How to Record a Professional Sounding Voice Over — from Anywhere.
Take your VO business on the road by downloading my template with plug-ins for Pro Tools, Ableton Live & Logic Pro X.
As a freelance voice artist, you can hit the road whenever you want. But just because you're on the road, it doesn't mean you have to stop taking jobs. Set up a template with the right pre-set of plug-ins and you can trade in the studio for a car, motel room, broom closet, or whatever works—You're on the road!
I'll show you what I do when I'm tracking on the road and link you to the download for my Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and Logic Pro X templates.
Whether you're running Pro Tools, or Live, or LPX, you can pretty much record anywhere available to you with a good condenser mic, audio interface, and the right plug-in chain. In the descriptions below and in my templates, I'm using an input gain of 18dB—which isn't a lot, but you'll see that the little bit of compression and the limiter brings the volume right where it needs to be to be professionally acceptable.
1. Noise Gate
First in the FX chain, I add a gate. It's the most important effect in the chain when you're recording on the road, because it's going to serve as a faux acoustic controller or reflection filter. Say you're setting up to record in a room that doesn't have the proper acoustic treatment to damp the echo of your voice. The gate will open and close at the right time to let your voice in and prevent the noise of the room and echo of your voice from making it's way into your voiceover.
If you're in a bind, it's a surprisingly effective way to cut out any traffic noise outdoors, rain, or A/C whirring and humming that may be nearby.
Next up—and this one's kind of optional—I add an EQ with a hi-pass filter with a steep shelf at or around 100Hz. I do this to help reduce any unwanted low end and to also soften an P or B pops from ruining a take. Obviously, you can use an audio repair and noise reduction software like Izotope RX6, but if you're in a hurry and need to get the product out, this is a fine way to get it done.
Compression is also optional, but it's next in my FX chain! For certain applications, like a loud TV or radio commercial, it's nice to soften VO and bring it's volume up with a somewhat hard compression. Otherwise, it's a good idea to really just leave the compression out.
Finally, you've got your limiter. I don't ever let my limiter attenuate my VO signal, I only use it to reduce the output ceiling and to makeup for lost gain. It does a wonderful job to bring the level up and maintain an excellent audio signal that shines.
Q: What about a pop filter? A: I say get one. Get a foam, over the mic filter, and get a mounted fabric pop filter, too. It'll really help you on the road.Q: What about portable reflection filters? A: Get one, too. It can only improve your quality. Aston makes makes an amazing filter called Halo, but the VoxGuard VU filter can do a fine job, too, on a budget.
Ok, you're only here for the templates. If you wanna get tracking, hassle-free, and want to produce shimmering voiceover audio, take your pick from one the three DAW templates below, or download all 3 and go to town! You're a freelance voice artist!