This guide shows you the steps you can take to improve your voice recordings and use voice improvement software to make your voice sound better and more professional when recording.
Do you hate the sound of your own voice? Are you embarrassed to hear it? You may not even know how it sounds. Download the free, open-source Audacity software if you don’t already have it. This is an excellent free audio recording tool. Use it to record your voice. Listen carefully to the playback.
Does your voice sound thin, nasally, raspy, weak, too high-pitched, garbled, or have any other undesirable characteristics? Are you ready to be shocked? If your voice has these horrible characteristics that you hate, they might be exactly the best thing you have, which is special and highly-desirable for doing voice-overs!
Some actors, like Morgan Freeman and Nancy Cartwright, have extremely famous voices. Think you know what Morgan Freeman’s voice sounds like? Low, resonant, and booming, right? How about Morgan Freeman’s voice on helium?
Nancy Cartwright is one of the top-five female voice-over artists. She achieved celebrity superstar status for being the voice of Bart Simpson and other characters on The Simpsons television show. Watch Nancy Cartwright do her seven Simpsons’ characters in 40 seconds.
Just imagine Nancy Cartwright walking around in real-life talking like Bart Simpson. That would be ridiculous! Yet, her “weird” voice is what made her a multi-millionaire. Like Bart says, “Don’t have a cow, man!“
The point is to get over your shyness and recognize your voice is special as it is. You can then learn to use your voice as a more refined tool and cheat using voice improvement software if you want to fine-tune the sound to have particular tonal characteristics.
How to Make Your Voice Sound Better When Recording
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Before I tell you how to cheat using voice-changing software, I want to show you the other things you can do to naturally improve the sound of your voice.
Take Voice Training Lessons
If you have a specific desire to improve your voice and create a unique vocal sound to use for voice-overs, such as recording audiobooks for sale, then you may benefit from taking voice-over or vocal (singing) training courses. Vocal exercises, learning how to breathe properly, and improving your pronunciation skills will help you increase your vocal clarity, depth, and tonal range.
Here are my top-ten choices for voice training lessons:
- Set Your Voice Free: How to Get the Singing or Speaking Voice You Want
- Voice Training: Get A Deeper Voice In 7 Days Or Less!
- Instant Voice Training: How to Train Your Voice Instantly!
- Vocal Fitness Training Teach Yourself to Sing!
- Voice-Over Voice Actor: The Extended Edition
- Voice Training – Learn To Sing (free app download)
- Voice Training: For Public Speaking & Performance (Kindle)
- Communication Skills Training: The Ultimate Guide for Public Speaking
- Complete Handbook of Voice Training
- Singing for the Stars: A Complete Program for Training Your Voice (Book & 2 CDs)
You may want to practice singing with the Sing & See vocalist training software that costs $49.
Using a Voice-Over Mic with Voice Improvement Software
If you are serious about improving your voice-over recordings, you will want to use a voice-over microphone that is of decent quality. A part of recording your voice well includes eliminating any background noise when making your voice recording. I want to give you some suggestions for the best voice-over microphones to use.
A voice-over condenser mic with a tight cardioid (shaped like a heart) pickup pattern will record your voice when you speak or sing directly into the mic. At the same time, this pickup pattern does not record sounds coming from behind the mic or from the sides so that most of the unwanted background noise can be eliminated from your recordings.
Here are my choices for the top-ten voice-over mics suitable for a home recording studio:
- Blue Yeti — A low-cost condenser mic that connects to a computer using a USB cable.
- Blue Snowball ICE — A USB condenser mic for home or office use.
- Rode NT — Studio-quality USB cardioid condenser mic.
- Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ — A USB mic for voice acting with self-monitoring.
- Rode NT1A — Professional-quality USB condenser mic.
- FIFINE — Studio-style condenser USB microphone.
- TONOR — USB microphone kit for streaming podcasts and YouTube videos.
- Samson G-Track Pro — USB condenser mic for voice-overs, podcasting, and vocals.
- TKGOU — USB microphone for PC recording, Skype, Zoom, and streaming.
- FIFINE — USB podcast microphone with headphone monitoring.
Did you get your voice to be a bit stronger and buy a decent quality voice-over mic? Way to go! Now, let me show you how to use software to make your voice sound spectacular.
Voice Improvement Software
If you followed along and did what I asked in the beginning, you already have some software you can use. The Audacity software that I asked you to download and use can be a tool you work with to improve your voice recordings. I discuss other professional tools below, but I love Audacity because it is free, and; it is exceptional.
If you decide to go this route and use Audacity to edit your voice recordings, here is an excellent YouTube video produced by Mike Russell that shows How To Make Your Voice Sound Better in Audacity. For those unfamiliar with Audacity, a YouTube video from Casual Savage shows How to Use Audacity, and another one shows How to Improve Voice Quality in Audacity.
To improve your voice recordings, here are the steps and the settings used in Audacity:
1. Apply a Noise Reduction Filter: If you want to get rid of background noise, select the Noise Reduction, choose a portion of the recording with no other sound recorded (no voice) except the background noise. Use this “quiet” section for the Get Noise Profile button.
These selections for noise reduction should work well: Noise reduction (dB) 12, Sensitivity 6.00, and Frequency Smoothing Bands 3 with the Noise Reduce checkmark selected.
2. Add Effect — Compressor: Start with the settings of -20 dB Threshold, -40 dB Noise Floor, 3:1 Ratio, 0.10 seconds Attack Time, and 1.0 seconds Release Time.
You may want to use a -15 dB threshold (with all the other settings the same) for slightly less of the compressor effect in some portions of the recording. A higher negative number adds more compressor effect.
3. Apply Equalization: These are adjustments made to boost the bass to create a warm-sounding voice, have a little peak in the mid-range for clarity, and add more high-end if needed. Fine-tune to your taste.
4. Apply Effect — Normalize: For this effect, use the checkbox for “Remove DC offset,” use the checkbox for “Normalize maximum amplitude to 1.0 dB,” and leave unchecked the choice for “Normalize stereo channels independently” to apply the same normalization to both channels. Then, select OK.
5. Apply Effect — Limiter: Select Type: Hard Limit, Input Gain 0 for both Left and Right channels, Limit to 4.00 dB, Hold (ms) to 10.00, and “No” to Apply Make-up Gains.
6. Apply Effect — Normalize: Do this again, with the same settings as in Step 4 above.
You can see this process being done in the YouTube video How to Make Your Voice Sound AMAZING in Audacity produced by Zeke Wolfe. Here is a different article about this on How to Improve Vocal Quality in Audacity for those who prefer to read helpful instructions.
Other Voice Improvement Software to Consider
Here are other software tolls to consider depending on your needs. I picked one extremely easy-to-use smartphone app, one live audio-effects tool, and a professional-grade set of algorithms for you to compare the types of solutions available.
The VoiceMod app lets you change your voice to many interesting profiles in real-time when using your smartphone (Android or iOS).
License fee: There are a free version and a VoiceMod Pro version for $20 lifetime or $10 per year.
This is the software you want to use to disguise your voice when making prank phone calls or for posting hilarious things on Tik Tok. You can make your voice sound deep, like a robot, a chipmunk, or a ghostly spirit, as well as set up a custom-voice pitch. This company also offers video filters and digital face masks. It’s nice to know about this if you are planning any blackmail or extortion schemes. That’s a joke, people!
NCH Desk FX
This Desk FX software lets you apply audio effects in real-time to any audio playing on your computer or live-streaming. If you want to modify your voice while live-streaming, this is a software tool to use for that purpose.
License fee: $25 for full commercial use, $20 for personal public use, and a free version to download for home use.
Here are the features:
- Live Audio Effects: Amplify, bass boost, etc.
- Equalizer: Visual, graphic, or parametric EQ.
- Effects layers: Create unique sounds with unlimited layers.
- Presets: Over 30 to choose from.
- Live Streaming: Stream Any Audio on Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, etc.
- Commercial Effects: Background music, white noise, etc.
Adaptive Digital offers Voice Quality Enhancement (VQE) Algorithms
Adaptive Digital makes professional-grade solutions, which create high-quality, ultra-clear voice recordings.
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I hope this helps you find a way to express the beautiful you vocally, with any necessary enhancements that you need to make your voice sound as smooth as melted butter.