Record great dialogue with Plotagon
Plotagon Studio comes with four lifelike digital voices (two American English, two in another accent or language of your choice), but there are some times when you will want to record your own voice for your characters. Perhaps your organization has a unique marketing spokesperson, or maybe you just need to match other videos in your e-learning modules or online training environment. Fortunately, Plotagon Studio has you covered. Whatever your need, Plotagon Studio will automatically sync the timing of the lips to the sound of your voice — in any language. In fact, you can even use Plotagon’s built-in audio controls to balance the volume with background sounds and music. But for professional results, it’s important to consider quality of your audio recordings.
If you hire professional voiceover actors, they typically will have their own high-quality microphones and recording locations to minimize background noise. But you may prefer or need to record your own voice or that of your colleagues. If you want your characters to speak with clean, realistic sound, then you should take a look at your hardware setup and environment.
The best way to improve your sound is to not use your computer’s built-in microphone. Remember that the microphone in the case of your laptop is there for convenience, not quality. After all, consider the total price of your computer, and then imagine how much of that price went to purchase the single microphone component. (Hint: not much.) To make matters worse, the microphone’s placement behind a mysterious hole in the computer’s case may be nowhere near where your mouth is located when you speak your lines of dialogue.
In other words, use an external microphone.
Here at Plotagon, we have a set of Audio-Technica ATR2100 directional USB microphones (list price $79.95, including a handy tabletop tripod) that are ideal for voice recordings, but any decent podcasting microphone should serve you well. If budget really is an issue for you, then even using a set of mobile phone earbuds with your computer likely will make your recordings sound better thanks to the placement near your mouth.
Hear the difference for yourself.
Your recording environment can matter as much as the microphone as well. Depending on your neighborhood, there could be plenty of noises outside: emergency sirens, passing automobile traffic or overhead jets to name a few. Indoors there are colleagues, fans and blowers, refrigerators and other appliances. You may be so attuned to these noises that you don’t even notice them any more, but your microphone will pick up all of them. The room itself can affect the sound, too, as your voice echos off every flat desk, tile, floorboard and bare wall.
See Joe Lam’s interesting video showing the difference that rooms and microphones can make, as well as his clever DIY tabletop recording booth.
Whatever microphone and solution you choose, run some tests of your own until you find a sound that you are happy with. If you are working with remote colleagues, then be sure they have a similar setup so your characters sound like they are speaking with one another in the same location.