How to Get Started in Voice Over: Step 4 record and Upload Samples

If you are totally new to media production, the idea of recording and editing can seem utterly daunting. But there are loads of resources out there. Don’t expect to be a professional within your first hour, but don’t let fear of the unknown stop you either. 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What to record for a voice over or narration sample?

Public domain books make great material for samples. Their material is no longer under copyright, so it is free from any intellectual property restraints. A helpful place to find public domain books is Project Gutenberg: it has good search/sort features and thousands of books to choose from.

You can record multiple samples. It’s best practice to have more than two. You can have different samples for:

  • Fiction
  • Non-Fiction
  • Your favorite genre
  • Any accents you do particularly well
  • A compilation of different character voices 

The software you use to record and edit voice over is called a DAW, a Digital Audio Workstation. There are lots of options to choose from, many of which are free to download.

What software is good for voice over and audiobook narration? 

A popular DAW to record and edit is Audacity. It is a free, open source software that has all the basics to get started. The best thing about their software is how simple it is. If you’ve never heard of it, cool. Neither had I. But there are heaps of tutorials online, like this one which has a particularly useful explanation of the noise reduction tool. Audacity also has a helpful wiki page

Free DAW softwares include: 

If you are in the market to purchase a DAW, many professionals use
Reaper, which has an excellent library of How To tutorials on their website. 

Install the DAW of your choice and take some time to familiarize yourself with it. Make a few test recordings and adjust your settings until you get a sound you like.

How to record a voice over or narration sample?

  1. First, set up your recording gear in a way that you will be comfortable for long stretches of time. 
  2. Next, you will have to use a DAW to record and edit yourself- you can start with one of the DAWs discussed above. 
  3. Prepare the quietest environment you can so as to get the best sound. 
  4. Adjust your recording settings to meet the given requirements.
  5. Select your sample or ready the given script. Note any unfamiliar words, practice difficult pronunciations ahead of time, and make sure you say the names correctly.
  6. It’s time to record!

Your sample should be a good representation of the product you are able to deliver. As such, it should be of the best quality you are able to produce. Make sure your recordings comply with the given platform’s requirements. 

How to Record a Sample for ACX (Using Audacity) is a specific example for recording with Audacity as your DAW- it walks you through the entire process of meeting the ACX requirements. 

How to Get Started in Voice Over
Record and Upload Samples 80%

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission or compensation if you click through and/or make a purchase. The opinions and recommendations expressed here are my own. 

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Each of you possesses the most powerful, dangerous and subversive trait that natural selection has ever devised. It’s a piece of neural audio technology for rewiring other people’s minds. I’m talking about your language.

― Mark Pagel

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