If you are working on a commercial, animated work, game or other project that requires a voice over, you will need to determine what type of voice over you need. Determining your voice over style and desired characteristics can be a complex process, but with a little foundation work, you will find the voice over actor that meets your needs.
Evaluate the Project’s Requirements
Your project has specific requirements based solely on the type of project and characters. For example, should your voice over talent be male or female, should the voice be harsh and gravely or soft and soothing and what levels of education and professionalism should it suggest? If you are creating a commercial about a medical treatment for men, you want a male voice talent with a captivating voice who sounds highly educated. However, if you need a voice for an annoying female cartoon character, you will look for different characteristics, such as a female artist with a high-pitched, arrogant-sounding, perhaps childish voice talent. Your project should give you a strong starting place.
Review Similar Projects
Whether you want to follow specific current trends in your advertising or create timeless characters, you can determine the characteristics you want by listening to and watching other similar projects. Pay attention to how different voices make you feel and think. Do they remind you of anything? Do they put you to sleep? Start jotting down the things you hope your project conveys and identifying the voice characteristics that make you feel those things.
Create a Sample
As you develop your script, you may create a sample or provide detailed instructions within the script for inflection points, excitement, laughing, rhythmic tones or other voice tools. Your copy should be very detailed, and you may provide background information that helps the voice talent adjust their audition tapes and voice work to your characters.
Compare Audition Tapes
A strong voice actor brings your character to life. They often need formal acting training and experience to create believable voice overs. You will be able to identify those who work on their craft continuously and those who rely in a great voice pitch and timbre to get their bookings. Take detailed notes about each audition. What would you change, are they believable and do they fit your narrative and character? You may even consider sending notes to each applicant and ask for a new reading to find the best option.
Although the need for voice talent is expanding, so is voice talent availability. With a little extra time, you can find the best talent for your project.
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