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Voice-over demos and a Eureka Moment

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

December 21, 2005

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One of the most exciting aspects of this blog is that we can introduce topics and write about them exclusively in a new medium! Today, I'd like to chat with you about recording a voice-over demo.

This may seem like old hat to some of you, but for aspiring talent, it's one of the most significant hurdles to getting started as a voice-over talent. Questions arise such as "how do I record a demo", "where can I record a demo", "do I need any special equipment?", "where can I find scripts to record from?", and "how much money does it cost to record at a studio?"... the list can be endless when an inquiring mind wants to know!

I'm going to try my best to elaborate on the questions above. Firstly, we have a How to Make a Voice-Over Demo Guide at Voices.com. This will explain all of the nitty gritty when it comes to taking a crack at recording your first voice-over demo. Not only is there technical advice, but also a section that provides the most common demos that clients want to listen to. Primarily, these include the Commercial, Narration, and Telephone demos.

Suitably answering the "where" and "how" questions heavily depends on the resources that you have available, particularly financially and technologically. If you have a modest home studio setup and can record quality audio on your PC, the option to do so from home or at a friend's house is easily realized.

However, if you have a budget set aside for voice-over demo recording and want to make sure that a professional recording engineer is at the reins, I would strongly suggest that a visit to your local recording studio is a high priority on your list. In exchange for loyalty (as in using their studio to record every time you land a voice-over job), the studio may be willing to embark in a new relationship with you that may include discounts - if you are fortunate enough to go down this path, be sure to get the agreement in writing.

Always make sure that you approach at least 3 studios when looking for quotes. That way you can compare prices and move ahead with the best studio for you.

Okay, so you've got the setup in mind, but you are missing.... egad, SCRIPTS! Don't panic, we can help you out with this. As you may know, I'm the copywriter here at Voices. One of the benefits to you is access to a variety of royalty-free scripts penned by yours truly, either by using the sample scripts in the Resources section, or, if you want some extra mileage, "The Voice-Over Script Collection" (over 50 original scripts and an assortment of public domain works - over 70 scripts all together) can be easily purchased at our website or over the telephone. It's a really good investment if you are looking for Commercial, Imaging, Telephone and Narration scripts.

One of the ideas that I had recently, kind of a eureka moment (don't you just love those?), was to release a new script here and there on this blog for you to try out. A couple of months ago, we re-released the script collection which was revamped, rebranded and stocked with 25 new commercial voice-overs including scripts pertaining to Real Estate, Finance, Travel, Christian, Events, and more. The overhaul was well worth the time and brain power.

While we're on the topic, I'd like to get the ball rolling with one of the new scripts from the collection. This is from the Travel Commercials section:

Looking for a reason to go to Holland in 2006? What better reason to go than to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth? As Holland's greatest 17th-century painter, it is only fitting to dedicate the entire year to the Dutch Master of shadows and light. Throughout 2006, spectacular exhibitions and events will be staged in various cities in Holland. Experience Rembrandt's Leiden, The Hague and Amsterdam... Join Holland in a toast to Rembrandt's 400th birthday! Book your flight at a discounted rate ahead of time for 2006. See you soon / Gelukkige verjaardag (Happy Birthday - optional)

Gender: Male or Female
Length: 30
Target Demographic: Rembrandt lovers, Dutch émigrés, art lovers
Character / Narrator Description: Cultured Ambassador
Vocal Direction: Slight Dutch accent (optional), happy, proud, knowledge of Dutch language an asset
Suggested Music: Dutch, polka, folk
Suggestion Sound Effects: canal sounds (water), clog dancing (wooden shoes)

If you have any ideas about what you would like to see discussed on this blog or if you have any feedback, please let me know ~ I'm all ears!

Stephanie

Related Topics: how do I, how to


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