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How to Do a Voice Over Professionally for Online Videos

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How to Do a Voice Over Professionally for Online Videos

How difficult is it to start doing voiceovers in 2023? 

Creating voiceovers alone can be a relatively simple process if you go about it correctly. Many people wonder whether they can set foot into the world of voiceovers easily. The truth is, stepping foot into this isn’t difficult if you have the right equipment and follow a few simple steps.

We’re here to share the nitty-gritty of what voiceovers are and how to record them effectively on different platforms for the best results.

What is a voice-over?

The first voiceover created was by Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian inventor who successfully recorded a voiceover while testing the weather. But, the question is: what actually is a voiceover? 

A voice-over is a recorded piece of narration or dialogue for usage in a video or broadcast media. This can include an off-screen narration, character dialogue or even just commentary.

Voiceovers are used in a variety of works including:

  • films for dubbing foreign languages
  • voice acting for animated films
  • radio or audio dramas
  • video games
  • Documentaries
  • Adverts
  • Online videos

If you’re an online creator it’s likely you’ve already come across many voiceovers. Engaging social media videos such as on TikTok and Instagram also include voiceovers. Social media video creators are using voiceovers to produce explainer videos, vlogs to cover day-to-day lives, and more.

Why should you use a voice-over?

One big reason why you should think about using voiceovers is because of their capability to capture audiences with higher engagement and higher retentive capacity.

According to the Digital Agency Network, explainer videos with voice-over can increase revenue by up to 80%. This is because when you convey brand information using video and voice, your viewers are more likely to remember what you’ve shown them. In comparison to written word, viewers remember only 10% of text ads whereas they’re likely to remember at least 65% of information coming from a video.

Another reason to jump on board is because of the increase in audio content such as podcasts. The audio content industry is booming now and the technique of using voiceovers is becoming an increasingly popular technique, giving content creators and marketers a creative outlet to use voiceovers as a method and not just rely on visuals for impact. This also indirectly increases the opportunities for audio advertising. 

Knowing when to rely on voiceovers is the tricky bit. A lot of the time, voiceovers are used just for the sake of it which isn’t really required in the first place. The prime purpose of a voiceover is to allow any person who is receiving that piece of information to easily absorb the information that is being shared. If the voiceover doesn’t have great audio quality, for example- if it sounds like someone is chewing off a chip packet, the voiceover will be ineffective and not of much use.

Benefits of adding voiceover to videos

Although there may be many reasons why voiceovers are a good choice for videos, the main benefits of them to be used in videos are:

Authenticity and trust

Using voiceovers is a more natural way to connect to audiences than using text mediums. Voiceovers can add that unique human touch to your content leading to more trust from your audience. If you use a voice-over that reflects your audience well, you can create more relatability making your audience feel more connected to your video’s message. 

Brand recalling

In today’s world where we know that technology has become a contributing factor to the success of multiple brands all over the world, the real question lies in how brands differentiate to add a competitive advantage. Adding voiceovers to brand videos can be a huge plus point adding to top-of-the-mind recall. YouTube is a huge example of this where their own studies show that more than 75% of audio ad campaigns on the platform, resulted in a significant rise in brand awareness. 

Adds character and dimension to the video

No one wants to see a boring video now do they? We might just skip through a video like it didn’t exist in the first place. A good voiceover with a strong personality will add complexity to the video and make it stand out.

What equipment do you need to record a voice-over?

Now that we’ve discussed the key reasons why to have a voiceover for your video, it’s important to know how to record an effective voiceover in a simple and uncomplicated way. You can easily follow the steps we’ve outlined later on to record a professional voiceover at home! Although, before you get started, you need to make sure you have the following 6 things:

1. Microphone

The most important equipment you’ll need is a microphone. Condenser microphones are the better option for professional voiceover recording quality. These microphones are more sensitive than dynamic microphones so they pick up delicate sounds better. That being said, you’ll have to make sure you’re recording in a very quiet environment if you’re using a condenser mic.

For someone who is just getting into the world of recording voiceovers, opting for a USB Microphone will be the better option. These microphones can be directly plugged into the computer without the need for an audio interface. This means they offer a much easier setup than if you were to use an XLR mic. 

2. A pair of headphones

Choosing a pair of comfortable headphones that one can wear for hours and hours is something that you should invest in. Wired headphones generally offer the best quality, however, opting for a set of Bluetooth headphones might be something to consider in the future. Using a good set of headphones allows you to monitor and hear exactly what sound your microphone is picking up.

3. Compatible recording software

Investing in a good recording software system will also let you record, edit, and make your voiceover the perfect end product. Recording software is a program, on either your personal computer or mobile device, that lets you record audio, edit its duration, and add effects.

While there are many options for recording software, Riverside is an easy, online recording platform for capturing audio and video in studio quality from anywhere in the world. It offers up to 4K video and up to 48kHz uncompressed WAV audio recordings. You’ll also have more control with editing as you can record separate tracks for all participants. For easier content repurposing you can create short shareable clips in minutes or you can use automatic transcriptions to boost your SEO reach.

4. Good recording environment

A good recording environment is crucial to the quality of your voice recordings. Setting up a home studio is a requirement and it shouldn’t be a place that frequents sudden noises. Places like attics can act as a good recording environment. Make sure that the recording environment you choose should be your happy place where you can ensure maximum productivity.

5. Audio Interface

An audio interface is a piece of hardware that converts your microphone’s audio input into a format that is readable for your computer.  This acts as a middleman between the computer and the microphone and you can totally skip this equipment if you’re using a USB microphone. 

6. Pop filter

This may seem like a very random piece of equipment to add to your list of voiceover recording requirements, however, investing in this will make your voiceover quality a hundred times better. A pop filter is attached to your microphone in front which will reduce ‘popping’ noises and give your voice added clarity. 

How to do a voiceover in a few easy steps

Step 1: Plan and write a script

As much as you probably just want to start recording, it’s best to always have a plan first. 

Whether you’re recording a one-off demonstration video for a colleague or a more thought-out voiceover for a presentation, preparation is key. 

What is your voiceover going to be about? What points do you need to cover?

No one likes a voiceover over a video that doesn’t add anything extra to it. Your voice-over script should ask: What will the voiceover add to the video that the video cannot do alone? 

Outlining the main points in your script will help you a lot.

Step 2: Setting up your recording and equipment

Finding a good environment to record your voiceover is important. Be wary of loud sounds that could impact the recording quality. No room can be completely noise-free, but definitely try to choose a space that’s as quiet as possible.

You’ll also want to make sure that all your equipment is set up, working, and ready to go. We’ve already mentioned how investing in a good microphone and audio recording software can bring your voiceover up a notch. 

Luckily, if you’re using Riverside your setup is quick and easy. You’ll just need to connect your equipment to your computer and then simply log in to create an online studio to start recording.

Step 4: Do a test recording

Nothing’s worse than diving straight into doing a final recording for your voiceover and fearing that it didn’t turn out to be what you expected. To avoid this, a test recording is a good idea.

Test recordings can give you the confidence boost that you need, but they also ensure your equipment is working and that your final recording is more likely to be perfect.

Checking volume levels during test recordings and making sure that the levels are between -10 dB and -24 dB is also important so that audio levels are not distorted. 

Step 5: Recording the audio

Finally, you’re ready to record. This will look a little different, depending on the software you’re using. Generally, though you’ll need to just press a button to start and stop your recording. 

Take your time and record as many takes as you need to, you can always touch up on things in editing. You may also want to think about recording audio effects. Some software, like Riverside, have a live media board so you can mix and add effects while recording, saving time on editing. 

When you’re done, stop recording and download your files for editing. Some software, like Riverside, may have editing tools to help take your recordings from beginning to end on a single platform.

Step 6: Editing the audio

Editing might involve trimming the beginning of the voiceover or cutting out dead spaces between the clips if any. 

You may also need to finetune audio by removing background noise, normalizing audio levels, or equalizing your recording. The end goal is to make the voice-over sound as smooth as possible.

How to record a voice-over in high quality with Riverside

Riverside is the easiest web platform to record podcasts and videos in studio quality from anywhere and our step-by-step guide will help you with that!

Step 1: Log in to Riverside.fm, and select an existing studio or select ‘+ New Studio’ to create one.

Step 2: If you’re creating a new studio choose whether you want it to be audio only or not. You’re also able to adjust studio settings of an existing studio if you click on the gearbox of your studio. 

Step 3: If you’re recording a voice-over with other people, invite your guests to your studio. You can also do this after you’ve entered your studio.

Step 4: When you’re ready, select ‘Go to studio’. You’ll be directed to the Lobby where you can test your equipment. Enter your name and then click ‘Join Studio’ to join the call.

Step 5: Time to record! Once you and your guests are all set, press the recording button located at the bottom of the studio. 

Step 7: After you’re done with your voiceover, stop the recording and wait for all your files to upload. You can then select ‘View recordings’ to see your takes. 

Download your recordings in separate tracks to edit them on your own, or press  ‘Edit & export’ to adjust and finetune your recordings with Riverside’s editor.

How to do a voice-over on TikTok

TikTok is an emerging platform for creative people all over the world to focus on compelling storytelling. If you’re looking to create a voice-over for your TikTok videos, follow these steps:

Step 1: Record your TikTok video as you normally would, then continue to the editing screen. 

Step 2: On the editing screen, tap the ‘Voice over’ button in the bottom right corner, indicated by a microphone icon. 

Step 3: Find the section of the video where you want to add your voiceover, then press and hold the Record button to begin. When you are done let go of the Record button and press  ‘Save’ on the top right.  

Step 4: Once your voiceover is recorded, you can enhance it with a variety of voice effects. 

Press the ‘Voice effects’ button (just above the ‘Voiceover’ button) to access a range of effects. You can even combine more than one effect with powerful results.

Step 5: When you’ve finished recording and editing your voiceover, you can adjust the volume using the ‘Volume’ tool.

Step 6: Move the ‘Original sound’ toggle to adjust your video’s audio and toggle the  ‘Added sound’ to adjust the voice-over you just recorded.

How to do a voice-over on Google Slides

Adding voiceovers to your Google Slides helps you deliver more engaging presentations. Once you learn how to do a voiceover on Google slides, you'd never miss adding them to your presentations. This is how you do it-

Step 1: First, develop your script for each slide.  Write your script and make slides to go with every script of yours or vice versa. The thing to remember is that Google Slides will need separate audio files to play beside each slide.

Step 2: Record your script to go with your slides. You can use the Riverside platform for this step or any other voice recording platform that you might prefer.

Step 3: Upload your audio files to Google slides.  Creating a new folder for your audio clips in Google Drive will save you time, after which you can transfer the audio files to a Google folder.

Step 4: Add the audio clips to the Google presentation. 

You will have to click on ‘Insert>Audio’ and then handpick the audio that has to go with the particular slide. 

When you insert the audio file, two things will happen:

  1.  An icon of a speaker will appear on your slide with a mini-player so you can preview the audio, and you can move that icon to any place on the screen.
  2. A format options tab will open for you to adjust your audio. 

Step 5: Repeat these steps in order to put audio clips for individual slides. 

A tip to keep in mind is to select “stop on slide change”.  This stops audio clips from continuing to play when changing slides. 

Step 6: In the end, test your entire presentation in Present mode to make sure everything is working correctly.

How to do a voice on Instagram reels

Reels have taken the world by storm and with the possibility of doing voiceovers there, Instagram adds a feather to its cap! Here’s how you do create voiceovers on Instagram:

Step 1: Upload or record an Instagram Reel video

Step 2: Press ‘Next’

Step 3: Press the Music note icon on top of your screen

Step 4: Press ‘Voiceover’ in the middle-bottom of the screen.

Step 5: Press on the red circle to start recording. 

Step 6: Slide the cursor wherever you want the recorded voiceover audio to be placed over the video. How much easier can this get?

Tips on creating professional voiceovers

There is an increased demand for talent in the emerging voiceover industry. For this reason, creating professional voiceovers becomes a must, and here are some tips that might help you to do so-

  1. Record in high-quality. One mistake that a lot of people do while creating voiceovers is that they do not focus on creating good, high-quality voiceovers. A lot of the audio sounds jarring, which is not what is wanted.
  2. Produce a voiceover demo. If you’re looking to get into voice-over recording as part of your career, it’s a good idea to have a demo. This is like creating a resume for any other job. Creating a voiceover demo is a personal and artistic experience that will do miracles for your professional career. 
  3. Always script it out. As mentioned before, scripting out your voiceovers is going to do you huge favors! It will make you sound better, more confident, and you’ll know the kind of tone and enunciations you’re supposed to use to make the voiceover sound perfect.
  4. Remember that speaking is not the same as talking. Speaking in front of a microphone can seem pretty unnatural so it's important to understand how to make your voiceover sound engaging. It should seem conversational and not mundane or boring in any way. Always remember that if you are bored with the voiceover, chances are that other people will find it boring too. 
  5. Be persistent. Practice is key. You cannot jump into doing voiceovers one fine day and not practice your art for the next two years. It requires diligence, sincerity, and patience. 

FAQs on How to Do a Voice Over

How do YouTubers do their voiceovers?

While there is no one way that a Youtuber may choose to do their voiceovers, they’ll most likely follow a similar process to the steps we’ve outlined above. With a great recording platform like Riverside, you can create voiceovers for any content without a hassle.

How do you start doing voiceovers?

Starting a voice-over is not difficult at all! We’ve covered everything you need to know above. All you need to get started is a good quality microphone, headphones, a quiet room, and reliable recording software. 

To summarize, once you’re all set up you can follow these steps:

  1. Plan and write out a script for your voice over
  2. Setup your studio and recording equipment
  3. Do a few test runs
  4. Start recording your voice over
  5. Edit and polish your voice-over recordings before adding them to a video or whatever you created them for.

If you’re looking to get involved in voiceover acting as a career, try:

  • Create voiceover demos to land gigs
  • Build a solid resume
  • Join communities online with the same goals as you.

 Apart from the above, focus on how to create high-quality voiceovers!

Can you do a voiceover from home?

It's easy to do a voiceover from home for any person, as discussed in the steps above with the required equipment. 

Do voiceovers get paid?

You can definitely get paid for voiceovers. While you may just be creating a voice-over for yourself, it’s also possible to offer this as a service. There are many voice-over actors who create recordings for animations, adverts, and more and you can do the same. Depending on the type of voiceover you’re creating you can earn a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for a project.

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