Working Wednesday: Listening to Music for Varied Reads

Rosemary Chase here, Technique Coach for Such A Voice, and I wanted to share with you a fun way to explore energy and tone in voice-over by listening to music. But first, a shoutout to VO Pro Membership Director and Coach, Lauren Goode who shared this fun tip in a Biweekly Teleconference. Lauren is also a voice actor; she had an audition that required an upbeat read so used this technique. Lauren found music in YouTube’s Audio Library. It worked beautifully, inspiring a nice upbeat rhythm and unique cadence. Shortly after, I got an audition to read concert tags over the radio, and they wanted the same script to work for various musical genres, from Pop to Jazz and Easy Listening, so I tried it!

  1. First, I visited YouTube’s Audio Library. For my performance toolbox, I decided to create a genre list document of the links I found. My plan was to email it to myself so I’d have access to it from my cell phone while inside the booth. 
  2. Next, I downloaded a free version of Splashtop. This is an app that will allow access to your computer while you’re in the booth and enables you to stop and start the recording directly from your cell phone. Of course, you can also email the list to yourself and access it from your mobile device, without using Splashtop, but I like having control over starting and stopping the recording as well. 
  3. Next, you’ll need to set your audio headphones aside, and instead use either ear buds or a set of headphones with Bluetooth. I use Sony Sound Cancellation headphones WH-1000XM3. Make sure the volume isn’t too high, you don’t want your microphone to pick up the music. 
  4. You’ll notice your timing may differ from genre to genre, and that’s OK. Once you find the energy and cadence you like you can always do a second take to adjust tempo. 
  5. The last and final step: don’t forget to play and have fun!



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