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Taerkalith
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Voice Acting: "How to Record Guide"

HOW TO RECORD GUIDE (PLEASE READ. MANDATORY TO FOLLOW)


Recommended Software

·         Audacity, a free audio editing program



The 9 Simple Steps to Good Audio Recording:

Please follow these really simple steps when recording. They'll save you a lot of time and make the overall composition of Skywind Voice Acting more balanced and professional. We recommend using Audacity for beginners and a microphone of equal or better quality than the Samson Gomic.

 


1. Make sure you have a "pop-filter" for your microphone. This will reduce your "P" and "S" sounds and make your recordings sound much more professional. They're cheap to buy or you can even make one yourself if you can't get one. This is mandatory and pretty easy so please do it!

2.. When recording you must set a couple of basic settings: You must record your files as 44100hz 16 bit mono files. This can be set easily in the red and purple box areas in the screenshot above. Always save files using the .WAV format.

3. If you have a physical volume control knob on your microphone setup, known as a "pre-amp" set it to about a 1/4 to a 1/3 of it's maximum volume to reduce the chance of distorting your recording. Most people will not have this.

4. Now we need to test our input volume. Hit record and talk as loudly as you would during your normal conversation lines and then hit stop. If the blue audio wave of the recording is ever goes higher than the Green marker bar in our screenshot, you will need to lower the microphone volume controlled in the yellow box area. Test again until your audio is in that nice middle range.

5. Listen to the file with the best headphones you've got. We want to listen for two things:

A. Does the voice sound distorted at all? If so, you should move away from your microphone a bit as you are probably being too loud for you microphone. Also check that your recording is not higher than the Green marker bar. Remember, it's best to be about a 20-30cms/10 inches away from your pop-filter for even and undistorted sound. If you're unsure, back away from your microphone and record again and see if the second one sounds more natural. If so, then you'll want to be farther away.

B. Does your voice have an echo? If it does, the room you are in probably isn't naturally quiet enough and you will want to use blankets/pillows around your microphone to reduce the reverberations of the room. Trying a different smaller space with carpeting can also help. We're very picky about this. You want no echo at all ideally.

C. Now re-record and try it again. If you're unsure about the quality, always feel free to send us a sample on Discord!

6. Time to record! Whenever recording lines leave 20 seconds of silence at the very beginning of the file. Silence should not contain any anomolies such as creaking of chairs, breathing etc. We're trying to capture the background noise so we can filter it out later.

7. Record your lines in big chunks and we'll chop them up and do ALL the sound editing. Do not worry about doing noise removal/EQ work/compression etc. We've got you covered. The only thing we ask is that you leave one recording for each line so pick your best take and delete the rest.

8. When recording your combat lines, you will need to repeat step 4 and 5 while trying to yell as loud as you will be for your combat lines and adjust the microphone input volume in the yellow box area as needed. This combat recording SHOULD be a separate file as it makes it much easier for us to normalize and mix (Thank you for doing this, it saves us a lot of time!). Remember as you go through your script to group the combat/normal lines into separate files. Remembering your microphone volume settings when you do this will make switching easier, but always double check once done recording a new clip.

9. Do not do ANY editing other than deleting duplicate takes. We've got talented mixers to help you out with this and eventually master all of the voices of skywind! When saving your audio please save them as .WAV files then attach your audio to your trello card and move it to the appropriate column as outlined by the instructions in the top column cards. .MP3 is not allowed due to the quality degradation.

Good luck!

Additional Recording Tips and Tricks (optional but good advice)
 

Positioning:

Place the microphone at a 30 degree angle below your mouth about 6-8 inches (15-20cm) away from your face. When recording, face forward (you do not need to speak down into the microphone). If you do NOT have a pop filter and you find that there are excessive amounts of air going into the microphone's diaphragm (causing plosive sounds to be more prominent than they would be normally) shift the microphone to the side of your face enough to stop air going directly into the microphone (still keep the same approximate distance of 6-8 inches).
 

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Edited by: Taerkalith on 01/05/2017 - 12:47
Ultimocracy
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A useful tip for people

A useful tip for people without pop shields, a pair of tights, or pantyhose, whatever your side of the pond, stretched over a wire coat hanger will provide a shield when none is available, plus, it's super cheap! It's wire too so you can bend it to stick around your mic stand.

Angulo
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Hi, I'm really interested in

Hi, I'm really interested in voice acting and I would love to give this a try, however I don't have proper gear. I was wondering if it would be ok to do my auditions with a crappy headset mic (logitech g430) and then if I do get in go to a recording studio to record my lines.

Raz
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Hey, my name is Raz and I'm a
Hey, my name is Raz and I'm a German voice actor. I'd like to join you project. If you'd like to get a sense of my voices visit soundcloud.com/christian-kippelt
VoiceOnTheWall
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Hi I'm using a Blue Yeti USB

Hi I'm using a Blue Yeti USB microphone that only has a Stereo setting on its Dials, should I use the Stereo setting instead of Mono in Audacity?

 

 

Taerkalith
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Mono is best

Mono is best

Complete the Circuit
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Set the mic pickup pattern to

Set the mic pickup pattern to Cardioid (dial on the mic itself) and then set to Mono in Audacity.