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Voiceovers and Plugins – The Not Silent Blog 2/16/21

Plugins. This is a topic that is extensively discussed in every voiceover social media group I’m a member of.

Here is how Wikipedia defines plugins:

In computing, a plug-in (or plugin, add-in, addin, add-on, or addon) is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program. When a program supports plug-ins, it enables customization. Digital audio workstations and audio editing software use audio plug-ins to generate, process or analyze sound. Ardour, Audacity, Logic Pro X and Pro Tools are examples of such systems.

Most companies that create DAWs have plugins available for purchase. There are also third-party companies who create plugins for DAWs they don’t create. I’ve noticed that iZotope is one of the most popular plugin creators, but there many others just a Google search away.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Do you need plugins? Opinions vary, but I’d say it depends.

I’ve noticed that voice actors use plugins for one of two (or sometimes both) reasons:

1. To enhance their audio.

There are many voice actors who “produce” the audio they narrate for commercial broadcast. By produce, I mean when they deliver it to the client it’s broadcast-quality and can be put on the air as is. For them, I’d say that plugins are a must.

I, for one, narrate few commercials but a ton of non-broadcast content like eLearning modules, Explainer videos, etc. Most of the time my clients only need “cleaned up” audio. By cleaned up I mean that all I do is remove the booboos, burps, and curses and the client does the rest. That’s why I almost never use plugins to enhance my audio files.

2. To compensate for issues with their recording space or narration.

Not everyone has an ideal recording space. Sometimes it’s a closet with little or no insulation in the walls, you live in a neighborhood with a lot of traffic, construction, low-flying airplanes, etc. As a result, you may need some plugins to reduce background noise. You can also use plugins to help you with breaths, mouth-clicks, and the like.

If you find yourself depending on plugins to produce acceptable audio, do everything you can to treat your recording space. Excessive use of plugins can over-process your audio to make it sound tinny or other icky things.

Before you make any decisions on whether you should use plugins at all and if so which ones, consult with an expert like George Whittam or Dan Friedman.

NEWS AND NOTES

Wednesday, February 17 @8PM EST: VO How-To: Explainers Explained! What is an Explainer Video? How do you narrate one? Where do you get the work? These and many other questions will be answered in this online workshop! If you can’t attend the night of the event, the webinar will be recorded so you can watch the video at your convenience.

Thursday, February 18th @8PM EST: the Edge Studio Business and Money 201 Webinar: ‘Time Management‘. It caps at 25 students and sells out fast so sign up ASAP!

SOLD OUT!!! Saturday, February 20th @5PM EST: The Voice Actors Studio ‘eLearning Performance’ Workshop. eLearning, training modules, and instructional content is a leading category in voiceover opportunity. Join me for a focused eLearning Performance workshop! There are still a few virtual seats left for the March 28th workshop so sign up ASAP!

Thursday, February 25th @8PM EST: the Edge Studio Marketing 201 Webinar ‘Brand Yourself‘. It caps at 25 students and sells out fast so sign up ASAP!

HAPPY HAPPYS

Happy Tortilla Chip Day and Hippo Day!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Tom Dheere is a voice actor with over twenty years of experience narrating just about every type of voiceover you can think of. He also helps voice talents navigate the voiceover industry as the VO Strategist. When not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the epic sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.

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