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. Most clients look for voice actors by listening to their demo. 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.
What makes some voice over demo’s stand out from others? What are the biggest mistakes beginners and even professional voice actors make?
In this article, we will give you tips that we got from the experts.
1. Never begin a compilation demo (your main demo) with impersonations
You may do the best Arnold Schwarzenegger or Barack Obama impersonation, but the odds of someone booking you to do that are next to none. Clients need to jump through legal hoops to imply that a celebrity has endorsed their product using your voice. Impersonations are rarely cast. 99% of people listening to your demo will stop in the first 5 seconds, I assure you.
2. Try and limit background music and effects
Any music under your voice should not overpower the recording. This is one of the biggest giveaway of an amateur. Any casting agent can see straight through this. They want to hear your voice not manipulation of the audio. Let your natural voice be the star.
3. Always ensure the sound quality of your entire demo is perfect
You might have done a McDonald’s or Coca-Cola commercial in 1988, but the sound quality of that recording is terrible. You may of impressed your friends way back then, but someone now looking for a good quality recording could not care any less. Sorry, it’s the truth!
4. Ensure you have individual ‘category demos’
If a client is looking for a narrator for an audiobook, they want to hit play and hear your audiobook demo. Many professional voiceover websites like The Voice Realm allow for multiple demos to be uploaded in each category. If you want to show up when the client selects AUDIOBOOK, then you need that demo to appear in results.
5. Normalize all levels
There’s nothing more frustrating that having to constantly adjust the volume on your computer speakers. You demo should be ‘normalized’ or compressed slightly to ensure everything is the same volume. This is also true when a client is scanning through casting sites looking for a voice. The demo before yours may sound nice and loud, and then yours comes on and is barely audible. And the worst possible mistake you could make – distortion. No matter how good you think your read is, if that audio file is distorted, it needs to be deleted.
6. 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.
If you follow these steps you’ll be on your way to coming across more professional and likely increase your chance at booking more jobs online.
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