How To Make A Voice Over Demo At Home

Video How to make a voice over demo at homeVoice acting is a great way to make extra money if speaking well is one of your talents.Often, voice work can be done from home, making it easy and convenient to fit into your busy schedule. You can even take great voice acting courses from home to get the skills you need to earn.Reading: how to make a voice over demo at homeYou can do animations, voice overs for commercials, or even record audiobooks. If you’ve ever thought about a career in doing voiceovers, you’ll need a good demo reel to get started. Let’s explore what exactly that entails.

What is a Voice Over Demo?

Think of a voiceover demo as your portfolio; with a typical job, especially a creative one, potential employers want to see examples of your work to get an idea of what you’d be like as an employee. When it comes to voice acting, potential clients want to hear a showcase of your best work before deciding to give you the job. In a demo, you’ll want to choose pieces that best represent your unique talents and the types of voiceover work that you’re looking to get hired for. There are lots of genres to consider, including:

  • audiobooks,
  • animation,
  • business/commercial,
  • documentaries,
  • guided meditations / self-help,
  • e-learning/podcasts, and
  • movie trailers.

The unique qualities of your voice can help you determine which of these genres are the best fit for you.

Why Do You Need a Demo?

Like most performing jobs, the competition in voiceover work can be fierce; if you want to land jobs with the best clients, you need something that will make you stand out from the crowd. This is where your demo reel comes in.Rule of 5-10 SecondsIt takes clients a few seconds to figure out whether they need you or not.Clients typically have a specific type of voice in mind when looking for someone to do their voice acting. This makes it especially important that your demo accurately reflects the quality of your voice in a way that showcases what you’re best at. According to, clients typically decide whether they want to hire you in the first 5-10 seconds of your demo; without a high-quality demo reel, your chances of catching their attention in this short window is slim. With no demo at all, clients will never take a chance on you.

How to Make a Voice Over Demo: 7 Steps

If you’ve never thought about making your own voiceover demo, you might feel daunted about taking on the process on your own. However, getting a demo reel made professionally can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars! Luckily, it isn’t as complicated as you might think to make your own voice demo at home. Check out this video for a behind the scenes peek at how a professional voice actor pulls together a commercial piece for one of his clients.There are plenty of great options out there for software that you can use to record a demo in your own home studio. In this video, a professional voice actor gives great advice on using a software product called Audioblocks to record and edit your voice demos simply and easily. The software looks complicated, but with the expert tips in this tutorial, you’ll be a pro in no time!Let’s break down the specific steps that you’ll need to take in order to create the perfect demo.

Step One: Plan

Should you have multiple demos, or just one? What kinds of pieces should you perform? How long should your demo be? How should your demo be hosted? These are just a few of the questions that you should ask yourself before starting to record a voiceover demo.Style and SelectionIf you have a variety of styles that you intend to pursue, it may be a good idea to create multiple demos that cater to these different styles. If clients are going to make a choice about you in the first few seconds of your demo, you want those first few seconds to be exactly what they’re looking for!This is much easier to accomplish if you have different demos dedicated to different styles or genres. In each style, choose pieces that reflect the potential jobs that you’ll be auditioning for. If you want to record audiobooks, make a demo reading a short prose piece. If you want to do commercials, record sample commercials in your demo. Make sure that your clients can imagine exactly how you’ll sound recording their script.Different Genres for Different DemosPrepare some demos on various topics.Although there are lots of websites that provide scripts for voiceover demos, such as Edge Studio. Some professional voice actors think that using these scripts can be a bad idea. The problem is that tons of other aspiring voiceover actors will be using the same scripts, and you want your demo to stand out! Plus, these scripts can be dated, which would make your demo seem outdated, too. Instead, consider using scripts from jobs that you’ve auditioned for (as long as it is permissible according to the script owner) or other more unique pieces that you find in other places.One option for tailoring your demo to your client is to create a variety of short clips in different styles that are saved digitally. This way, you can choose the most relevant clips for each job and combine select pieces into a perfectly customized demo for each potential client. It’s much easier to revise and combine audio than it used to be, so this is certainly a feasible option.LengthDemo ReelDivide your VO demo into the pieces of different relevant clips.Read more: The DOs and DON’Ts of Craft BeerThe length of your demo can vary, but it’s good to plan for 60-90 seconds when selecting the pieces that you want to perform. This is long enough for the client to get a good idea of what your particular skills and talents are without bogging them down with too much to listen to. Try to choose numerous different pieces of about 15-20 seconds in length so that you can effectively combine them into the perfect demo reel.HostingIt used to be common for voice actors to send out CDs or even tapes of their audio samples. These days, online hosting is typically the most convenient way to go. This allows you to edit your demo more easily for each client. It also makes it easier for you to send the demo and for the client to download and listen to it. When planning your demo, find a good place online where you can host your demo that is easily accessible to potential clients.

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Step Two: Research

When recording a demo, the worst thing you can do is try to re-invent the wheel. You probably hear dozens of voice actors online, on TV, and on the radio every day. Now, all that you have to do is really start paying attention.Find Listen and CopyFind a voice actor, listen to him and copy his soundFind examples of the types of work that you want to do and listen to them closely. It’s best if you can find a particular actor whose voice resembles your own and do your best to mimic them. What do the actors’ voices sound like? How do they deliver their lines? What kinds of background sound effects do they use? By creating something that largely resembles the professional voiceover work that’s already out there, you’re more likely to land those commercial jobs that will get your name out there.Most voice actors have their own websites where you can listen to their demo reels. Once you find a few actors whose voices are similar to yours and who are doing the kind of work that you want to do, head over to their websites and start studying! Below are a few examples of professional demos to get you started on your research:Kabir Singh Evan Christiano Joshua Alexander

Step Three: Practice

Just listening to examples from other voice actors isn’t going to be enough, even if you listen closely and meticulously take notes about their style and choices. If you’re going to create a jaw-dropping demo, you need to practice using your own voice and getting used to your voice over microphone. Take those pieces that you’ve been listening to and attempt to recreate them yourself using the same styles and inflections that the seasoned actors used. Keep repeating them over and over until you’re confident that you’ve absolutely nailed it!Once you can mimic your samples, you’ll be ready to apply their strategies to your own carefully chosen scripts. Make sure that you take the time to practice performing your chosen scripts exactly how you want them to sound on your demo reel. Use the same recording setup that you’ll use to make your demo to get the most accurate picture of your progress.Practice Pratice and PracticePractice with a voice coach or ask for advice from family and friends.It can sometimes be hard to accurately hear your own voice, even if you have a pretty good ear. For this reason, it can be helpful to record your practice sessions so you can play them back and judge how similar yours is to the example. If possible, working with a voice coach can be a great option. They can help you learn how to use your voice in the same way that a music teacher would train someone to play their instrument. If a voice coach isn’t in your budget, talk to a family member or friend who has a good ear and ask them to listen to your practice tapes and offer advice. There are also social media groups for aspiring voice actors where you can get great feedback and advice.

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Step Four: Record

Now, it’s time to actually start making the recordings that you’ll use as part of your demo. You may have to record each of your samples multiple times to make sure that they sound crisp and professional, without any mistakes. Be sure to perform in a quiet, distraction-free environment so that you can avoid having to edit too much out later.EquipmentWhen recording your voiceover demo, you won’t want to use the voice recorder on your cell phone or a handheld recorder. The microphones built into smartphones and other cheap recorders aren’t going to give you the type of professional sound that clients are looking for.Voice Over EquipmentEquip your own studio to record voiceoversYou don’t need to build an entire studio; however, there are a few pieces of equipment that you might want to consider investing in. If you’re going to do voiceover work from home, this equipment will come in handy for creating the best products for your client, so you might as well invest in these pieces for recording your demo as well.Some pieces that you might want to consider include the following:

  • a microphone: the better the microphone, the higher quality your voice will sound in your recordings
  • headphones: having a good set of headphones will allow you to easily play back your recordings so you can determine what changes need to be made
  • a microphone mount: if you’re physically handling your microphone while recording, your audio will sound uneven in the finished product and make editing far more difficult
  • a shock mount: even on a microphone stand, a high-quality microphone may pick up vibrations from your environment; a shock mount will prevent this and provide better sound quality
  • pop filters: even if your speaking voice is on point, the microphone might pick up too much of certain sounds, such as sibilants and plosives; pop filters can prevent this issue and make editing easier
  • noise dampening equipment: many pros that you see and hear online use heavy curtains or other acoustic treatments to block out background noise and make cleaner, crisper audio

Take a look at what other professionals use in their home studios before purchasing costly equipment. Quality is important, so look for brands that top voice actors have given their seal of approval before investing in something that might end up making or breaking your voiceover career.StyleA perfectly affected transatlantic accent may have been all the rage a century ago, but these days, styles have changed. Most clients are looking for a more natural delivery style that reflects the way that people actually talk. Unless you’re hoping to perform animation, stick with your natural voice: just make it a little more polished than you sound when talking to your friends.Style for RecordingDon’t forget about the style of recordingRead more: 70 in Words | Top Q&AYour style should also reflect the type of script that you’re recording. An audiobook should be crisp and professional, whereas an animation can be a bit zanier. A guided meditation should be soft and gentle, while an advertisement can be more animated. Remember the lessons that you learned while researching other voice actors and apply them to your own recordings.

Step Five: Edit

Sending a raw audio file can make your demo sound amateurish and not polished. Think of it like sending an unedited manuscript to a publisher: the overall writing could be great, but the publisher will likely be too distracted by typos to notice your talent.SoftwareWhen it comes time to edit your demo, take some time to consider different software options. Different software will give you different tools to make your demo pop. If you’ve never edited your own audio before, choose something with a simple user interface. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the professional tools that are out there, so keep it simple to start and read reviews to see what other professionals are using.VO Demo SoftwareUsing voice over software is the key to make your demo sound professional.You can also scour YouTube for tutorials that will help you learn how to use the software that you choose. For example, check out this tutorial that covers the basics of using just about any audio equalizer.What to editThere are a variety of different things to look out for when editing your audio. You’ll first want to take out any background noise that made its way into the final product. This includes any clicks or vibrations from the equipment and background, as well as your own breaths. Removing these sounds will make your finished audio cleaner and crisper.You’ll also want to use your software’s equalizer to round out any plosives and sibilants that the pop filters didn’t catch. This will allow your demo to capture the true sound of your voice more accurately, picking up each nuance without any distractions.Remove Unwanted SoundsClick to check out 13 tips on how to remove unwanted sounds.While it’s important to use editing to create high-quality audio, be careful not to over-produce your demo. You still want the clips in your reel to sound like you! An over-produced demo is a major turnoff for clients who need to hear how your voice actually sounds, not an auto-tuned version that sounds like a robot.MusicMost voiceover demos contain more than just your voice. Well-chosen background music and sound effects will give your demo a professional touch. Background music can also cover up any small flaws that you were unable to eliminate during editing. There are a lot of websites where you can download royalty-free music that can be easily added to your demo, such asMake sure that whatever music you choose contributes to the overall feel of your demo. You want the music to complement your voice, not overpower it. If you’re recording a guided meditation, choose something light and pretty. If you’re doing a commercial for an exciting new product, choose something more upbeat and edgy. Most audio software should have tools that allow you to easily layer your demo with music and sound effects. Take some time to learn how to use these tools so that the music blends seamlessly with your voice.

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Step Six: Build

Whether you’re creating just one demo or multiple, you’ll want to take time to put together the perfect 60-90 second reel to showcase your voice and capture your audience’s attention. Think carefully about which clip to use first to really grab your listener. If you’re only making one demo, put your best piece at the beginning; then, mix in different sounds to really showcase your range. End on a strong note so that the last thing the client hears before making their decision is something that really sparkles.VO Demo PartsConsider carefully your demoIf you plan on creating a variety of demos for different types of work, be careful not to make the reels too one-dimensional. Even if each demo is for a particular type of work, you don’t want each piece in the demo to sound exactly the same. Clients want actors who can do a variety of things with their voice, so be sure that each demo really showcases your range. Hopefully, the client will keep you in mind the next time they’re looking to case an actor with your different styles.

Step Seven: Refresh

Once you have a great voiceover demo reel to send off to clients, that doesn’t mean that your work is done! Your demo should be refreshed regularly as you take on new work. Sending outdated clips from early in your career isn’t the best way to get more jobs. Show clients how your craft has progressed by adding newer pieces to your demos. This is particularly important if your demo includes dates, pop culture references, or advertisements for products that may have changed or vanished.Refresh DemosChange and update your demo clips library regularly to keep up with current trends.You’ll also want your demo reel to reflect changing trends and updates in equipment and editing software. This will show potential clients that you are a contemporary professional that they should want to hire.

Final Thoughts

Doing voiceovers and other voice acting is a great career option for many people, especially if you have a pleasant speaking voice. You can often work from home and set your own hours, so you can easily schedule it around your full-time job to make extra cash. Creating your first demo reel can feel daunting, but if you follow the simple steps in this guide, you should have no problem creating a professional demo that will wow potential clients. Now get out there and start recording!In case of in case of problems with voice recording (unwanted sounds and breathing), learn how to remove them!Read more: how to use sticky bombs in gta 5 ps4

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