Updated: Jun 18
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.
So you want to voice act but you're probably in one of these situations:
You don't know where to start
You either want or need the resources in order for you to get started
Try out just for the heck of it
Well regardless of your situation, there are at least 5 things you would need in order for you to prep up before getting into voice acting.
So if you want to increase your chances of landing your first gig, then you'll like this guide.
Let's get started on your journey.
The 5 Things You Need to Get Started in Voice Acting
Believe or not, I'm going to tell you what these things are right off the bat.
But it is important for you to understand the why rather than the what because the process and your efforts will be meaningless if if you can't use the things you're provided to your advantage.
So here are the things you need which I will separate each requirement into different sections:
A good microphone, a laptop & the space for solitude
Getting comfortable hearing your own voice & other methods
Less is More
Your reason that drives your motivation for going into voice acting
I had to emphasize that very last point since it can either last you for a few or several years at most or it can last you much longer than that.
1. Your Equipment and Space
Yes, you're going to need a microphone that can capture high quality sound.
Unfortunately, the extremely high quality microphones like the Blue Yeti are at least $100+.
Luckily, you can still get very similar results for 1/5 of the cost.
I recommend getting these two things together which I personally use:
or if you'd rather prefer to get something that's all-in-one:
since these do provide good results for capturing your voice.
For headphones used for hearing your own voice, you don't need anything expensive like Beats by Dre or Bose since you're going to be recording in a quiet area.
I personally recommend getting these Sony headphones since they're budget-friendly and was recommended to me when I was doing a non-profit public radio at my school, both for playing music and for hearing yourself while you speak.
As for the appropriate space for recording, find a closet, bathroom if it doesn't echo, or just about any space that doesn't echo when you speak.
You may or may not need to buy curtains to dampen the echo even further depending on the space you're given but it's too early in the process for your future career to worry about that or soundproofing a room (unless necessary).
2. Getting Comfortable Hearing Your Own Voice & Other Methods
"Oh god! Is that really what I sound like when I speak?? Why do I sound so weird [and terrible]?!"
This is probably the most common reaction you will get when you first start doing this and that is perfectly fine.
Even if you feel like quitting after hearing your own voice, why stop there if you've already bought the equipment I mentioned in the previous section, especially if you have a bigger budget and bought more expensive equipment and other accessories not mentioned instead.
What I recommend doing is playing around with it.
Try changing the pitch and tone of it to some extent.
Download an app or software that changes your voice in some way. Get an autotune app on your phone. Record yourself doing some voice impressions of fictional characters, animated form or not, and give yourself a laugh afterwards.
Once you've finished playing around with your voice, you'll most likely be comfortable with how you normally sound when you speak.
Just don't force yourself to have your voice reach a certain pitch and tone because it's definitely not worth it if you damage your voice box in the process.
3. Using Empathy
Empathy is one of those things that is a crucial part of a stage or movie actor since it is the very thing that separates them from normal actors to great actors.
Although it doesn't seem to be a requirement for voice overs since you're not in front of a camera, it is very highly recommended which will separate you from people that do generic voice overs to someone that can do an excellent voice over which range from different factors such as pitch and pacing.
I'll be providing two examples on this
Example 1 - The Joker
Let's take Mark Hamill and Alan Tudyk who both voiced The Joker as an example.
Although they both voiced him, they both expressed his personality in unique ways.
Mark Hamill as The Joker
Alan Tudyk as The Joker
For full context of this scene, click here. You'll be in for a laugh.
So if you've watched both of the videos, you can see that Joker says some pretty funny things. Mark Hamill's Joker attitude sounds fearful when it comes the IRS coming after him whereas Alan Tudyk's Joker is more insane and comical when he discovers Batman's identity.
How would you react if the IRS comes after you when you didn't pay enough of your taxes or discovering the identity of your so-called BFF when you didn't even want to in the first place (which is something that's canon in the comics)?
That is the challenge faced when applying empathy onto different kinds of roles.
Example 2 - Ken Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul (Japanese dubbed)
In this example, I'll be comparing a scene that is partially cut in weird places (due to copyright issues) which is from the official anime vs a fan-made one where I voiced the main character before the official scene was released months ago.
(Even I have a hard time watching something I voiced at first so you're not alone in this once you've gotten roles)
Scene From the Official Anime