Do you like to read aloud passionately? Do you change your voice for every character when telling a story? If so, you might be interested in becoming a voice-over artist.
The work of voiceover talents can be found everywhere, from advertisements to movies. There is a big opportunity to build a voice acting career along with the abundance of online content like videos and podcasts,
But what does a voice artist do? What skills does a voice artist need? We will cover them in this article, so read along!
What Is A Voice Over Artist?
As the name suggests, a voiceover artist is an audio content creator who uses their voice to act. That is why they are also called voice actors or talents. Though, sometimes they are also referred to as VO artists for short.
Voiceover talents may use their skills to bring characters to life or narrate a story. Animated movies, video games, and audiobooks are a few examples of voice artists’ work being used.
On the other hand, voiceover artists may also use their voice to communicate information to a group of audience. We hear their voice in our everyday life, such as in podcasts, commercials, and documentaries. That is why voice artists may also work alongside video content creators.
After you understand what d voice-over artist does in general, it may sound like they have a similar role to that of dubbers. However, it is worth noting that the two are different in a way.
Dubbers are voiceover artists, but their work involves replacing VO artists’ audio with their own. They do it to communicate the information within a source material to an audience of a different language.
That being said, you may wonder what voiceover talents do in their job. Let’s find out below.
What Does A Voice Over Artist Do?
Voiceover talent’s list of responsibilities dependson their objective, which is either to inform or entertain. But in general, here are some of their duties:
Reading A Script
A voice artist’s primary duty is to read a script given for a project while being recorded. Due to that, VO artists must have clear pronunciation so that the audience can perceive every word correctly.
However, speaking clearly is not the only job voiceover talents have. They need to use acting skills to add emotion to their voice, as demanded by the project.
For example, voice-over artists tasked to narrate a medication or medical service are commonly asked to portray a feeling of calmness and safety, which is what the target audience needs in a situation of distress.
In contrast, voice artists cast as a young, optimistic main character in an adventure video game may be required to sound exciting to immerse players in the character’s world.
Creating A Distinct Voice
Apart from having to convey emotions, VO artists may have to create a certain voice that sounds different from their normal tone. This is particularly common in works of fiction, where some characters are exaggerated to be entertaining.
A common instance in voice acting is the use of female voiceover artists for small children in animated movies. These talented individuals certainly do not talk like kids in normal conversations. But with acting skills, they can make their character’s age believable.
Recording Alternate Versions of Their Voice
Ideally, voice-over artists need to have multiple renditions of their recordings. Each may have a different tone and stress on parts of sentences.
Voiceover talents create different recordings to see which style fits their goal the best. That is important to ensure the best quality for their production.
Now that you know what does a voice-over artist do, let’s take a look at how much money they can make.
How Much Do Voice-Over Artists Earn?
There is no definitive answer to how much you earn as a VO artist. But in general, voice artists’ salary depends on some factors. Also, voice artist rates may differ in each country.
According to voices.com, non-broadcast voice-over jobs (anything that is not aired on TV, radio, and online ads) rates are based on duration or word count. The following are the standard rates in USD:
|0 – 2 minutes||300 or less||$325|
|2 – 5 minutes||300 – 750||$425|
|5 – 15 minutes||750 – 2,250||$575|
|15 – 30 minutes||2,250 – 4,500||$825|
|30 – 45 minutes||4,500 – 6,000||$900|
|45 – 60 minutes||more than 6,000||$1,500|
However, voice-over artists may also charge according to their work category. In accordance with voiceacting101.com, an audiobook voice-over goes from $150 to $350 per finished hour.
Since there are various factors to look for, it is best to know what type of voice-over you would like to do and research. At the same time, pay attention to how much other voiceover talents in the same industry charge their clients.
What Skills Does A Voice Over Artist Need?
Voiceover talents’ skills are diverse depending on their work type. Though, they need to have the following skills in general.
First of all, voiceover artists must be versatile. They need to adapt different perspectives to tackle various challenges, such as characters and situations.
Secondly, VO artists need great control over emotions. If the script demands them to laugh or scream, they need to convey it in a believable way.
Thirdly, voice-over artists ought to be articulate. Whether they whisper or shout at the audience, their words have to be clear for people to understand.
Last but not least, voice consistency can be an important skill for a voice artist’s career. This is true, especially for those cast as recurring characters in stories.
We have explained more about what skills a voice-over artist needs in an article about what is a voice-over. So, make sure you check it out!
How to Become A Voice Over Artist
Starting out as a voiceover talent is easier than you thought. Below are some steps that you can take to enter the world of voice acting:
Practice Reading Scripts
The first step to becoming a voice artist is to get familiar with your voice. To do that, you can try practising reading written materials aloud.
It is essential to choose multiple types of materials, from fiction like novels and poems to non-fiction such as newspapers and advertorials. You can try emulating different emotions by having a wide range of text types.
As an example, you probably need to read sad poetry slowly and with a mellow tone, while product advertorials usually require you to sound excited.
What’s more important, reading practice should train you to know how to enunciate words correctly. When unsure about certain words’ pronunciation, consult a dictionary that provides the articulation.
Consider Taking Acting or Vocal Training
World-class voiceover artists have experience in stage or film acting. However, you do not always need to be a graduate of theatre arts to start as a VO artist.
Instead, you can take acting courses to learn techniques that will improve voice acting skills, such as vocalization, characterization, and improvisation.
Alternatively, you may enroll in vocal training. It is similar to acting classes but focuses more on vocal skills, like how to create different tones.
Set A Recording Studio
Voiceover artists need to have a recording studio from the very beginning of their career. Not only that it allows them to practice reading, but they also record their voice in a silent environment.
It does not mean you must reserve a professional studio somewhere. Instead, you can use the space at home and make it soundproof. It can be a walk-in closet or a bedroom.
Soundproofing materials generally include mineral wool and acoustic foam. Though, if you cannot access those resources yet, surrounding the recording room with a blanket can help block noise from outside.
For the studio equipment, you only need a computer, recording software, microphone, and headphone for the studio equipments. Top-of-the-line equipment is not a must since you can get good-quality microphones and headphones for under $100 each.
Create Demo Recordings
Like other content creators, voiceover artists need a portfolio to attract potential clients. Or, in their context, voiceover talent scouts as well.
For voice artists, their portfolio comes in the form of demo recordings. They include various types of roles to show your range of voice acting skills.
It is best to include the types of voiceover relevant to the work you apply for or an offer. For instance, to get cast in an advertisement voiceover project, it will be better to provide product description recordings.
Join Casting Auditions
Related to the previous step, your journey as a voiceover artist involves joining auditions. To do that, you need to look for production companies that offer an audition for their projects.
As an alternative, you may apply to voiceover talent agencies first. These organizations can help to search for voice acting gigs that fit your skills.
You can also start by posting on freelancing job listings, such as Fiverr. Many voiceover artists have marketed their skills on such websites, so do not be afraid to compete with them.
As a freelance VO artist, you must be clear about the kind of voiceover you can provide and show relevant demo recordings. That way, you can get the right clients to work for.
Voiceover Artists: Final Thoughts
In this article, we have discussed the work of voiceover artists. Their responsibilities include reading a script, creating a distinct voice for characters, and developing different versions of their recording.
To become a VO artist, there are some skills to acquire. In general, you need to have versatility, emotion control, articulation, and consistency.
Even though that may sound much, starting as a voice artist is simple. You can apply the steps that we have explained in this article.
We hope this article inspires you!