Today, there’s a lot of great voiceover training available that teaches people how to actually do voice overs, even specific types of voice over. Well, sure! But given the nature of the industry, it’s also essential to learn about recording voice overs. Like many of my colleagues, I’ve gotten a lot of piecemeal training in audio engineering and sound design, starting with analog audio and later in digital audio. It’s not like there’s an all-in-one voice over school out there covering the three components of a successful voice over career: performance, technology and business.
Many of the audio engineering courses I encountered were boring or unnecessarily complicated or more focused on music production. And much of it was text-based. Imagine teaching audio without using audio! Although experiencing different approaches can be helpful, it’s always better to start with a clear and comprehensive course that’s well presented, easy to follow and actually shows you how to record voiceover.
I found it! Check out this terrific course by Dave Schroeder called Digital Audio Principles at Lynda.com. Dave has an easy manner and a good teaching voice. His video tutorials explain key concepts of audio recording in a completely comprehensible way. He also provides video tours of microphones, audio interfaces and other recording equipment, instruction on microphone placement, even hands-on plugin applications in Pro Tools (EQ, compression, and noise reduction).
Even though he teaches using Pro Tools, his course isn’t Apple-centric. Dave covers common DAW components and key design elements in different audio programs, so that you can find your way around popular audio editing, multitrack and loop-based software. Seriously, I was immediately able to find and use the same features Dave talked about on my PC-landlocked Adobe Audition. (Will Adobe ever make a Mac version? And no, Soundbooth doesn’t count!)
Seriously, Digital Audio Principles isn’t just a great introduction to digital audio but an essential overview of audio recording in general. A lot of people who want to learn how to get started in voice over will flounder around for years trying to pick up the basics for recording voice overs. It’s so important not to lose precious time re-inventing the wheel when someone has actually taken the time to put it all together in such a nice neat package. I definitely recommend this course to anyone who wants to start a voiceover career and even veteran voice overs who, like me, got most of their initial training in analog audio recording.
Lynda.com provides hundreds of tutorials on all kinds of audio software and business applications. At my company, we’ve referred many of our clients to the Microsoft and Mac courses, and finally became affiliates of Lynda.com. The link to the Digital Audio Prinicples course in this blog can earn us a couple bucks, but you can bypass it if that turns you off and just go directly to Lynda.com. The learning materials they provide are incredibly helpful and the first few chapters are free, so you have a chance to see whether the presentation is something that appeals to you. You can buy hard copies of specific courses on DVD or CD or get access to all their courses a month at a time for $25.
We have our own monthly subscriptions at my company so that we can learn more about all kinds of subjects (like web accessibility or Adobe’s CS5 apps) and also review training options for our clients. It’s a great investment.