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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  • Darla: Yes - Twisted Wave is Mac only. Al
  • Thanks Alexis. I have a PC and I think Twisted Wave is for the Mac. If there is anyone out there using Tisted Wave for PC, let me know, please.
  • Hi Ms. Middlebrook,
    I'm no expert or anything, but my dad tried lots of programs and by far the one he likes the most is Twisted Wave. It has a 30 day free trial, its only costs 80 dollars and the support was great. Its really simple to use, even my eight year old brother can use it. Hope that helps.

  • AA-3 offers a free 30-day trial. That's why I want to try it when my pc is working properly. Thanks for the input, Walt.
  • There are LOTS of digital editing programs out there, Darla. I hear that there are even some free ones out there that are sufficient enough for good voice recordings. If you snoop around these help groups you'll discover the names of them.
    I use Adobe Audition 3 and Pro-Tools. I find Adobe Audition to be a fairly easy and convenient program to use for quick recordings, yet powerful enough to really produce some top quality, complex stuff as well. So there are lots of layers to AA-3. You can begin by using it for basic stuff and learn your way into much more elaborate things if you wish. It has the capabilities to incorporate lots of great plug-ins too. That said, it is a pretty expensive software in comparison to some others, so you need to decide whether you want to make the investment.
    Adobe Audition used to be known as Cool Edit Pro, before they sold to Adobe. Back then you could get a free DVD tutorial which showed you step by step how to use it. I don't know if it's still available.
    I'm sure that some other people in this group may be able to help you further as well. Good Luck!
  • Oh..forgot to say that I have tried Audacity for recording and don't really like it. When i get my studio set up, i think i want to try Adobe Audition 3. Is anyone using it? What do you think about it. Remember, I am new, new, new to all of this.
  • I am new to Voice Over. Right now, I am at the level of learning (taking courses, workshops and trying to find a vo coach appropriate for me) and in the stage of "money-going out-but-nothing-coming-in". The building of a small home studio is coming along slowly. One of the reasons is that, in the town where I live, the equipment supplier hasn't a clue about what a voice over talent is (LOL). So, I am waiting for some equipment that I have ordered on-line, having my pc upgraded (by someone who DOES understand about voice overs) and sound proofing a corner of my apartment. I am looking forward to VOICE 2010 where I hope to learn more about this industry.
  • Thanks, I will pass that along. Its nice of you to take the time to explain this stuff to us.

  • "My Dad wants to replace our JK Inline patch with a digital one, he was thinking about the Comrex DH20 or the JK In Keeper.
    1) Would we need a second phone line with either one?" [ a second line is only needed if you want to keep the first line free to use for phone calls while doing a session]
    "2) Which one would be better?" [Good question]

    In theory any digital hybrid that is properly designed, will be significantly better than an analog only hybrid in it's ability to separate the send and receive audio. And the Gentner-Clear One units have a little echo cancellation to provide to reduce echo back in the line. This is specified as the TELCO LINE ECHO CANCELLATION feature in Clear One literature. The Gentner/Clear One and Polycom Vortex units also add the some noise reduction, which is not required but is a nice feature.
  • Thank you Mr. Nickell, I will show what you wrote to my dad. Today he used Skype ran through the mixer and it worked ok but the sound is kind of like a cell phone. He is hoping for better.

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