There are a lot of things to think about when performing as a voice over actor; mic technique, dry mouth, mouth clicks, sound levels, outside noises(!), breath control, recording software(!),....oh, PERFORMING!! That’s what you were hired for! Truthfully, the ability to record virtually anywhere and everywhere is awesome, but it’s not without its challenges and obstacles impacting you becoming the best voice over actor you can be. So, here are a few things we can do to make the session just a little less about the challenges and a lot more about the performance.
Hydrate at least an hour before you go to record. One of the hardest things to control is dry mouth, and dry mouth causes mouth clicks. Taking a sip of water between takes can help, but very momentarily. If you have a long script and your mouth is dry, chances are you’re going to have to record again another day.
Eat at least an hour before you go to record. Just as you should hydrate to avoid dry mouth, you should also eat to avoid stomach grumbles. Also, if you can, avoid dairy in the meal/snack as eating it can cause unwanted flehm in the mouth. (Which is really gross when you think about it. But, I love cheese. Anyway…)
Time of day when recording matters. Live near a grade school and have kids yelling, throwing things, blasting music? You might want to wait it out or take a break when that happens. Book directed sessions before or after that usual timeframe so, you don’t have to deal with that headache and potential session destroying time during your performance. Same plan if you’re self-recording.
Warm-up before you record. Voice over actors always say this, most probably don’t do it if they’re being honest with themselves. (Kinda like when we lie about how much we floss our teeth when our dentist asks). Vocal warm-ups really do help loosen up the lips and vocal chords. Plus, you can practice to find out where you need to stop to take a breath, and adjust to take those breaths at a less awkward time in the script. You don’t want to take a breath in mid-sentence. Whomever is editing (and it may be you) will thank you.