Beginner's Guide to Recording Effective Voiceovers in Logic
With the rise of viral videos and animated explainer videos, more and more people are requiring voiceovers. Can you record yours effectively? In this tutorial, you'll learn how to record a voiceover with a natural and smooth tone, as well as how to set up your microphone and software (Logic Pro X) to record the sound.
1. Writing the Script
Before you can begin recording your vocals, you need to write an interesting and compelling script.
Voiceovers often tell a story, and so should be concise and to the point. A voiceover for a product explainer video, for example, should tell the listeners/viewers what the product does, how much it costs, and how they can find out more—no more, no less.
You can't just write the script and move on. You need to practice—again and again until you sound perfect. Read your proposed script to your friends and family, and see what they think.
Take on board all of their comments, as your final audience will probably include people from their age groups. Make any necessary changes, and get out your microphone.
2. Recording the Vocals
An ineffective voiceover can kill a product's chances of selling. Make sure it's absolutely perfect!
Logic Pro X is useful for recording voiceovers. It includes a lot of features and plugins to help you achieve a really crisp and rich sound.
Open up Logic Pro X and create an Empty Project.
Select Audio from the track types, and set your input and outputs accordingly. Then, click the Create button.
You'll probably want to disable Count In and Click, which can be done by clicking their respective icons in the header of the window.
Once you're all in place, have turned off the air condition and told everyone to be quiet, hit the red Record button, or type R on your keyboard. The playhead will start to move, and you can now begin speaking!
You'll now be left with a pure vocal recording. It may seem OK at first, but if you listen to it a couple of times, you're likely to notice background hum and other unnecessary noise.
Here's the vocal track which I just recorded:
3. Editing the Track
My recording sounds alright, but using Logic Pro X's built-in features and tools, we can enhance this recording to sound even better.
You now need to trim your audio recording. This can be done in two ways. The easiest way is to hover over the left/right of the recording, and (once you see the half-square shaped icon) drag the length.
Alternatively, you can move the playhead to the point you want to cut, press Command+T on the keyboard, and then delete and move the recording into place.
In order to speed up your workflow, resize and then enable the Looping Tool. This will automatically replay your recording over and over again so you can hear the changes you're making.
On the left of the window, activate effects for your vocal track. The first one you'll be using is called Speech Enhancer. Here, you can set the denoise levels, enable microphone correction, and enhance the voice.
The denoise level will need to be set on a per recording basis. The other settings I've used should work well for most users, though you should naturally change the Male setting to Female as appropriate.
Remember the original recording I made? Here's how it sounds now:
We're now going to use the Channel EQ effect, which can be activated in the Channel Settings panel, just like the Speech Enhancer effect. Once enabled, select the Voice-Over EQ preset from the drop-down menu at the top of the popup window.
With this preset, my voice sounds slightly fabricated, which is not what is wanted with a voiceover. Have a listen:
Some voices may not have any problems with the preset, but if you do, you should simply play around with the EQ and see what sounds good. You may also need to add a tiny amount of reverb (or any other effects) if your vocals sounds a little dry, but don't overdo it.
I eventually reached a natural sound for my voice, and after a little volume reduce due to some small clipping, I created this:
4. Exporting the File
For the short audio previews I've been using in this tutorial, I exported my voiceover into MP3 files. Whilst these are OK for most purposes, you'll lose quality, which is not a good idea for high-end productions. Here's how to export your voiceover files in high-quality from Logic Pro X.
Once you're happy with your recording and you've finished editing it, select all the audio clips (press Command+A) and click Bounce, which can be found just below the output's audio visualiser.
Choose your file format(s) from the list on the left, and set your bit rate and encoding details.
The final step is to click the Bounce button, and select the destination in which to save your voiceover.
You've now learnt how to write, record, edit and export your very own voiceover! Like I've said previously, the best way to get a really neat voiceover is to experiment and play around with the settings and effects within your audio tracks.
If you have any questions about recording your voiceovers, please leave a comment below.