What Goes Into Making a Voice-Over Demo?

Backstage.com contributor Deborah Puette offers a very insightful article on the step-by-step process she went through to record a voice-over demo, with quotes from voice actor Ed Cunningham (the new narrator for VH1’s Behind The Music, and video game voice talent on Call of Duty 2, Everquest II, and Xenosaga Episode III) who produced her demo. Here’s an excerpt:

[There] are many things other than your commercial demo that you’ll need to purchase in order to start your voiceover career: a website, professional memberships, classes, recording equipment for a home studio, software, demos for all the other types of voiceover—animation, announcing, video game—etc. Blowing the majority of your budget on the demo can actually stop a good idea in its tracks. On the other hand, you can go on Craigslist and find all sorts of people who say they’ll make your demo for $200 to $300, but I’d be careful. You need someone who not only knows the technical and artistic aspects of recording voiceover but the business side as well—someone who has daily interaction with the marketplace.

[Also, a] huge part of making the demo is showing the actor where they fit in the marketplace and then having them demonstrate that ability.

The article also includes a 3-part video feature on the demo production process. The first video — The Basics of a Voiceover Demo — is featured in the article, but the other two have not yet been synced with Part 1 or the article (as of this writing), so here are direct links:

– Part 2: The Voiceover Demo Session.
– Part 3: Actor Prep for a Voiceover Demo.

[Thanks to Ed Cunningham for the heads-up on the other videos.]

This is a highly useful and informative article (and accompanying video) for both beginners and professional voice actors. I’m not one to casually throw around the cliché “must see,” but this one is especially important for those looking into voice-overs as a career.

Continue reading: Putting Your Voice to the Test.

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