3 Bright Ideas for Producing Effective Video Voiceovers
Watching a video with bad audio is NOT a good experience.
So when you produce a video for your organisation, you need to make sure you have a certain quality of audio, whether that’s music or voiceover. Background music is great and really helps your video flow, but if you want to explain a difficult concept, you would be missing out if you didn’t have a voiceover.
So many types of video are more effective with a human voice rather than just background music and on-screen text. So one way or another, in producing videos for your marketing or training, you’re probably going to have to get a voiceover recorded at some point.
The thing is producing a voiceover yourself can seem intimidating. To start with you need to think about whose voice are you going to use, what equipment you need, how much it’ll cost, how much time it’ll take, along with many other concerns.
Sometimes professional voiceover services can be expensive, other times they can be incredibly cheap. And by cheap, I mean bad. Bad like any random person with a built-in laptop microphone and some spare time. You don’t want to end up paying for something sub-par, and you don’t want to waste time sending out quote requests and listening to one voice sample after another. Nightmare!
Don’t worry, we’re going to try to make this easier by clarifying three different ways you can get your hands on an effective voiceover for your video content. Here goes nothing…
Record the voiceover yourself
We might as well start with the scariest option first. Recording your own voice (or nominating your favourite colleague) definitely has its own benefits. Particularly for whiteboard animation videos, a down-to-earth, authentic and casual voiceover often fits very well with the humble style of animation. If you are planning to go down this route, we would recommend taking a few steps to ensure that the sound quality is pretty good, although it won’t be perfect and you shouldn’t expect it to be.
Find an isolated room, far enough away from external noise. If there is a distracting echo, hang up sound-dampening material to stop those sound waves bouncing around too much. You can record on a smartphone or audio recording device like a Zoom H1, which won’t cost you a fortune, but will give you decent results for what you need. When you’re recording, try standing up and projecting your voice, or pretend you’re talking to a colleague instead of talking to a microphone. Basically you just want the recording to sound natural, clear and usually to have a bit of energy.
You can download some free audio recording software called Audacity, which offers some easy-to-use features such as amplification and noise removal, so you can tweak your recording as much as you like, add background music and other effects (in moderation).
With this setup you should be able to record as many voiceovers as you need in a short amount of time. It might take a few takes to get used to it, but once you conquer the first few recordings you’ll feel like a pro.
Arrange a voiceover through your video production company
If you’re getting a video produced through a professional company, you’ll probably find that they offer voiceover production as an add-on or included in a deal. They should be used to getting them done for video projects, so for them this will be nothing new at all.
For example, we have a range of voiceover artists who we work with, so our clients can choose the voice they prefer from our range and leave the rest to us. This makes things very simple for our clients and takes the burden off them.
Find a professional artist yourself
There are many out there with various agencies and websites dedicated to finding voiceover artists. Here are a few notable ones:
There’s nothing wrong with getting the voiceover from a professional yourself. The pricing is reasonable for most of them and the can offer very fast turnaround times. The only drawback here is that you have the responsibility to find the appropriate voice and have to manage the process yourself. When you send a script to a voiceover artist, you also need to make sure you give them a detailed brief as to how they need to perform. There are different tones to suit different situations, and you need to make sure the voiceover artist knows what the right tone is for your project and who the target audience are.
The best option depends on your individual circumstances
Recording the voiceover yourself is the cheapest option, after the potential equipment setup that is.
Getting the voiceover through a professional video production company is the most simple and straightforward option.
Going directly to a voiceover professional or agency offers you the most flexibility at the expense of your time and effort.
However you go about producing the voiceover for your video, remember that the most important thing is how it supports your video. If the voiceover is good, it will add value to your video, and that’s what really matters.