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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Comments

  • Miss Middlebrook,
    My dad said he heard the a hum and sometimes TV over his head phones, he got a hum eliminator, another thing called a power conditioner, got better cables, I think they are Monster or Magobi or something like that, they cost more but have a life time warranty. The other thing was he made sure the mic cables do not touch the power cables. I dont know which thing fixed the problem but he has not had a hum or TV signal again.
  • Hi Joe,
    Whoops - sorry I didn't mention the cables and cords. I did swap out all cables (mic, power cord, balanced patch cables, XLR to 1/4 TRS cable, etc.). I'm thinking ground loop mostly because the hum is that perfect 60hz you get with ground loops. If it is, the Ebtech might kill it. If it's not, then I think the unit I got used is just plain whacked. If that's the case, I will have to get another one. Talked with a technician who was honest about potential repair: if I even find someone willing to take it on, it will cost more than another unit because it may likely take hours just to find the issue. Yeah, ain't going that route. As for hearing the hum, how can I upload something or send it to you?
    --Xe
  • I was happily editing this morning when something painful happened. While listening to the playback, I heard an extremely loud crackling. It was so loud that it caused me to yank the earphones from my head. At first I thought that I had done something wrong while recording. So when my ears stopped ringing, I ran the file back to the spot where the noise began. There was nothing. As I continued editing, it happened again. This time I could hear a voice. Shades of Twilight Zone! Turns out that my earphones pick up the radio transmissions from truckers and cabbies when they pass by. So the voices in my head might occur when I am editing, but aren't picked up on the recording. Thank goodness. Has anyone else ever had THAT happen?
  • Xe,

    Also try giving Presonus a call. I suspect a cable or the unit. I want to hear you results. I am skeptical of the Ebtech. You never discussed cables, Got to get that part right.- Joe
  • I agree with George with SonySoundforge as being the best to work with-and is relatively inexpensive, for a Windows based system. I use it along with Ableton, Reason, and Cakewalk LE with no problem importing from these programs into the Soundforge program...this is overkill for most VO artist, but I also work with it on other projects. Pro Tools is a good program but the time in it is daunting for what we do.-just my two cents of thoughts.
  • Thanks, Joe! I *think* I understand your first comment...do you mean (in Pro Tools) that I should load up a 3-7 EQ and then tweak it until I find what augments or eliminates the frequency? Pretty sure it's 60hz...but haven't confirmed it yet. I get the hum no matter if all devices are plugged into my Furman power conditioner or not...but I do have an Ebtech Hum Eliminator coming next week to hopefully kill the hum. I'll keep the board posted.
  • Soundforge is my favorite for voice-over actors on Windows. Fast to learn, powerful effects, easy interface.

    As for Source Connect, read this.
  • Mike -

    Thanks. Digi 002 had the same specs, so I opted that direction. Cheaper and I hear some rumblings of many preferring it to the 003. To each their own in the end, though.

    Arrives today. Hopefully this solves everything...
  • Xe,

    Try using a filter to boost or cut and sweep it thru the audio spectrum until you find the problem freqeuncy. Do you have all devices plugged in the same circuit? Are yo usure the cable is correct? -Joe
  • I am a user of Soundforge and love it! I'd like to know how many people out there use it and like it?
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