Acoustic Treatment For Voice-Over

Lacking proper acoustic treatment is the #1 issue preventing most voice-over artists from achieving a professional sound. The following briefly explains why it's essential and what treatment is necessary to prepare your recording space properly. It is critical to understand that no plugin, microphone, preamp, or anything else will improve the quality of your voice recording as much as the proper acoustic treatment will. I often tell my clients that room treatment is "not fun to shop for" or "easy to spend money on" —however, room treatment is the best way to improve your recorded voice sound. It's an investment. In my experience, no one regrets the investment.

 

"No plugin, microphone, preamp, or anything else will improve the quality of your voice recording as much as the proper acoustic treatment will."

Sound Proofing is a term often used to describe either Absorption or Isolation. However, the two are very different. Isolation is when sound pressure waves are prevented from passing through a barrier. Isolation is when acoustic treatment is used in order to prevent sound from coming into your recording space (or escaping from your recording space). The problem is that Isolation requires a chamber to be constructed of walls built of heavy mass (think concrete or dense wood), then an air gap, then heavy mass again. Additionally, this chamber must be entirely airtight to achieve true Isolation. Attaining true Isolation is expensive and unrealistic for most voice-over home studio situations. 

On the other hand, Absorption is when acoustic treatment is used to absorb reflections within a recording space. Sound pressure waves get absorbed by the special acoustic material and prevent reflections from reaching your microphone. I'll explain further.

You need to add specific acoustic panels to your room to improve your voice-over sound. Sound begins in the room, and you'll experience a night and day difference if you install the proper acoustic treatment. The key is the right acoustic panels. 

 

The Reflection Issue

Professional "Broadband" panels (aka bass traps) that absorb the combined high, mid, and low frequencies will ONLY do the job correctly for a reflection-filled situation. Anything less won't give you the optimized sound you are after. Most voice-over artists expect thin panels (1 to 2 inches thick) or sound blankets to deliver results only broadband panels can. Thin panels or blankets don't absorb low frequencies. The low frequencies pass right through them. Think of a car with a LOUD stereo blaring outside your house. While the higher frequencies are muted, you hear the low frequencies because they pass right through the walls. Broadband panels are thicker (usually at least 4-inches), which is necessary to absorb your voice's lower frequencies. Thicker panels will prevent those lower frequencies from bouncing around in your room, then back into your microphone (at a slight delay). When low-frequency reflections are not absorbed, your recording is plagued by resonance issues. This situation can give your recorded voice a "boxy," thin, bassy, or bassless sound. However, once these low-frequency reflections are addressed, you'll notice a drastic difference in the sound of your recordings. The recording becomes crisp, tight, and forward. Properly absorbing the reflections results in precisely what makes us say, "wow, that's an amazing voice sound!"

DIY bass traps built according to pro specs can be a solution. It depends on if you're handy and have the tools. It's usually a bit cheaper. If you do build your panels, take caution with a mask and gloves, as the material (rock wool/fiberglass) can be hazardous to work with. Also, many people expect "bass traps" to be triangular in shape, but that's not always the case. 

I use acoustic broadband panels in my studio made by a company called Gik Acoustics, and I love them. I suggest you go to the Gik Acoustics Room Planner Calculator on their website. https://www.gikacoustics.com/acoustic-advice-form/

You can fill out your room size and other details, and they will send you the room treatment necessary to achieve the sound you're after for free. You don't have to purchase, but the process will allow you to see precisely the acoustic treatment you need to correct your room treatment issue. Be sure to explain in your form to them that you are looking for a completely Reflection-less room for voice-over recording

Plugins can only attempt to mask the sound issue in your room. However, once your treatment is installed, my custom voice-over processing service can create an excellent sound for your voice.

The following link is my affiliate link. If you end up purchasing from Gik Acoustics, using this link helps me out at no additional cost to you. https://www.gikacoustics.com/ref/10/

 

 

 

What Is A Custom Preset And Why Do I Need One?

A custom processing preset for your voice-over is a series of plugins explicitly tuned for your voice, in your room, and on your microphone. If you want to compete in today's voice-over world, you must ensure that your demos and auditions are extraordinary. Voice-over artists at every experience level from all over the world are fighting to win work. However, if you don't have a professional sound, you will lose out to someone who does.

Custom voice-over processing presets can take your audio presentation quality to the level necessary to compete with the pros. Instead of taking it upon yourself to tweak the parameters like EQ compression, DeEssing, and saturation to name a few, you can hire a professional voice-over audio engineer to create it for you. Once you have the custom preset on your system, you have "The Sound" every time you press the record button. The investment pays for itself with the money and time saved. Here are the top reasons why they are so popular:

  1. A custom processing preset lets you focus on your strengths, leaving more time for pitching your voice-over and less time stumbling with engineering.
  2. A custom processing preset gives you the confidence necessary to help you perform your best.
  3. A custom processing preset allows you to outshine the competition, win more auditions, and get more work.

Demo Your Custom Voice-Over Preset Sound Free!

Once you submit your voice for processing, you will be notified if your audio recording quality needs improvement or if it's ready for prime time. If your production quality needs improvement, you will be offered suggestions to help identify and resolve any issues before being asked to resubmit audio. On the other hand, if your audio recording quality is up to par, you will receive a sample of your custom-tuned processed sound to review for free. 

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