Voice-overs: Part 3 of 3
In three parts, we are taking a closer look at voice-overs. You can find the others here:
3. Overcoming the key challenges of voice-overs
On a scale of Raspberry to Oscar, you could make a video that could give Christopher Nolan a run for his money and still end up on the lower end of the scale if your voice-over isn’t up to the mark. The audio aspect of the video is just as important as the visuals. So, voice-overs can make or break a film even if the visual techniques are astounding.
Producing good quality voice-overs do require a lot of time and effort, which is why some filmmakers stay clear of the concept. If you’ve faced difficulties with voice-overs in the past, we have compiled a list of common mistakes for you to avoid so that you can improve the quality of your voice-overs.
Common voice-over mistakes to avoid
1. Using poor equipment
If your video is of stellar production quality, why compromise on the voice-over budget? We know recording studios can be expensive but it really is worth it when you achieve that crystal clear voice-over for your video.
Even if you can’t afford a recording studio, don’t resort to your desktop or phone’s internal recorder- that’s just unprofessional. Buy a low-cost external microphone- nothing fancy- and get started on your voice-over in a distraction-free zone.
2. Casting the wrong voice
The wrong voice and tone for a video voice-over can be detrimental to the key message that the video is trying to deliver. Opposing tones can spread the audience’s attention all over the place as they decide whether the audio or video deserves their time.
Using high-pitched, cheerful voices for a PSA or a flat, dull voice for a children’s show, are good examples of poor voice-over casting. Think of the mood you’re trying to set for the audience when you pick out a voice-over artist.
3. Not using conversational language
Writing for readers is significantly different from writing for listeners. When writing your voice-over script, keep in mind that the text you read in your mind won’t sound as powerful or impactful when you read it aloud.
Try to adopt a conversational style of writing to connect with your audience. Once you’re done writing the script, try reading it out loud and see if this sounds seamless and impactful. If not, you might want to rewrite it to adapt it for the voice-over.
4. Depending on editing
When it comes to editing audio, it’s best to not do too much to it. Using too much noise reduction can really tamper with your audio quality and will end up doing more harm than good.
Our advice is to fix the issue at the source. Record the voice-over in a room away from noises and distractions and if you can soundproof the place – even better. With little or no background noise, editing should be a breeze.
5. Emphasising the wrong words
Voice-over is all about emphasizing certain words to draw attention to a particular message you’re trying to convey to the audience. So when you emphasize the wrong words, the key message can be altered, or even confusing.
If you can highlight the keywords in a voice-over script for the voice artist, you can avoid leaving this up to their discretion. While a professional may be able to get a better sense of what to emphasize, you may not get so lucky with an amateur voice artist.
Avoiding these common voice-over mistakes will help you produce better quality videos that will, in turn, attract a larger audience. Right from scripting to editing, you want to make sure your voice-over is professional and effective so that it lifts up your video as opposed to dragging it down.