An Overview of the Voice Over Industry

Voice over is a very distinct niche within the entertainment and audio recording industries.

Similar to an ecosystem, there is a natural order of things and diverse relationships that take shape, many of which are symbiotic, or, mutually beneficial to the parties they involve.

Take humans and trees for example.

Trees produce the oxygen we need to breathe. When we exhale, or breath leaves our bodies, carbon dioxide is produced as a result. Following our exhalations, the trees then breathe in our CO2, which is their source of air, and the cycle thus continues as they instinctively produce more oxygen rich exhalation for us to inhale. We then exhale carbon dioxide and the tree is nourished… you get the picture.

Just as in nature, many relationships within voice over are complementary and there are very few self-serving relationships. For those that do exist, they are a necessary part of our voice over ecosystem, and without them, there wouldn’t be a balance.

That is just the nature of things.

Let’s take a look at the roles we’ll be profiling this week with a brief overview on each, starting at the base of the ecosystem.

Voice Actors

A voice actor is the producer of the creative vocal work that is recorded and used for a variety of applications including commercials for radio, television, telephone, podcasts, video games and more. The voice actor uses their natural gifts, predominantly their voice and mastery of it, to infuse life into the written word. A voice actor is a creator of voice overs, and a voice over is the audio component of a media application commissioned by a client. Voice actors are also known as voice talents, voice overs, voice over artists, VO, VA, narrators, announcers, orators, and so on.

Voice Over Coaches and Instructors Mark Hauser

A voice over coach or instructor is a person who is either a teacher of voice, voice acting, or has extensive practical experience working as a professional voice actor. These people are trained to educate and are often associated with beginning voice actors or voice actors who are seeking to enrich or expand their voice over abilities through private coaching or workshops. There are fewer voice over coaches than there are voice actors and their profession is in many cases related to the theory of Publish or Perish. The nature of a voice over coach is to teach but this person may also perform or cast (pick) voices for other projects.

Audio Engineers and Producers

An audio engineer is a person who is highly skilled in the field of audio production, including recording, editing, mixing and mastering. As an audio engineer, this person is usually employed by a larger recording studio or can also be a freelance producer who works independently, running their own production studio. There are schools where people can be trained to acquire skills in this technical aspect of the voice over business. For voice actors who are not as savvy technology wise, these recording engineers and audio producers are heavily relied upon to help them produce their voice over demos or record broadcast ready work for clients.

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