I am always online searching for voice-over work. There is one place that many don’t look for voice-over work or think it’s available. CRAIGSLIST! I look for work daily on Craigslist. It’s similar to when you submit an audition or a clip of audio to a pay-to-play (P2P) site. The producer decides to use your material or not. I recently responded to a Craigslist posting about a horror podcast voice-over gig. I sent them my professional website, and shortly after, I was instructed to do a read of the first script of the series.
I liked the text and sent a few different reads on a couple of paragraphs for them to choose which vocal style best fits the content. They picked the one in which I thought was appropriate (and actually loved it!) and gave me the green light to record this particular series. Just to add, I did do a lot of revisions and retakes for the job as the director has a brilliant mind, ear, and vision, and knew exactly what he wanted and how he wanted it to sound. This experience expanded my voice-over education. I got to learn more about how I could do podcast voice-over work and other projects as well. In addition to that, I was able to learn more about the podcast industry and how things work behind-the-scenes.
The podcast world is worth exploring as a voice-over artist. Podcasters cover a wide range of topics and many of today’s podcasts have a good following. The best way to learn about this industry is to engage. So, take the time to listen to podcasts (you can find a list of podcast apps here). Listening in may inspire you to start your own podcast and talk about your passion or inform others about a particular topic.
If you’re thinking about starting your own podcast, here are four simple steps to help you get started.
Step One: Narrow Your Topic and Find Your Niche
Know exactly what your topic(s) will entail in order to have an interesting and engaging podcast series. Finding your niche is important as this is in connection with which direction fits well with your vocal type/style. There may be a few areas of VO that are best suited for you, but it does not limit you to only those genres of VO. If your voice has range and if you can adapt to various situations and scripts, you will make yourself more marketable and broaden your VO scope.
Step Two: Download, Install, and Set Up Audacity
Go to: https://www.audacityteam.org to download Audacity. Follow the instructions for installation. It is a free, open source download. You will be instructed to download the LAME codec in order for you to make mp3 files. Without LAME, you will only have the capability to make .wav, .aiff, and other file types. Once you have Audacity open, be sure to familiarize yourself with the program. It is user friendly, and very powerful and simple. Check out YouTube for tutorials for basic recording and editing tips.
Step Three: Record and Edit Your Podcast In Audacity
PRO TIP: You can record with multiple microphones or Skype.
Once you understand the basics of recording and editing, please do both in Audacity. Hopefully, you will be equipped with a proper large diaphragm condenser microphone running into a sound card (a device that turns your analog voice into digital audio…ex: a Scarlet 212) which connects to your computer or a good USB recording microphone. If you are new to recording and editing, be sure to record with minimal or no erroneous noises (mouth noise, traffic, dogs barking, background noise, etc). Do prepare for recording by not eating directly before, not drinking fizzy beverages. Warm your voice up and also, drink plenty of water. There is the possibility to record with multiple microphones or through Skype.
Step Four: Tag and Export Your .MP3 File In Audacity
PRO TIP: Find some royalty-free themed music to add to your .MP3 file.
Once you are finished recording and editing your audio, you can export the file using the .MP3 format. You will need to maintain proper project folders for your work to locate it and keep it organized. Do tag the .MP3 file with the subject of the podcast. If you want some theme or background music to begin with or play during the podcast, you can Google: “royalty free music downloads,” and go to the link of your choice to find royalty free music to mix into your podcast voice-over dialogue.
Doing podcast voice-over work worked out for me, so this could be something for you as well!
*You can tune into my podcast series by going to www.thegreyrooms.com. The series that I will be voicing is listed along with my name and picture under the “Cast & Crew” menu on the website. I will have one more added (Sanctuary) which I was asked to do as a bonus to the whole series. Some series have been released as a preview to what is to come. The main bulk of the series will begin on November 30th. There will two podcast released per week until the season ends.
Enjoyed “How to Get Started with Podcast Voice-Over Work?” We featured Warren Richardson as a Staff Spotlight. To learn more about him, check it out here!
About the Author
Based in Germany, Warren Richardson comes from a background of singing, bass guitar, songwriting, radio DJing, and a six-year stint as rehearsal director for STOMP’s international tour. Warren conducted his professional voice-over training through Such A Voice.
Warren’s voice-over accomplishments include radio intro/tags for a station in Holland, a commercial for Duracell, Elvis impersonations, a priest for a TV series at WDR-5 TV station in Köln, Germany, four audiobooks through ACX, two other audiobooks (“The Infinity Ring: The Trap Door” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), and is currently recording “X: The Novel” for Learning Alley. He’s also voiced a documentary (as the voice of Darius McCollum) for an independent film company in LA, and, most recently, a documentary for the ARTE Channel Germany (A&E or Discovery Channel equivalent).