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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  • NYC VO talent/coach David Zema commissioned a custom-designed VO recording/editing app called Voice Engine that he gives away for free, although you'll have to sign up for his mailing list to download it; alternatively, his site says you can also e-mail him directly with information about yourself. 

     

    It's Windows-only and I'm an Apple guy these days, so I've not had a chance to check it out yet - he says a Mac version is in the works - but it seems to offer a lot of interesting features beyond the basics....more info and download here:

     

       http://www.voiceofsuccess.com/default.aspx?pageId=10

     

    If anyone tries it, post your experiences here and let us know how it worked!

     

     

  • Thanks so much for the advice! I have sound forge 6 and i like that tool alot, but I also have heard from several of my AE friends that the new one is even easier to use!  Adobe sound booth sounds great! I need software that easily removes pops and clicks as I have a rode ntk. Its a large diaphragm mic that has a beautiful tone, but can be quite sensitive with the pops and plosives. Any other recommendations for pops and plosive removal tools on a PC?
  • Adobe Sound Booth is more expensive than Twisted Wave around 200, but it has a pop and click removal feature that really saves lots of time editing.  My dad said that alone made it worth the money.

    It has some other stuff too like a music track library, which comes in handy with clients that want a finished spot not just a voice recording.  It comes in PC and Mac flavors.  You can down load it for 30 days free to check it out. 

     

    I agree with Ms Middlebrook about Audacity, we had some problems with it.   But if you don't have the money or are not sure about what else to get it could get you by for a while.

     

  • When I started out (wow, less than a year ago), I tried several programs on my pc.  I happily settled with Sony Sound Forge 10.0.  I find it easy to use.  My pc came with Audacity, but my past experience with it was not positive (I can tell you my sob story later).  I still use Audacity on occaision, but much prefer SSF. 
  •  

    Hi Lauren,

     

    Glad you found our group! I have a PC as well and have been using Sony's Sound Forge audio suite for the last 3 years without any major issues. It's very user friendly and relatively inexpensive for what the software allows you to do.

     

    Best,

    Kevin

  • Hi everyone,

     

    I am so glad to see this forum up here! As a voice actress who has turned overnight into a production studio its helpful for me to know where I can turn for tech questions, and hopefully where I can offer advice to people who dont have audio engineering backgrounds. I saw the notes on twisted wave and it looks great, but I have a PC. Are there any other programs you can recommend that are also easy to use?

  • Hi Gordon

    Do you know RME Babyface?
    It's an incredible soundcard...i have one and it's small, portable, usb connection, two analog line in input, two incrdible pre-amps...etc.

    Look for it on youtube or google it and let me know what do you think.
  • Does anyone have any experience with the Symetrix 628 Mic pre/proc.

    I'm using the 528e right now, but with 2 mics in the studio, someday I would like to have a separate pre for each.
  • Beau-Thanks for the info on Twisted Wave. now if I can just figure out which direction I want to go :IMac or Mac mini.I have a really quiet place to record and have been using my own version of the Harlan Hogan box situated above the quiet Dell PC tower and read/record the copy off the monitor.I've heard pros and cons about fan or hard drive noise from the iMacs but love their design and power.
  • Your welcome Howard, Joe I think we got the problem isolated, I appreciate your imput. Have an awesome weekend everyone.  
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