Narrate for Animation in 4 Steps! Let’s Talk Pigs.

Voice Overs in Animation.

Three pigs and one person? 

I voiced the interactive children’s app, The Three Little Pigs, by Irene Deev. I had to be four different people during the animation! Or, should I say three different pigs and one person?

To do this, I asked myself some questions. Things such as, “What makes each pig unique?” “How is squiggly tailed Nicky or super smart Ricky different from extra nerdy Mickey or the kid-friendly narrator?”

How does a voice talent bring each character in the story to life in their own unique way?

To understand this, let’s first look at how the process of character development works in voicing animation.

Animated material is produced in many different ways for every client and project, depending on their style, budget, experience level, etc. Here is how it went down with the recording of The Three Little Pigs, so you can get an idea of one process.

Step 1: Audition.

In this case, I was provided the distinct characteristics of each little pig. Info. such as personality quirks, speaking style and personal interests were given. I was then asked to send back recordings of the voices I came up with.

Step 2: Develop the characters.

For me, creating backstories for the piglets was key. I asked myself questions such as “What is Rickey’s favorite thing to do?” “What makes Mickey happy?” “What makes him sad?” “What did Nicky do this morning?” “What SPECIFICALLY makes each of these piglets tick?”

This last question is my favorite because, as a voice actor, you need to be able to dive into the MOTIVATION of your character. This allows you to provide deeper nuances and personality.

Step 3: Develop your character’s unique sound.

In animation, your ability to manipulate vocal sounds is very important!

When working on character development of the Three Little Pigs, I asked myself questions such, “Based on what I know about these characters, should Nicky’s voice be higher than Ricky’s?” “Does Mickey talk slower than the others?” “How old should the narrator be?” “What narration age resonates well the target group of children who will be using this app?”

As a voice talent who does animation work, use your vocal range, cadence, style, pitch, and tone to make your character who she is. Then: Practice. Practice. Practice. Next: Listen. Record yourself then play it back. Finally, tweak your character to make it exactly the way you think he or she should sound.

Step 4: Have fun.

Narrating for animation is a ton of fun! It’s an opportunity to bring to life the direction provided by the writer and producer. Also, you can flex the muscles of your imagination. While doing all of this, you can use your vocal technique to turn your voice into the very best little piggie you can be!


RachelAlena.com
info@rachelalena.com
720-394-6358

Rachel Alena is an eLearning/Tutorial narration expert. She is a national voice talent who brings over 20 years of experience in voice acting to her clients and students. She has voiced hundreds of narrations for clients such as Disney, Microsoft, The Rockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Schnucks and Alliance Residential.

She also provides private voice over training for voice acting students as well as for corporate communicators across the country. She is a recommended acting coach of Voices.com. Her studio is located near Boulder, Colorado.

Feel free to reach out to Rachel directly or to Big Fish Talent  for bookings. 

Smooth Narrations. Be an expert voice talent.

Sound smoother than the other guy!

Expert voice talent & coach Rachel Alena provides tips on how to achieve better ‘rhythm & flow’.

“I just love this voice talent’s voice.” OR “I could listen to her all day long.” Do YOU want them to say that about YOU? If you do, here’s a hint…

Work on your rhythm & flow!

What is rhythm & flow? Is it like bongo drumming at the local coffee shop? Well…maybe, but that’s not the kind of rhythm & flow you want to use as a voice actor!

If you want good rhythm & flow in voice acting, work on how you break up text.

Gain mastery of: Breath Planning & Control and Intentional Pausing

Breath planning and control
Plan IN ADVANCE where you’re going to breathe and have proper knowledge of breathing techniques.

Here’s an example: You’re hitting the road. Driving from Denver to San Francisco (don’t forget those bongos!). You hop in your car and go. A free spirit!

If you don’t PLAN to bring your wallet or PLAN be sure you have enough funds for gas and lodging, will the trip be smooth?  Maybe, not. The same idea goes for narrating scripts. Plan only to breathe where it makes sense. Is there a comma? A break in the sentence? Does taking a breath make sense within the context of the text or storyline?

Intentional Pausing
Pause only with a purpose! Pay attention to the WHERE and WHY you’re stopping.

Ask yourself: Why am I pausing here? Will it enhance the script or help to tell a better story? Is pausing going to draw out a word or sentence that’s important for the listener to pay attention to? If so, then go ahead and pause with intention!

Here’s to being a smooth operator and an expert voice talent. Let your inner rhythm & flow shine!


Rachel Alena provides private voice over training for voice acting students as well as for corporate communicators across the country.

Rachel’s clients? She has narrated for: Disney, Microsoft, Delta Dental, Upworks, The Rockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Schnucks Grocery, Alliance Residential, Ashley Furniture and hundred’s more!

720-394-6358
RachelAlena.com

rachel@bigbitestudio.com

Feel free to reach out to Rachel directly at the email listed above
or to Big Fish Talent  for bookings. 

Branding. Why it’s important.

Voice talent Rachel Alena talks about the importance of branding your business.

 

Do you specialize in cleaning horses or houses?

Customer: ‘Why sir? What do you do?’

Business Owner: ‘As a matter of fact, I clean things.’

Customer: ‘Most excellent! Please proceed. Clean my horse!’

House. Horse. Does it matter?

When you’re not branding yourself, it matters. You get the jobs you GET. Not necessarily the jobs you WANT.

Branding is the perception that a consumer has when they hear or think of your company name, service or product. To hit the mark with your branding, you must understand the needs of your customers. You also have to know what your own strengths are.

To brand successfully you want to:

  • Clearly, deliver your message. (I clean large HOUSES.)
  • Show that you are credible and skilled at what you do. (I’ve been cleaning large houses for 10 years. Here are examples of the great things my clients say about me!)
  • Engage your target prospects. (Give reasons that a clean house will make customers feel amazing.)
  • Motivate people to want to work with you or buy from you. (I have an excellent reputation and understand where dirt hides ESPECIALLY in large houses.)
  • Create long-term business relationships. (This is where you DELIVER the goods! Always provide excellent work & great communication. Help your clients have a better day every time they work with you!)

As a voice talent, there are many types of work you can do such as narrating commercials, audiobooks, tutorials, eLearnings, webinars, phone trees and so much more!

Do them all! That’s how you’ll become a master of your craft. Then, through experience, find where you excel and where your heart feels happy.

Become an expert at something within your wheelhouse! Give your customers the best service and knowledge in a SPECIFC area. This leads to two things:

1. More satisfying work.
2. A loyal client base. They’ll return to you over and over because they know you can deliver.

To start thinking about branding, ask yourself some questions:

  • What are my experiences?
  • Where have I spent the most time working in my field?
  • What type of work do I enjoy?
  • What am I really good at? Think back to feedback you’ve received from customers. Where have they raved about you?

Personally, if it’s a message that needs to be heard by mankind, I’m happy to share it!  No matter what the format is; be it a commercial, video game or Disney toy.

But, I’ve learned over the years that I love teaching. I’m also good at teaching. So, I specialize in eLearnings, tutorials and self-help books. In this, I’m able to use my voice acting/production skills along with my love for teaching others.

Branding isn’t just about gaining new customers. It’s also about the life of your business.

You can start by creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates your product from other products.

Then, enjoy a horseback ride…

…Just be sure to leave your sponge and bucket at home.


Do you want to narrate audiobooks? Rachel is hosting a workshop at the Boulder Writing Studio on Nov. 4! Space is limited. Details here.


Rachel Alena is an eLearning/Tutorial narration expert. She is a national voice talent who brings over 20 years of experience in voice acting to her clients and students. She has voiced hundreds of narrations for clients such as Disney, Microsoft, The Rockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Schnucks and Alliance Residential.

She also provides private voice over training for students all across the country. Her studio is located near Boulder, Colorado.

Feel free to reach out to Big Fish Talent to book Rachel & other very talented folks, as well. Big Fish Talent works with actors, spokespeople, voice talent and much more!


Rachel’s most recent audiobook narration?  Guided Meditation for Weight Loss by 30-Minute Meditations. Available here on Amazon.

Microphone, Microphone….who art thou? By voice talent Rachel Alena

Voice Talent Rachel Alena talks shop about microphone basics…
I was at a party this past Labor Day weekend watching a friend’s band play. Being the voice talent that I am, I was chit chatting along with a good friend until I heard my name called. The bass playing/singer in the band asked me to come up. Join them for a song or two. How fun!

There was one mic for us to share because the other mic was being used by the guitar player. The plan? He’ll sing the lead and I’ll do the backup vocals. No problem! Like Simon and Garfunkel, but with a bass and much flatter hair.

We sang our hearts out. I could hear him next to me and through the monitors. I belted out my best Aretha-like backups but when the song was over…the crowd was yelling. They couldn’t hear me at all! What went wrong?

Well…microphone type has a lot to do with it.

Your choice in a microphone can really make a difference in sound quality.

The band used wonderful, unidirectional, cardioid microphones. They were gorgeous, looking like they came from a 1920’s radio station! Scott’s lovely voice was heard because he was standing directly IN FRONT of the microphone. I, however, was standing next to him. So, his unidirectional, cardioid mic couldn’t hear me. It’s designed to pick up only the sound directly in front of it and reject bleed from other voices and instruments.

For me, as a voice actor & singer, using the right microphone type is important.

Microphone types/lingo:

  • Condenser, Cardioid: Ideal for voice over work. It doesn’t pick up much sound from the side or back of the mic. More sensitive to loud sounds.
  • Omni Directional: Picks up more sound from all around.
  • Dynamic, Cardioid: Great stage mics. It also doesn’t pick up much sound from the side or back of the mic.
  • Super Cardioid: Picks up sound from behind the mic
  • Hypercardioid: Takes in sound from the back and less from the side. Good for noisy environments.
  • Bi-directional: Good for interviews since it picks up noise from both sides.
  • Shotgun mic, line mic or gradient mic: Good for film because it picks up voice but minimizes other sounds.

Do your research and pick your mic carefully based on what you’ll use it for.

Also, maybe, keep a dynamic Shure SM58 in the car. You never know….

because when your Simon and Garfunkel moment calls you up to that stage…

you and your microphone, will be ready.

She’s a talker! So far, in August and September 2017, Rachel has voiced projects for: Microsoft, Mundipharma, Zytiga, CheckInAsyst, Alliance Residential, Modern Teacher, Smart Milestones and 47 Mind Hacks for Writers!

What just dropped? 47 Mind Hacks for Writers. Audiobook narrated by Rachel Alena! Check it out.

Rachel is a national voice talent who brings over 20 years of experience in voice acting to her clients and students. She has voiced hundreds of narrations for clients such as Disney, Microsoft, The Rockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Schnucks and Alliance Residential. She also provides private voice over training for students all across the country. Her studio is located near Boulder, Colorado.