Categories
Productivity

What is ElevenLabs and how can you use it for Text to Speech and AI Generated Voiceovers?

ElevenLabs logo - an AI voiceover generation company.

What is Eleven Labs

ElevenLabs is an online tool that you can generate a voiceover with just text. So you type in your message and it spits out an audio recording using AI (artificial intelligence) generated voices.

What’s it about?

They have several different plans, from totally free (with limits) to enterprise plans (which you have to contact for pricing). I have no doubt that content creators will use this service now that it exists. There is now a market for people who want AI generated voiceovers. Their software can generate voices in 29 different languages.

Do I have to pay?

If you want to use the AI generated voiceovers for commercial purposes, you have to either upgrade to a paid plan or put in your content title that you used their software (free subscribers).

What if I’m a voiceover actor?

If you’re a voiceover person, you can even license your voice to them if that’s something you want to do. They’ll pay you a royalty for every minute someone uses your voice clone. You can choose the length of years your license will run and have control over who uses your AI generated clone voice. So if that’s a route you want to choose, it is there for you.

Final thoughts

Generative AI is creating new marketplaces and new dynamics. Once again, we have something for everyone. ElevenLabs is on the forefront of Generative AI voiceovers.

*Note, by clicking the link to ElevenLabs, I am paid a commission for anyone who signs up for a paid subscription.

Categories
Audiobook production

Mastering Voices.com: A Roadmap to Success in the Voiceover Industry

Are you an aspiring voiceover artist looking to break into the industry and make a name for yourself? Look no further than Voices.com, the premier platform connecting voice actors with clients worldwide. With its vast network of opportunities, Voices.com offers a gateway to success for voiceover professionals. Here’s your comprehensive guide on how to thrive on Voices.com and carve out your niche in the competitive world of voice acting.

  1. Craft an Impressive Profile:
    Your Voices.com profile serves as your digital storefront. Make sure it stands out! Include a professional headshot, a compelling bio that showcases your unique style and abilities, and a diverse portfolio showcasing your range of voiceover work. Highlight your strengths and what sets you apart from the competition.
  2. Perfect Your Demo Reel:
    Your demo reel is your calling card in the voiceover world. Create a high-quality demo that showcases your versatility across different genres, accents, and tones. Tailor your demos to the specific needs of potential clients, demonstrating your ability to meet their project requirements effectively.
  3. Optimize Your Searchability:
    Increase your visibility on Voices.com by optimizing your profile for search engines. Use relevant keywords in your profile description, skills section, and project tags to ensure that clients can easily find you when searching for specific voice talents.
  4. Actively Pursue Auditions:
    Stay proactive in auditioning for projects that align with your skills and interests. Regularly browse through the available audition listings on Voices.com and submit polished auditions that showcase your talents. Remember to tailor each audition to the specific project brief and requirements.
  5. Deliver Exceptional Service:
    Once you land a project, prioritize professionalism, and client satisfaction. Communicate clearly and promptly with clients, ensuring that you understand their needs and preferences. Deliver high-quality voiceover recordings on time and within budget, exceeding client expectations whenever possible.
  6. Collect Positive Reviews:
    Build your reputation on Voices.com by consistently delivering top-notch service. Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on your profile, showcasing your reliability, talent, and professionalism. Positive feedback acts as a powerful endorsement and can help attract new clients to your services.
  7. Continuously Improve Your Skills:
    The voiceover industry is constantly evolving, so it’s essential to stay updated and continually refine your craft. Invest in ongoing training, workshops, and coaching to enhance your vocal skills, expand your repertoire, and stay competitive in the marketplace.
  8. Network and Collaborate:
    Connect with fellow voiceover artists, producers, and industry professionals on Voices.com and beyond. Networking can open doors to new opportunities, collaborations, and valuable insights into the industry. Engage in community forums, participate in industry events, and foster meaningful connections with your peers.

By following these steps and leveraging the resources available on Voices.com, you can position yourself for success in the dynamic world of voice acting. Stay committed, hone your skills, and seize every opportunity to showcase your talent. With dedication and perseverance, you can turn your passion for voiceover into a thriving business on Voices.com.

Categories
Productivity

Mastering the Art of Time Management: A Practical Guide for Success

Photo by Peter Olexa

In our fast-paced world, effective time management is crucial for personal and professional success. This blog post will explore practical strategies to help you make the most of your time, increase productivity, and achieve your goals.

1. Set Clear Goals: Begin by defining your short-term and long-term goals. This clarity will guide your daily tasks and priorities, ensuring that your time is spent on activities aligned with your objectives.

2. Prioritize Tasks: Not all tasks are created equal. Use a system, such as the Eisenhower matrix, to categorize tasks based on urgency and importance. Focus on high-priority tasks first to maximize productivity.

3. Time Blocking: Allocate specific blocks of time to different types of activities. This method helps minimize distractions, increases focus, and ensures that essential tasks are given dedicated attention.

4. Break Down Tasks: Large projects can be overwhelming. Break them into smaller, more manageable tasks. This approach makes it easier to track progress, stay motivated, and prevents procrastination.

5. Learn to Say No: While it’s tempting to take on every opportunity, saying no when necessary is crucial for effective time management. Prioritize your commitments to avoid spreading yourself too thin.

6. Use Technology Wisely: Leverage productivity tools and apps to streamline tasks, set reminders, and organize your schedule. However, be mindful of not getting overwhelmed by too many tools—choose the ones that genuinely enhance your efficiency.

7. Limit Multitasking: Contrary to popular belief, multitasking can decrease overall productivity. Focus on one task at a time to ensure quality work and a more efficient use of your time.

8. Regular Breaks: Scheduled breaks can improve concentration and prevent burnout. Incorporate short breaks into your routine to refresh your mind and maintain sustained productivity throughout the day.

9. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly evaluate your time management strategies. Identify what works well and what needs improvement. Adjust your approach accordingly to optimize your productivity.

Conclusion: Effective time management is a skill that can be cultivated with consistent effort and dedication. By setting clear goals, prioritizing tasks, and employing practical strategies, you can take control of your time and pave the way for success in both your personal and professional life. Speaking of being short on time, hire me to do your voiceovers and you will undoubtedly save some time!

Here are five highly recommended books on time management available on Amazon:
1. “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen – This book offers a comprehensive system for organizing tasks and increasing productivity.
2. “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear – While not solely focused on time management, this book provides valuable insights into building effective habits that can improve time management skills.
3. “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport – Newport explores the concept of deep work and provides strategies for maximizing focus and productivity in a world filled with distractions.
4. “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy – This book offers practical techniques for overcoming procrastination and increasing efficiency.
5. “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” by Timothy Ferriss – While not strictly about time management, Ferriss shares strategies for maximizing productivity and achieving more with less time, ultimately leading to a more balanced lifestyle.
These books cover a range of approaches to time management and productivity, offering valuable insights and practical tips for improving efficiency and effectiveness.

Categories
elearning

Should You Use a Real Voice or AI Voice for eLearning?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way and it is beginning to creep into the creative arts. AI can now imitate the human voice and the world of eLearning and instructional design is starting to utilize it. So should one use a human voice or an AI voice for an eLearning project? Let’s look at both sides and explore the advantages and disadvantages.

AI voice

Using a computer-generated voice has it’s advantages (forgive me my human voiced friends). It’s very cheap to generate and you can have the computer say whatever you want, on demand.

But the drawback with AI is that it doesn’t sound perfect. It sounds like what it is and that may be a deterrent for your audience. It may make your audience tune out completely and your message will fall on uninterested ears. So while AI can save you a ton of money on your budget, it may haunt you and your client may not wnnt that voice telling their story.

Human voice

I’m in the camp of human voice (since I am a voice actor, full disclosure). I’ll start with the disadvantage of hiring a human voice for your project. They can be very expensive and hard to work with. That being said, humans are tuned to listen to other humans. We’ve been hearing stories told by a human voice since infancy. Therefore, your audience is programmed to listen to a human voice and will be your direct line to getting through to your target audience. So while a human voice can cost some money, it seems like it would be worth the money if the goal is to reach your end user. This seems especially pertinent if you’re delivering an important message like safety training.

So there you have it. The choice is entirely yours (or maybe your client). AI seems convenient and quick, but the human touch may still be the dominant choice in delivering your eLearning content.

Other posts:

The Strong Reasons Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Consider the Darkside of ACX Royalty Share

Categories
Audiobook production

Why You Shouldn’t Narrate Drunk

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/clear-glass-mug-with-beverage-during-night-time-65210/

Here’s an idea: you should not narrate drunk. I know what you’re thinking: “My best ideas come out when I’m drunk” or “I’m so relaxed”. Here are my solid reasons for not doing voice overs while drunk.

Your vocal muscles will be numb

When you are intoxicated, your facial muscles do not work like normal. Everything is working in slow motion. Your tongue, your larynx and your lips are all working slower, so you are not going to maneuver well. You are going to stumble over words that you crushed before. When you realize that it took you ten tries to get this line right, you’ll wish that you were sober when you recorded this piece.

Your mind is slower

When you are reading something while under the influence, your mind is working slower. This means that you are processing information at a slower rate. So while it sounds cool in your head, it sounds like garbage on the record. If you don’t believe me, listen back to it after you record something whilst smashed. Yeah, I was right. You think you’re moving in slow motion but in reality you are just slower, which doesn’t always sound good.

I encourage you to prove me wrong.

If you think you sound better while drunk, go for it. It will be much harder to replicate. When you have to redo a line or a performance, achieving that same level will be much more difficult. When you’re drunk, your speech is unique in the fact that it’s extremely difficult to replicate. So if you don’t have to replicate it, that’s cool. But if your client wants you to match, good luck pal. Matching is going to be like landing on the moon. 

Being drunk can create a one-of-a-kind performance but I don’t think it should be your regular way of cranking out voiceovers. It’s bad for your health and too hard to replicate.

Categories
Audiobook production

The Strong Reasons Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Consider the Darkside of ACX Royalty Share

Photo by Martin Péchy from Pexels

For authors, ACX royalty share seems like a great idea. You get a free audiobook produced by a narrator. The catch is that you have to split the royalties 50-50 for 7 years. What could possibly go wrong? Here’s the darkside of ACX Royalty Share.

The darkside of ACX Royalty Share

Your book could sell many copies. This is great! The drawback is that your narrator is splitting the revenue and that means you’re making half as much money as you would normally make. Not good for your bottom line.

Now if your book doesn’t sell many copies, that isn’t the worst either. You essentially get a very low-cost production. At the end of your 7 year contract with the narrator, the production is all yours.

Is there a better option?

So royalty share may seem attractive, but what if you want a cleaner option right from the start? Well, it’s going to cost a bit. You get to decide how much, but remember that you get what you pay for. If you pay cheaply, you may get a finished product that you don’t like. Make sure you vet your narrator properly. MAKE SURE THEY’VE MADE AN AUDIOBOOK BEFORE! If your narrator hasn’t narrated a book before, you need to go with someone else. Narrating a book is a massive project that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If you go the Pay-For-Production route, you buy the narrator’s work upfront, but then the book and it’s lucrative stream of revenue are all yours. You also have the freedom to break your exclusive deal with ACX and pursue a wider distribution (it’s hard to do this with a royalty-share deal).

In conclusion, here is my TLDR: royalty-share can cost you more than you think. If you have a big audience that you write for and you know your book is going to be a sales success, buy out your production.

I can help you with audiobook production. Feel free to reach out.

Other posts:

Why you shouldn’t narrate drunk

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