Who better than Luis Ignacio González to talk about voiceover: since 1985, when he started his career as professional voice talent, he’s provided his voice to the most popular brands for TV and radio spots, as well as the Internet. In addition, he’s been equally fruitful in documentaries and even as humourist in several media.
To his credit, he has such distinguished communications awards as the Golden Antenna, the Protagonistas Award, the Golden Microphone, the APEI PRTV Award, the Silver Antenna (twice), plus National Radio Awards nomination for the Best Advertising Voice Talent in 2010.
Interview with Luis Ignacio González, Spanish Voice Talent
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First Professional Steps
Luis Ignacio González began his career as a radio announcer in entertainment shows. Like many Journalism students, he worked as an intern at a very small Pozuelo de Alarcón-based radio station: Radio Oeste de Madrid, where he learn to do all sorts of jobs: news, shows, music radio… and radio spots. Thus, he discovered his passion for advertisement voiceovers, because it was an ideal way to perfect the way one speaks to the microphone. Gradually, he became known in advertising agencies that gave him his first work opportunities in professional recording studios.
Sometimes, inexperienced clients may not know what they’re looking for, and thus, not being able to give exact directions to the voice talent, letting know what they need. They’re beginners, and if the voice talent happens to be a beginner as well, communication problems may arise.
In this situation, Luis Ignacio recommends not being afraid to ask, and to try this method: to record three or four different versions of the voiceover, each in a different style, so the client can compare them and tell which one is closer to what the project needs.
Naturalness in Voiceover
“I’m not against a more natural approach for professional voiceovers, says Luis Ignacio, “but that must be handled carefully, because it’s a double edged sword. One can sound very natural (or apparently natural, as it happens in many TV or radio spots, because nobody really speaks like that), and with that apparent naturalness, you can end up trivializing the message and taking so much from it: that earnestness that is necessary for people to trust your brand.
It’s the voice talent who communicates, who is in command and who has to convince the recipient to buy the product that is offered. It’s usually recommendable a certain weight or gravitas that transmits conviction and authority. “Whenever someone at home says “I could to that”, it’s a symptom that something’s going wrong.”
Voiceover Evolution through the Years
“With the digital era there’s been a revolution, rather than a evolution”, he affirms. “The media where music, image and voice were recorded, were so complex that you couldn’t do an OK job without a big infrastructure. Nowadays, there’s a big variety of options that offer an amazing quality”.
Nevertheless, González warns about this technological boom that provides us with such ease: it shouldn’t make us content ourselves with an acceptable level of quality, but instead, be a motivation to reach new excellence heights.
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