Voice Over Education Blog

June 2012

4 Types Of Variety That Make Your Reads Rock!


If you can bore someone in a 30-second commercial, think what would happen if they fell asleep listening to an audiobook while driving their car... Crash!

In spontaneous conversation, we do not simply say words. To engage our listener, we add variety to our words. Learning how to add vocal variety to scripts - even boring ones - is an art that must be mastered in order to get voice over work.

Another reason to be good at adding variety is because producers often ask for multiple takes of the script - meaning they want you to narrate multiple versions of the same voice over script. Assuming each of your deliveries is different, the producer will then have different options to choose from.

Here are 4 ways voice actors can add variety:

1. Pitch variation

Using pitch variation (expanding your dynamic range) and hitting different words will add terrific variation to your delivery.

Remember not to confuse pitch with volume ... for if you raise your volume, the listener will feel that you're yelling at them.

2. Dramatic pauses

Dramatic pauses, also called beats or frames, add variety to your read. For example, a producer may say, "Give me a beat before that word." Dramatic pauses also help emphasize the following word. In other words, instead of hitting a word to emphasize it, insert a pause (space) before it.

Whether you use a dramatic pause to add variety or to emphasize the following word, be sure that the pause is not too long, or it will sound too dramatic.

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