Voice actors are crucial to successfully delivering your brand message and bringing your characters to life but choosing the right voice can be difficult. What makes matters worse is that there is such a wide variety of choices. So, what do you look for when casting a voice actor?
This article will look at some of the most important considerations, such as experience level, whether the voice actor has training, their rates, your project type, and more. By the end of this article, you will have all the knowledge you need to make a sound decision when casting a voice actor.
Where to Find Them
Knowing where they can be found is the best place to start if you want to cast voice actors. With the voice acting industry becoming so big, the good news is that voice actors are actually far more common than you would think. However, where you hire the voice actors from will make a big difference, not only in the quality they will provide but also in how smooth your experience will be.
The best way to find voice actors is through an online voice-over agency like Voquent. Why? Because these agencies offer the best voice-over talent worldwide and managed services. You can find any voice you need based on various factors, such as accent, project type, location, vocal tones, and more. Another place where you could find voice actors would be through a freelancing website. However, the voice actors on these sites are not vetted and approved based on experience and quality, as anyone can sign up.
Decide What Project You Need Them for
The first thing you’ll need to consider when casting voice actors is knowing precisely what they’ll be doing, or in other words, what project or projects you’ll be needing them for. If you are new to this, you could require the services of a voice actor for:
- Promotions and commercials
- Event announcing
- Video game characters
- Documentary films
- Television or movies
As you can see, many different mediums use voice-over, and knowing exactly which you need the voice actor for will make it much easier to choose one. The type of project you have in mind will determine the pacing, ability to convey emotions, vocal range, and more. Voquent allows you to browse talent based on the medium, so you can hear examples of voice actors doing the exact kind of read you need.
Their Vocal Range
As mentioned above, one thing you will need from a great voice actor would be a fantastic vocal range, although this depends on the character and project you have in mind. Why is having a great vocal range so important? Should you require a voice for a character, that voice must be able to portray all emotions that the character can feel. Using the same voice actor for multiple works will create a recognizable brand voice for branded and promotional projects. You don’t want to limit that opportunity by hiring talent who may not be able to perform other kinds of roles in the future.
In contrast, there’s nothing wrong with a voice actor with a smaller range when that range is perfect for your project. For example, think about Morgan Freeman’s voice; he doesn’t have the broadest vocal range, but his voice is ideal for documentaries, guiding the viewer through the story authoritatively. This is the perfect example of why it’s so important to know which medium you require voice-over for.
How Much Experience They Have
The next factor you will need to consider is the voice actor’s experience. Voice actors that have worked on many different projects will understand the process and will be able to deliver high-quality work. More importantly, you won’t need to guide them through each stage of the project, or explain in as much detail what you want, which will save a lot of time and effort for yourself. You want to know you are in capable hands.
This isn’t to say that you should only focus on voice actors with experience. You might find a hidden gem. Many celebrities and industry leaders had no experience before making it big. Great potential with some direction can produce fantastic results when you have the time, and it can often save you money.
Understanding of Pacing
When casting a voice actor, one of the most important things you’ll need to keep an ear out for is a voice actor that understands pacing. What is pacing? This is quite literally the pace at which the lines are read. Good pacing can make the difference between a viewer becoming immersed in what they are watching or finding something else.
When listening to demos or auditions, the voice actor shouldn’t rush through the lines, but they shouldn’t take longer than needed. If you need a voice actor for audio dubbing, they need to have perfect pacing to match the lip movements of the original actor. This is equally important if you need them to give a voice to an animated character. Hearing versatility in the pacing of their demo samples or voice reels will prove that they can adapt to a project and its specific requirements.
Rates and Cost
If you have just started looking for a voice actor, you would have probably noticed that there are many varying rates. If you are looking on a freelance platform, the rates usually determine the voice actor's skill level or experience, in their own opinion.
Just like in any industry, you get what you pay for. If you think you can find a voice actor who charges next to nothing, you probably won’t get excellent quality work. The benefit of managed online casting platforms is that they use their industry knowledge and experience to negotiate for you, liaising between you and freelance talents to reach fair rates for everyone involved. Negotiation is complex without an in-depth understanding of how voice-over rates work and the many factors that can increase or decrease rates.
Do They Have Training?
Finally, the last thing you’ll need to consider when casting a voice actor is whether or not you need them to have training. Remember that there is a difference between training and experience; just because a voice actor has more experience doesn’t mean they will deliver greater work.
A trained voice actor, on the other hand, will have more control over their voice and might be able to produce much better work than a voice actor relying solely on experience. Ultimately, a voice actor's industry and performance knowledge should come through in their recorded samples. If they deliver the intended emotion with perfect clarity and pace, they are likely trained to do so. Hearing recorded samples in advance is essential to making the right choice when casting voice actors.