In nearly every industry, there are certain terms that are used that are entirely familiar and commonplace for those working within that field, but that would be unfamiliar to those not related to the industry. The same is true in voiceover. Unfortunately, you can unintentionally give away your level of inexperience if you make it clear that you aren’t familiar with the common voiceover terms. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of works and phrases that you will want to know:
Automatic Dialogue Replacement (more commonly said as ‘ADR’): This refers to voiceover work that will be dubbed over pre-recorded film. This may also be referred to as ‘looping’.
Announcery: This is a term used to refer to a particular style of voiceover, particularly that which is very melodramatic or reminiscent of announcer of earlier eras.
Arc: Like the arc of a novel, the arc of voiceover work refers to the way the piece progresses from beginning, middle, to end. It can also refer to the way the voiceover artist changes his or her approach to accompany the progression of the story.
Cold-Reading: If you are asked to do a cold-reading of something, it means that you will not have the opportunity to study it beforehand.
Level: In order to calibrate the equipment properly, studio operators may ask you for a level, which simply means read the script into the microphone at the volume you would normal read at.
Pick-Up: If there is a flaw in the recording, you may be asked to do a pick-up, which means you will simply re-record a short excerpt of the script, so they can use it to repair the original recording.
Punch in: The studio can use the pick-up that you recorded to do a punch in, which simply means that the new recording is substituted for a portion of the original. A punch in is not always done for straight editing purposes, though.
Residuals: If you are so fortunate as to hear these words uttered in regards to your contract, then you’ll be happy to know that it is additional compensation paid for future use of the recording, beyond the initial recording fee that you were paid.
These are just a few of the words that you will come across that tend to be unique to this line of work. Learning them now will make your transition into this field much easier.