Video content is important in promoting one’s business. Apart from great graphics and content, one must have an effective voice-over especially if you are into marketing. It is said that 64% of consumers would purchase a product or service after watching a video. Voice-over plays an important role in making sure that each video created captures the attention we want from each viewer.
Explainer videos are better presented as well with voice-over. It gives your video a sense of identity. It helps you connect with your audience on an emotional level making your brand, products, or services relatable. This is because, with voice-over, we use our human voice which when equipped with the right mix of tone, volume, cadence, and pitch, draws people’s attention and can help produce the emotions required in our script.
There are certain concepts that are somewhat hard to explain by just using graphics, thus voice-over is needed to express ideas. You get to explain your videos the way you want to. Also, it is easier to introduce your products or services globally and reach a larger audience.
Doodly supports voice-over and for today, we will look at the process of adding voice-over to your Doodly videos. We will also cover some tips that you can do when creating your own voice-over.
Ways To Add Voice-over
There are two ways to add a voice-over in Doodly. The first one is by directly recording it in Doodly and the second option is by importing your pre-made voice-over.
You can add your voice-over before you work on your scenes or, finish working on your scenes first then add your voice-over after. Whatever you choose, however you want to add your voice-over is perfectly fine, although adding your voice-over first before you finish editing all of your scenes makes voice-over syncing easier.
A. Recording voice-over within Doodly
In most cases, we record the voice-over within Doodly right after the completion of all scenes. To add your voice-over, simply locate the mic icon within the timeline and click the “+” sign.
Right after you click the plus sign, the red mic icon will appear. Your recording will start as soon as you click it.
The moment you click the red mic icon, your scenes with subtitles will start playing. Start reading the subtitles. You can stop the recording once you’re done by clicking the red mic icon again.
Remember that your recording is automatically saved in your assets under Sounds. If you need to change your recording and start over, you can definitely do so but you may want to delete the previous recordings first. We don’t want several rejected recordings under your Sounds assets. Having similar voice-over titles will result in confusion should you need to use the voice-over again.
B. Import your pre-recorded voice-over
You can import your own file at any point while working on your video. It is preferred that you add your voice-over first prior to working on all of your scenes. The reason behind that is because it is easier to sync your scenes with your voice-over when you only have one scene at a time to work on. When adding a voiceover, timing is everything. You do not want your voice-over to start playing ahead of your scenes. At the same time, you do not want your voice-over to come in late and catch up with your scenes.
If you are working with a voice actor, advise them to send in the voice-over in an mp3 file.
Let’s try to import a sample voice-over:
1. From the assets tab, select Sounds and click the “+” sign.
2. When you see the “Add new sound” pop-up box, click “Browse Files”.
3. Locate the voice-over from your computer and select it.
4. Click “Continue”.
If you can’t seem to upload your file, try moving it to your Downloads folder then import again. It will also help if you set a title for your voice-over so it is easier for you to locate it in your Sounds assets.
If your Sounds asset is set to category “All”, your imported file is placed on top of your tracks. This will be arranged in alphabetical order as soon as you change your category. If you cannot find the imported file, just select the category “My Library” and you should be able to see your imported voice-over there.
5. Drag your imported track to the voice-over field located in the timeline.
You now have successfully imported your voice-over.
See it in action here:
Working With Your Voice-over
So now that we have successfully imported the voice-over, we can go ahead and start syncing it with our scenes.
When working on voice-over timing, it is best to have a clear view within Doodly. To do that, click “Show Preview” then minimize or hide the assets and actions pane from the edit screen. You can play preview as you check voice-over timing then stop on portions where you need to adjust either the scene or voice-over.
You can add preset scenes within Doodly or you can also start importing your own assets to build your first scene. As soon as you have completed editing your first scene, you can start adjusting your voice-over.
With the example below, our first preset scene’s animation lasted for 33 seconds but our voice-over narration covers our first scene for only 18 seconds. Now you have 2 options. You can either repeat the entire voice-over to make the narration last for 33 seconds or adjust your scene and cut the animation to 18 seconds only. The latter is less hassle so let’s do that.
To adjust the first scene so animation catches up with your voice-over, head over to the timeline and move the end portion of your first scene and drag it all the way back to 18 seconds.
Preview your first scene again. If the scene is now in sync with the voice-over, you can add the next scene and repeat the same process.
Dealing With Voice-over Gaps
Sometimes there are unnecessary gaps within voice-over. It is such a hassle to redo the recording just to fill in the gaps. There is a way to correct these gaps without the need to record again your voice-over.
1. Identify the gap within your voice-over.
We want a voice-over that sounds professional and confident especially if you are selling or promoting something. Having dead air or awkward pauses in our video makes our video ineffective. Having said that, we need to get rid of these pauses and make sure that our voice-over sounds seamless and appealing to viewers. We start by first identifying all unnecessary pauses in our voice-over.
2. Crop the voice-over.
As soon as you have identified the gap, shorten the voice-over and remove the gap by dragging the end of it up until the last portion of the voice over which will be included in your video.
This is now how it looks like after keeping the voice-over short:
It helps to use the playhead to mark the timeline so you know exactly what to keep and what to cut in your voice-over.
3. Add one more voice-over field in your timeline
By default, there are only 2 audio fields within the timeline. One is used for your background music and the other is for your voice-over. If there is a need to add more sound effects or music background, you can definitely add more.
Multiple audio fields are usually needed when trying to remove several gaps in voice-over. To add an additional audio file, simply locate the three dots found in the timeline within the Sounds field. Select “Add track” to add a new field.
4. Add the same voice-over file.
From Sounds assets, locate the same voice-over file and place it on the newly added audio field.
5. Crop the added voice-over.
Remove the start of the voice-over up until the gap portion that needs to be removed from the recording.
At this point, you should have closed the gap. When you preview your scene, it should play the 2nd voice-over playing only the first part, and continue narrating using the 1st voice-over added minus the gap.
If there are other gaps, you can repeat the same process. It would be best though to use other apps like audacity for easier navigation if you have several gaps to remove from your voice-over.
Before we end our blog, let’s have some practical tips that you can take note of if you are doing your own voice-over.
1. Use a microphone and choose a place with less echo
Using a microphone improves the sound of our recording. Though we use a microphone when singing, the microphone setting is somewhat different when we’re doing a voice-over. Singing and narrating are two different things. When we’re singing, it is okay to add echo to your mic and add other effects to your voice. When we’re narrating, we want to make our voice as clear as possible, without any effects. Too much echo when doing a voice-over is a no no thing unless of course you’re doing storytelling and there is a need for it.
2. Audio should be clear and volume should be spot on
When recording your voice, choose a location where your mic won’t pick up other sounds other than your voice. It is best to do it in a closed room. We don’t want dogs barking in the recording, cars passing by, or people chatting in the background. Your volume should not be too loud or too low. Make sure that your background track doesn’t overpower your voice.
3. Don’t talk too fast
We want people to understand the message that we are sending across. Give it the right pace – breath when you need to, pause when you need to but don’t pause too much. We don’t want to bore our audience. Sound as natural as possible. Actually – sound animated and lively. Especially if you are promoting a product or a service. Grab that attention using your voice but don’t overdo it, we don’t want to sound annoying so know your balance. Practice makes perfect. Go get your script, read it out loud, and don’t forget to sound confident.
4. Enunciate your words and apply the right intonation
We want a voice-over that sounds confident and credible. Being able to pronounce and enunciate words correctly gives you that credibility. By doing so, you would sound like you know what you’re talking about and you believe in the product or services that you’re offering. Avoid unnecessary pauses and fillers like, uhmm.., ah.., umm.
Right intonation helps you highlight certain portions of your video. It helps you capture your audience’s attention without actually telling them, “Hey listen, this is the most important part of my presentation”. Project your voice, use the right intonation. That’s how you turn the heads of your viewers. Remember, attention spans these days are too short. Gain the trust of your audience by using your voice well.
5. Practice makes perfect!
Recording over and over again can result in frustration. When you record and delete multiple times because you are making a mistake over and over again, you lose that momentum and enthusiasm. We do not want that to happen. To prevent this, practice reading your script first. When you practice, observe proper pacing, and don’t forget to apply the right intonation. If you are using Doodly’s subtitles for your voice-over, you can play the video and read the subtitles without recording it first. Once you get the hang of it, that’s when you start recording. Also, don’t forget to take notes. It’s a common mistake that sometimes we practice, but we don’t really take note of the parts we need correction on. So you end up reading the script the way you did the last time and forgetting some corrections you’ve made previously.
6. Find a voice actor
Lastly, if you need a more professional-sounding voice-over, you can always hire a voice actor to do the voice-over for you. Find a voice that is native to your target audience. You can visit sites like Global Voice Acting Academy, Voices.com, Voice123.com, and find the right voice actor that is fit for your project and budget.