How to Voice Over a Video [Easily & Quickly For Beginners!]

how to voice over a video

Key Takeaways:

To voice over a video, you’ll need to:

  1. Create a great script.
  2. Find or create a quiet recording environment.
  3. Use a high-quality microphone.
  4. Deliver the lines with appropriate emotion and pacing while making sure to synchronize your voiceover with the video’s content.

Do you want to create stunning videos (or audiobooks!) that require narration but don’t have the funds to hire a professional voice-over artist? Don’t worry! You can learn how to voice over a video by yourself!

As an independent filmmaker and actor myself, I’ve had to do voice-over work on many of my films. For example, in The Damned: Three Days Dead, a supernatural film noir based on a pulp-style graphic novel, I played a character that required a considerable amount of voice-over narration to match the feel of the comic.

This meant many audio recording sessions in the studio after filming wrapped in order to capture all the necessary dialogue. And that’s just one of my projects where voice-over was needed.

Most films I’ve been part of have needed as a minimum ADR (audio dialogue replacement) for some of the actors, which is when the dialogue recorded on set isn’t good enough for the final film and needs to be re-recorded in the studio.

It’s not always easy to know how to do this, especially for beginning filmmakers and video creators!

In this article, we will discuss how to record and edit your best-quality audio voice-over so that it sounds great. We will also provide some tips for making sure your audio quality is top-notch.

Let’s get started!

How to Voice Over a Video

tips for video voiceover

The first thing to know is that a good voice-over is more than just a clear and pleasant-sounding voice.

It’s about understanding the script, the characters (in the case of a fictional or documentary project), and the tone of the project, and then being able to deliver a performance that brings those elements to life.

When it comes to narrative fiction, such as film noir or first-person accounts, which typically use voice-over to recount the inner thoughts or memories of the characters, the cardinal rule is for the voice-over to talk about what we don’t see on screen.

This way, it adds a subtextual layer to the story rather than being redundant.

As professional voice-over actress Tara Strong (Power Puff Girls, Teen Titans, Family Guy) once said,

“Many people think voice-over artists just read, there’s much more to it. Without acting beats, scene study, and improving skills, you won’t make it.”

Tara Strong

So whether you hire a professional actor or attempt it yourself, the following tips are the things I’ve found most important for doing quality voice-overs for stunning videos:

  • Preparation: Get cozy with your script! Read it, feel it, live it. The more you know it inside out, the smoother your recording will go. Remember those notes we took in school? Do the same with your script.
  • Hydration: Keep that water bottle handy. A dry throat is a voice-over’s worst enemy. Regular sips keep the voice sounding fresh. Think of it as fuel for your vocal cords.
  • Technical Proficiency: Know a bit about the tech side of things. It’s like driving – the better you understand your car, the better your road trip. If something sounds off, you’ll be able to tweak it just right.
  • Quiet Environment: Find your quiet zone. A professional sound studio is best, but with careful planning, a room in your home can do as well.
  • Clear Articulation: Speak like every word counts – because it does. Slow it down, speak at a measured pace, and ditch the “ums”.
  • Emotional Inflection: Don’t be a robot! Feel the script and let your voice express emotions. If you’re excited, sound excited. If it’s a sad bit, let your voice reflect that.
  • Timing and Pacing: Think of this as the rhythm of your story. Every pause, speed-up, or slow-down has its place. You’re not just talking; you’re performing a duet with the video, making sure both of you are in perfect harmony.

What is a Voice-Over?

Voice-overs are becoming increasingly popular, but what exactly are they?

Simply put, a voice-over is an audio track of someone speaking, typically used to provide narration for a video clip. Voice-overs can be used for a wide range of purposes, from educational videos to commercials to narrative fiction in movies and television.

For example, The Shawshank Redemption (narrative fiction) and March of the Penguins (documentary) use Morgan Freeman’s amazing recorded voice to narrate two completely different stories in different mediums.

One of the benefits of voice-overs is that they can add a level of professionalism to a project. They can also be used to create a specific mood or atmosphere.

Voice-overs can be recorded differently, depending on the project’s needs. For example, some voice-overs may be recorded in a studio during the sound design process of film and video creation, while others may be recorded at home using a portable recorder or USB microphone.

These days, AI voice generator software tools can even help you add voice to a video without using a microphone or studio!

Regardless of how it is recorded or produced, voice-over recordings can help make projects or professional videos sound better to their intended audience.

Why Is a Good Voice-Over Important?

OK, you know that making videos is important for your brand. But why is the voice over aspect of the videos so important? Let’s take a look at some reasons to get your voiceovers on point!

  • Clarify Complex Ideas: A voice-over can explain complicated concepts, making the content more digestible for viewers.
  • Personal Connection: Using a real human voice can establish a personal touch that creates a bond between the content and the viewer.
  • Brand Identity: Consistent voice-over styles and tones across videos can become synonymous with a brand, aiding in recognition and loyalty.
  • Increase Accessibility: For viewers who may have vision impairments or those who prefer audio over visual cues, voice-overs provide an essential mode of understanding.
  • Language and Cultural Appeal: Voice-overs can make content more accessible and appealing to different linguistic and cultural groups.
  • Fill Visual Gaps: In segments where visual content might be sparse or static, voice-overs can maintain engagement and guide the narrative.
  • Professionalism: A polished voice-over can make content appear more authoritative and trustworthy.
  • Memory Retention: Auditory information, combined with visuals, can improve viewers’ retention of the material.
  • Versatility in Platforms: A good voice-over ensures that even in platforms where the video might be watched without visuals (like in background tabs or minimized windows), the message is still conveyed effectively.
  • Set the Tone: Voice-overs determine the mood or atmosphere of the video.

For example, British actors Jim Dale and Stephen Fry have each narrated the Harry Potter series of audiobooks. Though both are professionally made and high-quality productions, there is a marked difference in how each actor delivers the identical words on the page.

While not strictly voice-over, this example illustrates how different voice-acting styles and performances can produce very different audio-quality end products for your audiences!

How to Add a Voice-Over

The Traditional Way

There are several ways to add a voice-over to a video, but the traditional method involves recording the audio separately from the video.

This can be done using a standalone external microphone or by recording the audio directly into an editing program. Once the audio file has been recorded, it can be synchronized with the video in the editor.

This method requires planning and coordination but offers the most control over the final product.

For example, any problems with the audio recording can be fixed in the editing program before the video and audio are combined.

This method also allows for more flexibility in timing and pacing, as the audio can be edited independently of the video.

As a result, this is generally considered the best way to add voice-over to a video.

voiceover artist

Add Voice-Overs on an iPhone

If you’re looking to add a professional touch to your iPhone videos, one of the best ways to do it is to add a voice-over recording.

Voice-overs can help set a video’s tone and guide viewers through the content. They can also be used to add humor or other emotional elements.

Fortunately, adding a voice-over to an iPhone video is a relatively simple process.

  • First, open the Settings app and tap on “Accessibility.” Next, tap on “VoiceOver” and toggle it On.
  • Once VoiceOver is enabled, open the Camera app and select the video file you want to edit.
  • Tap on the screen with two fingers to bring up the editing menu, then tap on “Add Voiceover.”
  • Finally, start recording your voice-over by tapping on the red record button.
  • Once you’re finished, tap on “Done” to stop recording, and your voice-over will be added to the video.

Alternatively, you can use the built-in Voice Memos app. Simply record your voice-over and import the file into your video editing app.

You could also use the microphone on your headphones to record the audio directly into your video editing app. If you want to get a little more creative, you can also use a separate recording app to capture ambient sounds or Foley effects to add to your video.

Whatever method you choose, be sure to experiment until you find the one that works best for you!


Add Voice-Overs on an Android Phone

If you want to add voice-over to your video on an Android phone, there are a few different ways you can go about it.

One option is to use a video editing app like FilmoraGo or VivaVideo. These apps let you record your voice directly while editing your video.

Another option is to use a separate audio recording app and import the audio file into the video editor.

A third way is to record your voice using the Voice Recorder app and add the file to your video afterward.

Whichever method you choose, make sure you practice beforehand so that your voice-over is clear and concise.

What Is The Best Voice-Over Software?

There is a lot of voice-over software on the market, so deciding which one is right for you can be tricky. However, there are a few key features that all the best voice-over software programs have in common.

First and foremost, the software should be easy to use and allow you to produce high-quality recordings with minimal effort.

Additionally, the program should provide a wide range of editing tools to help you customize your recordings and a variety of voice effects that can add personality and flair to your performance.

Finally, the best voice-over software will come with a built-in library of audio effects and background music that you can use to enhance your recordings.

With all these features in mind, the program I would recommend (if you don’t mind the steep learning curve) is Audacity. It’s a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording application software, available on multiple operating systems and platforms, and is considered the best free voice editing and recording software on the market today. However, it has a steep learning curve and may not be best for beginners.

If you’re looking for additional options, check out my article on the best voice-over software programs!

voice over videos

If you are looking for a great option for an AI video editing program and voice-over program combined, you can read my article here! These programs allow you to edit your videos and add voiceover all in one program!

How to Make Your Voice Sound Better

Voice-overs are essential to the audio production process, but many people struggle to produce quality recordings. While it is true that some people are born with “ideal” vocal qualities, there are several things that anyone can do to improve the sound of their voice.

  • Warm up your vocal cords before recording. A simple vocal warm-up routine can help to loosen your vocal cords and improve your tone.
  • Use proper breathing techniques. When you inhale, allow your stomach to expand rather than your chest. This will give you more support and help to project your voice.
  • Focus on enunciation and diction. Be sure to open your mouth and speak clearly when you start talking (avoid mumbling!).
  • Use a decent microphone when you record voice over, one that will increase the audio clarity of your voice!
  • Ensure your microphone placement is the correct distance from your mouth (2 to 12 inches away, depending on your microphone type).
  • Speak at a comfortable volume when recording your voice.
  • Experiment with different inflections and pacing. Varying the tone of your voice can help to add interest and personality to your performance.
  • And finally, stay hydrated and drink plenty of water as you record. Your throat will thank you!

By taking these simple steps, you can significantly improve the sound of your voice on recordings.

What If I Don’t Like How My Voice Sounds?

tips for improving if you don't like your voice on voiceover

If you don’t like how your voice sounds on video at first, you can do a few things to improve the quality.

  • Record in a quiet place with minimal background noise: This will help to prevent your voice from sounding muffled or echo-y.
  • Use a high-quality microphone: This will ensure that your voice is captured clearly and without distortion.
  • Speak confidently and clearly: Pause briefly between sentences to avoid running your words together.
  • Use audio editing software: Try a program like Audacity or Adobe Audition to adjust your voice’s pitch and clarity.

Alternatively, you could also try using an Artificial Intelligence Voice Generator! These fantastic programs will create a realistic, human-sounding voice for your words. Check out my article on the best AI voice generators to see if one might work for you!

You can read my full review of the Murf AI text-to-speech program in this article: Murf Review: A Powerful AI Voice Generator.

voice over a video

Best Tools for Voice-Over

There is a lot of software out there that claims to be the best for voice-over work. But what are the best tools for a voice-over? The answer may surprise you.

First and foremost, you need a high-quality microphone for voiceovers. Next to vocal cords, this is possibly the most crucial piece of equipment for any voice-over artist. A good microphone will capture your recorded voice clearly and accurately without picking up too much background noise. It’s also essential to have a pop filter to help reduce lip-smacks, pops, and clicks when you speak.

Next, you’ll need some sort of recording interface. This could be a standalone recorder or an audio interface that connects to your computer. The key here is to find something that gives you excellent sound quality and is easy to use.

Finally, you’ll need voice editing software. This will allow you to clean up your recordings and make necessary adjustments. Again, look for something that is user-friendly and produces high-quality results.

These are just a few of the best tools for voice-over work. With the right equipment, you can produce professional-sounding recordings from the comfort of your own home.

Final Thoughts

If you want to create an excellent voice-over for your next video, we hope these tips have been helpful!

Be sure to speak slowly and enunciate each word to ensure viewers can understand your message. Use emotion in your voice to connect with viewers on an emotional level, and make sure you have a decent microphone and sound editing software to capture your voice quality.

If all this sounds like too much work, consider hiring a professional voice actor or using an AI voice generator software instead!

how to do a voiceover

Common Questions (FAQs)

What app can I voice-over a video?

Many apps allow you to voice-over a video. One popular option is the iMovie app, which is included with macOS and iOS. With iMovie, you can record your voice-over directly into the app or import an existing audio track. Another option is Adobe Premiere Pro, a professional video editing software with a built-in tool to help you easily record sound. Some free apps offer similar functionality, such as WavePad and Audacity.

How do I make a voice-over video for free?

If you want to create a voice-over video but don’t want to spend any money, you can try a few different options. One is to use a free online video editor like WeVideo or Biteable. These platforms allow you to upload video footage and add a wide range of audio tracks, including professional voiceovers. Another option is to record your own voice-over using a simple audio recording program like Audacity. Once you’ve recorded your voice-over, you can add it to your video using a free video editing program like Windows Movie Maker.

What are the best artificial intelligence voice generators?

AI voice generators are great because they offer a realistic alternative to traditional voice synthesis techniques. They can also produce a wide range of voices and accents and can create characters for video games and other applications. While there are many different Artificial Intelligence voice generators on the market, the best ones are detailed in my article on AI voice generators. Each of these generators offers a unique set of features and capabilities, so take a look at each and see what might work best for you!

Interested in creating great videos or films? Check out these other helpful articles!

7 Best AI Video Upscaling Software (Free & Paid)

The 7+ Best AI Video Generators [Text to Video]

How to Make an Independent Film

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