When choosing voices

What is the best voice for your project?

Knowing which voice to choose among a wide bank of voices is vital to find the voice over talent that best fits your radio slot, video, audiobook, IVRs...

It is true that, as in all professions, there are professionals who have great skills to do their job well and there are others who, in other words, are not so lucky. The same thing happens in the world of professional voice overs. The Vocesdecine.com voice bank is made up exclusively of highly experienced professionals, so in our case we will only look at the great actors with great talent.

The choice of voice is a very important step in the process of sound reinforcement for a project. ¿Can you imagine Woody Allen's voice acting as Rusell Crowe in Gladiator or vice versa? Both actors are terrific and do an excellent job, but each is a better fit for the character they give voice to. The same thing happens with your project, you must choose the voice well.

At Vocesdecine.com we have a wide catalog of voices classified by age, language and gender to make it easier for you to find the voice that best suits your project. We are aware that our voice bank is so vast that you may end up getting lost in it. That is why many of our clients choose to ask us for advice to choose which voice best suits their project. In this case, we send a selection of voice samples to facilitate the selection process.

The director of the session

When the author of a text writes it with an idea in mind. To be able to convey this idea to the professional presenter who will be the voice of the project is very important to be able to interpret the text as the author has conceived it.

Although it is true that there are texts that do not allow great freedom of interpretation, such as commercial reports, announcements for shareholder meetings, IVRs... there are others that do require a more detailed interpretation.
In these cases, the choice of voice is of crucial importance. To have a voice actor with great experience in front of the microphone will make a big difference since it will provide the necessary nuance to convey the emotion that the text requires.

In cases in which the dramatization of the text plays an important role on the project, we recommend to connect via videocall with the writer of the text during the recording. An experienced professional will be able to provide a wide variety of records, but it will be the project manager who will decide which one they had in mind when the project was created.

Nowadays, online communication platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Google meets… allow instant connection and communication between the actor and the director, greatly facilitating the workflow.

Music

Having music available during the recording always improves the effect of the voice over.

The voice over’s intrepretation will greatly vary depending on the music that accompanies it. The musical style will mark the reading’s emotion that the reading will be impregnated with. It is not the same to read a text accompanied by a soft piano melody than with a rock or the summer hit.

The choice of music is another important step in sound reinforcement for a corporate video, radio spot, IVRs...

The first step is to choose between library music or a custom musical composition. Library music is the fastest and cheapest option. There are music libraries with infinite pieces of music. In fact, they are so extensive that the choice of music can be complicated. Many of our clients choose to ask us for advice and we take care of limiting the options to the 3 or 4 options that best fit the project.

Custom musical creation provides unique and personalized music. This will give the brand greater uniqueness and exclusivity. Every time that music plays, listeners will associate it with that brand and the campaigns will get more impact. The begining of Vocesdecine.com is closely linked to musical composition. We have created music for brands such as Nescafé, Artiach, Miel de la granja San Francisco, Caldos Aneto, Magicbox (Zomlings, TRacers, Mojipops...), BRB Internacional...

One of the last steps related to music is the mixing of the audio between the music and the voice. This process may seem simple but finding the balance between them requires great experience. This is where the work of the sound technician comes in, adding his sensitivity and knowledge of the technical tools to achieve a desired result.

AUDIOBOOK

The audiobook is here to stay. Haven't heard it yet? We encourage you to do it.

The great advantage over the traditional format is that it gives us the chance to enjoy a book in situations that are not suitable for reading, such as driving, cooking... activities that make it impossible to read a book or due to blindness. Although more and more readers-listeners are using this medium to enjoy the literary works.

The choice of voice or voices is very important in this format. A flat reading without drama will make the listener get tired and stop listening.

Listening to a well-explained book will transport you to the world of the author and will allow you to live a unique experience. As George R. R. Martin, said, "A reader lives a thousand lives before dying... He who does not read only lives one". Audiobooks allow you to continue reading in situations where it would be impossible to do so.

C.S. Lewis said: "We read to know that we are not alone". A good audiobook with a good interpretation can provide us with pleasant company.

From a technical point of view, an Audiobook is very demanding since in the vast majority of cases, the voice is the only sound element. Any technical imperfection will therefore be exposed and distract the listener's attention. You can read about the technical requirements section for more information.

STUDY-CLIENT COMMUNICATION

Audiovisual work is a team effort. Communication between the parties involved is very important to obtain an optimal result.

There are times when due to a busy schedule or other circumstances it is not possible for the agency, the director, the scriptwriter... to direct the recording session either in person or remote. In these cases, it is very important to leave the tone of the interpretation reflected in the script, it will help us understand what is looked after from the professional voice over talent . Another option is to arrange a phone call when the voice actor or actress is about to enter the recording room to give final instructions.

Good communication at the beginning of the recording will avoid future misunderstandings and guarantee an optimal result.

LANGUAGES

Communications, transport, internet... have made the world small. The export of products between different countries is increasing. In order to present the products, audiovisual pieces must be created that present the product or service in the language that the client understands. That is why the script of the video must be translated and dubbed.

This process is carried out in three phases:
Text translation. Depending on the original language of the video, it must be translated into Spanish, French, Italian, English, Portuguese...
Adaptation. There are languages that need more characters than others. For example, English is made up of a large number of monosyllables. When translating the text into Spanish, a language that has not so many monosyllables, sometimes twice as many characters are required as in English. This usually creates difficulties for the native voice over artist when it comes to dubbing as they have to read the text at high speed. In cases where there is a lot of continuous text without pauses, is very important to have a good adaptation to get a good dubbing. The adaptation consists of saying the same thing but using an approximate number of characters than in the original.
Video dubbing. At this point, it is very necessary that the voice over be a native speaker in the dubbing language. Listening to a wine or ham advertisement in Spanish with a voice that has a clear Russian, Arabic, Chinese or German accent, rather than attracting sales, it will deter them.

It must also be taken into account that the same language can have different accents that will affect the credibility of the locution. If a product or service seeks the American market, it must be done with an American voice over. The same happens with Spanish, if the marketplace is Spain, a Spanish voice over, should be used, if the marketplace is Colombia, a Colombian voice over should be used.

VOICE OVER TALENT OR ACTOR?

Is a dubbing actor the same as a voice over talent? What is best for my project?

The big difference between a voice over talent and a dubbing actor is the number of resources that the professional has available when interpreting a text.

Usually, a dubbing actor can do professional voice acting work. But a voice over talent does not usually have so many resources when it comes to dramatizing the reading. The main reason is experience. A dubbing actor has faced a large number of action, horror, comedy, drama situations... in the numerous film sequences he has dubbed. In explanatory texts that require a neutral interpretation, the differences are usually minimal. But when it is required to give certain emotion in different parts of the reading, a dubbing actor will have the resources to interpret it in a way that is credible for the listener.

During recording sessions it is very common for the client to give the actor instructions such as: "We need more energy", "A more epic tone" or "Say it as someone on the street would say it", "Give it a more cheerful but contained tone" . Executing these instructions well is more difficult than it seems. The credibility of the final result will be what will make the difference. Acting without overacting, transmitting emotions through the voice in a natural way is only within the reach of experienced professionals.

We've all seen badly dubbed movies and felt like turning off the TV or going to do other things. The same happens with the voice overs, if the listener does not believe the person who exposes the product, the advertising campaign will lose all its impact and its reason for being.

Our advice is to choose good voices and good interpreters to perfectly convey the message to the client.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

Having a great Ferrari does not guarantee winning a formula one race. The pilot will greatly influence the final result.

The same thing happens in the world of dubbing and professional voice-over. Not by having a good microphone will you get a good result.

Sound technicians are professional specialists whose function, among others, is to make things sound good.

If what you a looking for is an audiovisual project with a high-quality result that generates an impact, the sound must go through the hands of professionals in the field. No one wants a video narration or a radio show or an audiobook with the audio quality of a YouTuber, or a nail polish tutorial (with all due respect). Poor sound quality will show the listener or viewer a lack of neatness on the part of the advertiser that will harm their image and consequently their sales.

Many elements are involved in the audio recording process, such as the microphone, the preamp, the AD converter, the soundproofing of the recording studio, the acoustic conditioning of the room, the software... all of them are very important factors that will determine the final recording’s quality.

Once recorded, the audio must be processed and mixed. To do this, the audio is subjected to different processes such as compression, multiband compression, equalization, noise removal, deesser, level normalization depending on the broadcast channel...

Each of these points is crucial to obtain a good result and the work of an experienced professional is required to control them to get an optimal result.

WHAT DOES A KNOWN VOICE CONTRIBUTE?

There are voices that just by listening to them you visualize the face of the original actor. The voice of Gandalf, Máximo Décimo Meridio, Rachel from Friends, Jack Sparrow, Hannibal Lecter, Princess Leya...

Many of these dubbing actors or actresses are stars of advertising campaigns for major brands.

Being able to count on one of these voices for your project will add cachet to your product. They are well-known voices and that unconsciously give the listener a boost of confidence since they have heard them on countless occasions and in the vast majority of times, associated with renowned brands.

To learn more about choosing the voice that best suits your project, you can read the section The Choice of Voices.

RADIO SLOT

We have all heard thousands of radio spots. There are serious ones, comic ones, classic ones, original ones, short ones, long ones, clear ones, complicated ones...

In this article we want to give you advice based on cases that we have encountered with all the spots that we have had the privilege of recording.

A classic mistake is writing more text than there is space for. A professional speaker can read approximately 140 words per minute at a leisurely pace. With this data we can add up how many words we have depending on the tempo. If we have 30 seconds, about 70 words will fit. We have had cases in which we have received 200-word texts for 30-second spots..., in that case we had to talk to the client to help them redirect the situation. Another test to see if the text fits in the time available is to do a reading in front of the stopwatch and see how much time is required. Be careful, it's not worth cheating and reading at full speed ;). In these cases, the result will be a fast-paced slot that will not impact the listener.

The choice of voice is also very important when making the spot. For more information you can read the article The Choice of Voices.

The writing of the text is a separate topic. Just tell you some anecdotes that may help you. On one occasion, in a campaign in which we had to create the music for an advertising campaign and the entire text had to be sung after talking with the client and producer about the style, the type of instruments, the type of voice... when reading the text we had to say: “Guys, the text doesn't say what we sell or the name of the brand.” There was a slightly awkward silence and it was instantly resolved with good humor. It may seem like a beginner's mistake, but there are so many elements to take into account that the objective of an advertising campaign, which is to promote the product or service offered and who offers it, can be lost.

Music is also a main factor in the sound of a radio slot. You can read our article on choosing music for advertising for more information.

FINAL TEXTS

There are projects in which few people are involved and others in which there is a long chain of people to go through that are in charge of the creative process.

In the first case, decisions are usually quicker and easier to make. In the second case, decisions pass through many hands. This usually means that the text undergoes many corrections.

When entering the recording studio it is very important that you have the reviewed and final text. It may happen that during recording small adjustments are made that had gone unnoticed during the writing of the text, but these changes should be minimal. In this way, the voice actor or voice actress can focus on reading the text, thus avoiding interruptions to finish writing the texts that will hinder the fluid reading and interpretation of the text and end up damaging the final result of the voiceover.