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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  • Dawn,
    I use the Porta Booth. Since it is the only booth that I use, I really have no way to compare it to anything else. I have the booth sitting in the spot on my computer desk where the monitor used to sit. It fits neatly into that nook. I've been told that my sound is quite good. I purchased the booth when I started building my home studio because my landloard would not allow any structral changes.
  • I recorded a job on older style one that is more boxy in a bedroom with pillows around it, and it worked well. (My dad added an extra piece of that gray sound-foam stuff to the bottom).

    My dad tried to sneak in a quick audition in a terrible room with marble floors and lots of hard edges and it did not work very well.

    We have a 4x6 vocal booth, that is much better. But the Port a Booth would probably be OK if you were in a hotel or something.
  • So, I probably missed this having been asked before so point me in the right direction if you know where I can find some info. I'm just wondering about Harlan Hogan's Porta-Booth Pro. Can anyone comment on the quality of the sound? Would I want to use this booth to do actual work, as opposed to using it simply for auditions? If I had the choice between using this and the very clean sounding regular booth I have at home, would either choice be equally as good as the other?
  • Rod - Thanks for the advice on website volume controls...I'll check it out
  • OK - dorkiest-suggestion-that-panned-out EVER: licking one's shirt when trying to get through a paricularly tricky bit of narration/VO without mouth noise. Seriously. I think Beau made the comment that he was going to try it and in a moment of desperation, I though - "Why the heck not??" Dang it all, it actually works. Short term, but there are some words that my tongue seems to think needs some extra noise...this can definitely do the trick. But it's gross. Don't fool's totally disgusting...oh the things we do in this business...
  • Victoria, I had that problem too until my daughter steered me towards It is FREE software that is compatible with all major office suites. I no longer have problems when I download .docx stuff or just about anything else!!! Let me know how it goes. Hope all is well with you.
  • I also had some problem with .docx files from I have MS Word 2003, and downloaded the conversion program, but still had a problem. It turned out that my problem was that I clicked on the .docx file in Voices and it saved as a zip file. Not good. Instead, I right-clicked on the file name and told it to be saved as whatever.DOCX to my desktop. I then clicked on the file on my desktop and it was opened by MS Word 2003. Keep in mind, do not left click on the .docx file on Voices. Always right-click and save as a .docx file IF you have the conversion program (free) from MS.
  • .docx is an odd format. If you are using a Mac, try looking up Bean or NeoOffice. If using a PC, Microsoft Word should do the trick. For free, though, I believe there is also a version of NeoOffice you can download for PC. Should work. You may also want to check out and look for a shareware or freeware progrqm that can open .docx files.
  • docx files: I keep trying to open them but I just get computer talk. so to speak
    I have downloaded a compatibility program and up dates and still I can not open a docx file. my computer saves in docx but willnot open one from voices .com
    can someone help me thanks so much
  • thanks Ed
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