The world of voiceover can be a challenging one, particularly for those creatives who are less motivated toward the technical aspects of the craft. While bringing a character to life and weaving a story are unique skills in themselves, mastering the more technical elements such as polar patterns and compression can be quite intimidating. It's important to note, however, that not every creative is put off by the tech aspects; some even find it enjoyable. Yet, it's generally true that the majority of creatives find the tech side of the industry somewhat daunting. In light of this, a necessary level of technical understanding is a prerequisite to a thriving voice actor in the voiceover industry. Today, we delve into the realm of voiceover editing, offering invaluable insights and tips to simplify the process.
The first step towards conquering tech challenges in voiceover editing is understanding your equipment. Think of a microphone as an electronic ear. This 'ear' is a passive listener, capturing your voice but never responding. However, hearing your own voice through the microphone isn't possible since it lacks the capability to 'speak'. Hence, we need an 'electronic mouth' to relay our voice back to us.
This is where headphones or speakers come in. Unlike the microphone, they can't listen, but they excel in talking and making noise. However, there's a hitch - the microphone (ear) and headphones (mouth) can't communicate directly. They need an electronic mediator: the audio interface. The interface translates your voice into a language your computer can comprehend, allowing you to listen to it through your headphones or speakers via audio editing software.
The cornerstone of voiceover editing is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) - your audio editing software. The primary role of a DAW is to record your voice. However, your clients won't appreciate listening to unwanted sounds like breaths, clicks, coughs, twitches, and stomach rumbles. Hence, a basic understanding of editing is vital.
Although audio editing is a vast field, there are quick remedies to common issues, often facilitated by the use of plugins. A plugin is a software extension that performs a specific function. For instance, a 'de-breather' may not be built into your chosen DAW but can be added as a plugin.
One invaluable tip to lessen the editing workload is to ensure the original recording has as few flaws as possible. This includes having an acoustically treated, soundproof space, and standard equipment like a high-quality pop filter to manage plosives, which can be challenging to eliminate even with the most advanced DAW.
In the second part of this series, we will delve deeper into the functionalities of a DAW, focusing on quick and efficient audio editing techniques.
Voiceover Editing Part 1 by Alan Shires