Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of the Internet, voice over jobs can now find you! Voice over artists are now building their own home studios to save on travel and expense, especially when it comes to submitting a voiceover audition. A major advantage of building your own home studio is that you can become a professional in your own right learning more and more about sound recording and equipment. If the idea appeals to you and yet the idea of building your own home studio has you scratching your head just take it one step at a time. Here’s the basics of what to consider when building your own home studio.
Find Your Quiet Place >
Finding a suitable recording space may require considerable thought if you live in a small place within a busy area. Be as far away from doors and windows as possible. Try to avoid a room susceptible to hearing traffic or kids playing. You also need to be aware of everyday home appliances such as radiators, refrigerators and air conditioners that generate sound. Garages and basements are popular choices, possibly even an interior closet.
Getting Equipped >
Load up on the essentials. You will want a good quality microphone complete with stand (or desk mount), laptop with adequate sound card, strong Internet connection, headphones and soundproofing/dampening materials. If you want an affordable microphone that records decent sound then the USB microphones are the way to go. Keep in mind that a client may ask you what microphone you are using so buying better quality equipment is a worthwhile investment. In terms of acoustics, an Isolation Baffler is invaluable. This is a noise reduction tool that absorbs sound coming from the sides and back of the microphone. By the way, my personal microphone of choice is the RE20 from ElectroVoice.
If you are unsure of which software to use fist consider your budget. Once you decide, make use of the free trials! You may find that a cheaper software package has everything you need and is actually far easier to use than a more expensive one. Many of the expensive software packages are targeted more at musicians, Pro Tools, for example. Audacity is free, easy to use and works well provided you have a good microphone. Adobe Audition is a nice audio editing tool and user friendly. Twisted Logic is also very good but is exclusively for Mac users.
Make Use of the Internet >
Don’t just make blind purchases. If you want to know more about soundproofing materials then search online. Make use of the information collected from people who have built their studio. Once you have purchased software then take the time to review any available tutorials. Fellow software users frequently post videos on YouTube highlighting a variety of tips that may not be found on the tutorials. Doing the research ensures that you are able to record and edit to the best of your ability.
Before equipping your voice over studio take a look at customer reviews and factor in quality, value for money and practicality. A word of caution: Don’t skimp with headphones! When recording voice overs at home spend the extra money to buy headphones that allow you to monitor exactly what’s being recorded and that block external noise. They should fit snugly over the ear, enabling you to detect any unwanted sounds that might find their way onto your recording. I personally use the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro model.
Return on Investment >
All of that spent money will be wasted if you aren’t proactive in finding work. Record some of your work and put it out there. Ask another voiceover talent to rate the quality of your voice recording. Is my audio file too noisy? Is my microphone adequate? Spend time searching online forums and job advertisements for work. Once you have recouped your original investment with a few voiceover jobs then perhaps it is time to think about upgrading your voice over recording studio further. But for now, be patient, keep learning. You’ll do well. 🙂