Man raising hand stopThis morning I recorded a voice over for a video we are producing with our friends at rtraction to promote the site and give customers an overview of what is and how our service works.

Before hitting record, I made sure that I didn’t do one thing in particular…
Want to know what it was?

Most Definitely Out of the Question!

Something I never do before recording a voice over or singing is have caffeine. For those of you who know me well, you can only imagine what it’s been like to not have had my tea until well after lunch. I made sure that I didn’t drink tea beforehand so that my voice would be ready and pliable. Tea has properties that can dry out your voice if it is caffeinated or too hot. Also, I’m a huge fan of milk and sugar in my tea, which can also impede your sound.
Dairy = Phlegm for most people

What’s The 1 Thing You Never Do Before Hitting “Record” in a VO Session?

Looking forward to hearing from you!
© hasim isik


  1. The one thing I never do before hitting “record” is belabor copy – I usually do a couple of warm up takes and record right after, before marking up the script too much for another different take – I want to make sure that I get at least one take based on my initial instincts on the script.

  2. I have always heard this, but I’ve never really had an issue with it. In fact, I always have lots of caffiene, put milk in the coffee..the whole bit…right before I get ready to record. Maybe its a placebo effect, but I always feel like it gets me warmed up to record. And the caffiene jolt is good! Been doing it that way for more than 25 years!

  3. Hi Mark,
    That’s the interesting thing… we’re all so different! What may hinder some helps others 🙂
    Looking forward to hearing more!

  4. I like to sing as part of my warm up. I studied voice with Deborah Montgomery of Ithaca College for a couple years and my favorite aria was Mozart’s “Vedrai Carino” from Don Giovanni. It puts me in a good mood and if I can comfortably sing the aria, I know I’m ready to work!
    All the best,
    Ashley Huyge

  5. Hey Stephanie et al,
    Yeah, I never have dairy before a session. I try not to eat it at all anytime, but that would mean no cheese. Can’t have that.
    I actually am disgustingly pure most of the time. I love tea, herbal & full test, but I stopped w/the milk & sugar. And the caffeine in coffee throws me off, so I don’t drink it anymore. Love the taste though.
    However, it’s December. I’m about to blog about the resounding thud of me falling off the wagon, good timing.

  6. I usually never eat any peanut butter or dairy products before singing or speaking anything into a mic. They both seem to coat my throat in a force field of no intelligible sound. I do though drink a Diet Sunkist the co2 in it seems to help make my voice crisp, and the liquid always helps lubricate my voice it gives it a smooth sound.

  7. Definitely no dairy! I love having a glass of milk and cookies, but I might as well take the day off if I drink it in the morning. Gotta save that for the evening. Dairy is really the only one I’ve found so far that affects my sessions. Granny Smith Apples and room temperature water always help my voice back on track.

  8. Hi Stephanie – I mostly agree – dairy is a huge no-no on recording days – but have found my magic elixir to be sipping room temperature, organic green tea.
    Whatever works, right?

  9. Just to be clear, dairy does not increase the production of mucous. However, the proteins in dairy do stick to the mucous already present making it seem thicker, stickier, and more noticeable. The effect should wear off in an hour or two, less if you drink some warm water after the dairy to rinse away some of the proteins and mucous.
    As for what I never do before hitting record? It’s all been said: avoid caffeine (I get the jitters enough without it), milk (other dairy doesn’t bother me so much), and alcohol (even in mouth wash – very drying). There’s probably more, but I can’t think of it off the top of my head.

  10. I love to have a glass of red wine in the evenings, but never do so if I have to record the following morning- it always messes with my morning voice. Another thing I never do is allow myself to think about what the audition is for. For example, if I think to myself before recording, “This is a huge audition for a new Disney show and I really want it!”, then I’m toast. I treat all auditions the same, that way there isn’t any anxiety in my voice.

  11. I haven’t recorded VO yet (someday I will), but I record other things occasionally. One thing that always chokes me up is nuts, particularly almonds. I haven’t had problems with caffeine. Beverages usually work better than foods for me.

  12. I never eat anything just before hitting record. My mouth tends to “water-up” after I eat. There’s nothing worse than trying to get through a read while your mouth is slow (pardon the expression) filling up with spit. 🙂
    Tom Conklin

  13. never drink alcohol or smoke!!
    i also like to brush my teeth right before i begin.. my entire throat feels more fresh and its something you would do before a meeting or going out, why not apply it to recording as well??

  14. Sugar is my nemesis before recording. It gives my mouth that dry feeling and the sort of smacky sound to my reads, so I mostly avoid it, but I like to drink hot water with lemon & tiny bit of honey to warm up my voice in winter. I also sing in between line reads to keep things warm.

  15. Never drink water from the Chiller. It freezes the vocal chords but the caffeen thing is a comfort thing as someone said. Never go into a session without a pen, normally red so it’s clear from the script


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