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eal life can often get in the way of your hobbies, homework needs to be done or bills paid. Suddenly a few weeks hiatus turns into months or even years of little creative output.  Some people can get back to work immediately other people find that they get out shape and things they once found easy seem hard again.  Voice acting involves both your brain and your body, and both can get a little out of shape without the proper workout. We list a number of things you can do to get back into swing.  These tips will also help new voice actors get practice.1) Just record yourself talking- no one has to hear it but get talking, tell a story in different voices read pages of books and comics you leave lying about. Get used to hearing yourself talk. Set yourself challenges like “ I will only talk for ten seconds” then see how close you got, so you can get used to controlling your voice again.
2) Start “ live dubbing” repeats, so that episode of  super angst teenage ninja is a repeat. Great! Turn down the volume a notch and start doing the voices yourself. Do your best to match the lip flaps, but don’t worry it’s not being recorded so there’s no way to check. Just enjoy yourself. In a similar vein start repeating dialogue you hear on TV or radio, you can learn new voices my mimicking.
3) Put together shot 1-2 min sketches yourself, just write something small or perform a short scene by yourself. Since it’s just you there’s no pressure to shoe anyone yet, just experiment and have fun.
4) Get auditioning again- don’t feel confident anymore! Well take a risk if you don’t get cast so what? You had an excuse to record some fresh dialogue and if the producer has time you might have even got some feedback.
We hope this helps! This is still a work in progress. You may also want to check out ournewbies guide to voice acting.
Microphones
Logitech USB 
Samson CO1U 
Blue Snowball 
Alesis Podcasting Kit

Audio Editing software 
Audacity ( free & open source) 
Radioline Wavepad ( pay for full features great noise reduction) 
Sonar ( often comes bundles with Samson CO1U) 
Reaper 
Kristal 
Wavosaur 
Goldwave 
Adobe Audition 
Adobe Soundbooth 
Sony Sound Forge 
Acoustica Ardour ( Mac & Linux) 
N-track studio

Video Software
Sony Vegas 
Adobe Premiere ( Elements is the  cheaper cut down home version) 
iMovie ( Mac only) 
Magix Movie Edit 
Media Studio Pro 
Virtual Dub 
Windows Movie Maker 
AMVapp -a slightly old compiled collection of video codecs and software. Still very useful, check out the associated tutorial 
TrakAxe- [b]Free multi track editing software.[/b]

Podcasting
iTunes 
Podcast Directory 
Podcast Alley 
Odeo

Sound effects
VAUK SFX Archive  
Soundsnap 
A1 Free sound effects 
Sound Dogs 
Free Sound File Archive 
Free Sound Project

Free SFX
Music
Incomptech.com 
Podsafe Audio  

Script writing
Celtx 
Final Draft 
Scriped - browser based. 
ZhuraMovie Magic screen writer

Compression 
Wobzip - website which unzips files. 
Winzip Winrar-

Accents 
IDEA- International dialects of English The Speech Accent Archive

FTP 
FilezillaSmartFTP 
CuteFTP

Video Hosting/ Streaming 
Youtube
Vimeo 
Dailymotion

Sound hosting 
Putfile Soundclick

File Sending
Sendfile
Yousendit.com 
Sendthisfile.com
Megaupload.com

Out of copyright texts
Project Gutenburg
Anime
AoD licence list- find out what anime is available in English 
Anime Encyclopedia - useful for cast lists 
Crystal Acids- Anime voice actor database 

The industry: [/url]
[url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/newtalent/]BBC New Talent
 
VoiceActing.com ( not affiliated with us) 
Adventures in voice Acting DVD 
4 Talent; 
Hey Answerman : So you wanna be an anime voice actor? 
Skillset 
Voice123.com 
VoiceoverXtra
Radio411.com
Voiceoverdirectory.com
 
 Working with amateur voice actors part 1
This article might seem like common sense to a lot of you, especially if you voice act yourself. I have over the twelve or thirteen years I've been an amateur voice actress worked with some amazing people and some really awful ones. This article is really designed to give people working on projects for the first time some pointers, or perhaps people who've had problems working with amateur voice actors some ideas on what they can improve. I also hope this will help voice actors themselves try to pick out who the best people to work with will be and hopefully avoid getting involved with unreliable people. This article also mainly focuses around non-profit/fan productions though I will briefly touch upon pay.
What's an AVA?
First let's briefly define what we mean by an 'AVA'. AVA usually stands for amateur voice actors, although those with professional aims by sometimes use the first A to stand for aspiring voice actor. This means that even in the AVA community there is a subtle distinction between those aiming for a career and those who voice act purely for fun. I say subtle because everyone' situation is different, and can be a mix of these two things or just one or the other. I point this out because a “selling point” for people looking to recruit AVAs is often that it will add to their portfolio. As a total amateur with no professional aims, this will do nothing to tempt me! For convenience in this article I will use the term Producer for someone managing a project that uses AVAs.
 
Are amateur voice actors really free?
That said even if someone is a total amateur, that doesn't mean they don't care about what they do, remember that if you ask an AVA to record for you they are spending their own time on you, they may have auditioned for you and really want the part, or you may have asked them directly to act for you. Once that time is used they can't get it back, they have invested some of their time in you. This is time the AVA could have spend solely on themselves, but they chose instead to use it for you a total stranger.
I've worked on projects where I've spent hours and hours recording only to get ditched last moment for someone else, that was time I spent in good faith wasted. Don't get me wrong I love voice acting, but I don't have an infinite amount of time; but sometimes I will VA for someone for a project I wouldn't audition for ( e.g for a fandom I'm not into) since they asked me to do so. So what do I get out of it? Well I do like to voice act for sure, and it's a super plus if I can get involved in a project I'd be interested in as a fan, but a major plus for me is the whole process of people from across the world coming together to make something. In the professional world a voice actor would get paid for their time, but in the AVA world it can often be flipped I as an actress and giving up my time for a producer. So what can you as a producer give back ?

  • Be polite and be honest – you are conversing with real people who are doing you a favour, make sure you remember that when talking with people. In cases where AVAs haven't handed in lines give firm but fair deadlines, let people know what you need from them up front. Don't make them dread your emails.

  • Getting the project out and letting the AVAs know and thanking them – this is a simple one, do your best to get your project done even if it takes a while. If the AVAs gave their time to record for you, do your best to get it done. Then let the AVAs know about it. A few times I've recorded for projects, received no reply then found it online years later. They invested time in you, invest time back.

  • Give credit to your AVAs – make sure your project lists the people who've helped you so that they are findable by someone watching the video. A lot of my roles come from people who've heard me in other stuff, so by giving credit you're helping your AVAs and giving proper thanks.

  • Be sure about someone when you cast them, don't ask a few people to record all the lines ( rather than a short audition) then just pick one. When you cast you should be reasonably sure that's who you want, remember once you've asked someone start spending time on your work they've invested in you, it's selfish to discard them. This is why spending time on auditions is important.
 
...so about pay....
As I say this isn't really about paid work, so a short statement here. Treat other people as you wish to be treated yourself. As a creator how would you like it if someone say took your script and made an animation which they got paid, but you didn't? Yes the animator probably put in more work, but they've profited in part by your actions. If for example you need Vas for a contest where you can't share the prize, disclose this when you recruit. If you're using amateur VAs then your project should be non profit or micro budget. General rule is; don't be a jerk be fair.
 
Auditions and scouting
You can get VAs for your project in two ways, by posting auditions on AVA forums or 'scouting' in which you directly ask people to VA for you. Auditions should happen when you're ready for voice over in your project, don't hold them too far in advance as AVAs have real lives and if they live with others may have to schedule time to record when their family isn't around, or when they don't have to work or take exams etc. That said don't be in a rush to cast, do it properly.
Auditions are incredibly important, as I've mentioned before I've been cast in roles where I've recorded hours worth of work only to get replaced months if not years into the project. In those cases I don't think my work declined in quality and I sent in my files on time, so why did they do it? In one case I was told they'd listened to my samples and the mic quality was lacking ( despite me having sent them months before, in the same quality as my audition), or the other because they'd discovered there were other female VAS on the internet and they didn't  realise they had a choice ( yes, really.) If these were problems then they never should have cast me!  I'd rather spend 20 minutes on a brief audition, and have a polite rejection e-mail than to spend hours and then get rudely told I'm rubbish!
So auditions are important, there are a wide range of AVAs online and you want to find the right ones ( and in turn they want to find the right project) .This is when you find someone whose voice matches, and whose recording quality is of a good enough level for your project. You also want to try and get voices that work well together.
Read the forum rules of the website(s) where you're casting, then spend time on your audition post. Pick 3-4 important lines that represent each character, and give enough information for the actors to be able get a handle on what you're looking for, and an idea how much time it will take. Don't cast first come first served, as it sends the message you don't care who records, take the time to get it right. Instead set a deadline for at least a few weeks, so that interested Vas can organise audition time. Then sit down and take time to listen to the auditions.
 
Scouting is a little different, either you looked through our VA directory or you might have stumbled across someone's youtube page etc. It's OK to ask someone if they'd like to audition, rather than just hand them the part, but be clear the part isn't confirmed, it might be they have a voice in their demo reel that's close but you're not sure if they can do the part. Remember though if you do that and don't cast them be sure to thank them for their time.
 
Sometimes you find the ideal person and can just ask a person if they will take on the role. In this case be clear how much work the part will be, where you found their details and when you'd need the lines by. Don't email more than one VA at a time offering the same part, if there's more than one that could possibly do it ,hold auditions and re-read what I said about that above. Again, it's not nice to have an email telling you you're ideal for a part only to discover they emailed 20 other people and said the same thing.  Also give them plenty of time to respond, if that person isn't actively auditioning they may be busy but it doesn't mean they won't get back to you. Be clear when you need a reply by.
Part two I will talk a bit more about casting, and will go onto managing your project and handling recasts and retakes.
 
A.V.A stands for amateur or sometimes for those seeking a professional voice acting career Aspiring Voice Actor. It doesn't matter if you've thought about becoming an actor before, everyone gets better with practice, and by using voice acting forums like this one you're already on your way. Voice acting is more than just doing cartoon voices, becoming a voice actor is about using your voice to portray a character. Whilst of course sites like this have a strong anime or cartoon emphasis there's a wide range of parts available.
 
I've been amateur voice acting now for about ten years. I record at home via my pc, then send the files off to various creators across the world. Sometimes I also make my own productions, in which case I'm the one asking for files. A lot has changed in that time, sites like Youtube make it easier than ever to share files. For the net navvy, listening to Podcasts or watching web T.V shows is part of normal everyday life.
 
Many of these projects need people to lend their voice, you record your part separately ( often line by line), then e-mail or upload your files to a producer who then mixes them together. This means you can take part in various projects without leaving your own home, or meeting anyone else on the project.
 
For me Voice Acting is a really exciting collaborative process, and whilst amateur radio existed before the web the internet has really allowed the hobby to take off. Most projects release for free, don't pay and are made for the love of it. If you want to become a voice actor or actress, don't run away amateur work can help you get experience. But really at it's core voice over online is about having fun.
 
What do I need to get started?
You'll need a computer, editing software and the net. It's as simple as that. We have guides on using software like Audacity or choosing a microphone as part of our AVA guide so take a look.
 
Part one of our extensive introduction to amateur voice acting looks at the kinds of projects you can get involved in, and how to find out more, which include games, machinima, flash, and podcasts. The last time I wrote one of these guides it was ten years ago. Periodically I would update it and I was this going to do the same again for this site. But a lot of things have changed, and so have a lot of my views. This guide aims to enable you start voice acting online, from getting equipment to editing your voice files and getting parts. Part one talks about some of the projects you can get involved with.
 
Why voice act online?
 
Voice actors are one part of a massive variety of multimedia productions, voice is part of our every day lives the work of voice actors reaches us through a mass of forms including television, radio games and the internet. There is of course the professional and commercial world, but that doesn’t mean that voice acting can’t be a hobby. Just talented amateurs take part in community theatre, voice over actors can take part in projects. With the wide spread of broadband internet the projects voice actors can take part in have expanded to encompass a wide range of media. Since this sites bias is towards character acting the kinds of projects I will talk about will focus on that kind of voice over. To give you an idea of the kind of projects out there and where to find out more I’m going to take a rough guide through a few.
Audio Drama/ Radio plays- Simply put these are audio plays like you would hear on the radio. Voices, music and sound effects come together to tell a story. For professional examples one of the best places to hear audio drama for free is BBC radio 7. A digital and online radio channel from the BBC with a heavy focus on drama. As compression online has improved the ability to upload and distribute audio drama online has increased. The phenomen of pod casting has provided an convenient method to promote, distribute and download audio content for free .Streaming broadcasts are also popular allowing users to create virtual radio stations. Audiodramatalk.com Apple i-tunes
 
Flash It’s hard not to talk about animation online without Flash. Flash is a toolset for creating interactive projects. Very often webpages with complex interfaces use flash, but it’s most interesting use is for animation and for games that can be easily be embedded into websites. Newgrounds.com offers a great starting point for learning about flash.Adobe Flash Newgrounds.com Flashkit.com
 
Animation Of course Flash isn’t the only animation production software out there. Just as you can put up an audio for download or to stream you can put videos online. Sites such as Youtube have made online content more accessible especially for short or bite size projects. Youtube.com
 
Games The internet is a natural home for games, and just as full scale commercial games use increasing amount of voice so do amateur and Indie projects. Adventure games, and RPGs often are in particular need of voice actors so sites revolved around game editors are always a great place to get involved. For example Ren’py, Adventure game studio and RPG Maker. Suggested Links Indiegames.com RPG Maker (official site) RPGmaker.net ( fan site) Ren'py Adventure game studio
 
Mods Commercial games have increasingly let users create their own content from custom sound, custom levels or maps to full blown games made via these games editing tools. The scope and ambition of these projects is always increasing, so the demands also increase. Moddb.com
 
Machinima Machinima can probably be placed in a number of other categories. Machinima is created by real time manipulation of 3D CGI. The most common form records video game footage, where it is used much the same way as traditional 3D animation. Machinima started as a fan activity, as gamers realised they could use their games characters as digital actors. Voice actors don’t usually have to take part in the filming, they can dub over after with others acting as the puppeteers during the filming process. Increasingly games designers have worked machinima tools into their games with Halo and the Sims 2 have strong support. Lionhead’s the movies is a sim with a dedicated movie making tool. machinima.com Sims 2 movie making tutorial Lionhead's The movies game
 
Fan dubs Fan dubs are particularly popular in the anime community. In those cases it involves creating an entirely new audio track from scratch. It’s rarely possible to filter out the voices, so even if the aim is just to change vocals everything has to be redone. Again the advancement of the internet has changed a lot. If you choose to get involved with fan dubs there’s a ready made community to join, but there’s also the controversy surrounding what are essential illegal anime downloads. Fan dubs raise an important issue that any Indie voice actor has to face “ Do I take part in fan projects”. Fan projects tend to enjoy large communities and support bases. But there is the basic problem of legality, is it O.K to take part in a project based on someone else’s work? In the end that’s for you to decide. Next update will be part two! Which will look at low cost equipment and software for audio editing.

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