Tech Notes for Voice Talent


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


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. 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 Jewel Carter on May 19, 2008 at 10:50pm
After reading the first two comments I knew that I found my new "group" home. Just when I was thinking that I was getting old 'cause I refuse to use pro tools. I feel so much better. I never had woodshop, however, my mama said..."if it ain't broke..." she also said something about a backhoe...but, I think she was talking about something all together different. :)
Comment by John Taylor on May 19, 2008 at 10:40pm
"Hi, my name is John.....and I am a Protools hater" group in unison: "Hi John!" PHEW! I feel better now! Thanks Beau.
Adobe Audition v 3.0 is my tool.(I do a lot of multittrack production)
For VO only Adobe Sound Booth is an excellent post hole digger, when a backhoe (Pro Tools) is too much.
My woodshop teacher said the same thing about tools but he was missing a few fingers.
Comment by Beau Weaver on May 19, 2008 at 9:23pm
Hey Guys, I would be happy to start a discussion of the technical tools we use in our craft. But be advised: I am a Protools hater. It's like trying to did a post hole....with a backhoe. Sure, it's great if you are doing multi-track, lots of plug ins and signal routing, or lock to picture stuff. But for recording high quality VO and doing a few edits? You will get carpel tunnel syndrome from all the keystrokes and commands required to do something simple. And, Digidesign is the most arrogant software company in America; and you have to really try to beat Microsoft in that department. With every OS software update, Protools breaks, leaving you stranded. If you insist on having Protools, because it "seems professional" ... well then, go ahead. Be my guest. But my wood shop teacher taught me: "go for the right tool for the job." There are any number of elegantly simple software applications that make recording VO quick and easy.

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