Mastering Home-Based Voice Over: Lesson 5

The Mindset Of Voice Over

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Leave a comment, and ask any question about voice over you have below.

Complete list of lessons in the course

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If you’ve got any VO questions, ask them below, and David will answer them after the next lesson:


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  1. After you’ve watched the video, please ask questions!

    What has always been a challenge for you when it comes to your mindset?

    How do you feel working alone? How do you feel when you don’t hear back after you audition for a role?

    What makes you really frustrated when it comes to being a VO talent?

    I’ll read them all, and respond to as many as I can.

  2. David, you have dropped So Many #KnowledgeBombs in Lesson 5 that I’m going to have to rewatch! I’m so glad to have been invited to this week… I’ve DONE the “remote class that culminated in demos” (that sound GREAT, except for not really being “industry standard”, so…) and have recently completed another online class regarding audiobooks specifically… and I AM moving forward with the knowledge, but I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s video, to find out how to work with you even more. I open tabs in the moment you mention them (for Levelator and ACX Check and Clean Feed and Woot, etc.), and now I just need to check them out and close them! But probably not before tomorrow’s gift of Final Offer. 😉 You’re awesome. Thank you so much! 😀 <3

    1. WOW. So I installed the ACX Check plug-in (THAT is not an easy or intuitive task, I must say… the installing of plugins in Audacity) and ran it on my already-mastered tracks in an audiobook I’ve recorded but not published (it’s my husband’s title, and we’re fighting with ACX on the process… it’s stupid, but not really the issue at hand). My TITLE track failed because the RMS measured quieter than -23… so I installed Levelator, and once I figured out how to run it (also not intuitive At All), the track again failed because the peak was now -1.0 dB! … so I clipped just a bit of noise floor off the end of the original track, and brought my RMS above -23. YAY!
      Basically, ACX check is, in fact, a Godsend, THANKYOUVERYMUCH, David. Not sure if Levelator will, in fact, save me any time at all, if there’s no way to set parameters like PEAK. So I’m looking forward to your release of AudioCupcake for Windows! Woo Hoo!

      … and to follow up with your comment about being SURE you would have mentioned Levelator at the Conservatory class; for that one, we were in person, and while I DO take notes in that setting, I wasn’t actually actively looking at audiobooks or ACX or even VO, for that matter, at that time of our lives. It’s taken COVID-19 to bring my focus to my acting career at all, particularly the need to get good at self-taping and recording/mastering VO. So it wasn’t YOU who dropped that ball! It was totally ME!

      1. INERTIA – when we were all out in the world, doing our “jobs” and/or taking classes in person… taking notes and then NOT following through! That was me! Check! Imposter Syndrome – I’m good. I’m confident, I’m good enough, and especially NOW, I know that I’m Where I’m Supposed to Be. Check! Refinement – working on that now, working past that “I’m done” into “what else don’t I know? which of these practices can I try to learn and improve?” Check! Rejection – I ACTUALLY got a “thank you but” message through ACX! Hallelujah! Not on AHAB or elsewhere, so, yeah… silent rejection. I’ve gotten used to it, though, with my on-camera life, so… audition and then forget it (when I got the ACX notice, I’d forgotten which audition it was!) Check!
        … and then your steps, yup. I’m DOING them. I’m looking forward to starting my first audiobook project, and continuing training/coaching with you, hopefully. All this to say, I don’t have a question here, LOL! I just want you to know that this series has been SO helpful, and tomorrow’s post won’t get here soon enough. Thank you, David… the Seventeenth 😉

  3. David,
    As a 40 year veteran of radio, and VO, I just wanted to thank you for the course, I’ve not been pushing my VO career much in the past few years, but I am going to start pushing the ACX auditions, I’ve got about 56db noise floor, so I have to use Noise reduction, I’m in a basement, but my computer (Windows) has fan noise, with Noise reduction I get it down to -78db as verified by ACX check. I know it’s not ideal, I know I must rip my desk apart and re-run wires at some point to get the computer away from my Voice Area. Again, thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I was not able to start watching the series until today will I still have access to the previous videos?

  5. David — this 5-lesson series was just tremendous. I feel like you’ve given me a solid, actionable roadmap to succeeding in home-based voice over — every mile rooted in the wealth of your personal experience and conveyed with a spirit of infectious positivity. THANK YOU!

  6. Thank you so much! I love that you include mindset. I was a casting director for years in Hollywood and I would see the look of defeat, not good enough and why not me on so many faces. Mindset is so huge. I look forward to working with you in the near future. Kat sings your praises and recommended you to me. Right now I am working on 2 big projects and have to focus on those then I will be in touch.

  7. Tobi, if you click on the narrow line above David’s pic for Sunday’s final video, where it says”I hope by now you’ve watched all 5 lessons…” it will take you back to those 5 & you can click on any of them. But yes, many of the other video locations take you right to video 6, so you have to look for that link back to the source.

  8. David, what is the approx. length of each lesson?

    Within the lessons on audiobooks, do you cover your stair step method?

    Thank you for being so comprehensive! 🙂

    1. The lessons vary in length from a few minutes to close to 45, depending upon what each subject I’m covering needs. And yes, the stairstep method is the centerpiece of the audiobook lessons and courses.

  9. As you left your response earlier last week, the current lessons are beneath the major lesson of the day. If you’re seeing my video talking about joining via heroes, there’s a link to the class above that video. As you left your response earlier last week, the current lessons are beneath the major lesson of the day. If you’re seeing my video talking about joining VOHeroes, there’s a link to the class above that video.

  10. Thanks for talking about my comment on the Business aspects and of course thanks for the info on the Sock… love that its a DIY solution.

  11. Hey David,
    I know this is late in the game, but I hope you get to read this message. I greatly appreciate that you took the opportunity to grant us with these great pieces of info, wisdom, and insight. Not only was some of this new information to me, but other parts of this helped re-establish an already set foundation of knowledge. Watching your masterclass the past couple of weeks not only supplied me and everyone else with good data, but you also help re-invigorate and re-inspire me to go above and beyond and remind us not to worry so much and to set our own pace and expectations. Thanks to your videos and Caroline’s DYI home studio manual, I revamped my home studio, and guess what? My already acceptably low noise floor is now even lower! Way lower! Thanks to both of you! Guess what else? It only cost me a trip to to store and a few bucks for a tension curtain rod. I even got supplemental and set up a monitor in there. It’s real sweet! Anyways, thanks again! I’ll be sure to keep my promise not only to you but to me to employ this knowledge and skill and do my best. 🙂

    P.S. Elise Baughman sent me your way. I’m real glad! Have a great rest of your day, hero!

  12. Hi David,
    Thank you for your videos and for putting the course together. Kudos to you! I think you are wonderful and you sound sincerely interested in helping. I purchased your Rehearsal app in 2019 to help me in my tour directing/tour guiding, and we exchanged a few messages then on another platform. Perhaps I will contact you there if you are not able to get to my questions here. It looks like you have A LOT of them. I don’t know how you can get to everyone!
    By the way, you scared me on “Heroes”…. !!! Your character and Sylar’s were scariest.
    I just watched the first 4 videos all today. ( Julie Williams just sent me the link for it yesterday) I have several questions:
    1) Are the 40 sessions “live” or are they videos that I would be watching on my own? I did hear you say about “doing in your own time” but are there also live sessions that are then recorded to watch later or just the pre-recorded lessons?

    2) Audiobooks is the one avenue in VO that I am NOT interested in at all. I do not have the vocal stamina for such long form right now. I am just not passionate about audiobooks. Nor have I even managed to finish listening to an entire audiobook (yet?)…. however, I am very interested in shorter narration. Would your 40-session course still be useful for me?

    3) I already have a professional home recording studio and I have taken professional audio editing courses for VO. Would you deduct the price of the mic that you include in the course for those who already have such equipment?

    4) Do you do private coaching? If so, how much do you charge for private coaching sessions and
    5) how much do you charge for recording a VO reel?
    I am interested in Narration (documentary, corporate, and medical narration), as that is where my voice and my personality live naturally. I am also a polyglot and could do IVR in a few different languages that I grew up speaking, (I am a “Third Culture Kid”) … What do you think if I skip the Audiobook recommendation and go straight into Narration?

    Thank you for answering my questions, especially about personal coaching if nothing else….
    Sending you my best regards,

    1. Thank you for asking!
      1) They are recorded, like these lessons were.
      2) Stamina is hardly required for audiobooks. But I hear what you’re saying. I just invite you to question and test your assumptions.
      3) Yes we do. If you watch the video on the registration page, I let you know that.
      4) I do. And I charge $350 per hour, unless you’re one of my Pros, and then it’s $175.
      5) I charge $1299 for demos, unless you’re one of my Pros, and then it’s $999 each. Animation/video game demos are slightly higher (the average cost of a demo here in LA is $2350). You can create demos in any order you want.
      Hope that all helps!

  13. THANKS again- all of this incredibly helpful in taking STEPS FORWARD and keeping INERTIA!



  14. You’re a wonderful teacher, David. You’ve inspired me to consider doing voice-over work again. Years ago I did radio and TV commercial voice-overs, business film narration, training tapes, etc. I may start by narrating my own books first and offering the audiobook version for sale as well. Maybe that will bring invitations to narrate audiobooks for authors whose books I edit. Thank you for these videos.

  15. David, as always you are a font of information! Just a quick question–you said something about a course you offer where you suggest people record commercial auditions by looking at what the spot is meant to do. I would love to take it but can’t remember the name. If you know what I’m referring to would you mind pointing me in the right direction so I can sign up for it? Many thanks. By the way, just got my Lifetime ACX Masterclass membership and I feel like I’ve landed in a TOYS R US for Narrators!

    1. We teach that concept of results-based script analysis in the Mastering Commercials courses inside the VOHeroes Pro curriculum. You’ll find a whole other toy store waiting for you if you choose to join us!

  16. Regarding “Refinement,” how can someone starting out in VO with little money left after purchasing the equipment afford to take VO courses that can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars? Are there VO courses that fit a limited budget?

    1. Refinement isn’t about taking more courses (although that can help) – it’s about analyzing your systems and seeing what’s working for you and what isn’t – and continuing the path on the things that are working, and refining and improving on the things that aren’t. You’re off to a great start, and it’s only going to get better from here. Don’t think that more classes is the only answer.


  18. David,

    Thank you much for sharing both your knowledge and your time. I am learning so much and may replace my Blue Yeti Pro with the AT 2020 USB Pro.

    I am interested in your video presentation sound is quite good. What is your set up? I am interested in using video for both my voiceover and wellness businesses.

    Thanks again!

  19. David, Hi. Thanks for the wonderful free course I’ve been enjoying. Thank you for the rich content and your warm presentation. Looking forward to your video on Sunday.

    1. I love sharing with people that although there is a gender disparity favoring men, in some categories, women have more opportunity and take it. Just ask yourself if you’ve ever heard a commercial, a documentary, an audiobook or an IVR/phone prompt tree that was voiced by a woman. So, YES, there R!! 🙂

  20. Hi David Your lessons are amazing thank you so much you seem like the coolest guy ever too. But my question is if your a actor can you put your voice over demo reels on the same website of your acting page or is it best that it stays separate?