Whether you’re making e-learning material, a corporate video, or a work presentation, you may want to include an American voice in the content. However, if you’re like most people, you’re probably confused about where to find this type of voice.
Fortunately, it’s a relatively straightforward affair even if you don’t have years of experience with voiceovers. This article shares everything you need to know in more detail.
Why isn’t the American accent the same as the British accent?
Americans and Brits don’t sound the same. Even though the two countries have a shared history, there are some notable differences between their languages.
British English speakers speak in one language variety or dialect, while American English speakers speak in another variety.
The distinctions include accent, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. An important reason they sound different is the rhotacism or the change of different sounds in a language. For example, they pronounce the sound “r” very differently.
These and many other reasons are why you shouldn’t use a British person’s accent if you want an American voice.
How to find an American voice for your project
If you want to add an American voice over to your project, you should try one of the following:
Hire a voice over artist
Voice over talent services are available all over the web. Voice over artists usually read audiobooks, educational video tutorials, and similar content. A voice actress or actor can record texts in many languages.
Most professional voice actors live in big cities like New York or Los Angeles. You can find English, Arabic, French voice, or German voice acting talent for dubbing, movie trailers, promo videos, TV commercials, corporate narration, IVR recording, or any other purpose.
Hiring a voice actor – How it works
Hiring a voice actor usually involves four steps:
Writing a script with notes for the actor.
Determining additional services like explainer video specialization, enunciation, voice style, and other preferences.
Defining the voice profile, including emotions, traits, and characteristics of the voice you want.
Giving feedback to the voice actor.
You can find professional voiceover actors on professional search sites, voice talent agencies, Google, or freelance marketplaces. Ideally, choose actors with at least two years experience doing the type of voice overs you need.
Whether you’re making video games, podcasts, or a simple PowerPoint presentation, you should hire voice actors for the North American accent if you’re after quality and professionalism.
Learn the American accent yourself
If you’re not in a rush and are up for learning a lifelong skill, you can try mastering the American accent yourself. Whether you’re Australian, British, or a speaker of another language, here are the steps you should take to master speaking like an American:
Understand the unique features of the American accent (rhotic speech, a short “a” sound in words like “cat,” unrounded vowel usage like in “lot,” and dropping words)
Learning how to pronounce the American letter “r”
Learning how to pronounce the Ds and Ts
Mastering the Schwa sound (away – uh-way; enemy – e-nuh-my; animal – a-nuh-muhl, etc.)
Practicing connected speech
Learning American slang
Watching American accent training videos
Watching and mimicking TV shows, radio commercials, and movies
As you can see, there are many aspects to consider when learning the American English accent. Sometimes, it takes many years of experience to sound convincing enough. If you’re not up for the task and don’t like the idea of hiring an American English voice actor, you can use online text to speech and voice over services.
Use text to speech
Text to speech is an assistive technology tool that can read text aloud. The benefit of such apps is that you don’t need a professional recording studio to create high-quality content for your English voice over project.
All you need is access to the internet and the script you want the software to read. You can choose from a range of character voices in just about any accent. For example, there are young adult, deep voice, African American, American male, commercial voice over characters, and many more available.
Text to speech works thanks to deep machine learning and OCR technology. It can read aloud any text document, including Word, Google Docs, Dropbox, or web pages. You can upload your script into the software’s API and receive an instant recording in a North American accent, ready for use.
The TTS software has more affordable pricing compared to professional female or male voice actors. You can get reasonable voice over services without owning a voice over home studio.
Speechify – The TTS app with a range of American accents
Speechify is a text to speech software available for all devices. Speechify supports more than 20 languages in different voices and accents. With this software, you can read any text, whether online or offline, in an American English accent.
This app uses OCR technology and deep learning to read any text aloud. This includes text featured on webpages, blog posts, Word files, Google Docs, Google Drive, and other written or physical printed text.
You can choose between different male and female voices reading in the American accent. Plus, you can adjust the speed, speaking rate, and other features to customize the experience further. The premium version also has highlighting and note-taking features to make reading comprehension easier.
You can download Speechify for free by visiting the official website or getting the app from the App Store or Google Play.
Who is the best American voice actor?
Famous American voice actors include Don LaFontaine, Mel Blanc, Billy West, Nancy Cartwright, James Earl Jones, Keith Todd, and Tara Strong.
How much do American voice actors make?
American voice actors earn from $13,500 to $199,000 per year. The gap is due to different experience levels, locations, and the number of accents in the actor’s repertoire.
How do you become an American voice actor?
To become an American voice actor, you must first practice and work on your craft. Once you define your voice, you want to record a demo, go to auditions, practice every day, and connect with people in the industry.
What is a voice over?
A voice over is when a person records dialog for use in TV shows, TV commercials, movies, corporate videos, etc. The voice over adds context to the visual elements and can serve as a type of guided narration.
How do you do a voice over?
The five steps to doing a voice over include writing a script, doing a test recording, recording the voice over, editing the audio, and importing it into the video editor.
What is the best American accent?
Southern American accents are usually the most fun to listen to. The New York accent is a good choice if you want to sound smart and sassy. The midwestern accent, on the other hand, is believed to be the most trustworthy.