This voiceover glossary provides you with a set of basic terms that you can use when ordering a voiceover. In addition, it serves as a supplement to the voiceover articles on this website, to enhance your understanding of them.
Note: While this glossary is by no means comprehensive, it will enable you and the voice actor to understand one another. If you have questions about terms that are not listed here, please feel free to send me an email.
An audio file demonstrating how a voice actor would record your project. A custom demo is usually based on a small part of your script.
An audio file demonstrating a voice actor’s abilities.
Indication of how a voice actor should read a script, for example the required pace and tone.Direction may be indicated in a script using italics, bolding, or other markings. See script.
Dry voice / Dry audio
The recorded voice, edited, but without post-production. See editing and post-production.
The act of removing and/or adding elements to an existing audio file. This usually includes removal of breaths and any other unwanted sounds, as well as the removal of extra “takes”. Compression, noise gating, and normalization may be used as well, depending on the situation.
Finished minute/hour of work
An hour/minute of recorded and edited audio. That is, the measurement relates to the length of the final audio file, not to the amount of time spent creating the final audio file. Compare to hour/minute of work.
File Transfer Protocol. A method of transferring files over the Internet. Usually, receiving a file via FTP is as simple as clicking on a link in an email.
Hour/minute of work
An hour/minute of recording and editing a voiceover. That is, the measurement relates to the amount of time spent creating the final audio file, not to the length of the final audio file. Compare to finished hour/minute of work.
An audio file format that is suitable for many projects. As it results in relatively small-sized files (1 MB per minute), it is suitable for delivery by email. Compare to WAV.
Music that is added to an audio file in post-production, and which serves as the background to the voiceover.
The addition of music and/or special effects to an existing audio file.
Raw voice / Raw audio
The recorded voice, but not edited and without post-production. See editing and post-production.
A re-recording of part or all of a script.
A text that the voice actor is supposed to record. Scripts may be divided into segments and/or include direction. See segment and direction.
An independent unit within a script. Each segment is assigned a file name and recorded as a separate audio file. A segment may represent a slide in a presentation, a step in a tutorial, a tab in a website, a prompt in a telephone system, etc. See script.
A period of time spent recording a voiceover, usually three hours.
The amount of time it takes for the voice actor to complete a voiceover.
An unseen narrator’s voice, usually incorporated into a media project. Also written as voiceover, voice-over, and VO.
Note: This term is sometimes used to refer to the person who performs the voiceover, as in “This voiceover does a great job, and I intend to hire her.”
A person who performs voiceovers. Also written as voice actor or simply referred to as a voiceover.
An audio file format that offers superior quality in comparison to MP3. As this format results in large-sized files, it is not suitable for delivery by email. FTP or some other file delivery service is used instead. Compare to MP3.
Article by Victoria Feinerman