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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  • Alexis,
    You aren't dumb, you are learning. Hopefully for the rest of your life. That's what I'm trying to do.
    I am interested in hearing thoughts about others thoughts on how much 'effect' they put on their read. I looked at the clip you mentioned, and he uses hard limiting to produce an edge to the sound. If you do that, you can't undo it. I am not a producer, but from what I observe that sound is driven and edgy and may be great, but also can sound like DJ processing.

    One thing you may notice and need to watch for is that the more compressed a clip is the more you will hear back ground noises, pops, clicks, etc.
  • No problemo! I'm happy to help. And never worry about asking too many questions. We were all in your shoes at one point in time or another.


    Mike B
  • That makes me feel better, sometime I feel dumb for asking so many questions.

    I cut and pasted your comments on a document to save for my dad, thanks again.

  • Thanks for sharing that Mike, I learned a little through Alexis' question.
  • It does help thank you very much.
  • Well, thank you for being so polite! Although, Mr. Bratton is my can just call me Mike. : )

    Anywho, I would try the preset field. There are a few to choose from in there. Try out the "Light" setting first. See what that does for you.

    Compression is a weird animal...thresholds and output and ratio, etc...

    But 9 times out of of the presets that's already available in the program will do the trick.

    Try out the "Light" setting, and listen to the results. Then you can try one of the other settings...and see if something fits your ears to your liking.

    Once you find one of the presets that you like, click the little "details" triangle at the bottom of the plugin, and take a look at the sliders. That will help you get an idea of what the different settings, do for your sound.

    It's rather difficult to explain in writing...but hopefully this least a little?


    Mike B
  • Mr. Bratton,
    I got the field you suggested, which one of those controls would be the one to add "a little compression" , there are so many sliders I don't even think my dad will know what to do.
  • Hiya Alexis...if you've got a Mac and Twisted Wave, chances are you've got Garage Band loaded up on the computer too...

    Look in the "Effects" pull down menu in Twisted Wave. You will see a choice for "Audio Units"...mouse over that, and you should then see a list of plugins labeled "APPLE"

    Check those plugins out, and play around with those first. The one that will most closely mimic what you saw in that video, will be the "AUDynamicsProcessor"

    It has some compression/limiting presets built in...and you can preview what your audio file will sound like with the different presets, before you commit the processing to the file.

    Good luck!
  • My dad wants me to ask which plugs we should add to Twisted Wave? I looked on but I did not know what to get there?

    Thank you
  • Thank you Mr. Nickell, my dad asked me to check on this because he just watched this blog. We don't know much about tec. stuff so he thought the nice people on this forum could help.
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