top of page

Words...words...words. Essential Voice Over Jargon

Updated: Nov 21, 2022


As a coach and individual who has been in this industry for a long (...long) time. I often forget that it has its own language. I’ll use words or phrases with someone and the look I get resembles a combination emoji with the hand on the chin and a furrowed brow. I am certain I will continue to get that look from my students (if you’ve ever studied with me, you know what I’m talking about) but it’ll be because I’m wacky and possibly...even...a bit...embarrasing. (heehee!). I'm sorry (no, I'm not)

Below is a very brief overview in three sections:

1. Studio jargon

2. Acting jargon

3. Business jargon


1. DAW - Digital Audio Workspac

Your DAW is the software in which you record, edit and mix

2. Microphone - (I know...y’all are KNOW this one)

Dynamic mic - two categories (ribbon and moving coil) - made to withstand high pressure. Less sensitive

Condenser - more sensitive. Used to capture higher and lower frequencies

3. Audio Interface

The device in which all your input and output will run

4. Pre-amp

Amplifies the signal from the mic (some audio interfaces have pre-amps built in)

5. Signal

Any sound that is meant to be listened to

6. Bitrate

The number of bits transferred over a period of time. The higher the bitrate, the higher the audio quality (sure...we’ll go with that)

7. Room treatment

Acoustic treatment of the space the actor records. Absorb, diffuse and reflect sound waves


1. Session Fee (or BFS - Basic Studio Fee)

The cost of doing business

2. Usage

The clients right to use the work performed in an agreed upon time frame

3.In perpetuity

Allowing the client to use the work performed without a time frame (they own it forever!!!)

4. Wild Line

When a client wants multiple versions of the line (usually in threes)

5. ISDN, SourceConnect, ipDTL

Voice and data services. ISDN is a phone line, the rest are web applications

6. Pick up

Re-recording a section of copy

7. Slate

Saying your name for an audition


1. Objective

What the character wants in a scene

2. Ad-lib


3. Actions/Intentions

The verbs used to fulfill what the actor wants

4. Cold reading

Unfamiliar material read for the first time

5. Conflict

The obstacles (struggles) that get in the way of the acting getting what they want

6. Methods

Different acting techniques (Chekov, Meisner, Hagen, Stanislavski, Strasberg, etc)

7. Stakes

Consequences for achieving or not achieving the objective

So! There ya have it. A very (VERY) brief summary of some of the language you may come across in your pursuits towards voice over dominance!!

98 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All