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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  • TWISTED WAVE QUESTION: PLEASE HELP....I am still trying to resolve an issue that might be simple to fix. TECH-WIZARDS help me....
    I Open Twisted Wave on my MACBOOK PRO. I have the mic hooked up correctly through my Apogee Duet. I can SEE the recording level/meter on the right side of the screen picking up a signal when I speak...BUT I can't HEAR the audio through the headphones OR monitors?????? When I press "record" and start speaking...I am recording to Twisted Wave...BUT I "HEAR" nothing. When I press playback....I hear the recorded material loud and clear. ANYONE????
    I would think that I would be able to "monitor" my audio at all times...even when NOT recording...??? If I can't fix this....I need another option fast. What is a user-friendly MAC-friendly software that will allow me to record for clients/produce multi-track spots & save/send in multiple formats????
  • Rosanne leaped into the fray without paying attention to the word MAC regarding TwistedWave. Typical behavior of that crazy chick! Now I'm reformatting the VO computer and still thinking about software. The nicest thing I could do for myself is go to visit a VO artist and watch the process. I know it isn't that difficult!!
    Since I already own ProTools, I can use another program to switch from WAV to MP3, can't I? Sure I can! So much information here, it is almost overwhelming; however how wonderful to have you all here to question.

  • Hi Beau...

    I can't believe I actually found someone that feels the same way I do about Pro Tools! You summed it up succinctly in the very first paragraph - just the way I do, when people ask ME about the software. For me, Sound Forge is good enough for laying down individual tracks. I use Audition for multitrack stuff. I mean, what else do I need? Yeah, I mix stuff too...but Audition works fine for that task...

    Regarding Sound Forge:

    I'm furious at Sonic Foundry AND Sony! I'm not a Mac user, so your gripe doesn't apply to me. However, I don't particularly like what they did after version 6. 7 is sometimes tempermental, and 8 and 9 are totally useless! I'm finding myself sticking with the earlier version. I wish they'd stop screwing with it - especially when it's working okay. All they want to do is keep adding stuff - stuff, as you say, people will never use.

    I have every software program under the sun, and frankly don't need another - especially Pro Tools. However, I'll check out your recommendation just for "fun". Thanks for the tip, and as always...your helpful and professional insight. I respect you a lot. Wish I would have met you years ago. In the late '60's and early '70's though - but at that time, I was rockin' & rollin' at WGCL in Cleveland...

    Hope you had a nice New Year! All The Best!

    Cheers to you!

  • Beau, I'm definitely going to try TwistedWave, as my VO dedicated computer crashed last night. and I am open to anything that will help me begin my career as a VO artist!
  • Hey all....figured I would drop a quick note on a new product I grabbed. It is the Blue Icicle.
    It is very cool. Auto installs the driver when connected. It is extremely clean and makes on the road recording easier with your basic program like audition, twisted, even good-ole Cool Edit. It is a great alternative to the MicPort pro that many people have used. And much cheaper!
    It takes away the need for a bigger usb balanced audio interface like the Mbox for pro tools or the m-audio, audio-technica et al interfaces which are much bulkier.
    Just a thought for those looking for the simplest/clean way to get a quality Mic into their laptop on the road. Hope it helps and post your review if you've used one yourself.
  • Hi i thought I would update on the Twisted Wave issue, as mentioned before I am a complete "techno moron". A technically minded friend of mine repaired the "permissions" on my Mac and all is well with the world again. So the issue in summary was not with "Twisted Wave" but with my Mac. Oh Happy days :-)
  • Hi there, just wondering if anyone else is having a problem with Twisted Wave since it's recent "update" was installed. Ever since the upgrade my program keeps freezing/crashing for no apparent reason; and won't respond to quit or force quit commands, necessitating a complete reboot of the Mac to get out of it. Any help on this problem would be greatly appreciated by this "techno moron" Cheers Lofty.
  • Hello to all,

    I was hoping someone could help this audio nerd hook up some equipment. This is what I have cooking and need help with.
    I have a Tapco Mix 120 mixer and just bought a JK Audio Broadcast Host (Desktop Digital Hybrid). I want to be able to do some phone interviews for a podcast that I am setting up. What I need someone to help me with is the step by step hook-up.
    Here's my chain: Tapco Mix 120 mixer, JK Audio Broadcast Host (Desktop Digital Hybrid), to an MBox 2 via USB to computer. Software I use is Adobe Audition version 3.0.
    I mean I am clueless when it comes to things like this, so any help or suggestions would be very much appreciated.
  • Soundstreak does seem like a game changer, but they've been in beta for a LONG time now, well over a year. Maybe they just find it isn't reliable enough yet, or that "Technical skills required for Producer/Recordist: None" claim isn't a reality...I don't know. I did a test with them last year, and it was impressive. There is no fee structure yet, either. Last I was told in May is that it will be negligible or free for talent, implying that the Producers pay the fees. Does that really sound realistic?
    Another IP technology that never seemed to get off the ground is iSpeek. I think Frank lost his funding or support for the development.
    AudioTX's clear advantage is that it requires VERY little CPU, and will run on just about any Windows PC you can find. I've got it running on an OQO Model 2, the ultimate in portable recording/broadcast with its built in EVDO modem.
    I've set up many users with AudioTX and Source Connect over the last couple years, more SC than ATX, mainly due to its more affordable entry price and cross platform support. One thing that is interesting is to figure out how to record AudioTX from within the same computer it is run on. Ever try that?
    Spreadin' the Twisted Wave gospel, it's great stuff!
  • What about using Garageband? It's free with the Mac and, although it's no Pro Tools, it does bounce files fairly quick.
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