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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #1
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Voiceover in Wedding Video

When people hear their own voice while watching a video of themselves the response I almost always hear is something like: “I hate my voice on tape” or “Do I really sound like that?” They will often fixate on this and ask the question several times during the tape.

I love the use of well done voiceovers in wedding videos, but have a question for those of you that have done them quite a bit. Since the audience is primarily the bride and groom and my experience is that people almost universally hate the sound of their own voice on tape, does the negative reaction to their own voice offset the great effect of the voiceover? Every time they view the video are they thinking ‘what a great video of a great day’ or does the thought ‘I hate the sound of my voice’ overshadow the great video that you have done? I know we love to watch them, but what about the intended audience? Even if it is a little negative, does the use of the voiceover detract enough from the intended audience to warrant not using it?

What has your experience been?
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Old February 6th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #2
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If the Bride and Groom are going to bog down on "how" they sound as opposed to what they are saying then they've missed the whole concept of the day anyway.

Weddings are boring enough. It's only personal dialog like this that makes them truly "their own". They'll come to realize this through the years as they watch the video over and over again but only after they've matured some.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 01:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd Coleman
When people hear their own voice while watching a video of themselves the response I almost always hear is something like: “I hate my voice on tape” or “Do I really sound like that?” They will often fixate on this and ask the question several times during the tape...

...Every time they view the video are they thinking ‘what a great video of a great day’ or does the thought ‘I hate the sound of my voice’ overshadow the great video that you have done?...
Hi Lloyd,

That is a great question. We make our productions for our clients. When they see our demo they will hear the B&G's voices. If they say they hate their voice and they would cringe everytime they watch their Highlight or Closing, well then we wouldn't do VO with them.

It's all about knowing your client.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 10:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele
Weddings are boring enough. It's only personal dialog like this that makes them truly "their own". They'll come to realize this through the years as they watch the video over and over again but only after they've matured some.
Very good point Rick.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #5
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Another approach

Hi all,

Actually, I suggest we proactively *do* try to improve the richness of their voice. As an illustration, I'd have them first listen a sample of my voice "as is" on an MP3 player, then I'd have them listen to it again after I've added some compression, equalization, and a touch of reverb. You could also include a mix of some ambient sound if you wanted to sell your audio engineering skills. Of course, if we're taking about a VO dub, that's another matter but if it's the typical sound bite VO, hopefully we're not overlooking the emotional/psychological importance of audio. And I'd be using my top quality mics for VO - the Octava MK014a is very affordable, while the Heil PR40 really produces a warm voice (especially when the talent is almost kissing it). The Sennheiser MK416 is often used by pros for VO but IMHO that seems to be a bit of an overkill for a wedding.

Warm Regards, Michael
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Old February 7th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nistler
And I'd be using my top quality mics for VO - the Octava MK014a is very affordable, while the Heil PR40 really produces a warm voice (especially when the talent is almost kissing it). The Sennheiser MK416 is often used by pros for VO but IMHO that seems to be a bit of an overkill for a wedding.
(MKH416?)

FYI, we're acquiring a Rode NTK tube mic for VO work that will include wedding material - gives a stunningly warm vocal.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #7
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I think that when a person says "I hate the way I sound on video", what they really mean is "I don't like what I say when I'm on camera."

I don't think people are really all that concerned about the technical side of things. I think they're more concerned about rambling on and sounding foolish than they are about the actual audio quality.

Is a VO worth the time? It's well worth it and here's why:

When you have a video with no VO it's great for the bride and groom. They understand all the important events and what makes them so special. It was their wedding so they should. However, when one of their friends or even family watch the video they spend the bulk of the time clueless as to those important details. That in turn makes for a boring video for anyone not privy to the details.

Add a VO track and now anyone, regardless if they were at the event, can sit down and get a feel for what made that day really special. And it doesn't have to be an interview with the couple for this to work! It can come from the parents, the friends, anyone. But the key is that the VO adds insight to the piece and makes it interesting to the casual viewer.

So that's what a VO does, but remember that it's your job to edit it in a way that adds to the piece. No one wants to hear the bride rattle on for 4 minutes about her dress. That's when you hear comments about not liking how they sound on camera. Pick out the best minute of material and put it together. People expect this type of editing in a good track and they're counting on you to cut out all the irrelevant material and keep the most important parts. It makes them look good, it makes you look good, and the casual viewer will thank you for it.

I've had some bad tracks before that needed some work (check out my recap posting, oh my goodness!), but I've yet to hear someone say that they don't like the way they sound on the video. That's because I know how to pull the best bites and leave out the rest.

I'm not saying audio quality isn't important, I try my best every time out, but I really think that it's secondary to the overall content being created. The best pieces combine quality audio recording with selective editing and bring them together for a very moving and informative piece (hats off to the Von Lankens). And a VO isn't there just to see someones face on the screen, it's there to add to the overall piece. When that happens, people love how they sound.

Ben
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Old February 12th, 2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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It's never been an issue for me. Clients who opt for this sort of presentation are more concerned with the content of their words. THAT's what important. I never force voiceovers/interviews on the B&G, I show them the possibilities and let them decide if they want that storytelling element included in their movie. Those who opt for that style never complain about their voice other than "Wow, you can tell how nervous I was." Capturing that emotion is what it's all about.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:24 AM   #9
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VO or not, i use significant portions of spoken elements and start them before we see the actual person.. I dont use ministerial blurbs or the typical stuff, i DO use vows and ring exchanges and a clever mix of the bride and groom literally EXCHANGING vows.. If i tell u how, ill have to kill ya..

i use the girls squeeling as the bride walks out for the first time, i use the laughter when one of the dopy groomsman stufs up his buttons on his shirt.. i use the grandmother telling a story, i use the parrot chirping in the cage.. i use the hairspray as we see it used on the bridesmaids hair...

environmental sound can play a huge impact on how a video is percieved. The environmental impact of these sounds alone brings a feeling of reality to the piece and gives the video a feeling of rawness, irrespective of how artsy a piece may be.
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