What Hardware and Software do you Need to Start in the Voice-Over Business?
I recorded my voice for the first time as a talent while working at KUVN Univision Channel 23 in Dallas, TX. As the Spanish local television network grew, I was asked to join the pioneer newscast team. When Noticias 23 took its first steps as a local newscast in the Metroplex, it was no luxury. We began to broadcast news updates during the day, and I devised an early "teleprompter" made of paper towel rolls, where I wrote the breaking news and then manually unscrewed the paper towel so the announcer could read it. Funny, right? Something similar happened with the weather report. We used graphics, and a voice-over was recorded.
The day of the newscast inauguration ceremony, only the television crew and hostesses were allowed in the studio. The flashing “ON AIR” sign reminded people to stay silent.
Local press and key local personalities were invited to the event. They hung out and talked in a low-pitch tone in the corridors and the control room. You could hear that ambient sound that turns into a bustle typical in this type of events. That bustle stopped when my voice came out of the speakers narrating the weather report. Everyone went silent to the end of the report, and when it was over, they began to ask, whose voice is this?
After that first weather report back in 1988, I was in high-demand to do voice-over commercials, and a talent agency offered representation. But becoming a voice over talent doesn’t only require a beautiful voice; it takes time, training, and dedication.
Back in the 80s, my beeper went off every time I was called for an audition or a voice job. I needed to get myself from one place to another, face traffic, and hustle to get one or two jobs done in a day.
Things are different now! Thanks to modern technology, the majority of voice-over actors have the luxury to record, edit, and deliver (via the Internet) their auditions and jobs without having to leave home.
In this first article of an upcoming series, I will show you a simple setup designed to let you record in your home or garage with ease! The graphics below shows what you will need to set up your home studio (Valenzuela, 2015).
The Complete Guide to Connecting Audio, Video, and MIDI Equipment visit, http://bit.ly/ChilitosValenzuelabks
Pro Tools for Mac:
Avid-qualified Apple computer
4 GB RAM or more, 8 GB or more is recommended
15 GB minimum free hard disk space
Mac OS X 10.8 or later
Monitor with at least 1024 x 768 resolution
One or more Hard Disk Drives dedicated for audio recording and playback
PACE USB Smart Key (iLok 2 or 3)
2 USB2 ports available to connect the PACE USB Smart Key (iLok) and Apogee Duet 2 audio interface
Dedicated graphics card is recommended
Note: PACE USB Smart Key (iLok 2) with valid license is required for Pro Tools to work, without it Pro Tools will not launch.
Apogee Duet 2 for Mac:
Computer: Intel Mac 1.5 GHz or faster
Memory: 2 GB RAM minimum, 4 GB recommended
OS: 10.6.4 or greater
Connection and Power: USB, powered by any available USB port on the computer (DC power optional)
Throughout this article, there are specifications as to what hardware and software to acquire to start your home studio. In the following sections, we will learn more about the exciting world of voice-over acting, such as tips on how to promote you and how to be individual. We will also delve into what voice-over acting means to already well-known and recognized voices, and what sorts of profit you can make from this industry.
When you learn how to use the Avid Pro Tools software, you record, edit, and mix using the proper techniques to then deliver in the appropriate format, sample rates, and bit resolutions used in the voice-over field. This way, you will know how to meet the demands of different agencies and projects. At AudioGraph International we offer a hands-on, one-day intensive workshop designed for voice-over talents looking to learn how to produce professional, high-quality voice-over demos. The premise behind this class is learning how to craft your demos and submit your work to various agencies all at once from home, with the click of a button. Call us at 1-310-396-5004 for more information.
See you soon!
Earned master’s degree in Digital Marketing, with over 15 years in the Los Angeles music industry and a storied history in bilingual broadcast television and voice-over work in Dallas, Texas. I have employment experience in journalism, sales, public relations, and acting, with thousands of personal connections in the music industry. Business partners with world-renowned audio engineer, record producer and Pro Tools expert, José “Chilitos” Valenzuela. Ownership of a state-of-the-art professional audio recording facility in Santa Monica, CA.
Valenzuela, J. (2015). The Complete Guide to Connecting Audio, Video, and MIDI Equipment: Get the most out of your digital, analog, and electronic music set up. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Books.
Editor: Brandon Cohen