It is no secret that voiceover artists are not a fan of technology. That is not always the case, but it is a regular event. I, for one, love technology, I think it’s fantastic and really enjoy it! With that said, it is no surprise that I interviewed the team over at Hindenburg which is a DAW company that pioneered voiceover software, making recording easier for beginners and professionals.
Why I Love Hindenburg
As a voice actor, I think having the most straightforward solutions available is vital. Between marketing, performing, and all those other plates which desperately need spinning, I need something which isn’t going to absorb all my time. Hindenburg serves that purpose! They host a range of intuitive programs which serve voiceover artists in a range of ways. Now on a personal level, taking the voiceover hat off for a moment, I adore innovative technology. I love new smart functionality like audio command programs turning my lights on, right through to the new camera on the latest iPhone. So, to explain why I love Hindenburg so much, I need to unpack this intuitive element a bit more.
Intuitive Voiceover Software is Smart Tech
I first saw the power of Hindenburg on a webinar where they showed me something which changed everything! There are a few things so let us go through them. Hindenburg Narrator has a function that will automatically upload a script to the DAW so artists can read the script whilst following their audio bar in the DAW recording. But wait! It gets better… as a voiceover artist/voice actor, stopping and starting is so annoying! So, Narrator has taken this into account. Let’s use an example; say I record for a solid hour, and I have made three mistakes, Hindenburg allows me to make a note of where the mistake is, and I can simply click on the script where the mistake was. It intuitively will take me to that exact location in the audio. Voiceover artists/voice actors need not ever worry about going through hours upon hours of audio ever again because Hindenburg does it for us!
Fun Additions for Everyday Use
I promised multiple examples, so this next one hits close to home! As a podcast host, voiceover artist, teacher, presenter, and coach, consistency is key! I celebrate having a fantastic home studio with all the best gear, but the recording software is the icing on the cake and needs to look and sound amazing. Often as a performer, especially when being a bit more animated, controlling the gain can be such a drag! One second, I am loud the next I am quiet, and mic technique and gaining control can only do so much. As an actor, I do not want to focus on the technical when I fully flow with my performance. Hindenburg will take the levels and set them all to that same point! How amazing is that? Loud elements are reduced, and quieter elements are amplified. This delivers a consistent, clear, and powerful recording, something every voiceover artist needs.
Voiceover Software and Pesky Plugins
Plugins are often warned against unless you really know what you are doing. But what does that even mean? Plugins are supposed to make things easier, so why fear them? There are dozens of audio recording software plugins out there, and we should be utilizing them, not fearing them! So, let us talk plugins! Noise reduction is a plugin that isolates any unwanted background noise and removes it across the entire audio file. Every voice actor dreams, right? Wrong! The identification of the unwanted audio and the application process can be daunting if you are not confident with software, but in comes Hindenburg! Hindenburg will automatically do this for you! No buttons are required; it’s custom and built into their software, making life that little bit easier!
Voiceover of Today Yesterday
In the good old days, voiceover artists did not need a home studio or recording software. Crazy right? Well, the industry years ago was much smaller and enclosed. Most voice artists would be summoned to a studio where the sound engineer would look after all the equipment and recording. Often the director would be present or on the line; though that still happens, many artists now record from home. Typically, an actor would only be summoned into the studio for more prominent clients and better-paid jobs in the latter days.
So, what happens instead? Voiceover artists build their own home studios. There are countless ways to ensure someone gets a decent-sounding environment. Of course, the better the setup and the bigger the budget, the better the quality in the right hands. But often, people who rent or travel a lot will also have portable solutions at their disposal! Savvy artists will use their equipment and maximise functionality to get world-class standard audio quality. So aside from the booth itself, whether built, purchased, or portable, all voice actors need an audio interface and a microphone.
More About Good Equipment
Typically, we would be expected to record on a large diaphragm condenser microphone, and though this is not always the case, it is the norm. The expectation would be that the polar pattern records in cardioid; aside from that, you are left to your own devices. Standard accessories like a pop filter, stand, and XLR cable are essential whatever setup you have; of course, closed-ear headphones are also required. Why closed ear, you ask? Simply put, if sound escapes the headphones, the microphone will pick it up, and you will hear it back on your recording.
Microphones all do the same thing, but some do things more tailored to your unique qualities, and finding the right microphone can be tricky! It is best to seek advice from established voiceover artist and connect with companies with microphones within your budget that you like the look of. It is also worth looking into what microphones your potential clients like. I record on a Neumann TLM 103; why? Because loads of my clients and potential clients want that microphone.
Completing Your Voiceover Setup
Once you are set up, the last thing to do is to select your audio software (DAW). At this point, after investing in all the right kit and working so hard to educate yourself in audio, why would you settle for anything less than the best with your software? We know Hindenburg removes any unwanted sound, fixes the levels, AND makes long audio easier with its smart intuitive functionality. It is a voiceover artist’s dream.