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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  • I think Wave Pad is free only for non-commercial use. It would seem to me that we're talking about commercial use for our business. I know - picky, picky, picky.
    Karl
  • Hi Ivy, about two pages back they mention a program called wave pad that is free. I seem to remember my dad playing with that on a PC. Let me know how it works out.
    http://www.nch.com.au/wavepad/index.html
  • Hi Ivy,
    They mentioned that a few pages back, I believe the easy answer was to put it on pause instead of stop. There is another free program that does not have that problem I will see if I can find it for you.
  • Okay techno dweeb here. I am in the process of sending an application for a VO scholarship. I have written my essay and now I need to record it. My techno guy isn't here so my question is how and when do I edit my recording. I am using Audacity and I need a simple way to stop recording on one track and not get switched to another track and then blend them together. Please help, I know like most I am probably missing a step. Thanks in advance. Blessings:)
  • There are a a couple of points on the iPhone-Touch. 1) the mic quality, 2) the frequency roll off, 3) the compression.

    I am waiting for the iAudioInterface to come out http://www.studiosixdigital.com/iphone_measurement_micropho.html. It is aimed at the measurement market, which means it should be flat and clean.
  • Dear Mr. Whittam,
    My dad says to tell you thanks for your comment on processing and that he is looking forward to your videos about it.
    Alexis
  • Thanks George. You're right about quality beginning at the mic. What I was thinking was that somewhere someone posted a sample of one of the standalone app recorders for iPhone. The person posting it claimed that the audio quality - through the built-in mic - was sufficient for auditions. Based on my recollection, he was right, but I'd like to hear it again.

    BTW, the Alesis box seems to do well.

    -Dan
  • Dan, the app doesn't determine the sound quality, the mic does. Right now there's only one viable way to connect a studio mic to an iPhone.
    Read my blog post to learn more and hear my audio sample.
  • Hey all,

    It seems to me that an iPhone recording app was discussed some time ago. I'm specifically looking to hear the quality of the recording. If you have experience with an iPhone recording app, and can provide the group with a link to a file recorded through the app, that would be good. Thanks in advance.
    -Dan
  • You need to be conservative with your processing until you become very familiar with the tools and how they effect the sound. Unless a client expects it of you I would never compress or limit any file that is used for a job, but auditions are a different (debatable by many) story. A little sugar on top never hurts to make your audition pop out, but how much relies on experience and listening to many other examples and finding the happy medium. I'll have some video tutorials covering topics such as this in the coming weeks...
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