The world of Voice Recordings

Hello All!

I've been using Articulate Studio for almost a year now. I am a trainer at a child welfare agency (and a tech geek ). I have had no formal training in creating online trainings, I basically am just flying by the seat of my pants here.

Anyways, I have finally decided that I need to add audio (my voice) to some of our more complex trainings.

I have reviewed the microphone demos and will most likely buy the Samson Go Mic as it appears we will get the most us out of that type of mic.

I am NOT a professional speaker-- I classroom train, but have never recorded my own voice. I am naturally a pretty face paced talker as well :(

So, for my question!

Any tips for voice recording?

I want to sound professional-- but will not have access to any recording studio and I have zero knowledge on sound editing.

Thanks in advance!

7 Replies
John Lano

Hi Laura!

I am a professional voice over talent with my own recording studio.

Here's my advice:

Equipment:

Use Audacity as the recording software. It is free to use and download online. There are MANY YouTube videos and blogs explaining how to use it. It will be an easy way to edit out any mistakes and problem areas you may have seeing as though you are not a trained professional. I would also suggest buying a USB microphone. There are many quality (inexpensive) microphones that plug right into your computer and can be working right away. I suggest the Blue Snowball microphone. I use it for podcasting occasionally, and it's literally plug and play. Try recording in a room filled with carpeting, things on the walls, and any type of padding. A closet works wonders. This way, you won't get that echo sound from hard surfaces like wood and other hard flooring or surfaces.

Performance:

Take a breath, slow down, and pretend like you're explaining whatever you're explaining to your grandma (a grandma with good hearing). There is no need to go fast or speak loudly when doing e-Learning narration. Be confident in what you're saying, but again, take your time. Add a slight smile in your voice as to not bore the listener, but also, you're not trying to sell anything. So just be confident, slow down, and explain it gently and calmly to your "grandma." Oh, and if you do get a microphone, treat it as though you are speaking next to someone's ear. You wouldn't talk so loudly that people could hear you clear across a gymnasium. You are simply explaining to the person "sitting next to you."

And of course, my best advice is to hire a professional. I don't know what the purpose of your project is, but if you are creating lots of e-Learning projects, it sometimes best to hire a professional. That way, they can use their recording studio to ensure high quality sound and a professional "performance" of your script. It makes all the difference in the world.

Good luck!

John Lano, the Voice Over Genie

Bruce Graham

Laura,

Ignoring the "tongue in cheek" presentation - here's something I created a while ago.

Also, (ironically...), please ignore the ups and downs in volume!

Hope it helps.

Agree with everything that John said, (except the "hire a professional" bit), which whilst correct may not be within budget etc. Horses for courses.

The Audacity online help is very good - you will probably need to get your head around "Noise Reduction" as the first feature, (or "Highlight + Insert Silence" as an alternative option.

Shout if you need help.

Read as many books and articles about v/o as you can - v/o is all about speaking which is different from talking.

Bruce

John Lano

Laura,

I figured it wasn't an option which is of course totally okay! I was just hoping to share my two cents about a very do-able and within budget recording option. I hope everything works out!

And Bruce,

I definitely agree with you about reading books and articles about VO. There are a number of informational and useful YouTube videos and blogs about sounding natural for VO. Professional VO is definitely not the be all and end all, especially with a small budget (often no budget) project. It's just something to consider when the budget has room for it.

Thanks for the conversation, you two, and I hope you have a great rest of your week.

Best,

John

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Laura,

I've been doing V/O for several years now for ctbclips.com so thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

I use Audacity, and I have the GoTo Mic, but my favorite, also by Samson is the Co1U. I actually bought the Co1UPack. It's not very expensive and provides a bit better quality, IMHO.

If you do a Google search you'll find there are lots of great sources of information to get you started. I looked through notes I'd taken a few years back and these are 3 of my favorites:

http://www.homebrewaudio.com/3-must-know-tips-for-getting-quality-audio-from-your-pc-recording-studio

http://retrogrrl.blogspot.com/2008/06/audio-recording-tips.html

http://www.guidesandtutorials.com/audacity-voiceover.html

I also strongly recommend writing a script. There's a thread here: Script or no script

Good luck!