VOICE OVERS: what it is not.

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I decided to write on this because I have fallen victim to some misconceptions about voice overs several times when I was still trying to get my feet wet in this business (that’s right, I dare call it that now)
Before we arrive at what voice over is exactly, let’s garner some understanding from what it is not.

 

  •  MISCONCEPTION 1:
    -voice over is commercials.

That’s not true. Though for a layman that as probably not heard about voice overs, this could be the best example to give to explain voice overs. But it ends at that- it’s an example, a type of voice over but not the whole of it. It’s funny at times when you tell someone, you are into voice overs, and the first thing they ask is, what advert should they look out for, that has your voice?
Hey, we are more than that.

 

  • MISCONCEPTION 2
    -voice over is broadcasting.

I understand that they are closely related, in fact I dealt extensively with this in one of my articles: BROADCASTING AND VOICE OVERS: where to draw the margin, you can read more there.
If voice over is the same as broadcasting, then audio books, e-learning programmes, video games and some other forms, are broadcasting too?

 

  •  MISCONCEPTION 3
    -voice over is about having a great voice.

Don’t be fooled into thinking because you have a deep or quirky or romantic kind of voice, then, the next thing automatically is voice overs.

No.

At least not without training and full understanding of what you are getting into.

I had a video sales script for a male voice actor sometime ago, but couldn’t find one. I just needed someone that speaks clearly and that would read it as if he were speaking out his mind. Then I got this guy with very deep baritone voice, he swept me off for the first 10 minutes. 20 minutes later, I was feeling bored.
Why? Because though he had a deeply captivating voice, yet, using it for such a long script made it boring.
The voice was rather perfect for a shorter script, say commercial, branding or even drama.
All voices, scratch that…all trained voices are allowed in voice overs, because each voice is unique and will always find its place. So its not about having a baritone or quirky, or husky voice. It’s more than having a great voice.

 

  • MISCONCEPTION 4
    -voice over is about diction and phonics

That again is not true.

Why?
Because it is not English, infact it’s not a language. It can take any form of language, depending on the audience.
I’m not saying you should not work hard at speaking right, by all means do, we are just talking about voice overs here. But if you are into or want to get into VO, be a pro at any language you chose. You must be able to deliver it soundly.

For instance, if English is your preferred language, then go sit down with your phonics, if not, sit down with whatever makes you better at your chosen language.

 

These are some of the misconceptions about voice over.

So, what then is voice over?

It is a vocal performance, in which the narrator (usually not seen), uses his or her voice to express the emotions of the words he reads. It is some form of acting but only with the voice, that’s why it’s called VOICE ACTING sometimes.
Different types are Narration, Documentary, Audio Book, Looping Audio Dialogue Replacement (ADR), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Dubbing, E-learning programmes, Animations, Video Sales Letter, Video Games, TV Commercials, Radio Jingle, TV/Radio Tags and Imaging.

If you didn’t know before, …now you know !

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