Transportation Voice – Voicing for Public Transport

Transportation Voice – Voicing for Public Transport

Posted by John in Articles

Authoritative Voice Talent with strong energy

Good Vocabulary

Ton of research

Good direction

One very patient Voice Actor

Several carefully crafted lines that you know all the pronunciations on

A top notch studio/microphone

Several clients

Mix with equal consistency of character

Create a carefully crafted budget including session fee and distribution information with buy out fee or royalty percentage.

Add a hard working agent to take care of all the rate issues and more


This recipe is not meant for everyone.  You must have a flavour of authority and be very clear and knowledgeable about the obstacles that will surround the voice upon distribution.  For example if this is a talking train, there are many patrons speaking while the train audio plays, so if you are shy and calm or flat with your energy, it’s very hard to be heard over all the obstacles.  So take the time to consider where this is being distributed.

Some examples of talking transportation include the infamous voice of Siri (our IPHONE Voice), Talking GPS (meant for many dialects/accents), talking trains, planes and vehicles, elevators and more.  There are many machines that speak and each one is another potential job.  In fact there are many machines that do not have a voice that should have one – so if you’re creative and aggressive enough you might be able to convince a client to put a personality to their product.  This closely marry’s in with talking toys as well.  However transportation and equipment usually use an adult voice, not a character or youthful voice.  It really just depends on the product itself.

It is extremely important that if you are voicing for transportation/equipment you know how to keep your character consistent.  Whether you do everything in one session or over a series of sessions (which is quite common) then the character you create has to be consistent.  You will need to know this voice inside and out and the clients desperately need you to know what you’re doing.


Pronunciations are also a huge undertaking when voicing for talking transportation or equipment.  Many times you will have to say names, street names and other things that require you to understand pronunciations for different cities/locations.  This takes a ton of prep work, so make sure to get your script and contract with enough time to do the research.  You may need your clients help in this area as well.  Don’t underestimate this skill.  Youtube™ and are your best friends.  Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond here and take notes.  Write things out phonetically – so that you can voice with ease.


You also need to be patient as there is no story telling when it comes to voicing objects.  Each script is a disjointed line and there can be hundreds if not tens of thousands of lines so patience is most important.


Coming up with the rates for projects such as these can be difficult.  I strongly recommend calling upon the experts to help you with this if your not represented by an agency.  Either call upon someone like myself, or this might be a great time to bring to your agent or to land that new agent you’ve always wanted.  You’ll be thankful to be represented in projects like these.  There is a ton to consider.  Session fee vs the buy out fee, residuals,  distribution etc and creating a secure and legal contract is highly recommended.


It is an honor to become talking transportation/equipment so be flattered if you get such a contract and make sure you can be the talent they need you to be.  Just know what you’re doing and if you don’t, it’s time to reach out to the pros to find out how you can be the best talent you can be so the client will always come back for more.
Until Next time

All my best
VO Chef Deb

13 Jan 2015 No Comments

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