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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Build a Voice Talent Studio in Your Home

Being a voice talent with easy access to record anytime is essential to being successful in the voice acting industry. By setting up a studio, you are now able to produce quality recordings from the comfort of your home. It is a great way to subsidize your income and put the work in on a schedule that fits you. As a voice talent, it also makes it easier in times of crisis to be able to continue to work.
Here is some basic information you can use.

Voice Over Equipment You Will Need
· Microphone – The type of mic that you need is one that works best for your voice and your budget. A large diaphragm mic is good for a warmer tone and lower frequencies, like a bass guitar or deeper male voices. A small diaphragm mic or small capsule mic is good for higher frequencies like cymbals or a female voices. But these can be used interchangeably to suit your desired sound. Look at polarity of each mic, cardiod (wider direction) and hypercardiod mic’s (more directional) are the best type for voiceovers. There are many very popular mics available now and vary greatly in price. The best way to choose a mic is to visit your local music store, if possible, and listen through your favorite headphones and choose your favorites from a variety of mics. Best to spend your money on a good mic than almost any other thing... other than the room acoustics you will be recording in.

· Pop Filter – This is vital to your setup. It decreases the amount of distracting noises that the mic picks up by blocking the air that’s pushed out from your mouth when you speak. They give you a nice clean read without the annoying "popping" sounds.

· Audio Interface – This is a piece of hardware that is necessary to connect your mic to your computer. It operates on 48 volt (phantom power) and may enhance the sound of your voice as the signal travels to your computer. Again, these are relatively inexpensive and have become much improved in terms of power, clean sound and portability. Be sure to buy one that is popular amoung voice talent.

· Computer – You will need to use a computer that has the capabilities to run all of your programs and software successfully and quietly... as to avoid background noise while recording.

· Recording and Editing Software – The software is a big deal, it allows you to enhance your voice overs with music, sound effects, and edit out pauses and loud breaths. However, I caution newer VO talent to use very minimal voice processing. It is best to provide your client with simple clean audio files recorded at the proper levels. Allowing THEM to enhance your voice as they see fit.

Additional items that are great supplements. If you have the budget, then purchase them right away. However, if not these can slowly be added to your studio later.

· Headphones and/or studio monitor speakers
· Music Stand or Mic stand
· USB Flash Drive or Hard Drive for file storage

Choosing and Sound Proofing Your Space
Start with looking at the rooms in your house, a cozy space that has enough room for you to stand or sit comfortably in is fine. If the room has carpet, it can effectively absorb sound versus wood flooring. Does the room share walls with neighboring rooms that are noisy, like a kitchen, laundry room, or a bathroom? Try to avoid these rooms if possible. If you live with others, arrange for recording during those quiet times.

Soundproofing your voiceover studio is important. It is more important to prevent sound from entering the room rather than preventing the sound of your voice exiting.

Soundproofing can be expensive. However, there are tricks that will help you soundproof it yourself. You will want to install insulation over windows, walls, and ceilings. Cork, rubber, or foam insulations are good options for soundproofing. Hang heavy curtains around the room to help absorb sound. Keep in mind that you may be creating an airtight box, and you will need to have quiet ventilation.

Voice Talent really can work from a studio anywhere now. There are portable options now available. But that's for another blog article to discuss. Meanwhile, get busy setting up your home studio.

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