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 How to Not Completely Fail at Abridging--Part II: Voice Acting and Recording

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Join date : 2009-05-01
Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: How to Not Completely Fail at Abridging--Part II: Voice Acting and Recording   Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:18 pm

As you may know, the past couple of weeks me and my group, plus a few tag-alongs have been reviewing fail abridged series. Along the way, I've seen several series that were abject disasters, in terms of writing, editing, voicing, etc, as well as many that were subjectively bad(i.e., I didn't like them, but others might). I've been hit with dozens of suggestions from Skype friends and Youtube people of various degrees of familiarity, and sometimes I'd have to explain why some series work as fails and others don't.

This entire preface is a way for me to prove that my opinion is right or carries more authority. Make of that what you will, but since I have the free time and creative outlet, I'm going to write this guide anyway.

This is...


So now you have a kick-ass script(or at least a passable one, right?) and are ready to move your project into the next stage of production: adding the audio.

Note: I do not consider myself a voice actor. I consider myself a guy who does a few silly voices for a gag dub, nothing more. For a more in-depth tutorial on voice acting, I suggest MasaVox, hosted by the abridged communities very own MasakoX.

This guide will cover the very basic basics. For people like me, it's a process of gradually getting better at something, and can only be perfected through practice. In other words, this is for you newbs to get started, and it's also in the context of abridging, rather than fandubbing, etc. Everything after that I can't really help with.

Anyway, enough ranting: How not to fail!

Quote :
It's very hard to get quotes about voice acting, so I probably won't do that much this time.

1) Voice actors are EVERYWHERE! For me, most of my voice actors are my friends. All of them are from teh internetz, and have been made by either 1) auditioning, or 2) networking throughout the abridged community. I met z55177 through an auditioning process, and Meeper because he was doing a Zoids Abridged at the time too, for example.

There are hundreds on Youtube, and there are even quite a few sites and forums that exist to this end. The most notable would be the Voice Acting Alliance.* I remember that the Princess Tutu Abridged cast has acquired all of their voice actors from their every day lives, which is awesome if you can pull it off.

Get a good cast behind your series. Unless you're LittleKuriboh(which you aren't, you newb) you can't do EVERY voice in an anime by yourself. The only long running abridgers that I haven't seen start to outsource voice actors is MasaGeta, with arguable results. You don't have to have a dream team like TeamFourStar to do an abridged series, but trust me, having people help with vocals reduces your workload by a ton, and often makes a series that much better.

2) Use voices that fit the character, and differentiate a bit.

Using the same voice for every character does not work(unless you're Iruka, which you're not, newb). I've seen far too many people try using this very manly voice for a female character, ala Dr. Mrs. The Monarch from the Venture Brothers, and quite frankly, that's retarded and so are the people who do it.

Do not attempt things vocally that you cannot back up. Srs, man.

Quote :
Hi, I'm Johnny Yong Bosch. This is me. I am acting.

-Stereotypical abridger view of Johnny Yong Bosch's voice talent.


Monotonous voices do not work well, unless you're LittleKuriboh's Sasuke(NO! YOU AREN'T!). They are boring and tend to make audiences fall asleep. Plus they're annoying.

Quote :
Iruka: Oh come on, I even got Takahata101 to cameo what more do you want?
Takahata101: Hi.
Iruka: See?
Hokage: Oh he's in everything these days. He's such a voice whore.

4) Having someone important cameo for you does not God Mod your series. It can be fun, and cross-promotions are usually pretty awesome, but just because you got Takahata101 to cameo for you does not mean you're immune to failing.

5) LittleKuriboh is the exception to everything. Do not compare yourself to him.

For one thing, you'll go insane from trying. For another, you're simply not as good as him.

LK, being the founder, has by definition more experience than any other abridger. He's a vocal virtuoso, and can afford to take risks, because pretty much everything he does is hilarious.

That's not to say don't try different things. But make sure you have a solid foundation in your voice acting before you attempt something grandiose. I'm being purposely vague here as a catch-all to you know what you're doing.

6) Get the right equipment.

Don't record off of your cellphone, iPod, or laptop microphone. You can buy an acting grade microphone, or a microphone headset(which is what I use, along with hbi2k. We're not the best voice actors, but we're passable) which can cost anywhere from 15-40 dollars. Mine cost me 30. Just saying.

Programs I would suggest: Audacity(my program of choice), Krystal(Meeper uses it, and it seems ok), Adobe Audition(ShadyVox) or GarageBand(TeamDattebayo, but I think it's only for Macs).

No Windows Sound Recorder, as MasakoX will gladly tell you.


*On a personal note, I don't much care for the Voice Acting Alliance. Since I'm not a voice actor myself, I only made an account there once because it just seemed to be what everyone was doing. Whenever I've enlisted the aid of someone off of the VAA, I've found that they're either: 1) Unreliable, 2) Rude, 3) Controlling, or 4) They take too long with their lines. I think CodeBlackHayate is the one exception to this rule, but then again, I didn't enlist her right from the VAA.

This is a completely unfair judgment I'm making, and don't listen to it as gospel. I'm merely voicing(haha, pun) a grievance. I prefer abridgers to voice actors, almost all of the time.

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