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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  • Thank you so much, Howard! Appreciate the feedback!
  • Hi, Jyl and welcome. I also love my Mac but for narration GB drove me crazy.

    I now use it only to layer the occasional music bed, or to synth something.  Even if you do hack recording on it, the editing is not precise or nimble enough to fix small vocal clicks etc quickly.  There are lots of good recorders: my own favourite for VO on a Mac is Twisted Wave which is free for four weeks and not expensive.   It lets you punch in, drop out, see your level (on the trace and its excellent dB meter), do post-adjustments such as de-essing and tone control (EQ).   And, answering your concern, you can choose to record mono to avoid those embarrassing playback issues.  We have all had them!  It is also a bargain price. I don't get any commission, by the way, and it has been praised by others of far longer experience.

  • Hi there everyone! I just switched my recording system to Mac and had a question about GarageBand. Here is some feedback I got from a potential client that I am trying to resolve:

    • The tracks are recorded on the left channel only when heard in stereo, or mono/left only, which requires casting folks and producers to convert her audition into a stereo file and resave.
    • The tracks are also very inconsistent with regards to levels. it is as if she is saving the audition as she goes, yet NOT using the same record level when you pots back up the mic, and records from that point

    If there are any GarageBand gurus out there who can help me out with feedback on mono/stereo channels and levels, that would be great! Feel free to post here or write me directly at Much appreciated!

  • I just downloaded the voice engine. Thanks everyone for your tips and ideas! This is an awesome group:)
  • Great tips!  Thankyou everyone!
  • Oh the Voice Engine that Mr. Gentle wrote about is nice, my dad used it on his PC lap top when he records away from the studio. He likes it better than Audacity.
  • My dad read somewhere I think it was this forum  that turning the mic at a 45 degree angle instead of straight on helped tone down the sss ZZZ CH SH and P sounds. It has helped.  I have heard that if you learn to speak differently it can help with the PPs but I have not found out how yet.  Oh an engineer also told him lower the mic a little so it does not pic up the nasal tone if its right at your nose. If it is closer to the chest it gets a more "chesty" tone he was told.

    I don't know if he thinks that works.

  • For pops and clicks my coaches have recommended nipping them at the source.  The VO actor must stay as hydrated as possible, take breaks to drink water (or spray it into your mouth), use lozenges (Halls Refresh adds moisture to your mouth), lip balm (to cut down on the sound of your lips opening and closing), nibble slices of GS apple.  So, short cuts and techniques.
  • yeah, I ususally end up doing alot of editing...which is why I am thinking if I find the right software I can work smarter not harder. You guys are great!!! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and suggestions!
  • As clicks and plosives have 'popped up' again, and a large-diaphragm condenser is mentioned, can I raise this: it has been said that some LDC's 'overshoot' on k's and t's etc, making them more prominent.   Unless you have clever software, what a lot of editing!

    I was amazed to hear this.  I thought condensers were linear so I always blamed those sharp clicks on a combination of me and my analogue compressor (which can indeed overshoot).  There's very limited info about microphone overshoot on the web - anyone know more?

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