Tech Notes for Voice Talent

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Tech Notes for Voice Talent

technical questions about equipment and software used by voice talent who record at home - moderated by Beau Weaver

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Latest Activity: Oct 29, 2018

My favorite audio editing tool for Voiceover

Guys,

As I have mentioned frequently, I am a long time hater of Pro Tools. If you are recording multiple channels of music, routing through plug ins and locked to picture, it sure is the right tool. But for recording and editing voiceover tracks, it is a needlessly complex and cumbersome resource hog. And those are it's good points.

I cannot count the calls I have taken from folks who are new to home recording, literally in tears, trying to figure out how to save a simple recording as an mp3 file with Pro Tools. And don't even get me started on how any OS update from Apple usually renders Pro Tools inoperable. And a year to support Leopard? Give me a break. But I digress.

I have done extensive testing of virtually all the audio editors for Mac OSX, including, Logic, Soundtrack Pro, Peak, Adobe Sound Booth, Sound Studio 3, Wave Editor, Amadeus Pro, etc. On the PC platform, I was a long time fan of Sony Sound Forge, but they do not have any plans to port the app to Mac. Peak has it's fans, but it crashes regularly, and support is spotty. I was liking Sound Studio 3 a lot, but there were some bugs, and omissions and the developer did not respond to support requests at all. All of the above programs have their strengths and weaknesses, but for the way I like to work, they were just not quite right.

Anyway, I have been working with a software developer to perfect a suite little app that I just love, and I want to pass it along to you. For my money, the best tool for recording and editing voiceover is: TwistedWave. http://twistedwave.com And, the price is 49 Dollars!*

It loads in about one second. No changing cursors into different tools. It works like a word processor. It saves directly as mp3 files, and will convert between almost all important audio file types. It exports the selected portion of the waveforme as a new file, of any type you specify. Navigation is a dream. You can zoom horizontally in the waveform and zoom in all with the tiny trackball in the Apple Mighty Mouse. It will record the highest resolution audio, sample rate and bit depth your sound card supports. It works with any digital interface that uses Apple Core Audio. For the advanced user, keyboard shortcuts are customizable, and you can create and save customized effects stacks of AU plugins.

I have worked closely with the guy who created the program to make some ease of use tweaks and fine tuning. He has responded to every one of my requests the same day. I think if you spend a little time playing with it, you may fall in love too.

You can download from this link, and try for a 30 day evaluation period for free. A major 1.5 update has just been posted, with additional improvement in development.

I have been using this as my daily editor for some time now and it is a huge time saver. If you are also a musician, or music producer, then Pro Tools is obviously. If all you need to do is record voiceover sessions, quick edit and cleanup and ship off via ftp, then give Twisted Wave a try, and never look back.

Full Disclosure: I am a paid user, and receive no compensation for this recommendation, other than gratitude for a tool so ideally suited for the task at hand.


Beau Weaver

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Comment Wall

Sound better at Voice Over Essentials

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Comment by Jennifer M.Dixon on November 18, 2010 at 9:44pm
Hello Scott,Thanks so much for the link to George Whittams article very helpful indeed..Really appreciate you taking the time to find this info for me.
Comment by Christine Ivy on November 18, 2010 at 6:59pm
Hey Jenny, hello first and second I have my studio set up with MXL 990 Mic micport centrex pro and Compaq laptop..not that I recommend the computer but it works for me...that was what I used to record my story for Holiday Magic.

I love the fact I can set up in minutes!!

Hope this helps.

Blessings:)

Christine Ivy
Comment by Scott Gentle on November 18, 2010 at 6:20pm
...in response to Jennifer Dixon's "Any suggestions for a very quiet,reasonably priced laptop just for recording on the go?" a few replies back....

Hey Jennifer:

If you've got a few extra bucks, I personally would recommend checking out some of the entry level MacBooks which have come down in price a good bit in the last few years; still more expensive than a comparably dressed Windows-based machine, but the stable, resource efficient, and virus-deflecting MacOS and the accompanying software that's pre-installed on 'em these days offers some pretty impressive bang for the buck.

If budget is still an issue, and you want to stick with Microsoft, it sounds like you might want to look into getting a Windows 7-based netbook. I've personally not tried one of these for audio, but fellow VU member/audio guru to the stars George Whittam wrote up a nifty PDF on a netbook-based travel setup that looks like it'd be very helpful to use as a starting reference:

http://eldorec.com/storage/docs/Traveling_VO_Article_Aug09_REVISED.pdf

Note that you can skip or swap out some of the components like the Sennheiser 416 mike, which not everyone can easily afford or sounds good on - but I'd definitely concur with his suggestion to invest in a MicPort Pro USB preamp to hook up to whichever mike works best for you.

Good luck, and if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask your friendly neighborhood VU types and I'm sure one of us can get you an answer!
Comment by Kevin Doherty on November 18, 2010 at 5:39pm
Resolution: I found out I had to update my MIDI/Interface driver and reconfigure with my computer's sound card, glad to be done with it and back to work. Thanks for the helpful info!
Comment by Kevin Doherty on November 18, 2010 at 10:43am
@Dan,

I'v gone ahead and removed a virus so I am assuming the issue with my recording software is related to that. Next question, should I un-install and re-install the driver since I am still not able to record?

Thanks,
Kevin
Comment by Kevin Doherty on November 16, 2010 at 11:10am
Thanks Dan, I'll check all of these options and let you know!
Comment by Dan Harder on November 16, 2010 at 10:42am
Hey Kevin,
The first question I would ask is, "What Changed?" In my experience as desktop support for many years, programs don't just stop working without some kind of outside influence.

What operating system are you using? Is your hard drive filling up? Have you recently installed new software? Do you have a virus or malware infection?

Check the system logs to see if there are hardware issues such as a pending device failure or device malfunction. (Control Panel >> Administrative Tools >> Event Viewer >> System) The information is a bit cryptic, but should give you an idea of the problem.

Check the capacity of your drives. If you're over 85% full, there may be capacity issues. Also check to see if there are an abundance of temp files from Sound Forge. I'm not familiar with that application, but with Cool Edit I sometimes need to clean out the Temp folders.

If you've installed new software, something may have corrupted your install of SF. Perhaps SF has a repair option when you insert the original install disk.

In recent weeks I've dealt with and heard of a number of infections of computer even though they have Antivirus (AV) software running. Make sure you keep up-to-date on your virus definitions in your AV software. Also, there is a great -- and free -- program called MalwareBytes (google it) that does a great job of scanning your computer for malware that may be missed by your AV software.

Good luck finding it. Please let us know what your problem is when you do find it.

-Dan
Comment by Kevin Doherty on November 16, 2010 at 10:20am
Hi Gang,

I've been working with Sony's Sound Forge 9.0 for a few years now with great results, however as of late my software keeps freezing and levels disappear after a few files have been completed. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Thanks,
Kevin
Comment by Jennifer M.Dixon on November 15, 2010 at 8:34pm
Hello y'all.Any suggestions for a very quiet,reasonably priced laptop just for recording on the go? Thanks
Comment by Andy Boyns on November 2, 2010 at 1:41pm
Our good friend and tech guru, George Whittam shares with me in my new Person Behind the Voice podcast at http://andyboyns.com/vo/2010/11/podcast-george-whittam.html. Amongst other stuff we talk about how he started working with voice artists, and the Don LaFontaine VO lab
 

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