Voice acting history.

Looking at the voice acting history we see that it's vast and varied, with many different forms of voice acting contributing to a wide-ranging industry. By the late 19th century, sales of phonograph recordings were booming and the concept of consumer entertainment through sound was a growing one. Well known variety and vaudeville actors were used for a range of products. Despite the fact that sound had not yet been broadcast over the radio, audio theatre was born. Voice acting history shows that throughout the 1920s until the 1950s, radio comedy and drama continued to flourish and was one of the major forms of mass entertainment – now known as the Golden Age of Radio. Radio drama continues to be a popular format – although far less popular than it once was – with networks such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the BBC's Radio 7 continuing to produce high-quality radio drama and comedy plays. Voice acting history made a huge jump with the development of hi-fi sound and stereo. It opened up new doors in the world of audio drama with production techniques advancing to a level through which new forms of drama and styles of performance can be achieved. As a result, audio theatre today appears to be growing and changing continuously. The advent of computer technology means that production is quicker and cheaper than it once was, making audio drama a profitable and cost-effective form of audio entertainment. With producers now able to do more than ever before, the boundaries of audio drama have been pushed to accommodate its newfound popularity and revival.

Outside of the western world, audio drama CDs are very popular amongst Japanese anime and manga fans with many drama CDs based on visual knowledge or containing voice acting which is associated with a video game or sound-based drama. Many businesses and educational institutions have made use of audio CDs employing voice actors in order to educate and inform their staff and students.

There are essentially four forms of basic audio production, including live performance – where actors, producers, engineers and musicians are gathered in the same place at the same time to perform a production in much the same way as a visual stage play. Multitrack studio productions are similar but allow the separate tracks or vocal parts to be recorded separately and overlaid afterwards. The audio is mixed separately to achieve the final result. Location production uses a single microphone (much like a movie camera) with actors providing their own sound effects as they read the lines. Radio dramas such as the BBC's 'The Archers' are recorded in this way. Computer-based production is similar to multitrack production but allows performances to be recorded and edited entirely within the computer, meaning the actors and contributors don't even need to be in the same studio.

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