Create and add voiceover to a video

1. Write a voice-over script with everything that needs to be included or avoided verbatim, then proofread your script multiple times to check for any text and pacing edits that are necessary.

For a video that has not yet been recorded, review the storyboard or outline for the video to ensure your voice-over script covers all necessary talking points and aligns with the content that will be displayed on-screen. For a video that has already been created, watch the video from start to finish and pause to take notes as often as you need while writing your script. Ensure that the voice-over will align with the visuals and dialogue present in the video, and consider any contextual information that will need to be added to supplement the existing video content. Some things to consider marking in your script are: Pauses. Emphasis on certain words or phrases. Changes in vocal inflection or tone of voice. Emotive expressions, like laughter. Phonetic pronunciation for tricky words, names, or products.

2. Choose a voice performer who fits the context and needs of the video.

If you are producing a video that is very personal to the brand, such as an About us video, you may want to have a core member of your team perform the voiceover, like your brand owner or a co-founder.  For videos that do not require a member of your internal team to supply the voiceover, consider hiring a professional voice actor directly or through a casting agency. If a large part of your audience speaks a language that is not your native language, consider creating two versions of the video.

3. Have the speaker practice the script out loud.

Focus on practicing and settling on matching the following to what feels appropriate for your video’s tone and purpose: Clarity. Volume. Inflection. Tone. Enunciation.

4. Choose audio recording and editing software that fits your experience, budget, and technical needs.

Audio editing tools include Audacity, Adobe Audition, Fission, Acoustic Standard Edition, or Amadeus Pro. Video editing tools include Adobe Premiere Pro, Animotica, Filmora, and Animaker.

5. Find a quiet, private place, start the audio project in the recording software, and set up the microphone.

For the best recording quality and to avoid picking up background noise in your audio recording, consider: Turning off any fans, A/C, or heating units. Close any doors and windows and lower the blinds or draw the curtains to help soften noise coming from outside. Choose a room that has plenty of furnishings or carpet in the room to avoid echoing sounds. Add some acoustic foam panels to the walls to help soundproof and avoid echoing. Ask others to avoid the area while you are recording. Record in a walk-in closet to more easily control exterior noises from affecting your recording. Use a pop filter over your microphone. Position your microphone approximately 6-8 inches away from the speaker.

6. Perform a test recording by having the speaker read through a few paragraphs from the script while the producer monitors audio levels and makes adjustments.

The producer should wear headphones while monitoring the audio levels to ensure they are catching any subtle issues that may be hard to catch over computer speakers. Some audio issues and adjustments to consider include: Using a pop filter, or moving the microphone slightly above or to the side of the voice actor, to eliminate popping sounds while they are speaking. Adjusting the recording sensitivity, or switching the recording location, to eliminate any remaining background noises that are coming through in the audio. Adjusting the volume level to correct audio distortion or the volume of the speaker’s voice.

7. Record the voiceover by having the speaker read sections of the script in chunks. If the video has already been recorded, play it on a screen that the speaker can see while they record the voiceover to help them achieve the proper timing.

Perform multiple takes to reach the desired clarity, tone, and volume.

8. Edit the audio, then export it as an .mp3 or .wav file.

Trim dead air, choose the best takes, assemble the clips in the proper order, and adjust volume and quality as needed. Use your audio editing tool to trim, split, assemble, and merge the best audio clips together. You can also further smooth out the audio recording by boosting or cutting certain frequencies, compressing tracks, or applying filters to the audio.

9. Upload your video file into your editing software, import the voiceover audio file, and drag the file onto its own track in your video project.

If the video has any existing sound, mute it before adding the voiceover track to your project.

10. Cut, move, and sync the voiceover as desired to fit with the visuals.