We’re probably all guilty of sitting through the endless stream of video game trailers, the obligatory commercials and the usual adverts, but it seems like there’s one thing that’s missing from the mix: the voiceover.
And what a voiceover it is!
For many years, video game voiceovers were nothing more than an afterthought for a film, with studios often taking to the microphone to give a brief overview of the story before a director could speak, often in the context of the player’s choices.
But now, with the rise of voice-acting and more diverse voices in film, the trend is picking up again.
We’ve all seen videos of actors delivering a speech to their character, or a director taking the stage to explain the meaning behind a choice, and for the first time in recent memory, the voice is being brought into the film.
Here’s how the industry is doing it.
How to create your own voiceover For the first six months of 2015, New Scientist went to several studios across the UK to get a look at how video game developers are using their voice to create their own.
We spoke to voice actor Jason Bateman and the film’s co-director, Jonathan Morris.
To create a new character, the team had to make a list of three things: how long you want your character to live, how old you want him or her to be, and how long he or she wants to be in the game.
After that, it was just a matter of adding in the sound effects.
Bateman told us that the voice of the game’s protagonist was actually made up of three parts: “I’m the character’s voice, the actor’s voice and then the voice that comes over in the trailers and in the commercials,” he said.
“So the actors have to go back and create the parts.”
He added that “voice actors can’t just do a voice that they know the characters from.”
So the team used some of the best-known game voice actors in the UK for the project, including Jonathan Bateman, David Boreanaz and Simon Pegg.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, but we are really proud of how it turned out,” Bateman said.
When it comes to the creation of a new voice, there are a few basic steps: “You get a voice actor and a script, and then you get the actors’ voices.
Then you have to record the voice for an actor to go on the set and listen to it, and that’s the recording process,” Morris said.
Each voice actor has their own particular sound, and the studio has to choose the best for each actor.
“We really do go back to the sound that we have from the voice actor,” Batman said.
That’s where the studio’s digital team comes in, to add some extra detail.
For example, if you want to have a voice for a male character, you need to add in a “singer” voice, which can be any type of female voice.
The studio uses a range of techniques to find the best one.
“Once you’ve chosen the best voice for that character, we can then add in all the other sounds that you’d normally have in a film,” Morris added.
You would then hear the two voices from different locations on different days, which is very important.” “
For example, the studio also uses a technique called stereo audio which uses two microphones to create two separate voices for each character.
You would then hear the two voices from different locations on different days, which is very important.”
And if you’ve got an actor who’s already spoken in an earlier film, it’s important to record it, too.
“Then we’ve got to add the sound in the scene,” Batemans added.
Batemers voice was originally recorded with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix, which has “a bit of a ‘bumpy’ sound,” he explained.
“That’s because it’s been recorded with different sound equipment in different rooms.
It’s then played through a sound card in the room where the actors are.
It has a bit of distortion to it.”
“The downside of the Dolby mix is that it sounds a bit more ‘bouncy’ because you’re not hearing the actor speaking normally,” Morris explained.
But if you’re happy with the way the audio is sounding, then you can use the same mix in the final film, to get an accurate portrayal of the actor.
When the film is done, it needs to be sent to the studio, where it’s played on the sound system.
“In the case of The Dark Knight Rises, the audio was recorded by using two separate microphones,” Batemen said.
The two microphones in question were placed in the actor and the actress’ mouths, so that when they were spoken, the two ears would hear both sounds at the same time.
“To make the