The Voice Over Industry is global and there are lots of opportunities to perform many different types of voice over work. In fact most voiceover artists do many different types of voice over work in any given month. This is one of the many reasons people fall in love with working in the voice over industry.
When learning about how to become a voice actor, it’s important that you investigate and learn about the huge variety of voiceover work available to talented voice actors.
The Voice Over Industry – Types Of Voice Over Work
The voice over industry is vast, but also fragmented. There are many genres. It isn’t until you start to learn about the voice over industry that you suddenly become aware of it’s importance, variety and occurrence in everyday life.
Voice Over Industry – ADR
ADR stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement. When films, documentaries or TV dramas are produced there are times when the sound quality of the spoken dialogue might not be quite right. There are many reasons for this e.g. a loud background noise, such as a car or aircraft overhead. To overcome this poor sound quality, voice actors are often brought in to record a fresh audio track. One of the most important skills required is being able to lip sync. ADR is also used for ‘dubbing’ films from one language to another.
Voice Over Industry – Anime
Anime falls into the animation genre, but is treated as a special sub genre on it’s own. One of the most immediate challenges faced by voice actors is the amount of vocal projection, screaming and sheer vocal range required. Coupled with this, is the need to work for long periods of time. This can cause some voice overs to avoid this type of work for fear of damaging their vocal chords.
Despite this, getting into voice over anime, opens up an amazing world that has a substantial fan base around the world.
Voice Over Industry – AudioBooks
Audiobooks are fast becoming mainstream entertainment. As a result, many voiceover actors, and others are interested in becoming narrators and audiobook readers. When the content of an audiobook is matched to the right narrator, the result can be quite magical and lead to a completely captivated audience. Voicing long texts however, requires a different type of voice skill than most other genres of voice work.
Specifically, audiobook narration requires different skills than commercial voiceover or theatre acting, though the skills of either or both disciplines are very helpful when becoming a successful narrator. A great way to start developing these skills is to record for the blind and/or volunteer for LibriVox. Both are wonderful ways to gain and practice skills in story tellng and production.
Voice Over Industry – Cartoons/Animation
Usually, in motion pictures, the voice talent behind a cartoon personality is required to have a good vocal range. Animations are often very dramatic in nature and require voice talent to be larger than life in their delivery. So going to extremes when practicing is helpful.
Sometimes, a voice actor is required to deliver more than one personality or character. Being able to change your voice and vocally convey the personality of a different character quickly and consistently is vital. The scenes in an animation are often extreme, as cartoonists can let their imaginations run wild in this fantasy world. As a result, voice over actors need to be able to voice many different types of scenes. This is one of the reasons why animation appeals to many voice actors.
Voice Over Industry – Commercials
Worldwide advertising spend is estimated to be about $583.91 billion! That’s a lot of ads. Commercials then, are the product of advertising and are delivered through many different types of media: TV, internet and of course radio. Matching the right voice and voice style to the commercial is a critical part of producing a commercial, that is convincing and fits to a brand.
Most adverts are made by advertising agencies. Advertising agencies use voice over talent in many ways. Their goal of course, is to help a company gain more customers. Whenever they are using audio to market their clients’ companies, they will need a voice over artist to communicate the message. Commercial voice over is perhaps one of the most skillful genres.
Voice Over Industry – E-Learning
Voice over for E-learning. With the growth of digital technology, e-learning has taken off. E-learning is anything with an educational component … from “first concepts” books for toddlers to corporate training. It could be a video that talks you through the steps of how to setup a piece of technical equipment through to health and safety training.
Many voice actors find that e-learning makes up a significant percentage of their work. Many eLearning clients are look for voice over talent that have a background in a technical field, e.g. fluent in medical or legal terminology? There are oodles of jobs in those categories that many other voice actors avoid because they aren’t comfortable with the vocabulary. Comfortable with business lingo? You could become “the voice” of a corporation’s training materials. Do you know the high-tech or IT industries? Plenty of scripts need your expertise. Do you love weird and difficult words? Get yourself involved in a dictionary app! Or if you really want to specialise, how about medical e-learning?
Voice Over Industry – Internet
Advertisers buy TV airtime for a limited period, whereas a commercial, posted on a website could, in theory, stay there forever. If a TV commercial will also be used online, then this should be clear in any discussion about usage and/or buyout, so you can consider what additional charge may apply. Some ads are made specifically for Internet only use. Internet has a huge value for advertisers as the global reach is potentially huge. For this reason, commercials produced for the web can be worth a lot of money in residual payments.
The majority of Internet voice-overs involve introductions to web pages, as well as narration for the videos found on those pages. Industries using Internet voice-overs may vary, although many tend to fall within the realm of technology and education.
Voice Over Industry – Radio
Casting for Radio Drama is in the gift of producers – for each play. These will either be made in-house, by the BBC for example (in the UK) or through Independent Companies. This is a specialised area of voice over work and often the work goes to established actors. However, occasionally new voice actors do break through. The BBC has a drama repertory company.
Voice Over Industry – Telephone and IVR Jobs
Many businesses use IVR (Interactive voice Response) recordings on their customer phone systems to help filter customer calls. Because IVR is heard by customers it is important that the voice over talent comes across as professional and engaging.
Each business has a unique identity that customers should recognise and connect with immediately. The voice that is used for an IVR is critical to forge a connection with customers. Once a company uses a voice actor for their IVR system they will often stay with that voice actor and use them for changes. This can be regular and ongoing work.
Voice Over Industry – Video Gaming
Video games have become an integral part of our culture over the last several decades. The combination of technological advances and a new emphasis on social technology have led to great opportunities in the gaming industry.
Gaming may have changed greatly in the last thirty years, but one thing remains the same: voice-overs are still capable of making or breaking otherwise excellent games.
As such, it’s essential for game creators to find the perfect voice-over artists and for voice artists to understand gaming if they want to be excellent actors in this genre. There are two primary types of work available for those specialising in video game voice-overs: acting and narration.
Role-playing games often feature thousands of lines of dialogue, requiring voice actors who know how to keep the game lively and full of surprises. Voice actors often need to record the same line in multiple ways so that the gamer’s experience is varied and unpredictable, especially if a certain action, question or response is repeated many times.
Games of all types require narrators to instruct beginning players and inform more advanced gamers of their progress. There are many different ways a video game voice actor may need to use their voice.
The Voice Over Industry In Detail
Each of the areas of voice over work are explored in more detail in the following pages. You will find out within each section a few tips on each of these types of voice over work.
ADR Voice Over Jobs
Anime Voice Over Jobs
Audiobook Voice Over Jobs
Cartoon Voice Over Jobs
Commercial Voice Over Jobs
E-Learning Voice Over Jobs
Internet Voice Over Jobs
Radio Voice Over Jobs
Telephone and IVR Voice Over Jobs
Video Game Voice Over Jobs
Learning to research and develop your skills in this industry opens doors to new types of work. This makes the variety of work in the voice over industry makes it exciting and interesting career path.
For more information on voice acting visit our series of posts on how to become a voice actor