Voice Over Tips from Casting Director Jeff Dreisbach
The trick to quality consistent Voice Overs
Did you know that when it comes to working with microphones, your physical set-up matters? The spacing between you and your microphone (and your microphone and the wall) makes a big difference in your sound quality. And especially these days, when your audition is both about your performance AND the quality of your recordings, your spacing matters! Use these guidelines when setting up your recording space:
When working with your microphone, make sure that your mic is at least one foot away from the wall and that you are always keeping a distance of approximately one fist between the microphone and your mouth. By being a fist full away from the mic every time you lay down a track, you will get consistent sound in your recordings every time you step into the booth. Keeping this distance guideline in mind also prevents you from making other spacing mistakes that will affect the quality of your recordings, such as recording off-axis, not talking directly into the head of the microphone, or creating plosive sounds that peak your audio, such as the p sounds in words like puppy and panic.
Want more beginning voiceover tips from Jeff? Check out his Introduction to Voice Over class, Voice Over 1: Foundations
The Best Place to Find Fresh Voice Over Copy
So you’re getting into voice over and you want some good material to practice with. Or you’ve set up your home studio and you want to start recording some material to practice with the DAW you’re learning to use. Or you’re meeting a voice over agent or developing your reel, and you want your copy to be fresh, not the same old material you’ve heard over and over again in workshops and classes. Where can you get good copy?
If you’re having difficultly finding really good voice over copy to work on, don’t despair! With voiceover, any material works and nothing is off-limits. So if you hear a commercial on the radio or TV that you like, use it! There are no copyright rules governing the material in your voiceover reel; and unlike for your film reel, you’re allowed to use current materials even if you aren’t the actor who originally booked the job.
And be creative! Your voiceover copy can come from anywhere – the novel you’re reading, the newspaper article that caught your eye, the children’s book you’re reading to your niece, or even short commercial copy you find in print ads. So go buy yourself a magazine that you want to treat yourself to – whatever interests you. While flipping through that magazine, you’ll find some of the best-written commercial copy that no one else is using…and you’ll know that the material works for you because it was written for your demographic!
Want more advanced voiceover tips from Jeff? Check out his advanced Voice Over class, Voice Over 2: Breaking In
Jeff has been working as a casting partner for The McCorkle Group (previously McCorkle Casting) for over a decade. Jeff has cast for Broadway, off-Broadway, and Film & Television. His book on Voice Overs, Conversation Pieces Out of the Studio, is used in collegiate BFA & BA acting classes. Jeff hosts the actor’s podcast “Casting Actors Cast” which talks about the business of show, heard weekly around the world with over 30 thousand downloads.
Listen to the latest episode of Jeff’s Podcast Casting Actors Cast.
Study with Jeff Dreisbach!
Are you looking to solidify your self-tape process? Want to get started in the world of Voice Overs with insights from an industry professional? Check out these classes, now enrolling: