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Voice Over Recording Tips

Tips for recording Voice Overs for commercials, documentaries, trailers, etc.

Good Voice Overs depend on a skilled reader who can enunciate clearly and consistently (while not shuffling his/her papers), and proper production. Never underestimate the importance of the right voice talent for the job. Once you get the right voice there are several things you can do to capture a compelling performance and the best possible sound.

• In order to avoid pops at the mic, make sure that the mic is placed slightly higher than the talent’s mouth but tilted down and aimed at his/her mouth. A good pop filter makes a huge difference as well.
• The top surface of the desk or music stand can be cloth covered to cut down on noises of shuffling paper.
• Always take stock of the tabletop-to-mic reflection of the voice. Try to keep the approximate distance of the reflected path at about twice the direct-to-mic distance. This will result in a 6 dB reduction in level of the reflection relative to the direct sound.
• Now, consider the off-axis response of the mic to the reflected sound. Getting hard surfaces 80 degrees or so off-axis will add another 6 dB of loss, resulting in response which is a total of 12 dB down for the reflected signal. This is low enough in level to be safely ignored.
• Many voice-over artists prefer to record while standing. The reason is that it gives them more breathing room and better diaphragm control.
• Remind your voice-over talent to deliver the lines in a very consistent manner and to avoid shuffling the script as well.
• Monitor carefully for extraneous room noises. The spoken voice is not always loud and it has a lot of open spaces.

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