree and drinking copious amounts of beer - Make connections, take advantage of everything!
  • Contact your Performing Arts department asking for feedback on your demos and other performances!
  • Ask to be considered for any projects they might have in the future, even if you're on a completely unrelated course!
  • Contact the students or lecturers in the GamesProgramming and Games Design department and offer your talents as a voice actor! Students will appreciate the free help!
  • Meet with lecturers and charm the pants off of them in order to make yourself memorable and get yourself more opportunities!
Remember to be friendly yet persistent. Show that you're serious and determined, but also build a good rapport with students and staff alike.
Good luck everyone!
Hello!

I was inspired by Mythical.Lanterns' post to create a quick Android guide to Voice Acting with your phone or mobile device.

My guide is quick and somewhat lazier, with just a few tips to help someone try their hand at VA, or record a quick audition when they're away from their microphone. Big Grin

Voice Recording Apps
So, there are quite a few apps out there that'll do the job, but the app I selected was Voice Recorder by Splend Apps.
The main reason for this is because they allow for exporting different formats, rather than just MP3.
I can export a WAV or a AAC, and in addition to this we can also record at higher sample rates. I realise that it's not going to make much difference when we're using the built-in microphone on my LG G5, but every little helps right?

I used the app to record a quick clip and it used these settings - Sample Rate - 16kHz (Medium, default quality), Format - MP3 128kbps Bitrate. --> https://soundcloud.com/taff62/voice-reco...st/s-2n00v

And then I increased the settings to - Sample Rate - 44kHz (Highest, CD Quality), Format - PCM (Wav) High Quality. --> https://soundcloud.com/taff62/voice-reco...gs/s-9GP9N

Now, I can't personally hear much difference in those recordings. I've listened with a decent pair of headphones, and just using my phone's speaker. But if you're strapped for cash and still want to pursue Voice Acting as a hobby you're going to want to be as good as you can be.


In addition to this app, there's also another recorder from Sony, called Audio Recorder --> https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...rder&hl=en
Sony are a reliable company compared to the sea of unkown developers on the app stores. I haven't used this app but you can be sure it'll be just as good, if not better. However some users have reported that this app has access to a lot of things it shouldn't. If you're not bothered about privacy, go for it!

Voice Editing
So we've got a couple of files that we've recorded and now we need to smooth them out a bit. Reduce background noise, maybe add a bit of EQ.
WavePad Audio Editor is a good app for the job  --> https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...e&hl=en_GB

Opening WavePad you’ll then need to select +Add and then Import from Folder…
Find where you stored your previous recordings and select one. It’ll now appear in the WavePad menu, so tap that and you’ll be brought to a nice editing screen.

From here you can tinker with all sorts of effects and tools. But the quick and easy one we want is Noise Reduction, for our background noise.
Before we do this you might see some tiny pops or clicks that may have been made by your mouth or by something else in the background.
If they’re before you start speaking, feel free to drag your finger across them and cut them out. You’ve already improved your recording.

Next, highlight a bit of empty space with a little bit of background noise and select Effects at the top. Then scroll along to Cleanup, select it and then select Advanced Cleanup FX.

Select Grab Noise Sample… and select Apply Subtraction from Noise…
This should remove the background noises you’ve sampled. You can even apply it to the whole recording to hopefully remove it from your speech.
http://imgur.com/EuilN4d


This is all I've got time for sadly, however I will add more to it in future.
If anyone else has any other tips or anything to add, please feel free to leave a post!
While this can be done with Android phones, the audio drivers tend to be glitchy or non-existent at best for operating an interface or USB microphone using the device. So I'm sticking to Apple devices for this one as their driver set is up there for audio and the quality from the Apple EarPod's microphone is actually best on Apple devices.

Method 1: Quick, Easy, and On The Go!

This is for people who don't really want to carry around a portable setup everywhere, and maybe see an audition they want to try on their iPhone in the car or something, just don't have a mic with them. It's also ideal for people just starting out who haven't chosen an actual microphone yet, but have an iDevice + Apple Earpods. 

What most people don't know is they have a mic that has pretty good clarity already on them if they have the Apple EarPods.
By exploiting the proximity effect you can get some decent clarity from the earphone microphone. There's a little fuzz, but if you're recording for auditions it shouldn't matter too much. Besides, the noise can be removed later if you really must use this microphone (example, your regular mic breaks down, or you're away from home and need to record something).

What you want to do is pinch the cord from the earphone side of the microphone side of the headset together with the cord on the other side of the microphone (see picture). You'll then hold the microphone about 2-3 inches away from the SIDE of your mouth as to avoid air noise and pops. Attached is a sample of how this sounds in Garageband mobile with no effect or EQ added (although you can always clean up the recordings with these if you wish).

The apple EarPods are around $30 from any store that sells apple gear! You can choose to go with the 3.5mm (which I used for the sample) or the Lightning version if you have an iPhone 7 or prefer to use lightning for recording purposes.

Sample: https://soundcloud.com/tarastmichel/earp...le/s-AWuMc

[Image: TGSe8qf.jpg]


Method 2: An Actual Microphone Interface

This is more for if you actually intend to do a lot of recording on your iPad (example if you don't have a capable enough computer or your computer makes way too much noise). You can connect an actual interface to the iPad via the Camera Connection adapter and use an XLR mic (also works with some low powered USB mics although it's very hit and miss). With a compatible interface, you can use any XLR microphone you want, and even choose to start with the iPad and a really good mic choice and purchase a better interface to use with a computer later on.

Confirmed Audio Interfaces/USB Microphones working:
AT2020 USB Model - about $150
Blue Icicle XLR Adapter - about $50

Here's a sample of the Neumann TLM 103 using the Blue Icicle on my iPhone SE in Garageband (no effects): https://soundcloud.com/tarastmichel/blue...ft/s-96hsu
*Note: Again any XLR microphone could be used in place of the Neumann such as the Blue Spark or AT2020 XLR model

If anyone else has tried recording on mobile or has tested their microphone/interface with iOS, feel free to post below and I'll add the information to this thread. Keep in mind some interfaces require a powered USB hub to operate as the device is not capable of producing the power required for those interfaces to function.
I thought it'd be great to make a super master list of basic resources needed for voice acting, and content production. I'm emphasising free software and music but other tutorials, resources and links are included as well. Feel free to suggest stuff.


Music
https://incompetech.com/ - Royalty Free music
http://soundimage.org/ - Free music and loops
Josh Woodward - Free music
CC Mixer - Mix of paid and free music use the search for stuff that fits your budget and project
Freeplay Music -  Read the TOS but music is available free for non commercial projects
DanoSongs
Freesountrack music

SFX to download
https://www.freesound.org/
BXFR - Retro video game sound generator
Sounds Resource - Video game SFX rips
Find Sounds - SFX search Engine
Soundjay - Free SFX
Free Sound Effects Archive 
Tairo Komori's Free SFX
Kyutwo - anime SFX
Pond5 - has some public domain sounds

Articles about SFX
Creating SFX


Software - Audio

Audacity - free open source audio recording and editing ( Mac, PC, Windows)
Reaper ( $60 Non Comercial, $225 Comercial) 
Levellator - Free drag and drop application to level out all your audio
Ocenaudio - Free
Ardour - Free

Software - Video

Virtualdub - Basic Video editing, most useful for batch editing and compressing video
Lightworks ( £15 a month)
Adobe Premiere Elements about £85 unlike the creative cloud this cut down version of Adobe Premiere is a one time purchase, where you then pay for any upgrades. Keep an eye on Amazon who often sell it off bundled with photoshop elements.
Shotcut - Free, Multiplatform and open source.


Software - Writing

Celtx - Free screenwriting and collaboration tool
Scrivener - Around $20 often on sale especially after NanoWrimo. Writing software that allows you to plan out your work, include character bios can output in screenplay format.
Hints on Writing Radio Drama


Podcasts and Youtube

Voice Acting Mastery- Crispin Freeman's podcast
Podcast Stage - Equipment reviews
The Audio drama podcast
How to make your own Pop Filter
DIY Sound Booth in Under an Hour
BoothJunkie
VO Buzz Weekly

Writing
BBC Writer's room ( tips, contents and example scripts)
Writing Excuses - Four authors discuss writing.
Radio Drama Template for MS Word
Radio Drama 101

Free Texts and Scripts

Project Gutenberg -  Royalty free out of copyright books
Phillip K Dick public Domain stories

Pronunciations and accents 

The speech accent archive links to various recordings of different accent by region
Audio Eloquence  links to various pronunciation guides for specific topics 

Free Hosting for media
Vid.me - ( Video) Low traffic but seems like it's much easier to host fan projects there
Soundcloud - Free audio hosting, good discoverability lots of spambots 
Youtube - needs little introduction, obviously the main place for automated copyright strikes as well so keep that in mind if making fanworks
Audioboom
So you've held auditions and you now need to cast. I'll briefly talk about, this though in the end it's up to you. But if you're still stuck here are some pointers:
 
  • The person fits the character – if you're sensible your audition had example lines that will help you pick out who will portray the character the best. Rarely will they be exact, but this the whole core of casting, this is the thing you want. Here are some things to think about.:
    The person's voice type matches ( e.g high for cute anime schoolgirl).
    The person's accent – in some cases this is important, does their accent fit your character's background.
    - Does the voice actor sound the right age?
    Recording Quality – Is their audition up to standard? Treat the audition as an example of the best quality the person can muster, don't cast them then expected them to buy a £500 micrphone.Do they fit with the other cast members? You're casting a whole production, make sure voices relate and siblings don't have totally different accents ( unless it's part of the plot). Will the voices you cast gel together?Do they seem like they will be fun to work with? If they sound rude or arrogant in their audition e-mail it's probably a bad sign.
 
When you cast send an email asking cast to confirm, it's also OK to cast people as understudies which they should then confirm.
 
Managing your project
 
Plan ahead as much as you can, in your audition post make sure to state when the deadlines will be if cast. Be sure to emphasise this again, when you send out the script. If you're doing something episodic, I recommend sending out scripts by episode with a link to further eps so voice actors can look ahead without you pressuring them.
Sometimes a first take isn't perfect, the actor sends you lines with mistakes or when you hear it aloud the script sounds wrong. Again it's OK to ask for retakes, be polite, give another deadline to get things done. Make to include clear instructions on what to change, and be sure to thank the VA for their time. Don't ask for retakes just because you can, ask because you need them!
 
Sometimes people don't meet deadlines, for whatever reason. You can help nudge things along by sending a reminder say a week before deadline, and again if they haven't replied on deadline. Most people are good about sending producers emails if their situation changes and they can't meet a deadline, in this case you can think about setting an extension. If a VA contacts you like this it normally means they want the part and they really can't do it in time.
 
On the downside people sometimes just don't do their lines. This is something I struggle with. But in the end if they don't do the recordings you may have to recast. Be sure to be fair, wait until after the deadline then send them an email reminding them their lines are due, then set a deadline for their response and politely tell them if they don't respond you'll have to recast. Then if the deadline goes by and they haven't replied, you can recast guilt free. If you had an understudy listed, they are your first port of call!
 
Try to keep track as much of the project as you can. Everyone does it differently. For example recently I've started using google docs to track progress of a podcast pilot I'm working on. All the members of the cast can see and edit it:
 
[Image: podcast.png]
You can see that it has spaces for all the casts to check in when they've watched the anime due for that cast, as well as space to make notes and schedule recording sessions.
 
In short keep to your own deadlines as well as imposing them on others. Leave and plenty of time to get stuff done! Don't cast and then expect to have everything done in 24 hours.


  1. First of all can you tell us a bit about yourself?
    I'm Managing Editor of Entertainment News, a division of UBC Media, with a team of multi media journalists who provide rolling showbiz news and videos to more than 140 commercial radio stations around the UK and other online clients. 
    Over the years I've won awards for my work, including gold at the European Radio Awards, as well as being a finalist at the prestigious Sony Radio Academy Awards.
    My career has taken me across the radio industry, most notable as a news presenter on London's 95.8 Capital FM and Capital Gold for 10 years, as well as a DJ on Capital FM London. Running parallel to this, and which I still do, is voice commercials, front many corporate presentations and can be heard as the 'voice' of many on-hold telephone systems.


  2. You're a journalist as well as a voice over artist, how well do these two fields integrate?

    On paper these two areas, journalist and voice over artist, are poles apart - however as a radio journalist it does give me a greater understanding of writing scripts and voicing them too. When I receive a script to record it helps me greatly to understand what the client is trying to convey through the use of the words in the script and the style they want to achieve - coupled with the brief they have given me.


  3. Can you think of any advice for someone looking for a career in the media ( specifically voice over)?

    Media is a 'can do' industry - you'll find many people who can't be bothered to start on the bottom of the ladder and prove themselves as they progress. With this, it leaves the door wide open for those who can be bothered and get stuck in! Be persistent - but don't follow any job or role in media. Know what you want to do and get involved in some way, in that area.
    Never give up, be polite, engaging, willing and work your socks off. It'll pay off eventually, if not financially then through job satisfaction!

    b) If someone is looking to take any training or courses in voice over how would you recommend they go about picking a course?

    The biggest piece of advice for someone looking for a career as a voice over is know your voice! It sounds either obvious or silly - but it's the third one, it's true! Know your voice's strengths and weaknesses. Know its high and low capabilities - just like a singer. If you know all its parameters, then you can manipulate your vocal range to achieve the tone, texture and pace of a script you are reading. 
    Always listen to other people's voices in commercials, narration, on-hold messages, etc, and listen to how these voice artists achieve what you hear. Try it yourself - not necessarily in a studio, but for fun as you're going about your day when you're alone. Think of what they are saying, how they are saying it. Sure, in post-production a voice can be slowed down or sped up (for example in the terms and conditions part at the end of a commercial,) but just practice! 


  4. Do you have any particular warm ups you use before you record?

    Yes - talk very low before you go in to the studio! Silly low, as low as you can go - and high, stupidly high - as high as you can speak, and then everything in between. It's all about loosening your vocal chords.
    Have water with you in the studio - my top tip is hot, not boiling, water and drink this before and in between takes. Never drink coffee, tea, or soft drinks - these build up excess saliva in the mouth, not good if you're about to do a read or a long session. Likewise, never eat before you go in the studio or have a meal before hand. If you don't believe me - go against my tip and you'll see how it is when you try to voice a script!


  5. Can you tell us a bit about your recording set up?

    I haven't a home voice studio of my own, however I do all my editing and audio production at home before sending a voice session back to the client. I ensure I take out any mistakes and send off the finished article.
    I'm fortunate to work in an environment where I have access to one of six self-op voice studios. Should I be out of the office on a particular day, I'm just a 5 mile drive to a studio - this suits me perfectly and has done for almost 20 years now.


    [Image: Philip%202_0.jpg]


  6. Do you have any advice on recording demo reels? When should an aspiring voice over artist think of recording their first one and what should it contain?

    A voice reel should be no more than 2 minutes in duration overall and contain a variety of different voice styles. Now with everything being online, an overall demo isn't required. Instead you should use individual demos, one per style, to showcase your range of styles.
    When is the right time? You'll know - just remember practice makes perfect and always get a copy of anything you voice so you can self critique yourself.


  7. Do you have any final advice you wish to share? Or projects you're working on that you'd like to let us know about?

    Aside from running Entertainment News ([/url]www.EntertainmentNews.co.ukWink, presenting music shows on Time 106.6 ([url=http://web.archive.org/web/20140626021255/http://www.Time1066.com/]www.Time1066.comWink and voicing various projects, I also help coach and produce up and coming voice over artists and their demos. Every person is a fresh challenge, which I enjoy. And in between all of that I'm about to start work on my own website to show case my own work and coaching and consultancy services. In the meantime you can get in touch by following me on Twitter, @PChryssikos.
 
We want to thank Philip for his time, be sure to check out his twitter account!
[Image: dalek.png]
Ever wanted to sound like a Dalek or the Cybermen from Doctor Who, follow this short tutorial to find out how you can do it using Audacity.

Requirements:

  • Audacity

  • killeringer plug-in (Find out how to install plug-ins on to Audacity on our tutorial, which can be found here)

  • Microphone
Record your Dialogue!, Make a recording of what you'd like to be transformed into a Dalek or Cybermen voice. Do any cleaning up you think is necessary (e.g. noise removal). Now highlight your recording and go to Effect > Killeringer, you should now be shown a pop-up box with three options of Root-pitch, Speed and Amount.
Insert the following amounts (using either the slider or typing in on the text boxes):
Dalek:

  • Root-Pitch: 0.03

  • Speed: 0.01

  • Amount: 0.01
Cybermen:

  • Root-Pitch: 0.033

  • Speed: 0

  • Amount: 0
[Note: these are only the basic amounts, you may need to adjust slightly according to your voice]
Press OK and go to Effect > Normalize to increase the sound of the audio; then play!
Congratulations, you now are a Dalek or Cyberman!!!
Be sure to take a look at our other tutorials found below:
How to audition for online voice acting projects
 
If you're on this site then there's a chance that you want to get involved in amateur voice acting, or you might be looking for voice actors. This guide is for AVAs looking to audition, but might also be of use for those of you posting auditions so you can understand how the process works. Amateur voice acting roles are usually recorded in each actor's own home, they then send the files to the project creator ( often called a producer), who mixes everything together. Very rarely does any AVA part require travel or for the participants to meet.
 
If you haven't done so already make sure you have recording software such as Audacity.
 
Auditions
Auditions should hopefully have the following things, a description of the project type; fan, dub machinima etc ( see our project type for more information if you're unsure), information about the character, some audition lines and a deadline for example. Here's an extract from an audition for my Neko Majin Z audio drama which I finished a while ago:
 
Quote: 
Neko Majin Z is a self parody manga by Akira Toiryama author of Dragon Ball/Z and Dr Slump. Neko Majin ran for 5 chapters in the Japanese version of the famous manga magazine shonen jump and is also available in book format. NMZ makes lots of fun of DBZ, with the main character Z the Neko Majin being not too far from Db’s hero Son Goku
This is the last episode so features a ton of characters from Dragon Ball Z, I’ve added in a few since the NMZ manga shows a few but they do not speak. Since the chronology is a little off in the manga too I’ve taken liberty with their ages. I am not worried if you sound like the dubs or not, I watched the Ocean dub when it was on but if you can do FUNimation cast impersonations feel free. This is a parody so as long as the characters are recognisable that’s fine.
 
 
GOKU
[Image: goku.jpg]
Main character
Goku one of the most powerful warriors ever, he also has a very pure heart or else is very simple. We’ve reflected his country accent from the Japanese version, but I’m not stuck to this like glue. What I’ve most looking for is a voice that embodies adult Goku. ( Goku does do a little humming/singing in this episode nothing fancy just make sure you are comfortable with it ;D)
Line 1:
Well I was gonna ask, have ya been keeping up your training?
Line 2:
Gosh Dang it! I could of sworn it was around here!
 
Please name your files yourname_charactername_lineno.mp3
Zip them all up, along with a text file with your contact details to aralechan@gmail.com
Deadline is Sunday the 11th of October

 

First thing you need to do is check the deadline, if it hasn't passed you're all good to go. If it has and the producer hasn't come back and edited the post to say it's closed, then it's sometimes worth asking them if it's still open. Be careful it was posted last year for example, it's probably cast by now!
Auditioning

So this audition is for the part of Son Goku from DBZ, if it was a less well known character I'd have listed accent, voice pitch etc but I was relying on familiarity with the character anyway, I could always have linked a video if I wanted a specific voice. If you wanted to audition you'd record each of the three lines as individual mp3 files. Sometimes actors send more than one take, but unless the producer specified otherwise you can just send one. Don't go overboard with sending files, just send your best work that will hopefully land you the part.

Once you have recorded the auditions, and cleaned them up, make sure to label them something descriptive.
e.g
Yourname_charactername_line1.mp3 or in this case yourname_goku_1.mp3 would be the first audition line “Well I was gonna ask, have ya been keeping up your training?
You should then put them in a folder named something like
yourname_charactername or yourname_production name
Most producers let you audition for more than one part, so if doing that you should put all your auditions in the same folder unless they ask otherwise. I would do a number of takes and pick the best one to send, your first try isn't always your best.
Additionally you might also want to make a text file in something like wordpad, with your contact details eg.
Your AVA name
E-mail
Messenger name
Website / Voiceacting.co.uk profile
This helps producers if they extract all their auditions and forget to mark down where each one came from.
You then put the text file in the folder you made earler, and then zip it.

 

Sending the file
Unless the auditions .zip file ends up massive you should then e-mail it to the producer. The producer should have listed an e-mail address in their mail. If it ends up too big you can always upload the file to your webspace or use a file sending service.
Be sure to add a polite note along with your e-mail e.g
“ Dear Producer,
Please find my audition for Goku enclosed. My AVA resume can be found at [website]
Thanks very much for your time.

 

The Wait
The producer can't always get back to everyone so keep an eye on the audition thread for cast announcements. If you don't get it don't get angry, it may not be that you did anything badly but the producer may have felt someone else fit the role better. You can sometimes ask for feedback, but it depends on how busy the producer is. Only ask for feedback if you feel you can take critique.
If you get the part well done! Be sure to pay attention to recording deadlines the producer sets or they may have to recast and you'll loose the part. Just because you got the role doesn't mean it's time to slack off!

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