For eLearning voice over actors new to the increasing ‘virtual office’ and ‘home studio’ reality of this industry, just how technical our job has become may shock you at first. But if you want to make it in this industry, put on your techie hat. Not only will you have to invest in professional sound equipment and software, you also have to know how to use it for optimal performance. No need to panic though, you don’t have to have a degree in audio engineering, but you must know enough to record and deliver high quality work every time you step into your studio.
Whatever equipment and software you use to create your eLearning sound files is completely up to you, your ear and your budget. However, make sure to do your research beforehand so that you don’t spending too much on something that doesn’t serve you. Your recording equipment doesn’t need to be as complex as music recording equipment. The best thing is to test several mics, preamps and softwares, or digital audio workstations (DAWs), before you buy. I make upgrades to the professional audio equipment in my studio, my professional audio equipment has allowed me to deliver a quick turnaround, which clients really appreciate.
So Many Software DAWs to Choose from
As a voice over actor who specializes in eLearning, you don’t need ProTools to do this job. That’s for the big boys of sound engineering, the ones who mix commercials and movies and songs (oh my)! I started with Garageband and it served my needs for years. When I wanted to upgrade, I dallied with Logic for a bit and have been extremely happy with Twisted Wave for the last 18 months. Other brands of popular software DAWs that work well for voice over include:
- Sony SoundForge Pro
- Adobe Audition
While they all basically do the same thing (i.e. record audio) the add-ons and plug-ins, (essentially bells and whistles) differ slightly. And a big variance between these software programs is price. For instance, Cubase is almost $600 while Audacity is absolutely free. I like Twisted wave, about $80 for a one-time registration, because it was made with voiceover narrators in mind. If you’re new to sound recording equipment, I suggest playing with a simple, free DAW first. You Tube is full of how-to videos on all these audio softwares. Be careful not to slip down the rabbit hole of complicated recording equipment—what’s the use of buying a Lamborghini if you’ll never drive it?
The most important thing to remember is that eLearning clients appreciate dependable voice over artists who deliver quality work. Investing in the right audio equipment will make you a cut above the rest.