“Voiceover” might bring to mind the first-person narration in old detective films, or modern movie stars narrating documentaries about penguins. But it can refer to all sorts of off-camera narration, from commercials to product demos to TikToks.And Tiktok voice over is becoming more and more popular .
Technically speaking, a voiceover recording is an audio track you layer over your video’s main soundtrack. Functionally speaking, voiceover is a way to help the viewer understand what they’re seeing, just like a book’s narrator guides the reader through the story.
However, what separates a good voice over from a bad one? You would think that audio quality is at the top of the list but while that is important, there are several other things that add to the quality of your voice over. Let’s take a look.
Tip #1 – Script
Having a script with details of the video and the voice over is a crucial step that you should not overlook. Once your video’s script and storyboard are ready, you actually want to go ahead and write down the exact text of your narration, with pauses in the right places to ensure that your VO recording goes smoothly. If you want to avoid those unnecessary pauses or awkward silences, it is a good idea to keep the script in front of you on a desktop or a teleprompter as you record your voice over.
Pro-Tip: Once you’ve penned down your script, read it aloud as a script feels different when read aloud vs when read in your head!
Tip #2 – Mic Placement
The placement of your microphone plays an important role while recording a voice over. If it is placed too close to your mouth, you might end up hearing air puffs and other sounds produced by the mouth. If it is placed too far away, your voice will sound distant and echo-y. You also need to be careful of the surface you place your mic on because it might pick up sounds from the surface it is placed upon as well, for instance from a creaky desk.
For most professional mics out there, the ideal placement is 6-8 inches away from your mouth and slightly below the chin. You can figure out what placement works best for you by doing a test recording.
Tip #3 – Do A Test Recording
Checking up on your voice over recording software. Practice makes perfect! If you don’t want to fumble or if you want to check how your voice will sound when you read your VO aloud, do a test recording. This will also help you check if your equipment or microphone works well and if your audio quality is good. There’s no need to record your entire script. Just recite a paragraph to check for any ambient noise or disturbance.
Pro-Tip: Check your test recording using headphones since this will give you the best sound output. This will also ensure that you pick up any noises you might miss while listening to the audio on loudspeaker.
Tip #4 – Audio clarity and volume
Audio clarity and a comfortable volume are key elements of a great voice over. If your recording sounds fuzzy or unclear, it will be difficult for your audience to understand and the information you’re trying to impart will be lost to noise. And if your volume is too low, it makes it hard to hear and if it is too loud, it will only annoy your audience.
While a good microphone should take care of both the clarity and volume of your audio, you want to make sure that you pay attention to the settings on your microphone such as the gain and the volume. You want to ensure that your audio levels are not peaking – which can create an unpleasant experience for the listener. After you’ve recorded, you can also adjust these settings while editing by digitally increasing or decreasing the volume of your audio. Just ensure.
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Tip #5 – Pacing and Vocal Tone
Why do we like listening to the voices of some people more than others? For instance if we had Morgan Freeman’s voice in a motivational video, we are more likely to pay attention instead of if it was shot by a random person. The reason for this is the pacing and vocal tone of Freeman’s voice.
When you start recording a voice over, you want to pay a lot of attention to how fast or slow you’re speaking as well as what tone you’re using. If you go too fast, your audience might struggle to grasp the information and if you go too slow your video might sound boring.
This, of course, becomes better with practice, but you want to focus on your voice modulations and practice those from the get go. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you might have to exaggerate your voice slightly for it to appear pleasant in the recording. Often when we speak in our normal tone, it can actually sound drab. The tone of your voice needs to be pleasant and engaging, pronouncing each word accurately. Avoid mumbling, sounding too monotonic or robotic, over-enunciating words or shouting.
Thank you for your reading. Good Luck!
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