technical questions about equipment and software used by voice talent who record at home - moderated by Beau Weaver
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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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  • First of all, thanks BW for the tech group - plenty of good stuff here.
    Never touched PT after hearing about all the negative jargon - no...wait...yes I did! I tried loading a version I got with my DI and what a nightmare for this VO!
    On a lighter note, after using Cool from its earlier version, now AA3.0, wow, what a difference with quality results and simplicity.
    This software was well worth the price and is compatible with XP PRO and Vista with very few problems to worry about.
    Upgrading from an external USB soundcard to a digital interface was a Godsend as well.
    Soundcards are great for MP3's and gaming if you will, but in today's V/O tech world its DI's all the way!
    I premix on the right occassion through a Mackie, but a mic processor is next on my humble list of must-haves..perhaps the dbx 286A? Any thoughts on that?
    Thanks for having me aboard!

  • Thanks, Lance!
    I put the PreSonus on ice this morning, and replaced it with a slighty higher grade M-Audio FireWire410 - The guitarcenter didn't have any Echo's and said they couldn't get them (and I really didn't want to wait another week to get this VO thing moving along).

    I also upgraded to Cubase Studio 4, since the driver upgrade on PreSonus fried my compatiblty on Vista, and they tell me that they will not ever support Vista - especially since the OS's demise is impending- so I did the "Competitive Upgrade.

    I am hoping to get with a buddy to borrow an Audio Technica mic to see what kind of a signal difference that I notice in the two mics.

    I hope to start recording in the morning, and will hopefully get some folks to give me feedback on the quality of this gear.

    Thanks for your input!
  • The Cubase LE that came with my recording equipment I'm told by the local Guitar Center that the system is just as good as any of the rest, and may be a bit better than most.

    My Mic - even though an entry level mic is currently being used by a few pros who get work with it on a regular basis. My cabling has been tested out thoroughly by the aforemenmtioned guitarcenter, and no problems have been encountered individually. I put them all together and everytime, I get a junk on my production line.

    It makes it very difficult to get off the ground when the feathers that you are using for lift don't seem to work together properly.

    To add insult to injury, I just updated the drivers to ensure that maybe I wasn't missing a patch that would fix everything, and after the patch installed, my Cubase no longer recognises my input channels - it only recognises my cheapo computer speakers as INPUT signals. When I called Cubase, they told me that they don't support LE and the only way to get the software to recognise the actual inputs is to purchase an upgrade of Cubase.

    The minimum Upgrade is 149.00. Mind you, I'm told that that upgrade will do nothing to add to the current edition of Cubase except to support Windows Vista - nothing else!

    I'm now trying to figure out if I can justify that outlay, or if I should just kick it out and start all over with a version of SoundForge or ProTools or some more mainline VO directed software. I just saw some stuff from Steinberg aimed at audio editing - WaveLab - anybody heard of it? Anybody used it? Any thoughts?

    Have a great first unofficial day of Summer everybody!!!
  • I was curious about USB Mics and I purchased the Audio Technicia 2020 USB. And I found it to be decent. What are some of your opinions on the USB type mic.
  • Hey Lance! I am using the Cubase LE that came with my PreSOnus Inspire DI. I just updated the driver and now Cubase won't recognise the Presonus recording input - at least accorsing to the VST Input map. The only input that it is recognising is the chapo computer speakers Aux port (which has nothing at all plugged into it). My control panle says that the Inspire Mic and Aux inputs are working, but Cubase won't allow me to set it up as an input option.

    I have been banging my head against this desktop for the past 12 hours!

    Can you offer any advice???

  • PT is the industry standard, but if you're concern is putting the VO track down, Cool Edit makes it extremely easy. The overall "sound" starts from the mic down. Crap in = crap out. Old school CE works just fine for most VO folks....
  • Hi Beau,

    Great to see you here, it's been FOREVER!

    What can I do about that annoying computer noise when recording. I know most of my clients gate it out and no one has complained, but I hear it!

  • Never been a ProTools user. I once tried downloading PT Free for Win98. After 30 minutes, I still hadn't figured out how to open a soundfile.

    No, I was a die-harded Syntrillium-fan for years, starting with CE96 and up to CEP, when I had the opportunity to try Steinberg's editing/mastering software "WaveLab". Never used anything else since, allthough I've given Nuendo some serious thoughts.
    WL is at version 6 these days, but I haven't felt the need to upgrade since version 4. You know, "If it ain't broke,..."
  • I agree PT is right choice for "musicians and audio engineers"

    I started with SAW and SAW Plus, migrated to COOL EDIT then PT's on the way I encountered the Music Studio, Sound Forge, CBase, and just about any other free program.

    For me it depends on how I feel which program I use. The menu driven setup of all of the programs seem to look and operate in the same manner to me.

    When I feel like audio engineering I use Pro-Tools.There are several great plugins that have been developed for PT -"Massey Plugins" are the bomb and inexpensive too.. When I feel like a radio, Audition 3.0 is a Dream that quick and easy to use and the good part is that Audition works with a Digidesign M-Box or M-Audio interfaces. So I get the best of both worlds. Which is the best DAW.... I don't know? I 'll try to get the best out of any one that I use.
  • Howdy Y'all !

    Thanks to the powers that be for this website!

    ProTools ProTools... I often wonder if it isn't another evil spawn from Gates of Hell... some time ago... a friend of mine shared his view that the prevalence of PT has begat a host of "soundalike" production in all things audio.

    SO... after years of abstinence from Cakewalk products i decided to bite the hand that fed me for years (Cool Edit / AAudition) and learn SONAR.

    SONAR 7 is IMHO, a superior platform giving producers much more freedom of expression than PT... AM I NUTS?

    One of my buddies at Waves ridculed the hell outta me when I was revamping my setup with new workstations based on the new platform (SONAR 6 at that time)...surely I must know that Cakewalk is an industry stepchild... DigiDesign is ALL KNOWING!

    NOW??? He's got a different opinion.

    Have any of you worked with the VC 64 in SONAR? If you haven't please look into the program.

    I still work with Audition 3 a lot and with the Waves plug ins... I love AA3.

    However... I am being seduced mightily by SONAR and its 64 bit offerings... and YES! Vista Home Premium is a stable base from which to produce excellent audio. I bought it on my new laptop since it would seem we're headed for some sort of 64 bit future anyway.

    I hope I live long enough to experience 128 or better bits!
    Perhaps I've bit off more than one can eschew.
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