Tips for Your VO Recording Settings

(This blog post was written by Jim Edgar. Jim is a full time voice actor, VO audio technical consultant, and core instructor here at Voice One. Jim shares a new blog post every Tuesday over at JustAskJimVO - be sure to check them out!)


“What are the ‘right’ settings to use for a VO audition?” “What values should I use to meet spec?” “How do I get that pro sound in your home studio recordings?”

These are all reasonable questions to ask. They speak to the desire to deliver professional work. Ask them in a discussion group or forum and you are likely to receive all kinds of very detailed responses. The question, however, is whether any of those will make things sound better in your specific setup. Without first listening to what you are producing, it is pretty unlikely.

Without first hearing the raw audio, there are probably only two settings which I would ever recommend. The first is where to apply a High Pass Filter filter on your recorded audio. The second is the input gain setting used when recording.

Why use a High Pass Filter?

In both cases, I’m going to err on the side of being more conservative – unless you have a super deep voice, a High Pass Filter set around 75 Hertz is probably going to be fairly safe. That’s going to get rid of the rumble and lower frequency hums which live in most studios.

Then if you are recording in 24 bit for your raw recordings (which is a good practice), adjusting the gain on your interface so that the peaks end up in roughly in the -12 dB range is a good plan (though a touch under that wouldn’t be a problem).

Beyond that though, all bets are off. Unless I’ve actually heard the recording, it’s impossible to recommend EQ corrections or compression settings without potentially negative effects upon the recording. There are too many variables.

Don’t listen with your eyes

One possible cause is that we often are trying to listen with our eyes rather than our ears. The computer sort of seduces us into this approach and it’s tricky to resist. The first time we encounter a delivery spec request from a client on a voiceover project, there are all kinds of numbers involved: Sample Rate and Bit Depth, Loudness, and Peak values just to start.

That reliance upon numerical values tends to force things into an equation. We get focused on those numbers and lose sight of the basics of what we need to do: deliver great sounding audio. We need to trust our ears.

Loudness and Peak might provide solid, usable values. However, there are no ideal values for EQ or Dynamics. That’s were we need to listen.

The dynamic range (quietest to loudest possible sound) on an animation project will be quite different than what you might encounter for an audio tour. When we start talking about EQ and Filtering into the vocal range, things get quite complex. There may be frequencies added by the room which need to be reduced. A combination of voice timbre and microphone might need a judicious boost to find a balanced clarity to grab the listener’s ear. Both of those fixes depend greatly on the context of where the audio will be used and where the problems lie.

It’s critical to hear that raw recording before offering those corrections. Acoustics are complex. There is no one size fits all.

Related Classes at Voice One

Audition-Ready Audio

Post-Production Polishing

Source-Connect, Phone Patch and Remote Direction

Read Next

Voice One Verve Articles

Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (April 15-21) and what's coming your way next week.

April 15, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (April 8-14) and what's coming your way next week.

April 8, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (April 1-7) and what's coming your way next week.

April 1, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (March 25-31) and what's coming your way next week.

March 25, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (March 18-24) and what's coming your way next week.

March 18, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (March 11-17) and what's coming your way next week.

March 11, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (March 4-10) and what's coming your way next week.

March 4, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (February 26-March 3) and what's coming your way next week.

February 26, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (February 19-26) and what's coming your way next week.

February 19, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (February 12-18) and what's coming your way next week.

February 12, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (February 5-11) and what's coming your way next week.

February 5, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (January 29- February 4) and what's coming your way next week.

January 29, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (January 22-28) and what's coming your way next week.

January 22, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (January 15-21) and what's coming your way next week.

January 15, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (January 8-14) and what's coming your way next week.

January 8, 2024
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (January 2-7) and what's coming your way next week.

January 2, 2024
Read More
Article

Happy New Year

Here's to 2024!

December 27, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (December 11-17) and what's coming your way next week.

December 11, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (December 4-10) and what's coming your way next week.

December 4, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (November 20-26) and what's coming your way next week.

November 27, 2023
Read More
Article

Our Heartfelt Gratitude this Thanksgiving

We wish you happiness, success, and good company this Thanksgiving

November 22, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (November 20-26) and what's coming your way next week.

November 20, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (November 13-19) and what's coming your way next week.

November 13, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (November 6-12) and what's coming your way next week.

November 6, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (October 30-November 5) and what's coming your way next week.

October 30, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (October 23-29) and what's coming your way next week.

October 23, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (October 16-22) and what's coming your way next week.

October 16, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (October 9-15) and what's coming your way next week.

October 9, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (September 25-October 2) and what's coming your way next week.

September 25, 2023
Read More
Interview

Celebrating Hispanic Voice Actors

Celebrating Hispanic Voice Actors for Hispanic Heritage Month

September 20, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (September 11-17) and what's coming your way next week.

September 11, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (September 11-24) and what's coming your way next week.

September 11, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (September 5-10) and what's coming your way next week.

September 5, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (August 28-September 3) and what's coming your way next week.

August 28, 2023
Read More
Article

2023 Summer Fast Track Recap

A video recap of 2023 Summer Fast Track

August 23, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (August 21-28) and what's coming your way next week.

August 21, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (August 14-20) and what's coming your way next week.

August 14, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (August 7-13) and what's coming your way next week.

August 7, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (July 31-August 6) and what's coming your way next week.

July 31, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (July 24-30) and what's coming your way next week.

July 24, 2023
Read More
Article

SAG-AFTRA Strike

What does the SAG-AFTRA strike mean for Voice Actors? NAVA shares a helpful resource.

July 19, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (July 17-23) and what's coming your way next week.

July 17, 2023
Read More
Article

Summer Fast Track at Voice One!

Flashback to Summer Fast Track 2022!

July 12, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (July 10-16) and what's coming your way next week.

July 10, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (July 3-9) and what's coming your way next week.

July 3, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (June 26-July 2) and what's coming your way next week.

June 26, 2023
Read More
Article

2023 Emmy Awards: 148 Character VO Actors Nominated

With 148 Character VO Emmy Award nominees, who stands out and why?

June 21, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (June 19-25) and what's coming your way next week.

June 19, 2023
Read More
Article

Has AI Put VO Jobs 'On the Chopping Block'?

Video game voice actors discuss Artificial Intelligence and its impact on Voiceover

June 14, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (June 12-18) and what's coming your way next week.

June 12, 2023
Read More
Article

Kayleigh McKee Interview at Anime Riverside

The story behind why Kayleigh McKee decided to become a voice actor.

June 7, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (June 5-11) and what's coming your way next week.

June 5, 2023
Read More
Article

AI and the Voiceover Industry

How do voice actors protect themselves with the rise of AI?

May 31, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (May 30-June 4) and what's coming your way next week.

May 30, 2023
Read More
Article

The Elder Scrolls Online Voice Over Deep Dive

A deep dive with ZeniMax Online Studio’s VO Lead, Becky Ichnoski about how all of Tamriel’s characters get their voices!

May 24, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (May 22-28) and what's coming your way next week.

May 22, 2023
Read More
Article

Man gives funny voiceovers to animals and it's making the internet crack up

A hilarious social media handle has dedicated itself to narrating animals' inner monologues.

May 17, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (May 15-21) and what's coming your way next week.

May 15, 2023
Read More
Article

Celebrating AAPI Voice Actors!

Celebrating AAPI Voice Actors for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 10, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (May 8-14) and what's coming your way next week.

May 8, 2023
Read More
Article

Finding the Poetry

If ad agencies are thinking about poetry, as voice actors we must also keep this top of mind.

May 3, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (May 1-7) and what's coming your way next week.

May 1, 2023
Read More
Article

Voicing concerns: are big-name actors ruining animated movies?

Pros and cons of celebrity voice acting

April 26, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (April 24-30) and what's coming your way next week.

April 24, 2023
Read More
Article

Celebrating National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, Sally shares her love of poetry.

April 19, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (April 17-23) and what's coming your way next week.

April 17, 2023
Read More
Article

World Voice Day 2023

Your Voice Matters! Celebrating World Voice Day 2023

April 12, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (April 10-16) and what's coming your way next week.

April 10, 2023
Read More
Article

Studio Efficiency by Jim Edgar

Thoughts on Flow and Workflow

April 5, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (April 3-9) and what's coming your way next week.

April 3, 2023
Read More
Classes

Youth Summer VO Program 2023

The Youth VO Program returns this Summer! And it's better than EVER!

March 29, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Mar 27-Apr 2) and what's coming your way next week.

March 27, 2023
Read More
Interview

Voice Actress Sarah Natochenny and the Importance of Ash Ketchum

Sarah Natochenny voiced Pokémon’s Ash Ketchum for 17 years. Q&A.

March 22, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Mar 20-26) and what's coming your way next week.

March 20, 2023
Read More
Article

HBO’s The Last of Us: Voice Actor Cameos You Might've Missed

Warning -- spoilers ahead! Click to read about voice actor cameos in The Last of Us.

March 15, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Mar 13-19) and what's coming your way next week.

March 13, 2023
Read More
Article

Embrace Equity for International Women's Day

Everyone can embrace and actively support equity.

March 8, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Mar 6-12) and what's coming your way next week.

March 6, 2023
Read More
Article

Let Your Passion Give You Confidence

How to harness your confidence.

March 1, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Feb 27 - Mar 5) and what's coming your way next week.

February 27, 2023
Read More
Article

What Power Sounds Like

Samara Bay Wants to Change What Power Sounds Like

February 22, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Feb 20-26) and what's coming your way next week.

February 20, 2023
Read More
Article

2023 Super Bowl Recap

Highlights from the 2023 Super Bowl

February 15, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Feb 13-19) and what's coming your way next week.

February 13, 2023
Read More
Article

2023 Super Bowl Watching Guide

We've created a guide you can use for your Super Bowl watching party!

February 8, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Feb 6-12) and what's coming your way next week.

February 6, 2023
Read More
Article

25 Quotes About Improv

From Robin Williams to Tina Fey, here are 25 reasons why improv will not only make you a better actor, but will change your life!

February 1, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Jan 30-Feb 5) and what's coming your way next week.

January 30, 2023
Read More
Article

Tips for Video Game Voice Actors

Words of wisdom on the video game industry from Voice over veterans.

January 25, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Jan 23-29) and what's coming your way next week.

January 23, 2023
Read More
Article

Instructor Interview: Monday Night Acting at Voice One

Erika sits down with Marvin Greene to discuss the importance of studying the craft, his favorite breakthroughs, and more!

January 18, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Jan 16-22) and what's coming your way next week.

January 16, 2023
Read More
Article

Overcoming Audition Anxiety -- WITH IMPROV!

Guest post: Overcoming audition anxiety with improv!

January 11, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Jan 9-15) and what's coming your way next week.

January 9, 2023
Read More
Article

Simple Steps to Help Achieve Your Voice Over Goals

Get out of your own way and own your year in VO by applying this advice. Here are four simple steps to help you reach your goals!

January 4, 2023
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Jan 2-8) and what's coming your way next week.

January 2, 2023
Read More
Event

Voice One's 2022 Year-In-Review

Here's a look back at the fun we had in 2022

December 29, 2022
Read More
Classes

This week at Voice One

A quick look at what's new, what's here this week (Dec 12-18) and what's coming your way next week.

December 12, 2022
Read More
Classes

Holiday Gift Guide 2022

Check out these gift ideas for the voice actors in your life

December 7, 2022
Read More