Raising the Bar(d)

Recently I replayed some of my earliest character voicing, which I do from time to time to compare the quality to that of present day.  Now, with the voiceover training, and experiences I’ve had through making audiobooks, the difference is very noticeable.

I began voice acting roughly 3 years ago, when I joined the computer gaming community, playing Skyrim, specifically Interesting NPCs. I found it marvelously enjoying, and I was quite proud of my work, even becoming a popular sought-after voice for several mods.  Then I created Anna NPCs.  Like I said, I was proud of the voice acting… at the time.  But compared to what I can do now, I’ll be honest… it kinda sucks.  I wish I could redo all those roles.  But unfortunately that would take waaaaayyyy too much time.

It’s been quite an interesting journey, and I’ve had a vast amount of improvement, particularly in this past year after taking a workshop last November with John St Jon.  To quote the lovable Sam Gamgee, “There’s an eye opener, and no mistake!”  That was when I decided to get seriously involved in voiceover, launching my “second career” in January this year.  I entered into training with Such-A-Voice, joined ACX (audiobook production), made myself business cards, a new website, created a company name and brand Castle Audio Productionsand jumped in on the social media scene.  I even took a gulp and began experimenting with the dreaded M-word… Marketing!


The latest step in my journey has been learning how to improve my audio files.  So far I’ve been doing just the basic minimal processing requirements for mods and audiobooks, mainly because that “technical stuff” baffles the bejezzus out of me, and I’d rather just do what’s necessary than risk over-processing when I don’t understand the rest.  The fact that many online videos and tutorials all have different opinions about how files should be edited, and “it’s an art, you’ll have to experiment to find what’s right for you” really just add to my confusion.  It seemed to me that Compress, EQ, Normalize, and Limiter all do very similar things, so why do I need to do all of them?  Fortunately, I have an ex-audio engineer nearby (my dear husband), who took some time to educate me.  I didn’t realize EQ has be tailored to a person’s individual voice!  That makes it even more daunting.

I can’t wait to get my professional demos done, which will be soon!  They’ll have scripts, coaching, and editing all specific to my voice.  The Bar(d) has been raised.  My performance, and my mastering, are of much better quality now.  Keep on soaring 8^)  Happy Halloween!

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2 thoughts on “Raising the Bar(d)”

  1. I even took a gulp and began experimenting with the dreaded M-word… Marketing!

    Probably the most overlooked skill. There’s a reason why devs spend like half their budget on it.

    A good trailer and drumming up hype on the forums can be the difference between a heavily endorsed mod and an ignored one.

    Same is probably true of voiceover, a lot of it is getting your foot in the door. There was an AMA recently with Sarah Williams who talked about starting out with voicing educational films and games, and from there was able to eventually get paid work. If that’s a no go, with youtube and twitch there’s a lot of avenues to go viral and self-promote yourself as well.

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