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Developing the Voice of a Character

Everyone always asks how I go about developing a voice for a new character. Honestly, there isn’t really a simple or straight forward answer to this question as it can happen in many different ways all depending on the specific situation and project itself. A week or so ago, I happened to be in studio working on developing a new character’s voice – so I figured why not show you all a little bit of the process while I breathe life into Abbadon - from the upcoming series, The Last Wand! Being that we have a fully functional and professional studio at The Grindhouse Radio – I have the availability and luck to be able to work from the comfort of my own studio

as well as work with my engineer, Alex DaPonte. For those of you who aren’t aware, Alex and I co-host Within Brim’s Skin together and he’s my go-to when it comes to new character creation for animation and video games as he tends to push me to my limits and get the best results out of me! It’s funny – but I often tend to get typecast and offered the big scary beasties who require a snarly and raspy sounding voice… I do however have a wide range when it comes to my vocals! For instance, one of the characters I’m voicing for the upcoming series, The Brush Brigade – Beezal… is a COMPLETELY different sounding character in a much higher register than what most people would think I could pull off! Regardless, it’s imperative to make sure that every character I voice has something special about them – an element that makes that voice unique.

Getting back to the aforementioned question – I love working on the projects where I have creative input into the character I’m about to become… so those keep my juices flowing! Then, there are the projects where the producers want something specific and I work along with the director to get what is needed for the role. Others are a mixture of both… so you see – it’s not really an easy answer. Anyway, let’s move along to the construction of this new voice for Abbadon. We wanted something deep and devastatingly dark – very mystical meets satanic meets monster (Keep in mind, this is set to be an R-Rated animated series). Going into the session – I already had this crazy idea in my head about how I wanted to design Abbadon’s voice and I was given full creative control… honestly, I’d been thinking about it for over a week! I was thinking that it would be really, really cool if we were able to come up with a layered voice that would consist of different elements. Alex is insanely good at taking my ideas and turning them into reality… most of the times making me sound better than I’d originally hoped! You can watch the video of Alex explaining the process of how he layered everything and then see a sample of the voice used in a basic animatic that he synched up to allow you to see a basic flow (This is NOT an anywhere near finished copy of the animation or sound – ONLY a basic sample for the purpose of this blog). Voice credit for Queen Azalea goes to Kim Adragna. All artwork / animatic by Ruben Mocho and property of The Last Wand.

Hoping that this little BrimBLOG shed a little light on our personal process! I’ll post more of these if people seem interested (obviously only things that I’m allowed to post); but this should suffice for now!

- Brim

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