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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  • Beau,

    Thanks for providing a site to ask and get answers for technical questions for V.O. actors.
    P.S. What are your thoughts about Garageband '09 for voice-overs?
  • Any thoughts on Source Connect as an alternative to ISDN? How good is it?
  • Liked Beau Weaver's article on audio software. I was a Pro-Tools user, now using Logic for all my music production (as well as VO). TwistedWave sounds like an even simpler but effective tool for VO. Thanks Beau!
  • The dreaded HUM has taken up residence in my signal chain! Help! All was fine with my Mbox2 Pro/Pro Tools/Macbook Pro rig until I added a PreSonus Eureka two days ago. Now there is a hum. I've read that it is most likely a ground loop generated hum and that the way to determine this is to determine the frequency of the hum...if it's around 60hz, it's likely a ground loop issue. So how does one go about determining the frequency of a hum in Pro Tools LE 8? How have others attacked hum in their studios?
  • Ed,

    Just taking a peek at the tech docs for the 003 family, and it looks like the SPDIF I/O can handle 96k/24bit audio...that should be a bit of good news. 003 Racks have been going pretty cheap lately...well, relatively cheap anyway.

    Good luck!

    Mike Bratton
  • Could use a little assistance...

    96 kHz audio files ... I suddenly find myself needing to be able to provide them from home.

    One of my pre-amps handles this and I can output at 96 kHz, but my present interface (original MBOX) can't. The MBOX 2 Pro can if used as the Pre, but not with externally fed sources.

    I am a Pro Tools guy, so I'll need to keep it in the Digidesign family.

    Would the Digi 002 do the trick? The 003? And would one be better, besides the $ factor? Looking for a True Line-In here, via digital optical out, S/PDIF or AES3.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Joe what are you using for a phone patch now, did the AP 400 you were using have any problems?

    What is the difference between between the 400 and 800?

    From my little bit of checking a used AP 400 or 800 is much less that the newer JK phone patch things. I just need this to work so the clients can hear me.

    Thanks for your help.

  • I use the AKG for almost everything - mostly I do long form narration. The Rode has "tighter" almost compressed sound. It's very up-front.

    The C414 presently is my mic of choice. It's smoother and it's wide pattern is very forgiving for long hours.

    All my demos except the Promo/Trailer used the AKG - C414. The P/T demo was done at Marc Graue's place on a Sennheiser 416.

    I'd like your opinion (and anyone else's), too.
  • Dan, I see you use the AKG and Rode mics. How do you think about their different renderings of your voice? Do you think of one for a certain sound or approach?
  • Dan,
    Sounds like you have used the JK auto null product? That's good feedback. I have only had experience with their entry level box, the name esacapes me. The symptoms are low send level and when driving the level hotter it oscillates (sounds like a weird feddback).-Thanks, Joe
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