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5 Tips Before Recording Voice Overs

 Creative Media Recording is celebrating 30 years in professional audio recording and sound design. No one has more knowledge about making a VO session run smoothly. Here’s some valuable tips from CMR’s Chief engineer, Tim Keenan.

1) Make sure your client thoroughly reviews and signs off on the final script in advance of your VO session. If you think your client needs the extra effort, record a “scratch track” with a temp voice for your client to review. Revisions to the narration after the initial VO session may not always match the energy and sound quality of the original performance and can be avoided with pre-production efforts.

2) Prepare the script in a format that is easy to read and understand. 12 pt fonts or larger and lots of spacing for the narration copy will make the session go smoother. The extra space allows for the talent to write in last minute changes that come up during the narration session.

3) Work out ahead of time how you would like the program paced and which places are good for music and narration transitions. What kind of music (if any) will be used throughout. This will help the talent get a feel for the segments that need more emphasis.

4) Direct the voiceover session. This seems like the obvious one but with the changes in the VO business this step is often overlooked. It is important to give guidance and direction as the VO is being recorded, either by phone or in-person, to avoid costly re-do’s. It also helps assure correct pronunciations and emphasis as well as a good performance.

5) Don’t over-direct and avoid the use of “line reads” if possible. Respect the fact that every voice talent has his or her own pacing, tempo and speech patterns. It is best to use positive words and encouragement to guide the talent to where you would like them to go with their read and which words require more emphasis.V

--Tim Keenan


Tim Keenan is a former VP of MCAI and an audio engineer for decades, As CEO of Creative Media Recording Tim has produced thousands of audio projects for a wide variety of clients and productions from radio spots to industrial narration to film and TV programs, including scoring with CMR’s extensive music library. CMR also gives workshops for VO talent and producers. You can reach Tim Keenan at 714.892.9469 or