How To Record High Quality Audio For VoiceOvers, Podcasts And More
Discover how to make your voiceover recordings sound like they came from a professional recording studio – even if you’re recording with inexpensive gear
[Note: The Jan 2019 session has already started, so registration for this offering is closed. If you would like to join late into the course, we might be able to work something out. Just contact me here.
If you are recording voiceovers and other spoken-word audio at home (podcasts, video narrations, talking head videos, etc.) and just can’t quite seem to get that professional sound, you may just be missing a few pieces of the puzzle. And I’m NOT talking about buy more or “better” microphones and other equipment.
Most people already have everything they need. I’m talking about just a little bit of knowledge that can make all the difference. In our new course – taught live at weekly online sessions – you’ll learn those extra skills to crank up the quality of your recordings. Plus you’ll get one1-on-1 help along the way.
What Folks Asked For
I’ve been interviewing people who are currently recording voice overs from home to find out what the biggest frustrations and challenges are. I didn’t want to guess what the real needs and issues were, but instead get it straight from the source. I was able to come up with a list of common problems people are having. Things like:
- “Thin” or “muffled” sounding audio
- Noisy audio (computer drives, room echo, mouth noises and other background noise)
- Too much “room sound” – echo and reverb – in the audio
- Difficulty getting the audio loud enough
- Audio has uneven volume – it might be loud enough in places but not loud enough in others
- Not fully understanding the software
- Not understanding audio editing tools like EQ, compression and normalization
- Need better understanding of the workflow – what to do and in what order, etc.
- Myth: Thinking you MUST apply audio effects to make your voiceover sound good
- Wanting to know the best kinds of microphones and interfaces, and
- Not knowing about the many tips and tricks available for getting the best audio quality
To answer those questions for you, we created…
Professional Talkers: How To Record High Quality Audio For VoiceOvers, Podcasts And More
What Are The Benefits For You?
- Techniques that will allow you to create pro quality without expensive gear. Many folks end up buying a Neumann microphone (admittedly top notch gear) for $1,000, only to find it didn’t get them the quality they needed. That’s common because the culmination several other non-gear factors turn out to be much more important than the gear.
- A good understanding of just the 4 or 5 audio edits needed to take your recorded audio across the finish line to sounding professional. And as with the gear, the software does NOT have to be expensive at all. In fact this course will show you how to use a free software editor (Audacity) in conjunction with a $60 digital audio workstation (DAW) program to do everything you need. This means you do NOT need to spend $600 for Pro Tools Standard (or $2,500 for the HD version!).
- Improved probability of landing paying voiceover gigs. If you are recording and sending in auditions for VO jobs without getting jobs, that is likely to do with your audio quality. Your audio quality WILL be better after this course. And if that leads to only one job in the months following, that’s $200-$500 in income.
- So all together, if you find you do NOT have to purchase $1,600 in gear or software, and you make $400 on just one gig, you’ll be $2,000 better off.
This Is A Live Course!
To make things as close as possible to a real classroom type environment, the course is run “live” – with one online session per week for 5 weeks. That allows for maximum interaction between you and other students and with me. Because of that, we will have a small/limited number of students. There will be a lot of opportunity for Q&A in these sessions, as well as in the Facebook Group you’ll be invited to.In addition to that, I will work with students individually to help solve a problem they might be having trying to record high quality voice over jobs from home. So you’ll get all the help you need to record high quality audio from home.
Here is the current high-level outline of the course topics:
Week 1 – Overview and First Steps
- Introduction to the course – You’ll learn how it is possible to record professional quality audio on a computer at home – without having to spend a ton of money for gear or software.
- There is LOT of information out there – This course will try to explain only what you need to know and what is useful for VO/spoken word recording.
- It’s technique at least as much as (actually more than) how expensive or fancy the gear is.
- Why good quality audio is important. For voiceover work it’s the “price of admission” – you simply cannot get jobs without it. As Dan Thies say “it cannot suck for even a second.” For podcasts and video voiceover, it might not be as crucial. But you can stand out from the others “I’m a pro. They are not.”
- What exactly is “professional sounding audio?”
- I’ll make it easy to understand the sometimes scary technical stuff like EQ, compression and normalization
- Basic mechanics of recording
- Most common problem in home voice recording – ROOM SOUND. How do we prevent or reduce it?
Week 2 – Microphones and Accessories
- Different types and Why the difference?
- How to hook them up and use them
- Accessories (stands, pop filters, etc.)
Week 3 – Software and What To do With It
- DAW vs Editor
- What is EQ? What do you use it for? How to use it.
- What is compression? What do you use it for? How to use it.
- What is normalization? What do you use it for? How to use it.
- Noise Reduction
- Noise Gate
- Finalizing (“Mastering”)
Week 4 – Common Problems and How To Avoid And/Or Fix Them
- Learn to avoid or correct the most common problems people have recording high quality audio in a home studio
Week 5 – Part 2 Optimizing Audio Quality And “Final Exam”
- Continue wherever we left off above
- Demonstrate doing everything you learned in the course by recording your own example VO script, which is reviewed by me, as also the other of the students
The first session for the next course offering will be the week of January 28th, 2019. There will be “homework” prior to the meetings we will have online each week.
I will use webinar software (Zoom) as an online classroom.
The actual day and time of week will not be set until I have the list of students already signed up. That way I can ask everyone what times and days of the week are best.
I’ll run one or two sessions of each lesson each week to make it convenient for the most students to make it to a live session. But even if you cannot attend live, the sessions will be recorded and you’ll be able to review those at your convenience.
How much will this cost?
The investment will pay for itself in several ways. For example, many folks are frustrated and are likely to be on the brink of buying a “better” mic or other gear for anywhere between $200-1,000. In a lot of cases, they don’t NEED to do that because it isn’t the quality of the mic that is causing the trouble. So the course could well help you save the cost of the gear you won’t need to buy. It might also help to consider how much you may already have spent on bits of equipment or software that have not had the desired effect.
If you are in the voiceover world, the higher quality audio you’ll learn to produce will lead to better auditions, which will make you more competitive for landing more paying gigs. And if the skills you learn in this course help you land even 2 VO jobs, that will more than pay for the course investment, which is $397.
What Some Of the Students From The First Class Had To Say:
I have been interested in audio production for a long time and Ken’s course was perfect. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I thought there was some magic involved and in reality, it’s not magic, it’s just specific knowledge and a little bit of skill, You cannot get those on YouTube ( I tried and it doesn’t work).
Ken is great at what he does. You need a mentor for this stuff and Ken can do that. You don’t even need to know the difference between a speaker and a microphone. Ken will very respectfully teach you. Then he will “hold your hand” and walk you through your own individual concerns. I recommend Ken and his course completely. It is a real value, you will get much more than your money’s worth. I have recorded my own book on Audible, I’ve done several audio recordings, and I planning an audio project that I feel confident to do because of Ken’s course.
– Morris Sims
Home Brew Audio’s “Professional Talkers: How To Record High Quality Audio For VoiceOvers, Podcasts and More” class was one the most practical, hands-on and effective classes in VO I have ever experienced. Much of the benefit in the class is based on Ken’s personal communication style and strong VO and recording knowledge. Participation in the class strongly motivated me to learn more about the VO craft and to extend my knowledge on recording skills and equipment.
– Derek Kenner
Before this course, I had heard of concepts like compression and normalization and had I general idea of what EQ was and what it was used for. But the ability to ask questions as the tools and concepts were being explained was great! Ken knows how to break these concepts down in to easy-to-grasp pieces. Also, and maybe even more importantly, he tells you what to NOT worry about.
– Jason Arnold
A powerful benefit of this course, for any future participant, is the bite-sized chunks of concepts that Ken delivers, in a logical scope and sequence, with the built-in time to digest and apply the new learning, between the weekly virtual meetings.
– Dale Latham
Here are a few more comments from others who have either taken my other courses, watched my videos on YouTube, or worked with me directly:
How Can I Sign Up?
We started the week of Jan 28th. As I mentioned above, registration for this offering is closed. If you would like to join late into the course, we might be able to work something out. Just contact me here if you have any other questions and to find out when the next class will be run.