Becoming a voice actor is an exciting journey filled with opportunities to lend your voice to various projects, from commercials and animations to audiobooks and video games. One crucial step on this path is preparing a voice sample demo that showcases your talent and versatility.
Here are some valuable tips to help you create a compelling voice sample demo that stands out in the competitive world of voice acting.
What Are Voice Samples For?
Your voice samples should primarily demonstrate your speaking skills. The demos can be for various purposes, such as voiceovers, advertising, dubbing, audiobooks, phone system greetings, explainer videos, promotional videos, and more.
You can use them on your website, as part of applications to voiceover agencies, recording studios, and film companies, or for your profile on voice actor platforms like Bodalgo and others.
Professional Sound Is a Must
You should avoid using smartphone recordings or low-quality recordings from an inadequate acoustic environment. Your demo files are your calling card when approaching agencies and clients, so treat them as such. Just as you wouldn’t submit a job application on toilet paper, you shouldn’t compromise on the quality of your demos.
You can either record your files in a professional studio or in your own home studio. I recommend leaving the final sound mixing and mastering to a professional studio. Sound engineers know what’s necessary to make your voice samples sound professional.
File Format .mp3 vs. .wav
If you want to send your voice samples as email attachments, .mp3 files with a bitrate of 128 kbps are suitable due to their small size. Personally, I use .wav format only when sending audio to studios for further processing. For your demos, .mp3 files are sufficient. Sending videos doesn’t make sense as they are usually too large, and your recipient is primarily interested in your voice, not flashy visuals.
How Long Should a Voice Sample Be?
Again, the rule here is: as short as possible, as long as necessary! Professionals in agencies or studios can usually tell within 10 seconds whether you have the skills or if you’re a novice. Therefore, there’s no point in submitting a 10-minute audiobook sample.
I recommend keeping your voice samples to no longer than 1 minute. Alternatively, you can create a “mix” that combines several samples into one file. Ensure that you start with an attention-grabbing “earcatcher” and don’t waste the first 30 seconds on music.
Where Can I Get Professional Voice Samples Created?
Many recording studios offer this service. When you’re in the studio, you benefit from professional direction in an actual recording situation. If you don’t have this availability, but you own a good microphone, then you can send us your recording and we will take care of it to sound as professional as possible.
Take your time and only send voice samples that you’re 100% confident in. They should be clean and professionally produced. Since these demos are your ticket to studios and clients, rely on professional assistance. Investing in this is money well spent.