5 Ways to Improve Video Voiceovers
One great way to improve your video content is to add voice over audio. A voice over recording can separate a random collection of video clips from a quality informative video. It’s a way to help your viewers understand what they’re seeing, and it’s a way for your viewers to get to know the message in your voice.
So your video needs a voiceover, but how do you make a good one? Here are 5 simple ways to bring your video voiceovers to life!
Write a Script
First things first, it’s always best to have a plan before recording voice over sound. A script functions as the roadmap for any video or audio recordings, but it’s especially important in voiceovers. A voiceover is audio added on top of a video to elaborate on what the viewer is seeing. In other words, it explains what your audience is looking at.
Scripts become critical because voiceovers must align with what the audience sees. If your video is about national park wildlife, you can’t just turn on the microphone and ramble about fish for three minutes while video clips of various animals play out. You have to plan out a narrative for three minutes, and then you’ll be able to inform your readers about what they see while they see it.
Writing a script also allows you to practice read-throughs, which lets you test out that voiceover timing at the writing desk before you start spending time and money on recording. In addition, reading a script aloud helps you to refine your word choice. If there’s an accidental rhyme or an awkward phrase, you can fix it in practice rather than doing live rewrites while recording.
Limit Background Noise
Having as little background noise as possible while recording helps the sound to come across clear and unmuddied. This is especially important when the voiceover is not the only audio playing.
For example, if you were voicing over a short video of a babbling brook, there might be two audio tracks playing concurrently in your video editor: the water noises accompanying the video, and the voiceover sound. These sound effects and background sounds helps a reader to become immersed in the video.
If there’s a third noise, like a roommate faintly calling ‘I’m home!’ in the background, then the reader will be pulled out of the video’s authenticity and distracted.
If you can’t record in a professional studio, make sure that you record in a quiet space uninterrupted, like a bedroom or even a closet. If you do get interrupted, it’s always better to pause and restart the part that was interrupted. With recording software and an online video editor, you can combine audio recordings seamlessly. Noise-canceling equipment that’s designed to block out external noises is also an option.
Use an External Microphone
If you’re ready to move beyond your laptop or cell phone microphone and toward a higher-quality sound, then it might be time to invest in an external microphone. There are a variety of microphones available, so it’s important to look into what type of voiceover microphone would best serve your needs. A condenser microphone would be the way to go if your voiceover recording usually takes place in a quiet environment. However, if you’re recording audio at a noisy event, like a concert, a dynamic microphone would cut out a lot of the background noise.
A few microphone options that come recommended by voice actors and professional voice talent are:
- The Rode NT1A: This microphone is an affordable option that produces quality sound, which makes it a good choice for beginners.
- The Shure SMB7: This microphone is recommended for podcast and audiobook-style narration. This would suit your needs if your video voiceovers were in the style of longer narrations instead of quick audio sound bites.
- The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB: This microphone is also recommended for beginners, and is durable enough to travel well. If you plan on recording in a variety of locations, transport is a key factor to consider.
In addition to a microphone, you’ll want to invest in headphones to help you hear your recordings when you’re editing videos. You might also purchase a pop filter, which is a microphone attachment designed to prevent the crackling noises that often accompany strong ‘P’ and ‘B’ sounds while speaking.
Start with a Test Recording
Just like reading aloud a script will help you save time once you start recording, listening to a test recording will help you save time once you start editing or generating a transcript. Once you’re in your recording space, make sure that your microphone is set up the way you want it, your script is ready, and there won’t be any interruptions. Don’t forget to press record!
Record the first few seconds of your voiceover audio at a comfortable volume, then play it back. It’s better to spot any problems at this stage rather than listening to a five-minute take and realizing that your fan is rattling noisily in the background. Listen to your test recording to check for audio quality and to make sure that there are no issues with your programs or technology before you dive into the work of recording a quality voiceover.
It’s also important to listen to the quality of your voice. Voiceover is what adds a personal touch to your video, so remember that each word you speak is being spoken to an individual listener. Keep your tone and emotion in line with your video’s purpose to have the maximum impact on your listeners.
Add Voiceovers in Multiple Languages
One guaranteed way to improve your video voiceover is to make sure that your audience can understand it. That’s where multilingual voiceovers come in. In order to reach and connect with a wider audience, you can make your video available in a variety of languages instead of just the ones you’re most familiar with.
Now, you can hire a translator and a professional voice actor to provide more language options for your voiceover, but those services are expensive and can quickly add up. Or you can upload your audio file to an automated voice-over service, like Maestra.
Maestra allows you to voice-over your videos at just $0.10 per minute, and uses a database of over 80 languages. It’s both more affordable and contains more linguistic variety than most voice actors available.
Maestra’s AI technology offers a highly accurate transcript generator to translate your voiceover into another language. You can select and edit a variety of computer-generated voices for the voiceover, and your voiceovers will be complete in a matter of minutes instead of weeks.
Automatic Video Dubbing with Maestra
Now that you’ve streamlined your voiceover creation process, why not take it to the next level? On your own, you can write an engaging script, find an appropriate quiet space and affordable microphone, and do a few test recordings in order to end up with a professional video voiceover. But with Maestra, you can reach many more listeners.
Even if you only speak one or two languages, your voiceovers don’t have to. Maestra can help you add a voiceover translation that lets you speak to the wider world’s audience. Check out Maestra’s video dubber to see what next-level voiceover can sound like!