Voice-over Instructions

________________ Voice-Over Instructions _______________


This task aims to produce an audio recording of a script. To get good results, it is essential to prepare for recording. Follow the instructions below to prepare, record, and deliver your final file.
If you are assigned a voice-over task, we expect you to be orally fluent in the language needed. If anything needs to be clarified or you run into issues with the content or the format, please ask the Project Officer for support.

Prepare for Recording

Voice-over scripts

The Project Officer will share the script with you. The first step is to prepare the script for voice-over.

If the script is a translation, you need to consider the following:

  • The length of the script: some languages use more words than others to say the same things. This means your recording might be a different length than the original language.
  • The time marks: if your script is time-coded, pay attention to how long each recording segment should be.
  • Natural rhythm and expression: speak naturally, adapting to the script’s needs. Avoid sounding like you are reading from a script.
  • Moving through the document may generate noise in the recording. Do not speak while turning a page or clicking your mouse to avoid it.
    • If you are reading from a paper script: make sure the sound of you turning pages is not recorded.
    • If you are using a digital script, make sure the sound of you clicking the mouse is not recorded.

Environment and set-up

Do you have professional-quality recording equipment? Or are you using standard, everyday devices?

The most important thing to do while recording is to keep conditions constant. Conditions include background noises and settings on your equipment.

Environmental Conditions

  • Record in the same location, at the same time of day.
  • Record in a small quiet room or space with little echo. A location with many soft surfaces is best (i.e., a bedroom with blankets, curtains and rugs is better than a garage with metal shelves).
  • Record in a place with good acoustics: for example, stand in a corner, facing it. Or, pile pillows around the microphone or phone. Putting a blanket over your head helps, too!
  • Turn off everything that makes sounds (e.g. computers, TVs, electronics, air conditioning, fans, music, etc.)
  • Close windows or doors and record during quiet times of the day.


  • Put soft things next to the microphone/device (for example, pillows or cushions). This helps create better acoustics.
  • Prop the microphone/device up on something. Do not hold it in your hand.
  • Put the microphone/device slightly to one side of your mouth. This helps avoid “popping” sounds.
  • You should be about 25 centimetres away from the microphone/device. Make sure to sit or stand in a comfortable and straight position.
  • Be as still as you can while recording.

Recording Process

If you have any questions or need anything, please contact your Project Officer who is happy to help out!


The recording(s) should sound natural and include all content in the script. The quality of the audio must be good. The timing must match the original language version.

  1. Review the script and make sure everything is ready and clear for recording. You may need to include notes, adjust time marks or consult with your Project Officer.

  2. Prepare your environment and set-up. This step is vital for a quality result and to avoid re-recording any sections. Grab a glass of water; you will get thirsty!

  3. Test recording: Do a short test recording to ensure everything works well. Listen to it carefully and adjust your environment and set-up if needed.

  4. Record your script: work through the recording session, keeping in mind the following:

    • No chop-offs! Press the button to start recording and count to three in silence before speaking. Once you finish, wait a bit again and then stop the recording.
    • Remember: speak naturally. Try to make it sound like you are not reading a script! Speak clearly and use your regular voice.
      • Tip: before you begin a long recording, do a test run with a small segment. Do you sound natural? What can you do to sound more natural? Record what has been written. Don’t skip or shorten your words.
    • Pace yourself. Do not go too fast or too slow when recording. Pay attention to time markings.
    • If there are any mistakes or loud noises during the recording, stop and re-record the section.
  5. Review your recordings: after you complete the recordings, listen to them again. Ensure they contain the entire script, are clear, and are free of issues or noises. You can use the pre-delivery checklist below to help you in the review!

  6. Handover notes: you may come across issues during the recording process, which you should immediately talk to the Project Officer about. Any open points or notes after you finish your task should be returned to the PO.

  7. Deliver to your Project Officer: share the final recordings and handover notes with the Project Officer.

  8. File format: The PO will indicate the expected format to the voice-over artist. Examples include WAV, MP3, AAC, etc.

Pre-delivery checklist

  • The audio recordings have all the content from the script.
  • The audio is clear, understandable and free of defects (loud noises, mistakes, etc.).
  • The beginning and end of your recordings are smooth. That is, there are no choppy starts or stops.
  • The timing of your recording/recording segments matches the time stamps in the script.
  • The recording quality matches the project requirements (as explained by the Project Officer).

Once your audio is ready to be delivered, please inform the Project Officer that the task is completed.