Some people are born with just the right voice to benefit off of. However, the same people typically never find their potential and do not even know about how great their voices are. The saying that mentions “You never know until you try” applies greatly to this situation. This article is not aimed at those who already found their voice acting talent, but for those that should go and seek out their skills and potential. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next voice that all advertisements will be utilizing!
Testing Your Voice
There can be multiple indicators of a good voice. Yes it might be subjective depending on the scenario that you’re voice acting for, however, there are some objective indicators. The first indicator would be clarity. A good voice should firstly always be clear, this includes a lack of stutter, an obvious and confident annunciation of words, and a normalized loudness. The second indicator is a good tempo. This means that your voice should have a consistent rhythm and speed to it. Talking too fast or too slow could make you sound very uneven which isn’t always the best outcome. Depending on the situation you might have to change the tempo of your voice, for example a boring and sad voice is often correlated with a slow tempo while being excited makes your voice faster giving it a higher tempo. Knowing what tempo you should use at what time is a very good indicator of a well-developed voice.
Another indicator could be your pitch. This includes your vocal range. People with wider vocal ranges are often the best at fitting many different types of voices. Being a low pitched announcer or a high pitched cartoon character, they can do it all with no restrictions. However, this is usually something you obtain naturally as different people are born with different vocal ranges. You can test your vocal range by finding your highest and lowest notes and adjust according to that. The more keys you can play the better!
The last indicator would be your expressions. To be a good voice actor, knowing how to shift your vocal personality based on what you’re mimicking is an essential factor for a good voice. Knowing how to create a certain atmosphere or mood using your voice will get you far when it comes to voice acting. For example, being able to mimic an energetic and optimistic cartoon character and being able to switch to a slow, pessimistic, and lazy character, shows your mastery over this indicator. Sticking to only one personality means that you might have to practice this skill a bit more.
Practicing Your Voice
You should now have a good idea on the characteristics of your voice and might want to start training on it a bit more to see if it can get you anywhere in voice acting. There are multiple ways you can start practicing and training your voice. Many people go through vocal training with a vocal coach that could show them different practices. That’s usually the main method that people use. However, if you’re trying to spend as little as possible and still get the same results, it is still very possible!
The first way you could train your voice is by reading out loud. By reading out loud, it doesn’t mean you should just read like normal, it means that you should be imitating different voices in your head. Create different personalities based on what you’re reading and voice them out. This will train the expressions and pitch skills and will improve your vocal range. It’s extremely important to be able to voice different types of people as the better your vocal range, the more opportunities you will be getting.
The second way would be to sing. Yes, singing actually helps you improve your tone and regulate the volume of your voice. If you want to practice on vocal strength, being able to higher and lower your voice and at the same time change tones is an essential skill to have and build.
The last way would be to have a conversation with yourself. This might sound weird at first but it’s extremely effective in building different personalities. It is even better than reading a story out loud and that’s because you’re creating an entirely new character to begin with. Doing this will allow you to not only improve your voice, but also your creativity. Finding new ways to experiment with your voice is vital for improving yourself and will give you an edge over others. Now that you have creativity as well as a good voice, more people will want you to do voice overs for them!
You could practice for all you want, and you could also be extremely confident in your voice. However, there’s always a hint of bias that rises up due to simply just being human. To actually make sure that you’re making good progress, you need to check with other people. There are many people that you could go to that can give you decent and unbiased opinions on your voice.
For example, you could, as mentioned previously, go to a vocal coach. These people are professionals that can identify little flaws or opportunities that most people can’t. They will be able to also recommend some exercises on specific areas of your voice that you can enhance.
You could also go to a recording studio that might be able to provide you with some recommendations on how to make your voice perfect for recording specific things. Recording studios are often focused on doing voice overs for advertisements and other projects which could give you criticism that aligns with that field.
Maybe you want to go over to someone who you know will give you an honest opinion like a family member or a friend that you can trust and ask them to criticize your voice. They would likely be more than happy to tell you what you did well and what you can improve.
Finding your voice could often be a difficult task, especially when you don’t know what constitutes a “good” voice. However, this article should hopefully guide you to some criteria that could help you make a decision on following through with voice acting. Training your voice could take years and it’s important to note that this skill needs dedication and time. If you’re serious about voice acting or are already an established voice actor, you might want to check out some of Mello Studio’s other articles.