ABC take or Triplets – Multiple takes of the same line in succession usually to give the director variety
ADR – Additional Dialog Recording or automated dialogue replacement – Dialog recorded to picture after something has been animated or filmed
Agent – A representative whose job is to find and broker jobs for a client (the actor), and for which he or she typically receives a 10 – 20% commission
Articulate/Articulation – Using the various moving parts of the mouth to create the vowels and consonants used in speech
Auralex – Sound-dampening material you hang on the wall in your studio
Bass trap – A large foam piece to put in the corner of your studio to absorb room noise
Bitrate – Refers to the number of bits – or the amount of data – that are processed over a certain amount of time. For VO, the bitrate is generally 16 or 24. 24 is higher quality audio.
Booth – The room that you record your vocals in; a soundproofed space where the microphone and you create the magic of voice recording.
Cans – Your headphones
Clicking or Smacking – The mouth noises the mic picks up when your mouth becomes too dry
Coach – A professional to train you in the art of voice acting
Copy – The dialogue you’ll be recording. Also called the script or sometimes storyboard.
DAW – Digital Audio Workstation – an electronic device or computer software application for recording, editing and producing audio files, musical pieces and voiceover. For example: Adobe Audition, Audacity, TwistedWave, ProTools, etc.
Demo – A brief recorded demonstration of your vocal talents; used as a calling card or introduction to a potential agent, manager, director, producer or client. Also called a reel.
Dialogue – Spoken words between two or more characters
Diaphragm – The muscular partition between the thorax (chest) and abdomen; facilitates breathing
Direction – The information which someone (usually the director) gives you to guide your performance
Director – A person who directs you during your voiceover session. They let you know how to best interpret the script.
Dub/dubbed – To re-record dialogue translated from the original language or from temporary scratch tracks; also called ADR
Efforts – The non-dialogue vocalizations you create to add life or action to a scene; grunts, groans, moans, etc.
Engineer – The person who is running the control room/board or audio equipment in the studio.
Enunciate/enunciation – To create each sound clearly; to speak clearly
Flap/flaps – The opening and closing motion of a character’s mouth on screen
Genre – Different styles of voiceover like; commercial, e-Learning, IVR, Animation, etc.
Gain – The volume level of your microphone
Hitch/Beat – A slight pause that breaks up a line of dialogue
Interface – Equipment that lets your microphone communicate with your computer
ipDTL – An internet connection service that connects you with your director. If both parties have ipDTL, they can direct and record you remotely.
Internet Radio – Radio stations that are internet based such as Pandora and iHeart
IVR – Interactive voice response (for on-hold projects)
Level – The volume at which you are speaking (engineers often ask for a level so they can accurately calibrate the recording equipment.)
Manager – A person hired to manage or represent your career and help you advance to the next level.
Mic/microphone – That thing you talk into
Off-mic – Turn your head off axis of the mic. Used when yelling, etc.
P2P – Pay to Play websites. These are sites that you must pay a membership fee to get audition opportunities.
Phone patch – A telephone connection that allows the actor, director, producer and/or client to communicate during a recording session.
Pick-up – The re-recording of a line because of a mistake, rewrite or technical error either during the original session or at a later date.
Pitch – The tonal placement of the voice as in high, medium or low.
Plosive – The burst of air that comes with certain types of sounds, mostly notably the p and b.
Pop Screen – A metal or fabric mesh barrier that sits a few inches in front of the mic; used to cut down on p pops or other bursts of air that may distort the recording. Also called pop filter.
Preview – Viewing the moving image that you will be syncing to, before you record a take.
Promo – A voiceover recording commonly used to promote a network, show, film or event.
Producer – A person who produces your voiceovers into something to broadcast. Video, commercials, etc. They mix your voice with music and/or visuals.
Post-production – Your audio will be edited in post-production.
Rolling – Expression that indicates that the engineer is recording and that you’re free to begin speaking
Safety – An additional take, usually a different option, to be sure the director has everything he/she needs.
Sample rate – Is the number of samples of audio carried per second, measured in Hz or kHz (one kHz being 1000 Hz). For example, 44100 samples per second can be expressed as either 44100 Hz or 44.1 kHz. Bandwidth is the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies carried in an audio stream. A sample rate of 44100 or 48000 is typical in VO.
Scratch-track – Temporary recorded tracks that act as a placeholder for dialogue to be recorded later
Script – The words that you will be recording; the story; the instructions; the character’s dialogue
Session – A scheduled period of time during which you record
Slate – An audio marker such as “Take 12” or “YourName – Take 1”. It allows the engineer to identify the recording.
Sound check – A request from the engineer at the beginning of the session for you to read a few lines so that he/she can accurately gauge your volume.
Spec – Directions included on your script to let you know what the client is looking for in your delivery of a character’s lines
Speed – How fast or slow you speak your lines
Spot – Another word for commercial
Standby – This is what the engineer will say to you if he wants you to wait before speaking. Be ready to go when he says, “rolling”.
Studio – The location where voiceovers are recorded
Sweetening – Adding additional sounds (music, effects, dialogue) to a VO performance to enhance it
Sync – Matching recorded dialogue with mouth movements on-screen
Tag – A short bit of voiceover at the end of a commercial spot identifying a certain product; or presents legal or other information regarding the product.
Take – One specific recorded performance of a line or series of lines, from the time the engineer begins recording to the time he stops recording.
Talkback – System for the actor to communicate with director/engineer while in the booth.
Terrestrial Radio – Radio stations that are not internet based
Voice match – The near perfect replication of one actor’s voice by another
Walla – The background sounds that fill the scene
Watermark – A unique electronic identifier embedded in an audio signal, typically used to identify ownership of copyright.
Wild take – To record without stopping to slate or otherwise give a marker identifying it; these often occur at the end of a session when trying to record different styles or options.