When I was still in college and I was taking a voice acting class, I remember being told that a good voice actor doesn\’t just do voice acting. A talented VA is one who tries his hand at many things to enhance his skills as well as gain new ones. For example, a very good skill to have is being able to edit your own audio. A VA who is able to do his own sound editing is very impressive and it gives the VA a kind of understanding of what professional engineers have to go through in order to make the talent sound as best as possible. When there is better understanding between the talent and the engineer, the results can be very very promising.
I decided to try my hand at editing my own audio, so my plan was to find a clip from an animation and redo all of the sound. In other words, I planned to mute all of the original audio, re-dub all of the voices myself, and then recreate and re-edit all of the sound effects as close to the original as possible. This is actually pretty much the same process that anime production groups like Funimation do when they dub anime with an english track. You pretty much have to remake most if not all of the sound from scratch while using the animation as a template to show you what sounds to use and precisely when and where to place them.
The scene I chose was a intro anime cinematic from the PS1 game, Mega Man X4. I chose this scene because it was simple and the perfect starter project to learn about audio editing. Here is the original clip.
And now here is my version after I dubbed the characters with my own voice and remade all of the sound effects as close to the original as I could.
Now before you say anything, yes, I do realize that I am not doing a perfect impersonation of Sigma and General. However, that was not the intended purpose of me making this video. To be able to grasp the actual process of audio engineering was my objective in this little experiment. This clip was the perfect first test subject. There was no background music to worry about, it featured only two characters talking back to back, and all of the sound effects needed were simple to replicate and place in terms of timing. For an obvious example, whenever there was a flash of lightning in the clip, of course some thunder had to go along with it. I also chose this scene because I love this game so very much. I love the Mega Man franchise and all of its different game series and the X series is right at the top, with X4 not only being my favorite in the series, but also being the first X game I ever played.
I plan to try and do more of these little dubbing and editing projects when I have some free time. In fact, I will be doing another one at Anime Midwest coming up July 5-7. I\’ll be recording lines with a friend of mine, so to all who are interested, you\’ll get to see what a mock recording session is like. On a side note, I will also be showcasing my panel about how to get into the Voice Acting Industry again at Anime Midwest on Sunday, hope to see you all there.
I hope you all enjoyed my little dubbing experiment and I can\’t wait to see a lot of you at Anime Midwest and future cons!