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Voice Acting Tips, Demos / Samples, and Training A place for aspiring voice over talents to exchange tips and ideas, share stories, post demo and recording samples, and other training sources.

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Old 08-31-2013   #1
Hendercrazy
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Default Improving Your Production Quality

As a fellow aspiring voice actor here at BTVA... I've really enjoyed gaining lots of knowledge and experience auditioning for characters over on BTVA's Casting Call feature. There's no quicker way to learn than by getting your hands dirty (voice dirty in this case ).

That said, there are tons of things I've continued to constantly work on. Not only improving the acting side, doing cold reads and voice exercises to keep your voice in shape... but also with recording, editing and establishing the best overall production quality you can.

It can make a huge difference. It could literally make or break your chances of landing a role in a project. Especially when there's some great competition out there.

So, let's talk about improving your production quality. How can you make things sound more crisp, clean and "pop" free? I know I've done my fair share of things that made my recording sound horrible or be incredibly distracting. After experiencing those cringe worthy moments... I sought out ways I could improve the quality and still continue to do so now.

For those of you who have been in it awhile now... what can you do to make your overall production better?

First and foremost, take a fresh look at what equipment you are using. As you grow as a voice actor... sometimes it's necessary to also consider upgrading what you use to capture and edit your voice.

Ask yourself these questions...

What programs am I currently using? Have I learned how to use them efficiently? Are there other programs out there that might help me better?

What microphone am I currently using? Is it capturing your voice the way you want it to? Is there a better mic out there that can really make a drastic improvement on the quality?

What do I have currently to prevent unwanted noises from sneaking into my recording? Am I using a "pop" filter? Am I soundproofing my recording space? Am I soundproofing it enough? Is there a better place I can record so there's less noise? Can I do anything else to make less noise while recording?

Are there other things that can affect my recording? Do I keep my face a proper and consistent distance away from the mic? How can I avoid "clipping" in my recordings? Can I improve my editing skills to remove those unwanted noises?

If there's anything in there that got you thinking, "Well, I never considered that.", "That really can't make that much of difference, right?" or "Yeah, I've thought about that before but never focused on changing it."... then there's definitely some ways you can improve your production quality.

If there's one thing I've learned thus far... is don't be afraid to explore and experiment. With everything. You never know what could make a huge difference. That difference alone could be the thing that helps you get around that next corner.

So... go out there, research, explore and experiment! I look forward to enjoying your next voice audition, being entertained and amazed at the improvements you've made with your production quality!

- Hendercrazy

Last edited by Hendercrazy; 08-31-2013 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013   #2
PacoSlimee
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Default Re: Improving Your Production Quality

One thing I'm constantly struggling with is background noise, sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn't. But when it is there it's usually a soft humming. Can't tell if it's my computer or whatever. Any tips on removing it?
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Old 10-08-2013   #3
Hendercrazy
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Default Re: Improving Your Production Quality

The cooling fan from your computer can definitely be a problem! I just recently noticed that it was in the background of some of my recordings when I had to amplify a few pieces. One thing you can do is to place soundproofing foam, a blanket or something that can absorb sound in between your computer and your microphone to help block out that background sound. Also, if you have a microphone that only records in stereo and/or omnidirectional... you might want to consider a microphone that can record cardioid. This allows you to face the recording device directly away from a particular background noise. Adding additional soundproofing within your recording space can also help diminish extra background noises. Hope that helps!

Oh... another option I forgot to mention too is purchasing a more quiet running cooling fan. Those can require more running power though and you might also have to upgrade your power supply.

Last edited by Hendercrazy; 10-08-2013 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 10-20-2013   #4
James Leighty
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Default Re: Improving Your Production Quality

As mentioned before, your microphone can make a big difference but you need to also consider the microphone stand. If you are using a table stand then you might want to consider putting a piece of material like a thin blanket between the hard surface of the table and the microphone.

For best results you should consider purchasing a floor mic stand. You're going to get a better range with your voice when standing and it will help you be more consistent with your audio.

One issue I came up with is that my floor stand was easy to tip over. I had trouble finding something that could act as a weight for my stand so I made my own floor stand weights out of several pairs of knee-high socks and pea-gravel. Here is a link to my sock weights in case you want to make some of your own:

http://jamesleightyproductions.blogs...d-weights.html
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Old 10-29-2013   #5
Lapianoman
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Default Re: Improving Your Production Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoSlimee View Post
One thing I'm constantly struggling with is background noise, sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn't. But when it is there it's usually a soft humming. Can't tell if it's my computer or whatever. Any tips on removing it?
Without knowing what hardware you have, I'd guess that there may be some kind of grounding issue. If you are recording into a laptop, try running on battery power. You could also try switching out audio cables (either USB or XLR...again, not sure which you have.)
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Old 10-29-2013   #6
James Leighty
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Default Re: Improving Your Production Quality

Another possible noise maker can be lights. I use incandescent lights in my tiny studio. I found that the compact fluorescent lights give off a whine or a hum.

Working with your gain and getting closer to the mic may also help eliminate background noises.

When I record I try to eliminate as many electronic devices as possible from the recording area as well as removing my wind-up watch. I began to hear a ticking sound in my recordings.
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