Checklist for voice actors

Checklist for voice actors

If you record your voice beyond the special studio, please keep in mind these simple rules to get your recording as qualitative as possible in your conditions (especially if you are going to publish your stuff on such major platforms as Audible, iTunes and so on).

  1. If possible, choose the room full of furniture (sofas, armchairs, shelves, etc). It would be great to cover the windows with thick curtain. If you have a special vocal booth (something like this — DIY or purchased), that is perfect! CAUTION: please use that same environment for all the parts of one audiobook. Meaning, it’s a not a big problem if you were using different rooms for different stories/books… the problem is if you are using different rooms with different acoustic in one project. That could be pretty hard to match.
  2. Shut the doors and windows, so you were protected from outdoor noise. Also please switch off all the noisy appliances (fridges, air conditioners, other computers and such). During the recording session please remember of other noises produced by you (clothes and pages rustle, chair squeaks and so forth). All these things are going to be considered as a defect (by ACX QA team, for example). From the perspective of post-production stage (editing, cleaning, mastering) they are totally okay if they sound in between sentences. In such a case they might be removed easily. But, if they sound along with your voice, sometimes it’s pretty tough challenge to remove them without residual artifacts (and eventually, it’s all about the time and money). So, please, keep your recording free of extra noises.
  3. Keep your microphone (whatever you use — standalone mic or integrated with your smartphone) at about 5…10 inches from your mouth. The reason behind it is that it’s necessary to record as dry (free from reflections) signal as possible in these conditions. In other words, the mic shouldn’t be too far from you. Just 5…10 inches. If you tend to be too close to the microphone, please consider using of the pop-screen.
  4. It’s obvious, but nevertheless — make sure that your mic is not covered by anything.
  5. Also please be aware of the quality of your microphone! For example, some models of microphones integrated with headsets for gaming sound awful. The thing is that they have pretty narrow frequency response and it’s not something you are going to offer to your listeners.
  6. Don’t forget to give your engineer clear sonic cues where s/he has to do cuts. It speeds up the process and saves your money!
  7. Export your files as Mono/16 bit/44,1 kHz Wav or AIFF (when it comes to MP3, choose higher bitrates — 256…320 kbs).

The rest of the processing leave to your mastering engineer and only work with those you wanna hug ツ

UPD: perhaps you want to get an idea how many time your engineer needs and how much does it cost… Check this out!

— Stan