When you find the right sound for the client it’s a great moment.
The way you are delivering that script is a melting pot of different things – which involves pace, tone, mic technique, volume, stye of voice, accent etc
You have interpreted their needs and created a sound that will work for them.
That particular combination is exactly what your client wants to get their message across, on brand, to their audience.
So we go for a recording.. let’s say it’s a read about something new and innovative that has only just gone into production. The finer details of the script are cutting edge stuff.
The script is 3 pages..
Here’s the thing.. how do you make sure you sound the same throughout the whole script?
I have a few tips and tricks to share on that:
Read it through
What line that you’re reading is the perfect line to anchor the sound?
Repeat it with that sound a good number of times, listening to yourself and making a note in your mind about how it feels, where it’s placed in your body and mouth.
This line, read in this way is your “anchor”
Continue reading through the script
Come back to this anchor if you think you’ve drifted off style or sound then carry on at a point where you get the flow right with the right sound
Do not strain your voice – work in an aligned way! Go over to Nic Redman’s amazing vocal warm ups on youtube for more on this
Once you have it all recorded, go back to the top and read the first several lines / paragraphs again
Then have a listen to it all in order
This business with reading the top again is something I picked up in documentary narration – where you always go back to the top to do the opening lines again – with your head full of the story for added meaning – but also with a voice that’s been on for the last hour or so.. it really helps and it’s a tool worth having in your own tool box for a range of VO genre reads
So. This is all excellent and working well..
Imagine that this tech read that you did a good few months ago comes back via the producers with an update to the script, the company have changed their process and need to reflect it.. they still love the rest of the video you did though.
Can you match it?
Usually a client will send through a copy of the video and you need to have a listen
I have a few different “me” voices.. some are warmer, some are a bit colder, some with a touch of “mum” some more on the workplace professional level, or even my whole inspirational toolkit (I’m aware how daft this sounds by the way)
I’ll listen to my VO in the video and assess it against those “standards” of mine. It’s a bit like mixing paint really.. a dab of this and a squeeze of that. I will remember what the “anchor” was as well and use that muscle memory
This example today was mainly professional, with a hint of chatty and a dab of soft warm, not too close to the mic and with a bit of my brighter sound on the top.
I was able to accurately reproduce it and the client was really happy – slightly amazed that it sounded exactly like the old version!
Did I mention before that VO is a listening job as much as a speaking job?!