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

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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Comments

  • Hi Beau! Thanks for the tip on Twisted Wave - I downloaded the trial version today - does it have a noise gate expander feature available? Sometimes when traveling, I'm in my hotel room and need to remove ambient fan noise or other stuff from my recording - am I missing this plug in on Twisted Wave? I have Sound Studio 3 which I love except there is no output meter - wish they would add that! Thanks for starting this group!
  • Hey Beau,

    I must agree...Pro Tools is great, but unnecessarily complex for simple VO stuff. I've used it in the past but highly prefer my Sony Vegas for, not only recording VO's, using it as a platform for source-connect, video editing...but also, producing some really high quality radio spots, audio sweetening, etc.

    When I get a chance later today, I'll be sure to check out Twisted.

    Thanks so much for the tip!

    Jeff
  • Rick,
    Thank you... Now to get started....
  • Loryce, This is all you need for now. The Snowball gets the job done, but lets not forget... nothing's better than a sound proofed room.
  • I have audacity and about to purchase a "Snowball" mic. Now without really getting into all the fancy tech stuff...is this all I need to get started ? (for now)
  • Hey! - SO I have a THAT-1 - and I bought a cheapie phone awhile back - that I SWEAR worked with it - yes yes - No keypad in the handset etc - BUT it just stopped working with it one day - and yes the phone is fine - - I thought it might be the THAT-1 but after sending it back to be looked at it was not the case - I'm aware I need a certain type of phone - BUT - anyone know WHERE I can get one? - ONE LINE only - just for phone patch sessions - NOT too expensive - I'm in NYC - and NO I don't want to invest or rather spend money on the THAT-2 which works with every phone I know - as I already have this one - any help would be greatly appreciated or you can write me off list - bobbiowens*at*hotmail*com
  • Hey there Tech Noties,

    So i just finished a phone patched recording from my studio with 6 other people on the conference call. It was for a large language learning company and i was recording the sound. When all was done I saved the raw data files and sent them to the client. But there was a problem, a 9khz ringing sound throughout the recording.....that's not good. Never happened before. Turns out someone had there phone on speaker on the conference call - anyway, the client, using their pro-tools couldn't get rid of the sound. Both the EQ and the noise removal program on Pro-Tools distorted the voice too much.......what could be done?????

    Well, I loaded up an old favorite - the free internet software Audacity, selected the noise removal function, isolated the ringing sound and then applied that to the entire WAV files. The ringing disappeared and my voice was as clear as a sunny day in Brighton.

    Pro Tools 0 - Audacity 1........who would have thought?

    James
  • Hey Beau – and greetings to everyone else.

    If I’m not mistaken, this program is MAC only, so in no way is this meant to challenge your recommendation but to compliment it by suggesting to PC users who are looking for a fast and easy editor, to look at WaveLab from Steinberg. Though I used Sony’s Sound Forge from when it came out in 95, (and I still have a version of it on my computer), I discovered what has been referred to as one of the most, if not most bit-for-bit accurate editor on the PC platform.

    WeveLab is super fast and easy to use. In fact, with regards to accuracy and dependability, if I’m not mistaken, one of the editing suites at George Massenburg Labs has it.

    Go to http://www.steinberg.net/128_1.html to check it out. I swear by it!

    I hope this helps!

    Donald James
  • Wow, Beau, interesting to read about your take on pc/mac. I just bought protools and it wont work with my dell pc, not enough memory. I wish I had read your thoughts beforehand, and went with soundforge, it sounds like it's easier, and will work with my dell pc. If it's a 2005 computer do you think it will work with soundforge? Best, Jessie Gilman
  • Thanks to Beau for contributing his years of experience and expertise. I'm way new to switch out of ProTools....and make yet another $$ investment. Well, maybe in a little while. Yeah, yeah, I know. I know - live and learn :)
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