Creating Your Showreel (Pt.1) – By Rich O’Donoghue

June 4, 2018

As a voice artist your voice and body are your instrument, and so is the microphone. It’s important to firstly learn how to use your instruments, so if you are new to voice over I would recommend some coaching before creating your showreel. You also need to think about where your voice might sit within the market be that gaming, corporate or commercial and so on. This will also help you in seeking a good coach and showreel producer as some only work in their area of expertise. Take some time to think about who would benefit from a voice like yours and how you are going to market yourself to your potential clients.

Your showreel is part of the display in your shop window, and one of the most important marketing tools in your box. It’s a creative expression of your talents and not something that can be thrown together either. It’s also not something that should be looked at just once and then forgotten. It’s an organic representation of your ever-changing voice over talents, clients you have worked with, and should be updated on a regular basis. As you grow with confidence in your voicing abilities and learn how to project your voice, use your body to express words, as well as experimenting with mic techniques, so will the sound and feel of your voice recordings. It’s a good idea to monitor this as time goes on and compare recordings from say 6-12 months earlier.

I would suggest not producing your own showreels, especially to begin with. Your perception of your voice will be completely different to someone who has a trained ear and can hear what market your voices suits. This is the same with voice direction, what you think might sound great when you have directed yourself, might not! A professional voice director will be able to draw a lot more out of you when recording, and this will be presented on your showreel. I always ask the artist to firstly voice without direction, I then compare their ultimate read with the first to highlight the difference.

Every producer will have their own approach and techniques for producing a showreel.  Providing support, advice, a nice recording environment and being made to feel relaxed and welcome are all important. As a producer, I think the relationship you build with an artist is important as the artist is instilling a lot of trust in you. It’s my responsivity to direct and guide you in the recording process, if I can’t ‘FEEL’ the words you speak, then how will your potential clients. Ultimately, I feel it creates quite a special bond between artist and producer, especially when your both in the same recording environment.

It’s up to me to make your showreel sound, slick! I’m not going to send you out into the world with a bag of nails! so the production process is vital, intense and something I work on, leave and go back to. I use my DJ skills as part of my approach. As with a DJ mix, I need to capture the listeners attention immediately and keep them entertained throughout, whilst showcasing the talents of the artist as well as my own as an audio engineer/mixer. I also must keep in mind where I feel the artist would best suit the market and make sure this is highlighted in the first few edits of the reel, after all we want you to gain work out of this.


(Part 2 will be available very soon, so stay tuned 🙂 )

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