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 by Howard Ellison on March 8, 2012 at 3:16pm

Beau woud have the definitive answer for you, but on his recommendation I got Twisted Wave as soon as I switched to Mac and absolutely have not looked back.  Audacity on a pc is not in the same league for ease, speed, display quality - and I hate to say that as it is designed by clever, public spirited people..

Comment by Ed Mace on March 8, 2012 at 3:08pm

Hi Beau-I'm thinking of trying out Twisted Wave on my 2011 iMac. I've been spoiled by Audacity's the ease of use on the PC for years.I've done very little recording it with the exception of Audacity for the Mac which doesn't have the same features as Audacity for the PC (e.g. the simple to use 'generate silence' feature). Is Twisted Wave available only for the Mac? Thanks,Ed : ) 

Comment by Alexis Serrano on February 3, 2012 at 12:44pm

When we had a buzzing sound, a "60 bicycle hum" or something like that, my dad got a power conditioner, upgraded our mic cables to "Migomi Gold" and made sure the mic cables did not cross over the power cables.

We don't know which thing or a combination did it but we had no more buzz.  My Dad said, when we added an outboard compressor it does add some electric noise.

To get rid of that he got a free plug-in called Zimple Gate.  Its a really easy to use nose gate that takes off buzz without messing up the recording.  

Hope that helps. 

Comment by Gary Hood on February 3, 2012 at 1:01am

Thanks Alexis and Howard for the room advice

 

Comment by Howard Ellison on February 2, 2012 at 3:56pm

Yes, good moves, those.  Even with a conditioner, you might get powerline loop hum when you add new stuff.  An audio isolation transformer (basic ones are sold for car stereo add-ons) can be a remedy. Quality loss is very very slight, and if it's only connected in a playback path, it hardly matters.

Comment by Bob Crandall on February 2, 2012 at 3:46pm

Well Howard that would have put me on funny farm for sure. I also in my quest to solve this problem bought power conditioner, someone said I might be having a "ground loop" problem. Well anyway now I have all my equipment plugged into the same strip, which I'm told is a good thing.

Comment by Howard Ellison on February 2, 2012 at 3:30pm

Hey Bob, don't blame yourself. The Electronics may try to outsmart us at every turn, but in the end we win out! 

Once I raged about a weird whistle on playback only. The obscure cause... a switching-type 'wall-wart' plug on a spare monitor, setting up a heterodyne with another that unknown to me had been plugged in elsewhere in the house.  

Comment by Bob Crandall on February 2, 2012 at 3:10pm

Heads up, I have been going through hell trying to find out what was causing noise on my recordings. I was doing some long form work and recording in mp3 format. I save often as many as 20 times. There was a hum, I could not figure out what was causing this to occur. I finally read somewhere, not to save an mp3 file more than once,because it is a compressed file, you recompress each time you save, which can bring out artifacts. So I now record in wav or aiff which are uncompressed files, then convert the finished file to mp3, Problem solved. Silly me, I did not know this, blamed twisted wave, went out bought Adobe Audition , and it was in one there tutorials that I found the enlightening info. So now I know and so do you. By the way Adobe Audition is great I love it. Twisted Wave is a great program too, and I take back everything I said about it in my hour of ignorant rage.

Comment by Howard Ellison on February 2, 2012 at 2:59pm

You are so right there, Alexis.  With Performance obviously in first place, the next priority is Studio, then Equipment.  I took a listen to some stuff recorded before our recent move and what I noticed most was the room boom... just a bit too much of it!

In a quieter, deader space now, I can work farther back when appropriate and even use a touch of noise gating without that giveaway breathing effect.

No doubt you find it more comfortable in that booth, too!

Comment by Alexis Serrano on February 2, 2012 at 2:38pm

I am not an expert but I bet someone will ask about your recording environment, and what kind of sound blocking/absorption treatment your using.  

From our little experience and reading lots of stuff on line it seems that the area your recording in is the first thing to consider.  We have a mic port pro for away from the studio auditions and it works great.  We never used the HH mic but I have only read good things about it. 

If I am wrong someone will correct me but I think the sound of your room is where you need to start.  We did not get a really good sound until we got out of my closet and got a used vocal booth, but I know there are other ways to go.  Hope that helped. 

 

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