While the mere mention of a voiceover will make most people think of iconic performers with distinctive voices such as Morgan Freeman (narration in “The Shawshank Redemption”) or James Earl Jones (Darth Vader’s voice in the “Star Wars” films), there are a number of other applications that extend beyond epic movie trailers and animated cartoons. 

  • Commercials

Commercial voice over is often the bread and butter for many voice actors. The commercial category almost always involves promoting a product or service in the form of an advertisement that is released on television, radio, web or social media. Many voice actors have recorded some of the most famous spots right out of their home recording studios. 

  • Documentaries

A documentary is a film that captures or documents aspects of the nonfiction world. They cover real life, whether it be a nature film about great white sharks or a historical documentary about WWII. To capture an audience’s attention, stories presented in documentaries must be connected by an intriguing storyline and narrated with an engaging documentary voice. Successful documentary narration offers a sense of authority combined with familiarity. 

  • Audiobooks

Audio books have become an extremely popular form of entertainment in recent years – despite being around for almost a century. While some authors narrate their own books and numerous celebrities often lend their voice to popular titles, the bulk of the audio books being produced are from professional voice actors playing multiple roles by themselves.

  • Video Games

Video games are one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world – even bigger than Hollywood! They encapsulate everything from games on home consoles like Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo to Mobile and PC games. To enhance their immersive and realistic qualities, they require large amounts of audio, such as getting hit, falling, narrating and even shouting. You can read more about how these effects can easily be created and used in our related blog post here

  • Educational

E-learning is a category of voice over that is fast growing – especially in the tumultuous times of social distancing following the Covid-19 pandemic. E-learning involves working with instructional and educational content that helps students and learners of all ages. The educational content can be used in phone apps, websites, or even educational institutions. It can include anything from providing word pronunciations, historical explorations, or even narration for learning games.

Corporate voiceover is a genre that large companies utilize in some way. It’s mostly used to help train new employees or provide in-depth tutorials/explanations for specific jobs. Their application is often to be found in presentations or announcements for the company either internally, at trade shows, conferences, or on related websites.

Animation is the category that most people will think of when the word “voice actor” is mentioned. It consists of images – either drawn or digitally animated – in order to tell stories. Included in this category are cartoons from networks like Nickelodeon and Disney/Pixar, but also full-length movies, television and web shows.