Demystifying Voice-Over, Voice-Acting, And Dubbing

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The Dubbing King software caters for various Audio-Visual Translation (AVT) modes. It is used for subtitling, translation and the dubbing processes.

Did you ever know that when you take your phone and start recording yourself you are doing a voice-over, voice acting or dubbing? Well, I’m here to let you know that, anytime you record yourself or someone else while singing, talking or reading out loud, there is an aspect of voice over, voice acting or dubbing that takes place. For the longest time, people did not know how to term this process and they ended up calling it a recording. What you may not know is that recording is a general term that can also be used for video recordings or filming. It is not exclusive to sound recording.

In this article, we will dive deeper and look at the three aspects that fall under sound recording. These three aspects are voice-overs, voice acting, and dubbing. All these processes are subsets of film production.

Voice Over–This is when a voice-over artist or talent, have their voices recorded using a high-quality condenser microphone in an acoustic, professional studio in a soundproofed booth. We use it in both broadcast and non-broadcast media. It might be for advertising or promotional purposes, commercials, documentaries and anything that deals with narrations. Some narrations that need a voice over are IVR, e-learning, corporate videos, and tutorials.

  • The people who do voice-overs are known as voice-over artists. You might wonder why they are artists. Is the voice-over process an art? The answer is yes. The process of voice-overs is an art that has been growing over the years in leaps and bounds. A lot of film production companies are taking it more seriously. It is a sort after service by a lot of clients, who are looking to do promotions, advertisements, and marketing for their companies.
  • It is a cheaper alternative to creating audio-visual promotional or advertising content, and thus why more people prefer it. You should always opt for an experienced voice-over artist, otherwise, you might mess up a whole project.
  • The best way to get a good voice artist is to work with an agency that deals with outsourcing the services. You can also use a custom audition, where you cast for the best voice artist yourself.

Voice Acting–when you hear of voice acting, just think of normal acting without the visuals. In voice-acting, voice-artists use their voice modulation, inflection, intonation, and impersonation skills to change up an accent, pitch and disguise their natural speaking voice and manner to bring unique characters alive.

  • How cool is that? Imagine being able to use your own voice to bring a character alive by manipulating your voice? It sounds like the easiest thing to do.
  • Having to manipulate your voice differently for different scenes is tough, and it takes a great professional with years of experience to hack this to perfection.
  • It’s an interesting creative process that requires observational skills, mimicry skills to pull off specific characters.
  • The upside of voice acting is that, in visual acting, characters have to master their body language, facial expressions and also memorize their lines. However, in voice acting, all this is unnecessary, as long as you have 100% control of your voice and know how to alter it, from scene to scene, then you are good to go.
  • It also takes years of experience to be a good voice actor. I hear people say “I can act, I only need an opportunity and I will show you what I have” but for voice acting it takes a lot of practice and work to be the best voice actor.
  • You may not get roles that you have perfected on, so you need to be constantly practicing and developing your skills.

Dubbing–This is a film process that involves localization of film to different languages and dialects. So what exactly does dubbing have to do with sound recording, is it even audio recording? Yes, dubbing is a sound recording just like voice overs and voice acting. In dubbing, a voice artist dubs or voices in a film, animated movie or TV series in their native language, dialect or local accent so that the film, video, series can be syndicated, or licensed to play, or be released in other markets, other than the original country.

  • Back then, it wasn’t really a process that a lot of film producers wanted to deal with, however, as the world becomes a global village, and anyone and everyone has access to the Internet, content creators have felt the need to incorporate dubbing in their content creation. 
  • The dubbing process is also more expensive than the other two types of sound recording aforementioned. There are a lot of steps that need to be taken before dubbing itself starts. It is a key service offered by localization companies that specialize in translation.
  • It is a process that involves translation, casting for voice artists, getting proper soundproof studios, sound engineers and so on and so forth. From this, you can tell that anyone who would want to dub their content needs to be really financially ready. Voice artists in a dubbing project have good acting and observation skills, to mimic the emotion, intonation lips movements of the voiced actors. Both the voice actor and the sound engineer handling the dubbing project need to be very skilled.

The dubbing art started when different singing voices were incorporated in a film if the lead actors couldn’t sing well enough. A different artist who could sing better would be given the role on behalf of the main character and their voices would be looped within the film.

With that said, you have a rough or clear idea of what voice over, voice acting and dubbing are. All these processes are challenging in their own specific ways. A voice actor has to be more creative and showcase the different vocal ranges they can offer, while a voice-over artist just has to read through a script and they are good to go.

  • Voice acting is more challenging in that, you don’t have the joy to feed off the other character’s energy or emotion, you just have to use your imagination and think of what the other character might say.
  • Voice-overs in commercials fall under the category of voice acting. This is because the voice-over artists need to bring out their acting skills and be able to push a message while still sounding authentic and true.
  • I can confidently say that dubbing and voice acting somewhat fall under the same category because the artists usually convey their acting skills by using their voices only.

What we can take from this article is that it takes a lot more to be a voice-over artist, voice actor, and dubbing artist. The more talent you have, the better your career shall be in the VO industry. It’s just as simple as that. Practice makes perfect.

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