The Ultimate Gift Guide for Voice Actors in 2023
It’s the holiday season again and if you have a voice actor or aspiring voice talent in your life, you might be wondering what kind of gift to get them.
If you need some help narrowing down the perfect voice over related gift this holiday, this article has you covered.
Just like last season, we asked Voices Coaches to share what’s on their voice over wish lists and what must-haves should be on every beginner voice actor’s list this holiday season.
Below are some ideas of what to get the voice actor in your life for the 2022 holiday season and into 2023!
A good pair of headphones can be one of the most important investments a voice actor can make.
There are many discussions over which headphones are best for voice actors. Because there is such a range of headphones, it can be difficult to truly identify which would best suit the voice actor in your life.
Please keep this in mind: Many voice actors go through a lot of testing and returning headphones until they find the pair that works for them. So make sure you keep the gift receipt handy.
Our coach Bruce Kronenberg recommends the Sony 7506 Studio Headphones.
“The Sony 7506 Headphones have been a standard for studio monitoring because of the closed back ear cups which lock in the sound and keep outside sounds out. They are very comfortable and can be worn for hours of recording and listening,” he explains.
“They have a long flexible cord that has a far reach. Plus they are pretty inexpensive. $99 on Sweetwater.com.”
Reading stands or sheet stands are another item, like headphones, that are very important pieces of equipment for voice actors.
A good, sturdy stand can really make a voice actors day, especially if they’re putting together dozens of auditions a day.
Rachel Alena recommends the Manhasset Tall Symphony Black Sheet Music Stand with Auto-Adjust.
“A tall symphony music stand helps voice talent be more versatile. It can hold a diverse range of reading devices such as laptops, phones, tablets and even good ol’ fashion paper,” Alena explains.
“This allows for easy job-type transitions. For example, a talent can voice a :30 tv spot from their tablet, a :07 radio bumper from their phone and a 30-page, paper notated, audiobook all in the same day from one easy location!”
If you want to get your voice actor something less involved with their setup, Shelly Shenoy has some great accessory ideas for you.
She recommends the 10 feet Amazon Basics Standard XLR Male to Female Balanced Microphone Cable. Cables do need to be replaced, and every voice actor needs reliable cables!
Shelly also likes to use EuroSpa Aromatics Pure Eucalyptus Oil ShowerMist and Steam Room Spray to help with breathing and respiration.
Another health-related item she loves is Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Herbal Tea.
Mic Cable: “Nothing is more frustrating than audio problems with your home sound studio that you can’t identify. You might hear friction with your playback you didn’t hear while recording, or a spontaneous scratchy sound – and have no idea where it’s coming from. It’s the inside of your equipment! With natural wear and tear of daily use, you must remember that your equipment needs to be replaced or updated every 3-5 years. Tip: Treat yourself to 1-2 new upgrades every black friday or Amazon prime day and pay half the price! Get a brand new condenser, new headphones, and have new XLR cables of different lengths in stock! Keep your sound studio sharp. If ANYTHING you’re using is 6 years or older, you’re begging for trouble!”
Eucalyptus Spray: “Make everyone in your house jealous with this incredible shower spray. Before a long day of recording it will wake all your senses up and allow you to breathe deeper, and at the end of a long day of recording you will so appreciate how this spray makes you feel. Step into a steamy shower and spray this towards the shower floor. The steam will allow the eucalyptus to rise up all around you as you breathe it in. For a more direct option, spray some directly into your palm, rub your hands together, cup over your face and gently inhale. Your lungs will open up deeply and your throat will be re-energized! This is particularly effective during the cold winter months!”
Throat Coat Tea: “Feeling under the weather or have a particularly long recording session approaching? Every serious voice actor has boxes of Throat Coat at their house. And for good reason! This odd, yet somehow delicious tea, literally coats your throat. Whether it’s the benefits of the slippery elm or the licorice root, it’s the perfect blend of all natural ingredients that both coat and protect your voice box. This is also a really good deal for 3 boxes of tea containing 16 amazing tea bags each. It’s time to stock up!”
Looking for something more fun to liven up your voice actors studio space?
Gina Scarpa has some great decor idea:
- LED Lights: “I love having the LED lights in my booth because I have the ability to customize what color I want and how bright it is with a tiny remote that fits on my desk. What’s funny is that even though I have lots of customization options, I just always choose purple.”
- A Penguin Light: “Besides the fact that penguins are my favorite animal, the light is just too cute for words! I like having some things in the booth that make me smile and feel happy since I spend so much time in there. I also have little Funko Pops and a few plushies too.”
- Twin Mandala tapestry: “Tapestry: I recently got a new booth and the walls were so white that I wanted to find a way to add some color and have it feel a little more home-like so I found these great tapestries on Amazon and purchased a few different ones. The Twin Mandala tapestry hangs behind my computer screen so I have a beautiful design to look at when I’m working.”
Software that can help a voice actor edit, audition and perform faster and easier is always welcomed. There are many helpful apps and software that can help a voice actor save time and focus on the thing they love most, performing!
Bill DeWees recommends the Waves X-Crackle software. X-Crackle uses the latest algorithms to remove crackles and surface noise from vinyl records and damaged recordings, with results equal to or better than more expensive dedicated hardware solutions.
“While X-crackle wasn’t designed for voice recordings (but rather to make old scratchy vinyl records sound better,) I find that it produces a smoothness to any voice over recording,” DeWees said.
“It ‘rounds out’ the harsh/sharp edges of consonants to create a more polished and ‘finished’ sound. Imagine how sanding a rough board with a fine grit sandpaper produces a buttery smooth finish. That’s what X-crackle does to a voice recording.”
Finally, this may be something you have never heard of, unless you were a voice actor yourself. Acoustic treatment, also known as acoustic foam or sound absorbing panels, can help a studio go from sounding tinny and echoey to crisp and professional.
Tommy Griffiths recommends any of the Acoustic Treatment from Sweetwater.
What’s on Your Voice Over Wish List?
What have the voice actors in your life been asking for? Let us know in the comments below.