According to Cisco, by 2020, watching online video will make up 80% of consumer internet traffic. But this also means that competition will be heating up and more businesses will use video to win new customers. Content creators need to stay ahead of the game! Adding voice to your videos can level up your content and help you build a deeper bond with your viewers.
Why add a voice to your video?
Different types of content elicit different emotions from us. Captain Obvious, right? But seriously, giving your video a voice can really help take it to the next level.
If you haven’t been watching Morgan Freeman movies recently, you probably read that last sentence in your own voice. Studies have found that our reading comprehension is strongly affected by our emotional state. What we get out of written text depends on our experience of the subject matter and our current mood. That’s a lot of person-to-person variation.
When you listen to someone speak, however, their emotion is clear. This adds a level of depth and connection that can be more difficult to achieve through words on paper alone.
Adding a voice to your video creates a level of intimacy between you and your audience. You can use tone and intonation to make your videos more personable and emotive. We’ve all had that one incident where a joke made through text really backfired, so we know that adding a voice to your video can help you communicate more clearly and precisely because listeners can hear your intention.
How to record a video voiceover
If you want to create a really effective voiceover recording that gives your video extra emotional power, you need to do a few things.
- Get the right voiceover recording software and mic
Before you hit the record button and start channelling your inner movie trailer narrator, you need a quality microphone (find some recommendations below), and decent voiceover recording software.
With Adobe Audition CC you can create, mix and edit audio content and craft a super polished track. If you already use Adobe products, this could be a pretty natural fit for you and will set you back $19.99USD a month for the annual plan. If Adobe isn’t your thing and you’re an Apple user, check out Logic Pro X.
If you want to just get the software license without monthly subscriptions, Reaper could be the answer. You can get a discount licence for $60USD, which is great for personal use or for small businesses that make less than $20,000USD gross revenue per year, or you can get a full commercial license for $225USD.
Or, if you’re on a tight budget but still want the full recording experience with quality software, check out Audacity’s free voiceover recording software. It’s open source and works well with Windows, Mac and Linux.
Once you’ve chosen your recording software, it’s a good idea to add a couple more small-scale tools to your set. A decent pair of headphones will help you catch any background noise issues during playback. A pop filter or absorber will help you catch popping sounds in ‘p’ words and help you sound like a pro, but avoid phrases like “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” just to be on the safe side.
- Create the perfect environment
Background noise can be really distracting and make even the best videos hard to listen to. If you can, find a quiet room, close the door and make sure there isn’t a lot of ambient noise. A good microphone can pick up air conditioning, distant traffic and even planes flying overhead.
Next, set up your equipment and try out a few different mic positions and combinations, recording yourself each time. That way, you can find the best setup for your space and preferences.
If your editing skills are good, you can record a few samples when your home office or recording space is at its quietest. Record the room’s relative silence for a minute at the same sample rate you’ll use for the rest of the recording process. You can use these files during the editing process to mask certain background sounds if you really can’t do another take.
- Prepare your materials
The first thing you need to do is find your voice. What kind of language does your audience respond to? Look through your other marketing materials. What words, phrases and styles of expression get the highest engagement rates?
As a rule of thumb, using a conversational voice with a bit of humor tends to work well! But don’t just take our word on that, do some research and write your script in a way that resonates with the people you’re trying to each.
Once you’ve got a fairly good idea of what you want to sound like, draft your script. Then read it out loud and make sure it sounds like something someone would say in real life. Record yourself a few times, listen to the playback and identify any bits you need to work on. Are you too fast? Too slow? Do you mumble?
Try recording your voiceover while standing up. Head up, shoulders back- you know the drill, you’ve heard it a thousand times before. When you stand, your voice opens up. Not only that, standing naturally encourages you to be more animated. And remember, it’s important to give it 200% enthusiasm because even the most naturally excited voice will sound bored when you play it back.
These small modifications might seem pointless when the camera is off but will have a huge impact on your voice. Try to make the same facial expressions you would if you were giving an in-person presentation. Smiling when you talk affects how other people perceive you. A study from Portsmouth University found that people can actually tell if you’re smiling just by hearing your voice!
Practice your script enough times so you feel as comfortable with it as possible. When you’re ready to record, do a few takes and don’t be afraid to experiment with spacing your words and changing your intonation. Show the finished versions to your team and pick the one that works best for your goals!
Best microphones for voiceover recording
We’ve left the most important part for last. Picking the right microphone for voice recording is a crucial part of the process. All the other prep you did will be useless without a decent mic to tie it all together.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to break the bank. Below we’ve got two great options that are used by podcasters, webinar creators and musicians.
- The Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone
The Rode NT Microphone is a versatile microphone for voiceover recording, music recording, webinars and podcasts. It’s compatible with both Mac OS and Windows, and you can even use it on an iPad with apps like GarageBand.
It has a very clear recording quality, but the sensitivity of the microphone means that it does pick up background noise, so it’s particularly important to use it in a quiet room.
- Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti is a small, compact microphone that attaches to your computer through a USB. Using it is simple. There’s no software to download or things to sync, just plug it in and you’re ready to play.
This microphone is incredibly versatile and can be used to record podcasts, music and voiceovers. The tri-capsule array means you can record in pretty much any situation.
Setting up your voice recording in Biteable
Biteable makes it easy to use pre-recorded audio clips and add them to any of our video templates. To upload your custom audio clip to Biteable, log into your account and select the template you’d like to use or the video you’d like to edit.
Then go to the Audio step and select Upload A Track.
You can drag and drop the file or upload it from your device or one of your cloud storage apps like Google Drive or Dropbox. Pro Tip: If you drag and drop, you might have to wait a moment before dropping to let the software catch up.
Using voiceover in videos
Adding a voice recording to video can really help you get your point across. It’s a simple way to turn up the emotion and to engage with viewers and potential customers on a deeper level.
Next time you’re crafting a video, why not add a voiceover and check out the results? We’d love to know how you get on!