In 2017 the average salary for a voice actor was $35,360.
Being a voice-over actor is an exciting job and one you can even do from the comfort of your own home! but what does it take to get started and how much recording equipment do you need? And, will it set you back a ton of money?
If you’re interested in becoming a voice actor, we’ve got you covered on all the basic equipment you’re going to need to highlight your talent.
What is A Voice-Over Actor?
Simply, a voice-over actor is someone who uses their voice for acting.
Usually, they will read a script for a television commercial, movie, or book, and record it for people to listen to. Sometimes they will use their own voice or tweak it slightly to fit the character or tone of the project.
To be a voice-over actor, you’ll need to have a good recording voice, speak well, and annunciate. For some, having acting experience or taking additional voice lesson can help you understand how to use your voice well.
8 Pieces of Recording Equipment You Need
Your voice may be great, but without proper recording studio equipment, you cannot make the most of it.
Here are 8 pieces of recording equipment to set up your home studio.
A microphone is an essential part of your home recording equipment. Without it, you cannot record anything!
When it comes to choosing a microphone, though, there’s plenty of options to get lost in. A high-quality microphone will allow you to capture the best sounds.
There’s plenty on the market to choose from and it’s easy to become overwhelmed quickly. Here are a few you might want to consider.
If you’re a beginner with voice acting, try this low-budget microphone. It plugs into your computer and has a great sound.
Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Used in recording studios by professional singers and musicians, these microphones are of much higher quality and produce a robust sound.
Dynamic Broadcast Microphone
These microphones are mostly found in radio broadcasting and produce an inviting sound. They can be used with groups of people.
When you’re recording in your studio, you’ll need a sturdy pair of headphones. Headphones not only allow you to listen to your playback but also so the speakers do not record background noise. Having your headphones on means you can record without turning on your speakers.
The best types of headphones for voice acting are ones that fit entirely over the ear. This prevents sound from escaping.
Often times referred to as the ‘preamp’, this piece of equipment sends out a small signal that ‘decodes’ the microphone’s electrical signal into an understandable language.
Don’t go cheap here. Using a high-quality amp is key to having a great sound.
4. Pop-Screen or Pop-Filter
When you speak into a microphone your ‘P’, ‘T’, ‘B’, and ‘S’ sounds will sometimes make a popping noise. This can make the language hard to distinguish or make the unpleasant to listen to.
A pop-screen or pop-filter reduces or eliminates those pops creating a smoother sound. It’s a simple screen that hangs or sits in front of the microphone.
A metal pop-filter works best in directing the sound away from the mic, but other types of pop-screens are less expensive and work well.
What type of recording you plan on creating will determine the software you use. There are numerous software choices available. While some are free to use, if you plan on building a career, investing in software where you can edit, record multiple tracks, save files, and of course, recording.
Many different software products exist for voice-over actors, so do your research once you decide what direction to follow.
If you cannot invest in software, a recording app could work as well.
6. Microphone Stand
Holding a microphone is fun, but not while recording. The jostling could create an unsteady and bad sound. And they’re probably one of the most important pieces of recording studio equipment you can buy.
There are many different types of microphone stands. What will ultimately make the decision for you, is if you prefer to work standing up or sitting at a desk?
If you prefer standing, you’ll need a standing microphone stand. A studio arm or a desk microphone stand works if you’re sitting down most of the time.
7. Shock Mount
A shock mount anchors the microphone. It keeps it steady to avoid extra noise being picked up in the background. Sometimes the microphone is sensitive and if bumped the shock mount will absorb the vibrations so they’re not recorded.
8. Materials to Create A Home Studio
If you want a clear, crisp sound when you’re recording, you’ll need to construct a home studio. This can be a lot easier than it sounds.
Converting a closet or bedroom into a studio is perfectly acceptable. You must be able to control the sound. Preferably, you’ll want to eliminate any echo or extra sounds, so soundproofing your room with soundproof tiles can be a great starting place.
If soundproof tiles are out of your budget, thicker materials like blankets could be an option.
Sounds Great! Where Do I Get All This Equipment?
Purchasing online or at a brick-and-mortar location is fine. A company that specializes in recording equipment can answer all of your questions and make recommendations.
First, decide the type of work you will be doing and reach out to professionals to get their opinion on brand or type. Second, do your research for pricing (set a budget!) and read reviews.
If you’re just beginning, considering other people’s experience is important before you spend the money.
Ready to Rock Your Voice Acting?
Voice acting is a great career choice. And with a little planning, talent, and recording equipment, you could be creating recordings from your own home in no time.
Decide today how you’re going to set up your studio and get started on a rewarding and fun career.
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