Recording spoken word can be one of the most demanding things we have to record. So often there is nothing else to cover or mask any defects, so good quality microphones and preamps are very important.
- You need a very quiet space to record voiceovers and speech so no noisy computers or hard drive bay fans running. Banish them to a separate room or to a specially designed cupboard but remember to make sure the heat can escape.
- The room needs to be as dead as possible, especially at mid and high frequencies. If you need to use one of the wrap round stand mounted absorbers then make sure it is a properly designed one like the one from SE Electronics. For more information see this video we posted on here last year. There are a lot of cheap copies that don’t help much and in fact can make it worse.
- Don’t record in front of a table. The reflections off the table will colour the sound. Radio broadcasters use special ‘acoustic’ tables which are acoustically transparent. A low cost option is to use a wire framed music stand to support the script rather than making the voiceover artist have to hold the script, the paper will always rustle. Also always use a blast shield, a foam windshield won’t hack it.
- Make sure the page turns in the script are placed so that the VO artist doesn’t have to turn the page in the middle of a line. If a page turn because is unavoidable because it is a long section then get the VO talent to stop, turn the page, and then to go back and read the last few words from the bottom of the previous page before continuing on with the next page.
- Make sure the VO artist has a glass of fresh still water to keep everything lubricated and sometimes an apple can help to reduce mouth clicks that won’t go away with a drink. Stay away from carbonated and milky drinks. Make sure the room has fresh air coming in, turning off all ventilation to keep the noise down tends to have a negative outcome on human life!
So there are our 5, what about you - we love hearing your ideas.