Although music is prevalent in many of our daily lives, voice-over music has a defined time and place when it comes to voice acting industry standards.
With the widespread availability of voice-activated gadgets and audio platforms in today’s society, it’s no surprise that we spend our days listening to audio content and living our lives to the beat of our favourite music and podcasts. However, when working as a professional voice actress, the voice-over music you select to compliment your vocal performance should be precise and discrete.
Voice-over music can often dominate and distract from a recording’s genuine vocal delivery. You run the danger of destroying the recording and losing a job if you aren’t careful about the voice-over music you choose.
There are a few voice-over music best practices that you should keep in mind whether you’re recording a voice-over demo, audition, or the final file for a project that you’ve been hired for. Continue reading to see how your voice-over music choices might affect how your work is received.
Music’s Emotional Weight
“Music is the universal language of mankind,” claimed American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and he was correct. Music is, by its very nature, emotional. Unlike many other creative forms, music inspires an immediate emotional response rather than appealing to our intellect.
Music can also be used for a lot more than just making a recording seem lovely. Depending on the sort of music you pair with a voice-over recording, you can completely change the ambience of a scene or elicit a powerful emotional response that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Randy Rektor, a Voices content producer, emphasized the potential of background music and sound effects to affect not just an audio work’s ambience but its entire narrative. A single audio clip can alter the whole mood, such as switching the speakers from a coffee shop to an elegant restaurant.
Voice Is Preferable to Music
The correct backing music may enhance a voice-over recording and make a performance stand out from the crowd when used strategically and professionally. Voice-over music’s purpose is not to compete with a vocal performance but to enhance it by bringing out the emotion in the material and adding to the overall presentation in a meaningful and visually beautiful way.
Voice-Over Music Buying Guide:
Subtlety is essential.
The music you add to your recording shouldn’t add too much noise to it. You should primarily use the vocal delivery to produce this effect, whether you’re looking for an over-the-top climax or a sensitive, tear-jerking moment.
The voice-over music you use should complement your voice, but it shouldn’t be relied on to do all of the work for you. Your voice-over demonstrations should first and foremost show what you can bring to the table as a voice actor, not as an audio engineer.
When it’s time to record without music, know when to make a dry recording.
Dry voice samples should nearly always be submitted with auditions. As a result, no additional production aspects, such as musical backing, will be used, sound effects, or vocal processing on the recording. Clients will be able to focus simply on the quality of your performance and whether it fits their needs once they hear how your voice normally sounds rather than being bombarded with an overwhelming sonic mélange.
While some types of voice-over will eventually be matched with music, such as TV commercials, animation projects, and movie trailers, other types will only be used extremely seldom. If you’re creating a demo for an audiobook or an e-learning course, you should avoid using any voice-over music at all.
Music that will date your demo should be avoided.
If you’re creating a new voice-over demo that will serve as a representation of your vocal abilities for years to come, you should be cautious about the type of voice-over music you select. Music styles come and go quickly, and if the track you pick is predominantly linked with a specific era, you may find that your demo is soon outdated.
While recorded music that recalls a bygone age can have this effect when you edit ultramodern songs into your recording, you risk falling into the same traps. The music may feel current and trendsetting right now, but in the blink of an eye, it may be sending listeners back to the summer when that particular genre of music was popular.