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This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial

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FatKidWitAJetPak
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This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 12:44:20 Reply

So many voice actors out there dont know where to start. They know they have a great talent at changing their voice around, but they dont know how to use it. I have thrown together a neat little tutorial that ill explain every little detail in voice acting. BUT HOLD ON THERE!! You have to read all of this if you want to learn anything! Believe me, I despise reading, probably because I have ADHD..., just as much as the next guy. But you would be a fool not to read all of this if you want to become a voice actor like the famous Tomomato.

WHY IS VOICE ACTING SO GREAT? HOW CAN I USE IT?

Well mr question, voice acting is a major part of the commercial, video game, and movie industry. Without voice actors, there would be no kick ass narrerations in the beginning of movies like, "THIS SUMMER... GET READY FOR THE BIGGEST THRILL OF YOUR LIFE" Also, cartoons have voice actors. I could go on and on about who needs voice actors and who will pay them A LOT for it, but your probably already know that since you want to be one.

OK LETS BEGIN! :)

****************************************
****************

___EQUIPMENT___
First off, every voice actor needs the proper equipment in order for their voices to sound crystal clear and be in surround sound quality. Don't worry about the money, because the only thing you need to buy is a standard PODCASTING MICROPHONE. Podcasting means it is best with voices, so it really captures your tone and makes every breath almost non existent so there is none of that dirty white noise. Here are some recommended affordable microphones for you. They are all most likely at your nearest guitar store or music place.

I use the AT2020 Microphone - 90$
C01U - USB Studio Condenser Microphone - 80$
Blue Snowball - 140$
e835 Microphone - 150$
SM78 - 350$
Audio Technica AT3035 Condenser Microphone - 114$ on amazon! 200$ normal.
PR-40 - 375$
Shure SM58 - 80$

Also, if you need some recording software or something, you can get the Samson C03U Podcasting Pack which comes with mic, stand, and software. - 300$

Make sure to get a stand with your microphone! A GOOD STAND! There is nothing worse than having no stand... :'(

___RECORDING___

Ok Mr. special, now that you have your equipment ready download some free recording programs and start recording. Some testing is required for your specific mic, but generally you stand a little bit back from the mic in order for your recording to sound the greatest without any white noise at all. Make sure to take breathes away from the mic so your recording doesnt have a big PBBFFFF in the middle of it. Put your mic on a stand and lean your mouth directly in front of the middle of the mic, not including the stand of course. This way your recordings will all be surround sound.

___HOW TO ACT___
Now were getting serious. If you want every animator to come rushing in your userpage asking for your voice, then you need to know HOW to do the right acting! First off, set your surroundings to FALSE. in other words, ignore them. You need to be in complete focus with the character you are doing. If it is a big ork or evil monster thing, act like your the cruelest person in the world. If it is a nerdy kid, act like you have a low self-esteem and go on newgrounds.com every day. Simply put, BE THE CHARACTER! Also, you can NOT speak in monotone unless your character is supposed to sound like that. Monotone is the complete definition for BAD ACTING. Speak in multiple tones to where your voice flows smoothly with the person you are acting for.

NOTE: When given lines, make sure to ask how the author wants you to sound like so you dont record a squeaky nerdy voice for someone that is supposed to be heroic and sexy. *Tom Fulp for example.*

___HOW TO GET IT IN HIGH QUALITY___

Very simple! Just convert it to a .MP3 at about 80KBS. Here are some free converters and other audio programs. You get to the KBS thing by going to the converters preferences. Upload your file to MediaFire and send your artist the link.

___HOW TO GET NOTICED___

ADVERTISE YOURSELF. There is nothing wrong with telling people about yourself! BUT DO NOT MAKE A THREAD ABOUT IT. You see the, "I Voice Act :3" logo below every post I make? Thats my sig and THAT is what gets me all of the attention I need from animators. Just go here and ask for those artists to make you a sig about your voice acting! Or do it yourself like I did. It is not that hard, you just need Flash. Also, PM various artists with a demo reel of what you are capable of! Tell them what you can do and what mic you use. Every now and then, they will respond with a YES and give you some test lines. Finally, make the same message in this voice acting thread. You can go HERE to see who needs voice actors. Make sure to check the front page for news posts regarding voice actors! I see people who say they need lines all the time. ;) If you can make a front page post, MAKE IT SAYING "I VOICE ACT" This will get you about 1000 people in your userpage... some of those will ask you to act for them. ;)

AND THATS IT!!! Now you have all the information you need to start voice acting CORRECTLY! If you see any error or have any questions, just ask! Spread this thread along to other voice actors. GOOD LUCK! Let the... mic.. be with you. Im gonna go kill myself for saying that.

This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial

Steven-Polley
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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 13:20:33 Reply

At 4/26/09 12:44 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: ___HOW TO GET IT IN HIGH QUALITY___

Very simple! Just convert it to a .wav

Fixed.

Very good tutorial though. I have a condensor mic that haven't used for awhile now. I've only used it for recording small single word vocal clips for a fill or something like that.


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wyldfyre1
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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 14:15:54 Reply

you should post this here..... LOL just kidding. Actually this is a pretty nice way to help out some of the newer voice actors here on NG.

Good work buddy.

Wyldfyre1

FatKidWitAJetPak
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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 15:20:11 Reply

At 4/26/09 02:15 PM, wyldfyre1 wrote: you should post this here..... LOL just kidding. Actually this is a pretty nice way to help out some of the newer voice actors here on NG.

Good work buddy.

Wyldfyre1

Lol I see you read my response to your constant posting telling voice actors and people needing voice actors to post in THAT thread. xD Thanks for the compliment.

At 4/26/09 01:20 PM, Steven-Polley wrote:
At 4/26/09 12:44 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: ___HOW TO GET IT IN HIGH QUALITY___

Very simple! Just convert it to a .wav
Fixed.

Very good tutorial though. I have a condensor mic that haven't used for awhile now. I've only used it for recording small single word vocal clips for a fill or something like that.

Actually, not fixed. :P

You see, a .MP3 reduces the file size to a low 2MB or so. *depending on how long your recording is.. so about 1MB per minute* In my experiences a .wav reduces the quality by a lot. I know in Flash people say the best format is a .wav, but I REALLY recommend a .MP3.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 15:41:45 Reply

nah trick. .mp3s are called a "lossy" format for a reason--you lose some of the data that is embedded in your audio file by compressing it into an mp3. that makes quality worse. .wavs are lossless, which is why they are so much bigger-they dont forfeit quality to reduce size. stop being ignant!

though if ur using flash id probably think you'd want to use mp3s since they are smaller, and you dont want ur flash to take forever to load; not to mention most flashes on the internet don't rely on the vocal tracks being absolutely perfect like, say, a movie would.

Steven-Polley
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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 16:23:05 Reply

At 4/26/09 03:20 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: You see, a .MP3 reduces the file size to a low 2MB or so. *depending on how long your recording is.. so about 1MB per minute* In my experiences a .wav reduces the quality by a lot. I know in Flash people say the best format is a .wav, but I REALLY recommend a .MP3.

You must have had some bad experiences then.


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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 16:24:46 Reply

At 4/26/09 03:41 PM, p4c wrote: though if ur using flash id probably think you'd want to use mp3s since they are smaller, and you dont want ur flash to take forever to load; not to mention most flashes on the internet don't rely on the vocal tracks being absolutely perfect like, say, a movie would.

Flash actually re-encodes the audio. So having a lossless format as a base is better.

Movies use 320kbps MP3


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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 18:03:48 Reply

Well these tips can come at handy! I always thaught about voiceacting every now then hmmm. Well this is a good start for me i guess.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 18:38:13 Reply

At 4/26/09 04:23 PM, Steven-Polley wrote:
At 4/26/09 03:20 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: You see, a .MP3 reduces the file size to a low 2MB or so. *depending on how long your recording is.. so about 1MB per minute* In my experiences a .wav reduces the quality by a lot. I know in Flash people say the best format is a .wav, but I REALLY recommend a .MP3.
You must have had some bad experiences then.

Why are we arguing about this again? Both work... .MP3s are smaller and you can make the quality better in the flash audio editing program. I just prefer a .MP3 big woop. All in all, its really up to the voice actor and the animator on what the file extension is.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 18:53:46 Reply

too bad you cant operate your equipment properly


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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 20:55:17 Reply

At 4/26/09 06:53 PM, afuckingname wrote: too bad you cant operate your equipment properly

I didnt see it necessary to include a section about how to operate your equipment, but now that I think about it people do need to know how to operate a stand and install the mic on the computer. In fact, my first stand BROKE and a stainless steal leg snapped in half lol. So without further ado...

___HOW TO OPERATE YOUR EQUIPMENT AND INSTALL YOUR MIC___

First off, make sure you get a good stand that works with your microphone. Usually each mic comes with its own specific stand, so do your research on the mic you decide to buy. This also applies with installing a mic... but USUALLY this is how you record with your microphone.

STEP 1: Make sure your stand is away from the edge of your desk. This way if you knock it over, it wont crash on the ground.

STEP 2: Plug in the USB to your computer.

STEP 3: Install your microphone. Different mics have different ways of installing them to your computer, but here are some general things you need to do in order to get it working.

Plug in the USB.

Open your audio recording program

Go to the audio program prefrences, usually located underneath FILE

Set the external recording to your mic.

If this doesnt work for you, contact me and I will guide you through each step on your specific mic and program. You should also refer to your microphones manual! :)

Hope this helps.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 22:31:51 Reply

At 4/26/09 06:38 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: Why are we arguing about this again?

Because arguing is fun :D

Both work... .MP3s are smaller

True

and you can make the quality better in the flash audio editing program.

False
I just prefer a .MP3 big woop.

True

All in all, its really up to the voice actor and the animator on what the file extension is.

True

Once you loose quality in something, you can't recover it. Sampling error is sampling error. It's like taking a picture... and down-scaling it. The file will be smaller, but when you try and scale it back to its original size, it won't be the same. I do agree with you that MP3 is definitely a viable option. Although I know for fact it wont' EVER yield the best quality.

Also, there is no "flash audio editing program". There is an option in flash for you export it for what bit-rate you want to re-encode your audio at, defaulted at 16kbps (ouch!). So it's best to have the quality really good to start with, that way when it gets re-encoded as MP3 when its exported in flash, it'll be a small size, at optimal quality. It's up to you what type of file you use, not really the flash author, as it gets re-encoded as MP3 later.

The only time the flash author would ever really care is if he's streaming directly from file, that is, he's hosting the audio file on his website somewhere, and then streams.

Don't get me wrong, great tutorial, as I've said, but you just made a boo-boo in the technicalities of your words.


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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-26 22:38:07 Reply

Right man, I agree with you and everything but I just think the .MP3 sounds almost the same when imported into flash. Plus, you can make it run at about 80KBS which makes it sound crystal clear. :)

So yeah heh, both work. A .MP3 cant be made into a higher quality though, unlike a .wav.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-27 09:03:17 Reply

i made a sig like you said :3


i am a voice actor!

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-27 09:43:32 Reply

Honestly I find a lot of this information dubious and less than helpful.

An uncompressed (wav) file will nearly always be preferred by anyone looking for quality, simply because the flash author or whoever will probably end up compressing their audio in the end anyway.

The idea of a 'podcasting microphone' being 'specially designed for voice' and therefore being 'extra high quality' is a little ridiculous. A good large diaphragm condenser will sound better than a shitty 'podcasting pack' microphone because it'll be higher quality. That's not to say a cheap AT mic won't work just fine. Just have no misconceptions about its quality, you won't be getting airy, silky vocals out of it.

Your 'acting advice' is... not terribly helpful.

I understand the motive for this thread, but I think a little more time could be spent making actually useful.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-27 19:03:21 Reply

At 4/27/09 09:43 AM, loansindi wrote: I understand the motive for this thread, but I think a little more time could be spent making actually useful.

I beg to differ to an extent. there are people out there just starting with VA work and alot of people don't know where to start or what to do. I feel this thread would help for those people in particuler. So, it wasn't helpful to you. You may already know the basics. Thats good. =). There could always be more information posted on this thread however it IS a thread so there is always room for improvement.

so yup! lol.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-27 20:40:40 Reply

At 4/27/09 07:03 PM, wyldfyre1 wrote: i disagree

Here's the thing. A lot of his advice isn't exactly good, especially the technical stuff.

And his summary of 'acting' is terrible. Trust me on that, I've taken acting classes (being a theater major).

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-27 22:01:38 Reply

At 4/27/09 09:03 PM, Fyndir wrote: Stuff that agrees with my thoughts.

Thank you! 80kpbs MIGHT be fine for voice. But why?

Compression will happen at the end of the production process. There's no question. Compressing something that's compressed just makes any artifacts that much more obvious.

Lossless for every step of production up to the final mix, that's what I do.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-28 20:57:10 Reply

At 4/27/09 08:40 PM, loansindi wrote: Here's the thing. A lot of his advice isn't exactly good, especially the technical stuff.

And his summary of 'acting' is terrible. Trust me on that, I've taken acting classes (being a theater major).

Understood =) As i said this is a thread ^_~. We can make it better by adding our own 2 cents. So, please do. you have the floor now.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-29 00:24:27 Reply

At 4/28/09 08:57 PM, wyldfyre1 wrote: Understood =) As i said this is a thread ^_~. We can make it better by adding our own 2 cents. So, please do. you have the floor now.

If you want a traditional view of acting, read 'an actor prepares' by Stanislavski.

A good text that's more accessible would be 'Acting One' by Robert Cohen.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-29 09:05:04 Reply

At 4/27/09 10:01 PM, loansindi wrote:
At 4/27/09 09:03 PM, Fyndir wrote: Stuff that agrees with my thoughts.
Thank you! 80kpbs MIGHT be fine for voice. But why?

Compression will happen at the end of the production process. There's no question. Compressing something that's compressed just makes any artifacts that much more obvious.

Lossless for every step of production up to the final mix, that's what I do.

Wait... 320KBS?!?! And I only use one microphone that costs 150$, not 1500$! Why do you think I use 1500$ worth of equipment? Look, I have voiced for over 20 artists here on Newgrounds and every single one of them has accepted 80KBS at a .MP3 as the proper formatting.

You do realize that 320KBS is for movies and CD quality right? Thats over 1MB every 5 seconds!!! There is no way a flash artist would run the voices at 320KBs... unless it was for some contest or something and made into a DVD. For online, 80KBS is just fine and it sounds great.

So I think this was a misunderstanding lol... this voice acting is for ONLINE FLASH MOVIES AND GAMES. If the artist wanted it to be on DVD, he would most likely ask you to record it at a certain high quality level such as 320KBS, but that would cause an online movie to be over 30MB for 1 minute of sound. 80 or 60KBS turns into just a few megabytes.

________________

As for acting, sure I could give a complex explanation of how to act.. but I needed to generalize since no one would want to read all that on an online thread. If they want to read a long explanation they should go buy a book on acting, like the one you suggested.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-29 10:48:07 Reply

Yeah; but you re-format the file at the END of the process. The audio is going to be compressed by the flash software anyway (or so it seems; I don't know anything about flash) so if you downsample it to begin with, it'll be compressed twice = bad news for quality.

And FYI, no audio file, whether .mp3 or .wav can be 'made better quality'. You can't "upsample" audio.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-29 12:32:00 Reply

At 4/29/09 09:05 AM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: So I think this was a misunderstanding lol... this voice acting is for ONLINE FLASH MOVIES AND GAMES. If the artist wanted it to be on DVD, he would most likely ask you to record it at a certain high quality level such as 320KBS, but that would cause an online movie to be over 30MB for 1 minute of sound. 80 or 60KBS turns into just a few megabytes.

...This seems to be a pretty clear technical misunderstanding.

If you compress a file. Especially to such a poor bit rate as 80kbps, you WILL introduce some level of artifacts. How many artifacts there are will vary, it will be a low number with voice, as most of what mp3 cuts out is very low and very high frequencies. Even if it's somewhat imperceptible, there is no reason, especially in this age of very widespread broadband, to compromise the quality of your file. It's bad practice.

This is an interesting website. It lets you compare various bitrates with the same piece of music, "Braddah Iz" singing Somewhere over the Rainbow (Totally played the uke for this song, hah), so it's just vocals covering a decent range and a ukelele. It's hard to hear a difference on this piece, but if you compare the 256 to the 96 and listen close, with good speakers or headphones, you might hear that yes, it sounds a little off. Not unlistenable, not in my opinion (though ask the right person and they'll flip out about 256), but definitely a lower quality.

Now, what's it matter, it's just flash, right? Well it matters when the flash artist applies your sound and his music and sound effects and then compresses it all again before he uploads his flash. Any small artifacts are now at risk of amplification.

My only point is... why run that risk? Send him a .wav. They're not THAT big. And if that's too, too much, go ahead and use a high (or VARIABLE) bit rate on your mp3. You're still cutting the filesize significantly, and as you can see comparing those files on that page... the difference could be high. But a minute and a half of music (which will likely be larger than a minute and a half of voice) is only 2 megs.

As for acting, sure I could give a complex explanation of how to act.. but I needed to generalize since no one would want to read all that on an online thread. If they want to read a long explanation they should go buy a book on acting, like the one you suggested.

I just think 'generalized advice' isn't really that helpful. Your advice read to me like someone patronizing a potential actor, it was so broad. Even a brief discussion of the concept of goals, objectives and tactics would be pretty helpful.

Anyway, no malice. Just trying to be very clear on my stance.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-29 12:34:09 Reply

tbh you don't really have to spend loads on microphones, I've been using the cheaper shure mics and they've not got me wrong, PG48 and PG57 were no more than £30-£40, and are really tough, used them for gigging for years and now they're here in the studio recording vocals, guitars, noises just fine :)

Also for recording onto a pc I use a Line 6 Pod x3 Live, comes through fine, and doesn't cost a massive amount of money, and can be used for live situations aswell


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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-29 12:35:13 Reply

At 4/29/09 12:34 PM, itsfoxhall wrote: tbh you don't really have to spend loads on microphones

Sorry double post, but for £20 aswell get a Pop shield, it improove the quailty so much!


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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-29 17:10:20 Reply

This is an interesting website. It lets you compare various bitrates with the same piece of music, "
Some stuff

Ok thanks! Nice find you got there. I will experiment with this .wav thing to see the diference in quality on my next voice script, which I am doing on Friday. I'll send the compressed .MP3 and the regular .WAV as a link to this thread.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-04-29 17:16:12 Reply

At 4/29/09 10:48 AM, Kanped wrote: Yeah; but you re-format the file at the END of the process. The audio is going to be compressed by the flash software anyway (or so it seems; I don't know anything about flash) so if you downsample it to begin with, it'll be compressed twice = bad news for quality.

And FYI, no audio file, whether .mp3 or .wav can be 'made better quality'. You can't "upsample" audio.

By better quality, I/we mean making it better after exporting it into a .M4a, .Mp3, .Wav, or whatever the export setting for the program you have are. When you export it, it reduces the quality by a bit. Then you can convert it at a sampling rate of ***number***KBS. My mac actually exported my audio file with no reduced quality... at 98MB average lol because it was a .AIF. I converted it to make it sound a tinnnyyy bit less quality, but the file size reduced dramatically to about 5MB for 5 minutes of recordings.

As for Flash, the author decides what bit rate to export it as lol.. so I guess we should give him a .wav

At 4/29/09 12:34 PM, itsfoxhall wrote: tbh you don't really have to spend loads on microphones, I've been using the cheaper shure mics and they've not got me wrong, PG48 and PG57 were no more than £30-£40, and are really tough, used them for gigging for years and now they're here in the studio recording vocals, guitars, noises just fine :)

Also for recording onto a pc I use a Line 6 Pod x3 Live, comes through fine, and doesn't cost a massive amount of money, and can be used for live situations aswell

Right. You only spend loads on microphones that are used for big recording studios in bands. *1000$+* My 80$ mic suits me just fine. In fact, I use to record on the internal MAC microphone, and that sounded clear as well. The 80$ mic sounds a lot more clearer though and is easier to record with.

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Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-05-02 03:28:32 Reply

Did you bother reading what was actually said or did you just spaz out over the 320kb/s?

Oh yeah backing up my thread is for sure spazzing out lol. Of course I read what you said.. I dont think you read what I said. :/

Well anyway, I will post a list of most voice actors here on NG on the next page. Just for reference for those who need it.

Hissara
Hissara
  • Member since: Mar. 31, 2008
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Level 10
Blank Slate
Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-05-27 20:22:28 Reply

This Really helps me! People tell me I have a great voice and I would like to try it!

Thank you.

FatKidWitAJetPak
FatKidWitAJetPak
  • Member since: Jul. 28, 2007
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Level 29
Musician
Response to This Is How You Voice Act. Tutorial 2009-06-08 15:10:46 Reply

At 5/27/09 08:22 PM, Hissara wrote: This Really helps me! People tell me I have a great voice and I would like to try it!

Thank you.

Hey your welcome! Always glad to help soon to be voice actors. :)