The Elements of a Great Voice Over Demo
A voice actor’s best friend on their journey to a secure and ongoing voice over career is a voice over demo. Why is a voice over demo significant? Voice over demos will help you have an agent, and get you new clients to work with. Agents and clients rely on these demos to know what you can do and how you would sound as the voice behind their products.While many jobs are still cast through open auditions, there’s a shift moving towards voice talents being cast from their demo only.
In this article, we will give you tips that we got from the experts. Tips that you can take note of and follow before hitting the record button. We consulted with voice over casting directors, agents and clients using casting websites to break down the elements that they look for in a voice over demo.
You may be asking about the ideal length of a voice over demo, the correct order of the files, etc. Do not fret. You went to the right people. We will help you out.
LENGTH OF DEMO:
2 minutes. The ideal length of a voice over should be around 2 minutes only. It’s very rare that someone listening to a pile of audition demos will listen past the first 30 seconds. The first 15 seconds are crucial as it can make or break your career. Anyone experienced in finding the perfect voice actor can tell if you have the qualities of the voice actor that they are looking for by simply listening to the first 15 seconds of your demo. They can even tell if your style is professional enough to move you onto the next step. Their job is to find the perfect voice for the role so obviously, they will not settle for less.
Start your voice over demo right. Do not wait for the right moment to show your talent. Remember that first impressions last, so you have to make the first 15 seconds of your demo flawless, and professional.
ORDER OF FILES:
Your opening piece of audio should be your strongest, clearest and with no effects placed on your voice. Do not put effects on the first piece of your recording to give them a glimpse of your natural sound.The client or casting director is looking to hear your natural voice, not a processed voice. Remember, the client just wants to hear your voice! This is probably one of the mistakes that aspiring voice actors commit. So effects on your opening is a no no.
Ideally, there should be three different styles that the client or casting director should hear in a 30 second recording. Each recorded piece should be no longer than 10 seconds. Also, never leave any long gaps of music with no voice.
Finally, never, ever include character impersonations in the first 30 seconds of your main demo. Generally, these should be compiled in a totally separate character demo.
Nowadays, a lot of voice demos are streamed online or sent in an email, only if requested. Therefore, it is important to remember that the file size should be as small as possible without compromising the quality of the recording. The file size should be small but still retaining almost CD quality sound. The perfect format is mp3. A minimum of 128 kbps is recommended to find the perfect balance of sound quality and file size. If you were to send a 10mb .wav file to a voice over agent or potential client, you would probably leave a bad taste in their mouth for causing a congestion up their email before they even listen to your demo.
USING OTHER VOICE TALENT:
Always remember that you are trying to sell your voice. So in a conversational sample, the most ideal two person audio sample should keep the other talent’s voice to a minimum as it is your voice you are trying to sell. Also, it is very important that if another voice talent is used to showcase a conversational sample, the other voice should give their permission first.
SLATING YOUR NAME:
The Jane-Doe-Voice-Demo.mp3 format is not generally required to name your audio recordings.
In this industry, every second matters! Naming your voice demos long would be a waste of time. Even when submitting through online voice casting websites, a professional and reputable site will connect your audition to the file throughout the client’s experience.
In order to create a great voice demo that would make clients want to hire you, you should keep your voice over demo short, sharp and straight to the point. Less than two minutes is perfect and make sure you showcase your best 3 pieces in the first 30 seconds. The first file should ideally be a clean dry read with no music or effects.And do not forget to send your file in a small file size! Follow these steps and start recording your demos to ace your next voice acting auditions. Do you have other elements that you consider when recording your demo? Share it with us!
To hear samples of hundreds of professional male and female voice over demos, check out: www.thevoicerealm.com