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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  • Alexis,
    Never heard details about your wiring. In general if you are using properly made cables for connecting balanced audio lines (1/4" TRS or XLR) there should be no hum. If you are using unbalanced connections (RCA or 1/4 TS) then a broken ground wire will cause hum.

    FYI : TRS = Tip, Ring, Sleeve, (AKA a big headphone plug) or just TS = Tip Sleeve
  • Al, you are correct. The Comrex is a re-labeled Gentner. Gentner underwent a name change a few years ago, and is now Clear One.

    If I were on a tight budget I would buy a used Gentner Auto Coupler for around $100, just like the JK only better. Next up I'd look at a Gentner SPH3 or 10($200 used) then the XAP TH2, AP10, or the DH20, Telos One ($300-500 used). Next after that is the new digital hybrids, from Clear One or Telos probably $1k+.

    There are also the Broadcast Tools, TT-1 for $139, and their auto nulling analog hybrid for around $600 I think. I haven't used the Broadacst Tools, they have a good reputation in general though. Any comments on them?
  • Sorry, I forgot to write he was also looking at Gentner Comrex DH20 Digital Hybrid II Phone Broadcast 2 digital phone hybrid. Which he insists is different than the plain DH20 below.

    We really appreciate your thoughts
  • 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?
    2) Which one would be better?
    3) Is there a better choice than those two.

    Thanks
    Alexis
  • What about when a joke turns out to be real?
    http://www.ohmibod.com/
  • What a coincidence, EV announced this break thru speaker system.
    http://www.electro-voice.com/blog/?p=92
  • Hey everyone,

    I just ran across a great must-have piece of studio gear! Check it out!
    http://www.rane.com/pi14.html

    -Dan
  • I'll have my dad try that
    Thanks,
    Alexis
  • Alexis,

    This is a bit of a shot in the dark, but try this. With the hybrid patch on line with a phone call so you can hear the hum, try disconnecting the SEND audio XLR on the JK and see if the hum level changes.

    Joe
  • Off hand, can't think of a way to check this out without resorting to some geek speak. Alexis, in general the term hum eliminator is a little broad. Most common boxes used to fix a hum problem, have an in and out, and a transformer in the box. The transformer isolates or breaks the common connection that allows for the hum to occur. These boxes usually have a switch that says 'lift' , hence we ended up calling this 'lifting the ground', even though when I think about it the phrase doesn't make literal sense.

    We might think about a couple of things.
    1) If you live near a retail music/audio store that sells a 'transformer isolation' box, see if you can buy one (and return it if not needed) or borrow one form a friend. Check to see what kind of connections are used, so that you have the correct cables to use it with your phone hybrid patch.
    2) If you have a 'board' or mixer and lots of things connected to it find out if the hum is always present or only present when a certain combination of devices are connected.

    What is your signal path? In other words if you have start at the mic and follow the signal from the mic would the mic connect to a mixer, and mic pre, a computer, or an audio interface for the computer? Similarly what is connected to the phone patch?
    -Joe
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