Voice over Masterclass - The Official DIY Guide to Voice Acting | Donald Fittsgill Jr | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Voice over Masterclass - The Official DIY Guide to Voice Acting

teacher avatar Donald Fittsgill Jr, Podcast Doc

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Before you begin


    • 3.

      Exercise - Announcer's test


    • 4.

      Nailing the read introduction


    • 5.

      Conversational read


    • 6.

      Exercise – Conversational read


    • 7.

      Upbeat sales read


    • 8.

      Voicemail and On-hold messaging


    • 9.

      Long form narration


    • 10.

      Nailing the read summary


    • 11.

      How to record introduction


    • 12.

      Setting up the room


    • 13.

      Hardware essentials


    • 14.

      Software and preparing to record


    • 15.

      Recording and editing walk through


    • 16.

      How to record summary


    • 17.

      Marketing yourself introduction


    • 18.

      Natural market and local hidden gems


    • 19.

      Online marketplace and finding your edge


    • 20.

      The Official DIY Guide to Voice Acting Summary


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

The goal of this course is to teach new and aspiring voice actors how to generate income through voice acting on their own. This course can also help anyone who is looking to communicate better.

This course is taught by full-time professional voice actor, Donald Fittsgill Jr. Donald is the host of "The Donald POV" podcast and has completed thousands of voice-overs in only a few short years. Donald has built a large client base that consists of small, medium and large businesses in a wide variety of areas.

This course is designed to teach you the tricks of the trade that have helped propel Donald to success.

This course will teach 3 main areas:

- How to nail the read – "It’s not right until the client says it’s right."

- How to record – Room setup, hardware, software, and recording/editing process

- How to market – Finding your edge

If you're interested in becoming a voice actor (voiceover actor), this online course will show you a non-traditional path, and the steps to getting started now. 

Nearly any time you hear a voice but don't see a person speaking, there's a voiceover actor at work. On television, radio, in video games, animation, sports arenas, or on audiobooks, voiceover is everywhere. It's a surprisingly diverse field open to people with various backgrounds and skill sets, so whether you're an actor looking to expand his earning potential, someone who excels at creating characters with her voice, or someone who's constantly being told what a great voice he has, there can be work for you as a voice actor.

This class is for you if....

---you've ever wanted to QUIT your day job and CHASE your dream of becoming a voice actor...

--- you want to simply get better at communicating...

--- you've been told, "You have a great voice!" but don't know where to start...

--- you hear commercials on the radio and say "That could be me!"

--- you've ever dreamed of being in video games or animation...

Essentially, if you've ever wanted to start a career as a voice actor (or you're even curious about the career itself), "The Official DIY Guide to Voice Acting" is the best place for you to start. With a comprehensive overview of the career of voiceover itself, a step by step guide on how to "find your sound," make your reel, and get voice over work, "The Official DIY Guide to Voice Acting" is an invaluable resource, whether you're just starting out from a home studio, or you've got some experience under your belt.

In this class you'll learn:

-- A large variety of voice over recording techniques

-- How to market yourself for voice over jobs

-- How to record voice overs at home, including equipment, software and setting up the room.

-- How to set yourself apart from the crowd in the world of voiceovers.

See you inside...

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Donald Fittsgill Jr

Podcast Doc


I am Donald Fittsgill Jr., owner of the company Podcast Doc. I have a bachelor's degree in finance from Texas Tech University and countless years of professional experience in financial services. I also have a social media presence as Meditate Word. I've been described as a passionate entrepreneur and lively mentor of entrepreneurs. I'm also a course creator that has studied the fine points of instructional design. The courses that I create are structured to promote maximum student retention of information.

See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: okay, Before we begin, I want everyone to repeat after me. I am an actor. I am an actor. I am an actor. When you are a voice actor, you are an actor, period. My name is Donald Fits Kill Junior and I am an actor, a voice actor, Ah, course creator and educator and an entrepreneur. Is there anything else? You get the gist now. I've done public speaking since I was a child. When I was younger, I would have to memorize and rehearsed speeches over and over and over again, all to deliver them in front of a church congregation. Then in school, I had several teachers who just liked the sound of my voice and would always have me read in front of the class. After that, in college, I became a rapid, so once again I found myself in front of a microphone. Then, after working over a decade and financial services and hearing over and over how I should become a voice actor, I decided to give it a shot. I started taking classes at my local community college, going toe voiceover workshops and really honing my craft. The more I got into it, the more I realized how much I did not know about this world. First and foremost, I had to realize that voice acting was less about the sound of my voice and Maura about. Could I convey the clients vision then, Because I was going at this voice over thing on my own, I had to learn how to effectively use my equipment. That's hardware and software. Thankfully, I had some experience using hardware and software during college as a rapper. And while audio engineering is something so detailed you can get a college degree in it, you don't actually need to be an expert audio engineer to crank out voiceovers from home. Finally, and arguably most importantly, I had to realize this was a business, even if done on a part time basis. This is a business. But being that this is a business, I knew that there would be ample opportunities for me to find my competitive advantage in this highly competitive field. This course is designed for anyone who works at 9 to 5 job but still wants to do voiceovers . I want to show you how to nail the read how to effectively record and how to intelligently market yourself. Essentially, I want to show you how to be smoke, this whole voice acting thing right from home. You're gonna love this. Let's go. 2. Before you begin: So first things first. Before you ever start voice acting at a minimum, there are certain things that you need to be able to do well. Number one, you should be able to read well. Number two. You should be able to speak clearly and number three. You should be able to give variations on your reads. How do you do this? Practice, Practice practice. Most people with enough work can reach proficiency in those three areas, but here are a few tips to help you reach your goal faster. You can start by reading out loud every day. Never miss a chance to read out loud. I like to read the news as sad as it may be sometimes, but I can go online every day and find something to read out loud. To change things up, try reading in front of someone and ask them what they think to speak more clearly. You can take a community college course on voice and articulation. You can also do vocal training and re tongue twisters. Giving variations on reads is a necessity. You might be asked to read something one way, then read it in a completely different way. Acting courses at your local community college can help as well as improv courses in your city can be great to help your development. Remember, when you are a voice actor, you are an actor. Once you feel comfortable in your ability to speak, it's time to delve into the finer points of interpreting copy. 3. Exercise - Announcer's test: here is an exercise that you can try. This is called the Announcers Test. This was a test that originated in the forties and fifties to demonstrate the reading ability of aspiring radio talent. Today, a lot of actors and just speakers in general use this as a warm up before speaking. Here we go. One hand, one hen, two ducks, one hand to ducks, three squawking geese, one hand to ducks, three squawking geese, four Limerick oysters, one hand to ducks, three squawking geese. Four Limerick oysters, five corpulent purposes, one hand to ducks, three squawking geese. Four Limerick oysters, five corpulent purposes. Six pair of Don Alvarez. Those tweezers. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese. Four Limerick oysters, five corpulent purposes. Six pair of Don Alvarez. Those tweezers. 7000 Macedonians in full battle array. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese. Four Limerick oysters. Five corpulence, Poor passes. Six pair of Don Alvarez. Those tweezers. 7000 Macedonians in full battle array. Eight. Brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt. One hand to ducks, three squawking geese, four Limerick oysters, five corpulent purposes. Six pair of Don Alvarez. Those tweezer 7000 Macedonians in full battle array. Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred Crips of Egypt. Nine. Apathetic, sympathetic diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth. One hand to ducks. Three squawking geese. Four Limerick oysters, five corpulence purposes. Six pair of Don Alvarez. Those tweezers. 7000 Macedonians in full battle Ray. Eight. Brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt. Nine. Apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and slop . 10. Lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who holds stole around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivering all at the same time. How did you do? 4. Nailing the read introduction: I was taught way back in the eighth grade that when you write, you should try to grab the listener's attention right away. I like to approach voiceovers this way as well. Now, if I ask 10 different people to read a 32nd commercial, I would probably get 10 different reads. But it's also possible I could get 10 of the exact same reads. So the question is, how do you make your read? Stand out when you receive copy. You should always begin asking yourself three questions. Who am I? Who am I speaking to? What am I trying to accomplish? Always start off trying to answer those questions. This will help guide your direction when it's time to read next. How does the clients want it? Read. It's always interesting to me how some people communicate the way they want something red. Remember, this course is focused on the work from home voice actor, so a lot of your direction will be written. I've seen things like Make the read intelligence, but not to intelligence or urban, but not too gangster. This was one of my favorite ones. This was the actual direction given from a client for an Internet commercial of a company selling designer jeans the actual direction. Imagine you've just spent a long day moving boxes up and down three flights of stairs. When you're done, you decide to head straight to your local library and have a conversation with an attractive woman who was sitting across an eight foot table from you. You're trying to convince her to have coffee with you, but it's taking a while for you to work up the nerve, capture that feeling. And what does that even mean? I mean, really, what does that even mean? The direction could be all over the board sometimes, mainly because it's difficult to convey in tow words how you want something to sound. Some of the typical types of direction that I hear all the time are conversational, upbeat, motivational documentary promo, hard sell, soft sell, dramatic and announcer. Let's take a look a little deeper 5. Conversational read: conversational read, also known as a real person. Read, is one of the tougher reads for a voice actor to do. The client is trying to convey authenticity. They want people to hear you and say, Yeah, that sounds like something I would say Or a friend of mine would say, Let's look at a few examples Blow. My name is Donald Fits Kill Junior, and I am a voice actor. In contrast, here is an announcer read, Hello, my name is Donald Fit Skeel Jr and I am a voice actor. Do you see the difference? Imagine that you were sitting across the table from someone and they said, Hey, what's your name and what's your profession? Imagine responding with an announcer tone. Hello, my name is Donald Fit Skeel Jr and I am a voice actor that would probably look at you like What is wrong with this dude? Because that's not how people talk to one another. If I was sitting across the table from someone and they asked, Hey, what is your name and what is your profession? I would say first off, why you all of my business? But for purposes of this example, I would say hello. My name is Donald Fits Kill Junior, and I am a voice actor. So how do we know the conversational read? First of all, if you have headphones on, take off the headphones. I found that it helps authenticity when the headphones are removed. Next, slow it down. If the script allows for it, don't rush through the script as that could make it sound very sales. E. Immerse yourself in the role. Remember, you are an actor, and the first thing you should ask yourself is, Who am I? Figure out who you are and respond the way that person would respond. Your goal is to immerse yourself in the character and just be as natural as possible. Which is easier said than done. The conversational slash real person read could be one of the more difficult reads a voice actor can do, especially when you are being asked to be persuasive at the same time or say things that you wouldn't typically say in a conversation 6. Exercise – Conversational read: here is an exercise that you could try. Let's look at the following answer the following questions out loud. Where you from? What is the name of the closest airport to your home? How do you get from your home to that airport? Why are you taking this class? If you're like most people, you just answer those questions the way anyone would conversationally. Let's look at a conversational script. Don't you hate it when you want to go on a vacation? But you just don't have time to plan your get away. We've solve that little problem for you, and then some visit our website to take advantage of our complimentary destination guides. If you already know where you'd like to go, that's half the battle. You can book discount airfares, hotel in your rental car, all on our site. What a life saver. Simple, inexpensive and fast. Shouldn't everything in life be like this 7. Upbeat sales read: So now that we've looked at conversational, let's take a look at some other types of reads. Another type of read I come across is the upbeat sales. Read this read is something that I get all of the time. I like to use my hands when doing an upbeat sales read now upbeat, coming different things to different people. It can be happy, positive or fast or a combination of all of those things. Let's look at the spot we read earlier in a conversational tone, But this time let's read it in an upbeat manner. Don't you hate it when you want to go on a vacation? But you just don't have time to plan your get away. We've solve that little problem for you, and then some visit our website to take advantage of our complimentary destination guides. If you already know where you'd like to go, that's half the battle. You can book discount airfares, hotel and your rental car all on our site. What a lifesaver. Simple, inexpensive and fast. Shouldn't everything in life be like this? 8. Voicemail and On-hold messaging: Now let's look at voicemail on on hold messaging. This could be one of your biggest moneymakers. Just take a look at your hometown. Have you ever noticed how many businesses you pass by on your way to work or on your way to the grocery store? Really? Just try to take noticed your next time on the road of how many small businesses you come across all of these businesses. I repeat, all of these businesses could use the help of a voice actor, especially if they place customers on hold when doing voicemail and on hold, messaging reads. Here's what I like to keep in mind. Smile. You can actually hear a smile. Companies want to sound welcoming and inviting, so make sure to smile when you read your voicemail and on hold messaging. Copy. No, your focus points. Your focus points are what you should give more attention to in your read things like the company name and slogans be very clear. As with any voiceover, you want to be clear when you speak, but even more so with voicemail. Oftentimes your voices instructing the caller to do something. For this reason alone, you should do your very best to be as articulate as possible. Let's look at a voicemail and on hold messaging. Read. Hello? You've reached Mr Fitz Skill, and I can't come to the phone right now. Please leave your name, number and a brief message, and I'll get back with you as soon as possible. Take care. Bye. Now. On on hold. Messaging. Read. Thanks for your patience. Did you know Donald's lawn service now serves the greater Dallas area? We're doing our part to make the greater Dallas area beautiful. One lawn at a time. Ask a customer service representative, firm or information. You see, in this example, our on hold messaging spot is actually a soft sell. That's where I'm selling, but not being pushy or aggressive. 9. Long form narration: Now let's take a look at long form narrations with long form narration. You could be looking at something a few minutes loan to something that's ours alone. Longer explainer videos, short stories and audiobooks come to mind. When you are the narrator, you are all knowing your job as a narrator is to engage the audience and make the story believable. Now, because your goal is to engage the listeners and be believable. It's usually a good idea to slow down when reading narration. You'll also need toe work up stamina to be able to complete a longer read. When I began voice acting, I remember how long it took me to record something that was about 30 minutes long. Finished your reading stamina matters and trust me at some point doing a long read, especially when first starting out you will get tired of reading a long script. This is why it's good to remember your pace. There is a tendency to speed up when you get tired of reading toe. Hurry up and get to the end of the script. You can get a lot of practice with long form narration going to liberal box dot org's This is a nonprofit site where you can volunteer to record chapters of books in the public domain. Once the project is completed, the audio files air, then sent back to the Internet for free. This is a great way to get practice reading and recording long form narration. 10. Nailing the read summary: Now, as we look at different types of reads, what you should know is that my interpretation could be different from another voice. Actors interpretation. Ultimately, the only person's opinion that matters in this is the client. It's not right until your client says it's right. So if you are unclear on their direction, just ask for more information. Just get us much information as you can believe in yourself, then press record. 11. How to record introduction: So now it's time to talk about how to record when you're working from home. You are not going toe. Have the benefit of working with the director in an audio engineer, you must do it all yourself. The purpose of this section is to provide you with the road map of exactly how to get up and going. You will not. I repeat, you will not become an advanced audio engineer in this course. Audio engineering can be very detailed at times to say the least. So I've boiled this down to the following five areas the room hardware, software, recording process and editing process. 12. Setting up the room: There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at the room. First of all, you want to find the least noisy room in your house or apartment. Now you're not going to be able to completely soundproof your room. At least I don't think you're going to be able to completely soundproof your room. The process of soundproofing your room can cost tens of thousands of dollars. What you should be going for is sound deadening and or sound absorption, which is a fancy way of saying reducing sound and noise that you don't want on your voice recording. To stop noise from coming into your room, you can use blankets to cover the windows and doors. In addition to blankets, I use noise reducing window inserts for my windows. This allows me to reduce the noise and get some natural light into my room. Then there is internal noise. Sound travels as a vibrating wave. If your room is small, like my room, these traveling ways could bounce from wall toe woe, creating an echo on your recording the way you reduce or eliminate this echo effect, it is by placing material around your room that will absorb the vibrations rather than bounce them in my room. I have acoustic foam in certain places. It's not necessary to treat the entire room, but you should, at a minimum, be treating the area of the room that you are speaking towards. You should also have a good amount of light in your room. I have to windows and an overhead light and two lamps. You need to make sure that you have adequate lighting to see everything you need to see. 13. Hardware essentials: Now let's take a look at hardware, so first and foremost, you need a computer. Ah, laptop would be best because that would enable you to travel and record. This computer should be advanced enough to handle simple audio processing. Most newer computers can handle this with no problem. Next we have the microphone. You confined many reasonably priced microphones for voice acting from about $100 to $500. There are microphones that are much more expensive, but they're not necessary for someone just starting out now. There are a lot of really good microphones out there. A good cardio oId condenser microphone is the best way to start. For voiceovers, a cardio and microphone simply means that sound will be recorded from a narrow area, as opposed to an Omni directional microphone that would pick up sound from all around the microphone. By limiting the recorded sound to a specific area, you can reduce background noise that could interfere with your recording. I personally like the Bluebird microphone by blue microphones and my A K G perception to 20 . The A K G perception to 20 was about $150 and the Bluebird microphone was about $300. I've also enjoyed using the MX l 9000 microphone, which is priced around $200. Your mike will probably come with the shock mounts, which is the apparatus that will hold your mic and place on your mike stand. I have a floor mike stand as well as a desktop mic stand. They cost me from $20 to $50. I also use a pot filter to reduce the impact of air from my mouth into the mic capsule. This is a problem that will be more evident once you start recording and are able to look in here. The sound files that are recorded. If you plan on using your microphone to record more than vocals, you should do considerable research before choosing a microphone. It can be overwhelming, but it is worth your time to do so. Next, you'll need to power the microphone. Condenser microphones run on what's called Phantom power, so you'll need a pre empt to supply fans and power to your microphone. Some microphones, like the MX L 9000 that I mentioned earlier, come with the pre em my pre amp, which isn't made anymore is also my audio interface, which allows me to connect to my computer, sound system, headphones or even Midian and instruments, though I don't like to use headphones all of the time. Sometimes it's necessary, depending on the project. So a good pair of headphones is a needed part of your arsenal as well. I like the Sennheiser HD to 80 pro headphones. I believe you confined those for about $100. 14. Software and preparing to record : Now let's look at the recording process. There are several audio recording software programs you can use pro tools Adobe Addition, twisted Wave, GarageBand and audacity, to name a few. I personally have used the free software audacity for a long time, and I find it great for my needs. I find it easy to use intuitive, and I can find plenty of online. Resource is for audacity as well. There are also plenty of plug ins available for audacity that really makes this software very valuable for the voice actor. When you record, you want to be about six or seven inches away from the microphone and place the microphone slightly off sensor of your mouth. You want to do this to reduce the effect of PLO sieves PLO sieves, which are usually heard on words that begin with a P and B, send out a gust of air that creates a lot of pressure on the microphone diaphragm, causing the recording to essentially become distorted by moving the microphone off center of your mouth, you congrats Lee. Reduce the effects of PLO sieves. Your pop filter will help you further reduce the effects of PLO sieves. You'll want to test out the microphone in different locations to find out what is the best location for your mouth and the microphone to achieve the ideal sound you're looking for. So play around with the mic placement until you're comfortable with the sound. Many people refer to this as finding the sweet spot for your microphone. Once you've positioned your microphone correctly, it's time to record. 15. Recording and editing walk through: Now it's time to record, and there are many, many, many, many things you can do when it comes to audio editing. Before you begin recording, you should know a few things. Mono or stereo file output, bit rates and sample rate. Mono or stereo was pretty straightforward. Mano will have one track stereo will have to. The file output will be like an MP three. Wave A, A, C, C C I. T U Law, and so on. The bit rate will be 16 24 or 32 the sample rate will be anywhere from eight kilohertz to 192 kilohertz. It does get higher, but I've never personally been asked to provide anything higher than 192 kilohertz sample rates. If they don't specify what they want. And most of your clients won't I typically record and deliver the following mono MP 3 32 bits 44.1 kilohertz. All right, so the first step in your editing process should be to listen to the track to ensure that everything is technically accurate. Is every single word technically accurate? If not, then let's correct it. Okay, so let's record something with some mistakes. Don't you hate it when you want to go on a vacation? But you just don't have time to plan your get away. We've solve that little problem for you, and then some visit our website to take advantage of our complimentary destination guides. If you already, if you already know where you'd like to go, that's half the battle. You can book discount airfares, hotel and your rental car all on our site. What a lifesaver. Simple, inexpensive and fast. Shouldn't everything in life be like this? All right. I think I recorded myself saying All right, Right here. Oh, uh oh, yeah, We're gonna delete that. So what we want to do right now is make sure that this is technically accurate. We want to listen to everything. Don't you hate it when you want to go on a vacation, But you just don't have time to plan your get away. We've solve that little problem for you, and then some visit our website to take advantage of our complimentary destination guides. If you already, if you already. All right, so we see right there, there's some coughing. We wanna go ahead and just take that own out. Just take it on out if you all. If you already the nation guides. If you already know where you'd like to go, that's half the battle. You can book discount airfares, hotel and your rental car all on our site. What a lifesaver. Simple, inexpensive and fast. Shouldn't everything in life be like this? Okay, so now, uh, what I like to do and this is just me, But what I like to do is first just exports this raw file as a zone MP three. I like to do this just in case things go awry, and I need a backup. So we'll call this raw sample too, just so we can always come back to this once we start our editing process. All right, now what I want to do next is to remove noise. So when removing noise, this is done by the noise reduction effect here in audacity. So we goto effect noise reduction effect. Now, you can adjust these levels that are listed here, but it's usually just best to stick with the pre set levels until you know what you're doing. The golden noise reduction is to remove as much noise as possible without affecting your voice over. So the way that this works is that audacity wants you to first grab a stretch of audio. That should be silent. What you're doing right now is helping audacity figure out what exactly What exactly? Noises. So here I have an area that should be silence that I have selected. And I go to noise reduction and hit gets noise profile. Okay. And now I want to select the entire track. Okay, so first thing we did was select the, um, get noise profile. Now I'm selecting the entire track. We come back down here to noise reduction. All right, so I'll go through these things quickly. The noise reduction section controls the amount of volume reduction to be applied to the identifying noise. The sensitivity controls how much of the audio should be considered as noise. The sensitivity essentially further defines what noises and the frequencies smoothing spreads the noise reduction across a specified number of bands. This will apply the noise reduction to parts of your voice recording that you probably want to keep. So you should definitely use this effect sparingly. But again, you could play around with this to see what works best for you. Okay, Since we already got the noise profile and we have the entire track selected, we just select. Okay? And now it has been applied. Now we want to get a consistent sound. The best way to achieve this is by using the compressor effect. The compressor reduces the dynamic range of audio. Reducing the dynamic range of the audio allows for the audio to be amplified more consistently without clipping. This process is sometimes necessary to achieve certain RMS or root mean square levels. This is the normal method for calculating the average sound level of an audio file. Now, again, like with the noise reduction effects, you can play around with the, um, levers and switches here on the compressor effects. But we'll go through these eso you can have an idea of what you will be doing. So the threshold is the level above which compression is applied to the audio. So that means all audio above this decibel level will be compressed. Now, when you're working with decibel levels, you're working in negative numbers. So negative 23 is smaller than negative 12 which is smaller than negative one. Now the noise floor allows us to tell the compressor what not to amplify. We don't want to amplify background noise. So when we set the noise floor were telling the compressor that we don't want to amplify sounds below this decibel level. You'll need to play around with this level to see what works best for your room ratio. This ratio right here dictates the amount of compression that is to be applied to the audio that exceeds the threshold. The number is listed in terms of 6 to 1 3.5 to 1 or even 1 to 1. The bigger the number of them or the compression. The attack and release dictate the speed in which changes begin and end. Attack is at the beginning, and release is at the end. You can play around with these to see how it affects your sound, but I typically don't move these and finally, these radio buttons down here at the bottom, you have the makeup gain for zero decibel levels after compressing, which essentially amplifies your audio toe a peak level of zero decibel levels and you have the compress based on peaks, which dictates whether the compressor uses the RMS level or peak values for the work that I do. I select this button right here, compressed based on peaks 99% of the time. There it is. I select that 99% of the time, um, to base my compression off of peaks. So again, we want to select, and we want to select the right thing. When I go there, it's a compressor. Leave everything where it is and what happens is now we have a larger, more fuller sound. Um, with a smaller dynamic range. Come here. Just a piece. You hate it when you want to go on a vacation, but you just don't have time to plan your get away. We've solve that little problem for you, and then some visit our website to take advantage of our okay. Next, we want to set the peak levels. This could be done in a number of ways. Well, just look at the amplify effect right here Now, by selecting the entire project and changing the new peak amplitude to whatever level we're looking, the sets we can achieve the peak level standard by which we're looking for for instance, one of the requirements for a C X audiobooks is that the peak volume levels shouldn't be higher than negative three decibel levels. So if we were shooting for negative three decibel levels, we would put negative three there in the new peak amplitude and hit. OK, now, if we were shooting for something a little bit louder and said, Negative one decibel levels, we see that it gets louder right there. Don't you hate it when you want to go on a vacation? But you just don't have time to plan. Your get away finally, will remove breaths. Unfortunately, we're humans and we breathe. And while we can use certain breathing techniques and even certain processors to reduce breaths on our tracks, it still may be necessary to remove breathing manually from your recording. I like to use the amplify tool to reduce breaths in the recording. The important thing to remember when removing breaths is that if we remove too much breathing, we will also get rid of room tone, and the recording can sound robotic. So be careful when removing breathing and find an acceptable level. So we want toe enlarge this first, and we'll just remove a few so you could see the process Get away. We No, we have to get rid of this breath. So just like we increase things there with a new peak amplitude acsi want to just reduce this Now you may be tempted to use the silencing button that is right here. The silence would work and it would remove a breath. But it can make the recording sound robotic because you're actually getting rid of room tone as well. So you typically don't want to do it that way. So I'll just remove it like that or get away. We've solve that little problem for you and then some. We can repeat the effect just like that. You and then some visit our website to take advantage of our complimentary destination guides. If you already know where you'd like to go, that's half the battle, and this process could be very tedious sometimes. But this is one of the things that helps make your project shine. Okay, so after you remove the breaths, you're done recording, and at that point you can exports your file MP three wave or whatever it is that you're going to export and you're good to go. Got it 16. How to record summary: like mailing the read. The recording process can be a complex road to travel. You should definitely make sure to know how to use your equipment before you start taking paid assignments. To get the best sound out of your equipment, you should make sure that your recording area is as quiet as possible. And with time and practice, you can become proficient at using your equipment and provide commercial quality sound right from home. Though this road can seem difficult at times, I believe it is also worthwhile. So continue toe, learn and hone your craft. The only thing left to do now is market yourself. Let's go. 17. Marketing yourself introduction: Now it's time to market yourself. This is by far the most challenging aspect of being a voice actor. This is also the area that presents the most opportunity for those that are flexible in their strategy. The best two things that you can do that are completely under your control our offer a great product and give even better customer service because word of mouth is the best advertisement on the planet and your reviews will sell your product better than most anything else. Some things that arm or long term but will help you gain an audience are making a website, creating a blawg or creating a podcast. This is a digital age, and people tend to search online before they do anything. These days, having a website helps you build credibility, and it allows potential clients to find you. Having a blawg is very powerful because blogging is one of the best free things you can do for your search engine Optimization. Seo, as it's also cold, simply relates to the process of making it easier toe. Find you on the Internet. Then there are podcasts. Podcasts are very popular right now. People love listening to podcast podcast are a great way for you to build a following. Providing consistent and engaging work can allow you to build an audience. It's important to remember that this is a business, so everything from the tags to the headlines to the artwork to the content must be looked at when thinking of a topic. Try to think of something that is genuinely you. It will make it easier to come up with content when you do it this way. I recommend looking into search engine optimization for everything you put online. You should be thinking in terms of search engine optimization. 18. Natural market and local hidden gems: next, we'll look at your natural market. Some of the best advertising you will ever do is simply telling people that you are a voice actor. When you tell people that you are a voice actor, you might as well have just told them that you are a superhero. This is a business that people want to know about. I found that it tends to sell itself. Think about the people you come across the cleaners daycare, church, Rufer, the restaurant you eat at every day for lunch. Find a way to let these people know what you do. Let your family and friends no, you do it again. You don't have to sell them. Just let them know that you do it. So when the opportunity presents itself, hopefully they will think of you first. Next, we'll look at other places. You'll come across anywhere you see a business, you'll have the potential to be needed. There are some places that would use you more than others, like ad agencies, video production companies and videographers. Find a way to connect with these people. You can use postcards or email or networking events or lengthen or any other way you can think of. Just find a way to get in front of them Now. If you are aggressive, you can go door to door with business cards and a smile, stopping by a strip mall, going to each store with a quick spill and a business card. If you're not quite wired to go door to door, then you can go somewhere where the business owners come to you like a chamber of commerce meeting Chamber of Commerce meetings can be very valuable for the voice actor, especially if you are an introvert like me. At these meetings, people will come up to you shaking your hand and looking to exchange business cards. You might not need their services right now, but they all potentially need yours. You're welcome. 19. Online marketplace and finding your edge: Now we'll look at the online marketplace. And when I say the online marketplace, I'm referring to the many places online that allow you to post your information headshots, demos, bios, etcetera and then have people approach you with business. It can present great opportunities for those that market themselves well. First, let's look at pay for play websites. Typically, the way that these work is that you first have to pay some monthly or yearly amount to be able to audition for certain spots on these sites. Most of your time is usually spent responding toe auditions with recorded reads and an offer. While this may be good for some people, I don't recommend any of the pay for play sites Starting out. You need to be reasonably sure that you will receive some return on your investment before you go to any one of these places, so you should have a greater understanding of your skill set before paying someone for potential work. Next, there are websites that cost you nothing to join, and you don't pay anything until someone purchases from you. The commission's can range from 20% to 50% on a lot of these sites. These air great places to find business without having to pay Each month. These sites advertise for you, handle the payment process and host your information all for a commission that has taken off the final sales price. Once you're on the sites, you'll usually be asked to place a standing offer for your services in voice acting. The amount you charged will typically depend on a number of things. Those things include, but are not limited to the word counts. How many words are in the script? The use? Is this something for internal company usage, or will this be broadcasted all around the world? Or maybe somewhere in between music That's the client. Expect you to add royalty free music, Original music? Will they provide music timeframe? How soon do they need this project? Let's say you're a turnaround. Time is three days, but they need it today. There is typically an additional charge for expediting work. You'll also be asked to write out a headline for what you're offering, show some artwork and possibly provide a video describing what you do. This is what separates those that do this as a hobby from those of us that Do this for a living. Your video headline Artwork and reviews are what? Sell your voice over services. Before you start down this road, you should first ask yourself, Why me? Why would a person look at all of these other voice actors? Move them to the side and choose me. I call this process finding your edge. When I first started selling voiceovers in marketplaces, I couldn't sell anything for the 1st 6 months. In fact, I couldn't sell until I realized my edge. My edge at the time was that I was a full time voice actor, not a part time voice actor like most. So that meant I could offer a very quick turnaround time. So I offered to complete projects within a few hours because I could, and that was my edge. I no longer offer that, because the amount of work that I get would make it very difficult to guarantee finishing projects in that time frame. Maybe you can do accents very well. Maybe you can sound like certain celebrities. Whatever you do, understand that your edge should not be easily duplicated by others. If it is successful, trust me, other people will try to copy. But if your edge is based on something that is uniquely you, then it will be very difficult for people to imitate your success. Your artwork is typically something that will be displayed as a thumbnail while people are searching. The artwork can be a photo of yourself or photo of your studio or some graphic design that captures people's attention. Remember, people will be looking at a lot of profiles. Give them a reason to stop at yours. Finally, you want to make your video hot. Now I've done videos that only have a static picture of my professional head shot, and I've also done video mashups consisting of live video of myself speaking and royalty free video clips that I found on the Internet. I've had success both ways, but I've had a little more success with a live video. I found that it is best to show a smudge personality as you can in this process. Now here's the deal. When I first started, I placed my professional commercial demo as my audio on the video and didn't receive any responses. It's not that it wasn't good. It was. It's just that it wasn't different from the others again. Your goal should be to answer the question. Why me? Well, I decided to go out on a limb and just make a silly voice over, and it changed everything. Take a listen. Hello, fiber. This is speakeasy. And I have one question for you. Are you ready for the deal of your life? I'm a professional actor and voice over artistes providing 75 words of any kind of voiceover. You need any kind, any kind at all? I will even deliver this audio as an MP three and away file at no additional charge. Say what I know, right? Right. But wait, there's more. Not only will you get one MP three file and one way file, you'll receive this in 24 hours or less. Thanks. I think this announcement commercial testimonial, documentary, voicemail, greeting or video game character I can record it for you on state of the art equipment for a clear, professional sound. Plus, if you would like a voiceover done in my frog man voice, have no fear. Just add the gig extra right down there. A a speakeasy Sound company points at the speed of sound. Let's go. You see, I was able to attract more clients by offering something personal, candid and, frankly, silly. It's okay to be silly. Really, it is. If that's what works for you, just always keep in mind the question. What is my edge and why will the clients want to work with me and you'll be fine? The thing to remember about marketing yourself as a voice actor is that you should always be willing to change marketing directions. If something isn't working, your situation might be different from mine, and you could find pipelines of business that could never be available to me. Your marketing plan should speak to the needs of your clients. You should know why you are the perfect solution for your clients. Be ready to tell them when the time arises. 20. The Official DIY Guide to Voice Acting Summary: to become a successful home based voice actor, you'll have to get a lot of things right. You'll need to know how to nail the read, how to record and edit and how to effectively market yourself. As with anything in life, you should always be seeking to get better at what you do. You could take an acting or improv class. You can take classes on audio engineering. You could read books on marketing really as long as you were taking steps towards your passion of being a voice actor than you were doing well. Remember these final tips as you move forward, offer a great product and even better customer service. Continue to be a students in all aspects of your voice acting career. Tell people that you are a voice actor and stay in the gang. Just stay in the game. If you do, clients will come. There you have it. The official D i y. Guy to voice acting. I hope you enjoyed it. Take care