Importance of Clean Audio for Voiceovers
In 2019, I previously blogged about raw voiceover samples, but now I am revisiting the topic with Raw Voiceover Samples for 2023. Many are now saying that one should not post raw voice over samples because AI companies will harvest them to create voice clones. To me, the rise of AI is a challenge to deliver even cleaner audio as AI voices will make listeners used to incredibly clean processed audio.
My job is to deliver audio to my clients that is as clean as possible to start, and then producers and studios will have the dynamic range and headroom to process them as they like. I only process audio slightly for some corporate and eLearning clients that I know do not process on their own. Otherwise, I leave the compression, EQ, etc. to the engineers to make it fit their own sound design.
Below we have raw voiceover samples of my voice recorded saying the same paragraph using a Rode NT1 and then a Rode NTG3. Both mics are six inches from me, and both are going straight into my Solid State Logic SSL2 Interface with the 4K EQ and Harmonics switch disengaged. There is no processing at all on the first version.
Clean Signal, Clear Acoustics
Also, you will note that I modulate my voice between different levels of loudness and pitch so that you can hear the clear acoustics of my voiceover studio. It’s not just about having raw voiceover samples with a clean signal chain, and a quiet room, but also about having a room without far reflections. Another consideration is early reflection points, which unfortunately are a big problem in booths and small recording spaces. My recording area is quite large and well treated with bass traps and acoustic panels by GIK Acoustics based here in Atlanta. I even put carpet down on my desk and extra dense sound blankets from Vocal Booths to Go over my synths and other studio gear to limit early reflections when I record voice overs.
The second version below is the same audio as the first with an 80 Hz High Pass Filter at 12 dB per octave engaged. The third version is the same audio again but with the 80 Hz HPF and a slight amount of Noise Reduction from RX9 Elements. That way you can hear what the sound is like with limited processing, with even more dynamic range! Enjoy my Raw Voiceover Samples for 2023.