If you are interested in becoming a voice talent, you should become familiar with the different voice over services on the market today. Through this, you can find the perfect niche for you.
Many people don’t realize that the voice over industry is multi-faceted. Voice over services include the full range of tailored products offered by voice over talents to clients. It’s essential to remember that voice over services depend on your voice quality and style. That is, the services you offer enhance the natural style and voice over skills you offer.
Professionals can find rewarding careers specializing in various aspects of the voice over industry. Most television commercials, phone menu options, radio announcements, and movies you see are a product of voice over services.
What Is Voice Over?
Also referred to as voice acting, voice over is a type of profession that requires practice and style. This rewarding profession began in Steamboat Willie, a Mickey Mouse film by Walt Disney. Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian inventor, created the first-ever voice over. Fessenden recorded the first voice over report for the United States Weather Bureau. Later on, other voice overs featured on the radio showcased Christmas messages, music, and bible texts.
Although everybody encounters work from this type of profession, not everyone knows what it is. Voice overs are done by voice actors and actresses expected to record and stir emotion through their voices.
Voice over is a human-made production that uses software to capture and edit a recording to use for specific broadcast purposes. A voice over also goes through other processes wherein the recording will be mixed, edited, and mastered to ensure superior quality. After this, it is ready for film, theater, radio, television, among many other channels.
Different Voice Over Services
Now that you know what voice over is, it’s time to check out the various types of voice over services. This knowledge would help you determine which voice over services match your voice best and which services represent significant opportunities in your career.
Voice over services for film
Voice over is one of the most powerful storytelling devices in film, whether it’s full length or a short project. Producers and film directors use voice overs to help a struggling cast member or accelerate the movie’s narrative. You may encounter voice over narration in feature films in parts where the director wants to add depth to a particular scene or character. Narration can also explain the history of a lead before switching to the older version of the same character. This way, the audience can know more about someone despite the limited time.
In many instances, voice over narration adds more life to scenes. For example, in Kill Bill, director Quentin Tarantino adds narration in Uma Thurman’s scenes, such as freeze frames. In David Fincher’s Fight Club and Gone Girl, he adds voice over to let the audience know truths or lies, depending on how reliable the narrator is.
Voice over services for promotional ads
Voice overs used for commercials is an industry in its own right. While very few professionals can find work in this area, it remains one of the most lucrative types of voice over services. When you can penetrate this market, you will have the potential to earn more money, especially when you become a regular choice of producers.
For voice overs in commercials, a voice talent needs to grab the attention of people in the process of letting them know about a certain product, service, or event. One of the most important qualities of talents in this field is a charismatic voice. A trustworthy and interesting voice will make the audience more familiar and interested in a particular brand.
Corporate opportunities for voice over services
The key to a good voice over in the corporate world is messaging. In the corporate industry, there are countless possibilities for this line of work. For instance, many businesses make corporate videos for their customers. For these videos, they need someone to tie their message together. While on-screen text can be used, it won’t hold the attention of people in the same way that the human voice can achieve.
Many companies use in-house narrators in the early stages of planning. If the output is not adequate, it can serve as the foundation of the video project. This step is also an effective way to check the pacing, awkward phrases, and timing. Once the dummy voice over is laid out, companies can start creating the final output. Professional voice talents are always the best approach in this voice over services type.
Automated dialogue replacement
Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) involves re-recording dialogue in a studio to take the place of the original recording that took place on set. This field offers important voice over services, especially in films, since most shoots encounter technical problems with the location’s audio. For example, cars may have passed by a scene unexpectedly, or too much bleed occurred from the lead actor’s mic.
So these problems represent an opportunity for voice over services that could replace the performance of actors in films and even musicals. Celebrities also rely on ADR to improve their performance. For example, Hugh Jackman is one of the many actors who understand how vital ADR is to make a movie better. While recording the ADR, directors remind actors to deliver the same vocal performance as the original one. This way, it will seem consistent and authentic.
Being a voice talent in the video game industry is similar to doing character and animation work. Video games have become so much more than the 8-bit games they once were. Just a couple of decades ago, the sound of video games was only comprised of simple music features, such as beeps and buzzes. Now, video games feature complex sound effects, orchestral scores, and of course, human voice. This aspect is vital, especially because audiences expect stories behind video game characters. Just like in movies, actors should make an effort to make the game more immersive. This way, it won’t just become a passive form of entertainment.
Since voice over acting for video games is nonlinear, talents have to connect with characters to convey an organic conversation despite not knowing the context. Every dialogue piece in video games must be able to stand on its own since it does not come with full scripts. Because of this, voice talents must have the skill to determine the emotion and feeling needed, despite the lack of context available at times.
When doing this job, you are lending your voice to make a character come alive. The secret to these voice over services is acting and timing. It is essential to get the voice over talent right for games since a character’s voice can either make or break the player’s experience. This genre is demanding but very rewarding. Not only are compensation levels high, but you can impact a cultural phenomenon.
E-learning is one of the most interesting types of voice over services. This area is one of the best alternatives to frontal teaching in classes or organizations. E-learning voice over allows people, especially students, to gain new knowledge and preserve what they have learned. It can also give information to staff and customers about a wide array of topics affordably and efficiently. This ability is why voice over services are mostly integrated into training and tutorial videos. When voice over is added to modules, it helps people understand the information better since confusing on-screen text can be deleted.
A great voice over talent can figure out the proper pace, tone, and diction best for learning. However, this can be very challenging since it requires long reads, unlike other types of voice over services. The skill to be able to read the entire material consistently is important, so the module flows seamlessly.
Integrated voice response
These voice over services refer to the automated system which interacts with customers and callers to gather information and route calls to recipients. This system is designed to accept voice telephone input and keypad selections to give responses in the form of voice.
Integrated voice response (IVR) relies on pre-recorded voice responses that align with the situation. This quality is vital, especially for companies that get high volumes of calls from their customers. Automated customer support is important if you want your customers to know that you care for them. Additionally, it also gives an excellent brand impression to customers.
Unfortunately, IVR is considered a missed opportunity for many businesses that are too caught up in other marketing channels. A professionally done IVR will captivate your audience, including those on-hold even if they don’t enjoy being in that position. Without question, it’s truly the best way to resolve issues and improve customer service.
Due to the increasing demand for audiobooks, voice over services have grown significantly in recent years because of lengthy commutes and smartphones. Just like e-learning voice over, this type of work is unlike any other voice over services. When you are starting in this field, you have to make a demo reel to showcase your ability to do many characters. One of the first things publishers notice is your capacity to do male and female voices. You must also be comfortable in reading long chapters.
As an audiobook voice talent, you also need to master different breathing techniques since it will aid you to sound more natural. Since you’re reading a long piece, it’s essential to skim the book beforehand to look for specific words to highlight. You can even talk to the author to gain more knowledge about the flow of the book.
Pre-Recorded announcements and music
If you’ve even flown on a plane, you might have already heard pre-recorded announcements and music. Also known as PRAM, voice over services like these are common in passenger aircraft to let the passengers know safety issues concerning their air travel experience. While many planes still rely on cabin crews to perform this function, many modern airlines already have a pre-recorded audio to inform passengers about safety measures and messages, such as where to find oxygen masks and life vests.
Which Type of Voice Over Services Is For You?
Even if you have the best voice, you can’t become a successful voice talent if you don’t know what specific voice over services you should pursue. All the types mentioned above involve acting and reading skills, so make sure to sharpen them before applying for jobs. Just like any line of work, you will get better as you take more jobs.
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