• 0
Talyl Landmaster

Any tips on recording/voice acting?

Question

Talyl Landmaster

So I've been wanting to get a little more into voice acting, maybe even stuff for SF videos I might want to do. Does anyone have any advice as to how I can start, like acting tips, recording tips, what equipment to use, etc? I would really love the help. Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
Dr. Orange

I recommend getting a microphone, Very important. Otherwise you would be unable to record. :troll:

 

And for a software that is really good for recording: Audacity or Wavepad. I've used both and Wavepad is a lot better in a lot of ways. Audacity is somewhat slow clunky but its free. Wavepadcosts money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Ori

Cyphir's tips for Gene Inari back at the Lylat's Last Stand topic may apply here:

 

Cyphir:

 

Hmm, good question...

- Don't be nervous. As a first-time actor, it can be tough really putting yourself out there and nailing a character's voice, but if you are hesitant in your delivery or purposefully holding back in your voice's volume, that will come through in the recording. And it just comes out as weak acting. Especially when characters are in a high-emotion setting, really putting yourself out there makes all the difference. It's one reason why I encourage just having fun with it, loosening up before you do any lines (poke fun at the script, do some silly voices, whatever).

- Going off the above point, though you don't want to sound held-back, make sure you don't go so far as to have your mic peak when recording (IE when the sound gets so loud that it has that harsh, gravelly sound and is poorly recorded). It's nigh-impossible to remove, and especially in the more severe cases, sounds really, really bad. This is tough, especially if you have to do a shout/scream (which are almost guaranteed to peak out). Your mic'll help a lot with this, but try distancing yourself from the mic a little bit (but not so much that it sounds like you're way far away in the recording. I put my mic about three inches above my mouth) if you have problems with it. If you have a recording that only peaks a tiny bit, that should be fine. It's regrettable, but will do.

- Be careful where you put your mic. If you've looked into voice acting, you've probably seen stuff talking about 'popping' or 'puffing' into the mic. Certain letters and sounds (Like "P" in "Potato," or "F" in "Feather") cause you to puff out air when you say them, and if that hits the mic, it sounds simply dreadful(just try the 'Peter Piper' tongue-twister with your mouth right in front of the mic one time. See what happens). Luckily, this is easily remedied. Just position your mic so that you're speaking around it, but never into it. My mic, for instance, swivels around my head, and I position it just a little above my mouth. Takes care of any of the popping, but also has a clear recording sound! The distance may vary, but it should be somewhere between 1-3 inches away from your face.

- Do multiple takes. This one might be obvious, but if you hit 'record,' then flub the line, then it's totally fine to scrap that one and try again. I recommend reading the line about five times in one take, then listening back. If you're not satisfied, get rid of what you didn't like and try it again. As an addendum, play around with the lines. Put the emphasis on a different word, try saying it with a different attitude (frightened, irritated, sad, commanding, etc.). Sometimes even just a short pause inserted into a line makes it all the more realistic. Though not all directors like this, when I direct something, I love hearing ad-libs or retakes of a line ('long as they make sense). If you think a sentence or line would be stronger if you rewrote it a tad, go for it! Just, make sure you have a take of the original line (and depending on the project, you may want to check with the director first if ad-libbing is fine).

- Remove the background noise from your recording. If you're using a program like Audacity, it has a built-in noise removal feature, which gets rids of that soft background fuzz your recording might have. This does wonders for making your recording sound better. Just be cautious that you don't have the settings so high where it distorts the audio file itself. Play the file back after removing the noise, and if you have a soft, robotic warbling to your voice, you know you've gone too far. CTRL-Z that file and try it again at softer settings.

And that's about it. Some of it is simple VA stuff, but those are some base fundamentals to have in mind. Just have fun with it!

 

I too do recommend Audacity. Pretty easy to meddle with, even for a newcomer into the thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

So I take it SoundForge is a really bad program nowadays? I guess I'm gonna give Audacity a try since it's been mentioned (Thank you Executor and Orbit)

 

Now for insight. I would say the key to recording scripts which have varying voice pitches would be to record sections of your lines and editing them together later. Basically, if you find that you can't transition easily from mid-pitched voice to low back to high, or any other combination, or find you breathe in too often, it simply means you aren't used to transitioning. This all comes with practice, so don't worry about it at first too much.

 

Think of it this way: lots of "popular" (im using the quotes for a good reason here) singers aren't actually good at singing. Back in the day, bands would do numerous takes of the same song over and over again, and simply picked the best sounding recording. With audio editing, they now add echo effects and blend mulitple recordings to make their voice sound stronger than it is. Basically the same concept in that they can "pick up" from a portion of the song simply to get a better recording of that portion in order to make it easier to edit and whatnot.

 

In both cases, I would recommend trying first to understand where your range is. I know it sounds strange, but making your voice deeper than it normally is can be just as challenging as making it higher under the right circumstances. (For instance, I would recommend you avoid recording in colder climates, as that has done some pretty wacky things to me in the past :lol:)

 

I know it's not the same concept, but in practice voice acting is like singing in that you are altering your voice. Other than what I just said, I would recommend avoiding the "bargain brand" microphones....lets just say using the old Guitar Hero microphone is the worst idea ever :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
DZComposer

1. USE A POP FILTER! There is no excuse for not using a pop filter because something as simple as a T-Shirt can suffice for one. Though it is worth noting that buying a real pop filter will give you a little bit better sound because it won't muffle it. T-shirts don't muffle it bad, but if you can afford it, get the real-deal.

2. Mind the clipping. If a recording clips, it doesn't matter how awesomely you acted the line that take, the recording is a terrible pile of crap and you need to re-record it. Mind the gain and distance from the mic.

3. Use a Compressor/Limiter to make your recordings all the same volume. Of course, you will want to change the settings for lines that are supposed to be quiet or loud.

4. Removing noise in software is not a perfect operation. Some audio quality will be lost. Better equipment is less noisy. If you can afford it, spring for an audio interface and a decent mic. A Shure SM57 or MXL 990 is a good starting point. Also, the Blue Snowball Mic is a pretty decent entry-level USB mic. A lot of talk radio people use really expensive ($3000+) Neumann and Manley mics, but that is overkill for these kinds of projects. Of course if you have the money, you'll get the best sound out of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Dr. Orange

So I take it SoundForge is a really bad program nowadays? I guess I'm gonna give Audacity a try since it's been mentioned (Thank you Executor and Orbit)

*cough* *cough* Wavepad *cough*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

Theres actually a free version of Wavepad? Im probably gonna download it sometime soon. I hope it sounds better than SoundForge 6 LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Snys93

Well you know all this equipment means nothing unless you thoroughly train yourself as a voice actor.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNM1gpUJHN8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now