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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  • part 2 - studio legend is a long departed VO talent couldn't get a read he liked and grabbed a mic and said 'try this'. It was a Senn 416. This was considered 'the wrong mic' for VO work before this occured. They got a good take, he liked it and the 416 is now a VO workhorse. The 416 is a staple for use on a boom for news and location production.
  • A pick up pattern is a graph or description of how sensitive a microphone is based on the location of the source to the mic. A shotgun mic is very directional, a cariod mic is somewhat directional and and omni(directional) mic is what it says. Omni's are are rarely (never?) used in VO. The directional aspect primarily means it picks up less from nearby boundary(s) like walls, desks and copy stands. (end part 1)  

  • Thank you for that, 

    Can you tell me is it better to use a shotgun mic for trailers and promos?  Thats what I see but I have never got a good answer why.  

  • The NTG-3 and the 416 have very similar pickup patterns. The 416 is somewhat "tighter" and therefore in theory rejects more unwanted noise or material. But, the NTG-3 isn't THAT much wider. They're really quite strikingly similar. The nice thing is, sometimes, with the NTG-3's pattern being ever so slightly wider, if you move around a bit when recording, you won't accidentally have a moment where you go too far off-axis and cause your recording to sound weird or distant.
  • Mr. Bratton, I can't remember the term something "rejection" what I mean is how do the NTG3 and 416 compare for not picking up unwanted sounds.  Like if your recording in a hotel room instead of your booth, which mic would be better for that.
  • Stephanie,

     

    I have both the 416 and the NTG-3...and had the NTG-2 for a little bit. If you can swing it, spend the extra bucks and pick up the NTG-3. There's negligible sonic difference between the 416 and the NTG-3...and it is very user friendly. Plug it in, point at face...talk! No finicky eq'ing needed.

     

     

  • My dad was asking the same thing a few months ago, George Whitam wrote that the Rode NTG 3 would be fine.  You may want to ask him directly on his Eldorado Recording site.  He is very nice and helpful.  

     

    If you go to you tube and type in Rode NTG3 vs Senn. 416 there is a comparison that you can hear for your self.  To me the Rode sounds warmer, I actually like it better. 

  • ok everyone--redoing my travel rig. wanna get a shotgun (Sennheiser is a little out of price range at the moment)--looking at Rode's NTG2 and NTG3      a huge price diff. between the two...anyone have comments about these

    thanks, ya'll:)

  • Get a family size roll of Reynolds Wrap and roll yourself in foil like a Thanksgiving gobbler, LOL!

    Actually, it all depends on whether it's conducted or radiated - RFI just stands for Radio Frequency Interference. Give me a call to discuss, you can post the post mortem here if/when successful.
  • Hey Byron - I'll try with a laptop, that's the easiest option. I can also do the UPS with little fuss, so there's another experiment.

     

    IF it turned out to be RFI (sound serious!), what the heck would I do to nix that?

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