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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  • Mr. Whittam, my dad said to say thanks for helping him out today.
  • Based on the issues I heard in your Dad's audio sample he sent me, I am not sure that Ed's suggestion will make a noticeable difference. I still find Skype to be the best sounding and cost effective method to do a "phone patch" currently available. Skype completely separates the send and receive signals, and thanks to amazing echo cancelation you can use it without headphones and with your speakers. All the hybrid gadgets just do their best to separate the send/receive signals from the phone company (or VOIP device). Plus Skype works with any telephone with their Skype In/Out services, which are very cheap. It's how I run my business, in fact, I ONLY use Skype for all of my business calls.
  • Thank you Mr.Cowden, I will pass that to my dad.
  • Hey Alexis,

    Might have an extremely easy and cheap solution for you. I use VOIP here for Phone Patch (Ooma) with no problems, using a JK Audio Inline Patch. Looking at the DH20, I think what works for me should work for you.

    The trick is to use a Male-->2 Female splitter off the line output of your VOIP device, so what is normally your one output from the VOIP to your actual phone becomes two. Connect one of these two to your phone base as normal, and connect the other output to your DH20.

    When you want to make a call out, just make sure you activate the line on your DH20 and pick up the phone at about the same time (so no busy signals, if you get any with your VOIP), and dial out via the handset. Hang up the handset and the DH20 should stay on the line.

    You can do the same with an incoming call, just this time you'll answer the phone like normal. Turn on the DH20 so it has access to the line and hang up the handset when ready.

    About a $3 solution at Radio Shack. Should do the trick.
  • Hi everyone,

    Mr. Meadows,
    I believe my dad has something called Sound Studio by Felt Tip I think that works on PCs too. Its not as smooth to use as Twisted Wave but it works basically the same. We use it as a back up.

    Joe,
    the problem with the DH20 was that it would open the phone line but not let you dial or hang up. The tec support guy at whatever company took over Gentner said the most likely problem the VOIP phone line we use is not compatible with it. We recently switched to the cable company for phone service. Also it causes a very noticeable hum when its plugged in. If you have any suggestions that would be great.

    Dear Dan,
    I will tell my Dad about the Broadcast Host.
    I think its cool we are all involved in voice over too.
    It started with me, my Dad had wanted to do it since he was in high school or something and so I encouraged him.

    My little brother wants to do anything my dad does. My brother and I have auditioned together but last week was the first time we did a real session together in a studio in Hollywood. Its a big secret we had to sign papers saying we would not talk about it.

    Yesterday, the writer of the Little Critter books said he wants to use Shawn for the voice of Llittle Critter but he has to show them he can take direction and handle a session for two hours. He is only 8 but I think he can do it if my dad is there.

    If you want you can hear my brother ( we are working on a full demo for him) or see our little studio see www.alexisavenuevoices.com

    *****Any other phone patch advice is appreciated. ******

    Thanks,
    Alexis
  • Alexis,
    Sorry to hear of your frustrations. Do you have a Mackie mixer with ALT 3/4 MUTE? I think that's what it is called. You can use that to monitor an input (the phone patch) and not record it. What didn't work with the DH20?
  • Alexis,
    I use the Broadcast Host on VOIP on a weekly basis. It has a separate headphone jack and even a microphone preamp so you can completely isolate it from the mix, though with a little thought and use of different buses (aux out) on even the smallest mixer, you can feed the same audio to the phone as is going to your recorder - then listen for direction via the headphone jack on the Broadcast Host unit.

    -Dan
    PS - I think it is **so cool** that you and your family are making VO a family affair.
  • Our Gentner DH20 phone patch did not work out, the tec support guy said it was because we use VOIP for phone service.

    The JK Audio Inn Keeper was recommended on this site but was it the PBX or the Broadcast Host? Or is there something better. Skype is out for the moment because the way or mixer and interface is set up the caller gets recorded too and that won't work for us.

    My little brother has a session coming up and we need to get it working quick. Any thoughts please


    Alexis
  • I don't suppose there is a twisted wave version for windows is there?
  • Gary, I use Soundforge also. Had strange thing happen to me the other day when playing back I couldn't get any sound. But on previously recorded items, it played back ok. Any suggestions?
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