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Technical Recording Issue

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  • Leigh Angelis #5545050458
      1

    I've heard that garageband isn't good for voiceovers because it's geared towards music. Audacity is better. You don't have a preamp?? If you use a USB mic, those are good for podcasts but not voiceover.

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  • Bailey Brown #1212091510
      1

    Thanks, Leigh! Good to know - just downloaded Audacity. Have a preamp reco?

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  • Leigh Angelis #5545050458
      1

    There are so many out there. I just use the one I found at my local music store, the Behringer Q502.  But I assume you're using a USB mic and you need to buy a condenser mic too?

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  • Angela Serrano #830202147
      2

    Hi Bailey and Leigh!

    We don't recommend you to use USB microphones for professional voice over applications. This is because USB mics have lower quality preamps and AD/DA converters which sacrifice the overall quality of a recording. It works super well for podcasts or live streams, but it's not desirable for voice over applications. We hosted a webinar on microphones where we explain this difference in detail and explain a little bit more about microphones overall. You can read the recap here: https://goo.gl/igCO8X 

    Also, we have several advice posts where we recommend pieces of equipment and give you tips on choosing one for your studio. You don't have to buy the ones we recommend, but it gives you a good idea on what to look for in your equipment. You can check all our advice posts here: https://goo.gl/ZVT5kQ 

    About the DAW, I agree with Leigh. Garageband is not a bad software, but it's quite lacking for voice over applications. I suggest you try Reaper. Its license is cheaper than Pro Tools or Logic, which gives you more customizable editing and exporting tools. I personally use Pro Tools, but this DAW is quite expensive!

    Hope this helped :) let us know if you try any of our suggestions. 

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  • Bailey Brown #1212091510
      1

    This was a huge help - thanks, Angela! Leigh, after going through the community posts and webinar recaps, it sounds like the Behringer Q502 is a preamp and interface all-in-one - is that right? Are there any upsides/downsides to that kind of setup over having them both chained linearly?

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  • John B Laing #1205046630
      1

    Audio recording software is always a matter of opinion, but Audacity is free and very good. A lot of working VOs love Twisted Wave for Mac. Just under $100. I am using Adobe Audition because it has very powerful tools to clean up audio that do not exist in any other software. I just finished Larry Hudson's Audition course and learned how powerful and amazing the tools are to clean up almost any noise without messing up the final result.

    Most people advise strongly avoiding Pro Tools unless you have a creative need for it, are an audio engineer, or have a secret masochistic streak.

    I am quite interested in getting differing opinions here.

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  • Angela Serrano #830202147
      1

    Using the preamps of your interface is actually not bad at all. Most interfaces are designed to have amazing mic preamps to avoid the need of an external preamp. You should get a preamp if you feel that you need some extra power or would like to step up the quality of your interface without changing the whole equipment. I personally love MOTU and Focusrite. I own a MOTU Track 16 which has 2 microphone preamps and the audio quality it gives me is amazing. Focusrite has very affordable interfaces with mid-high end quality preamps. Apogee also has great preamps inside their interfaces, but this brand designs exclusively for Apple and is quite on the expensive side. 

    I would suggest you get started with a small, mid-high quality interface with one or two microphone preamps. For voice overs, you don't need more channels especially if you're recording from your home studio. I would suggest you get a preamp at the early stages only if you're using a dynamic microphone like the Shure SM7B or the ElectroVoice RE20. If you have a good condenser microphone, your interface's mic will work just fine!

    About the DAW, I believe it's a matter of getting used to your tool. Audacity is widely used but, to my experience as an audio engineer, is quite lacking. Audition is a great one! They have improved massively since their early stages and I agree with John that it's a very powerful tool. I'm too used to Pro Tools because of my audio engineering background and I just feel too comfortable editing and doing everything there to switch now, but I would also say Audition works very well. 

     

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  • Juan Santiago Mendoza #1067143947
      1

    Hello, everybody! 

    John B, I loved your description on PT :) You made me laugh.

    I use Protools, not because I think it's the best DAW out there, but because it's what I'm already used to. I know all the shortcuts and most of the tricks. Learning a new software requires hours of study that I prefer to spend creating new stuff. Some people hate it, some people love it. At the end of the day, most of them offer the same functionalities; so it's a matter of sticking to the one with which you feel more comfortable. 

    Now Bailey, regarding the compression/limiting, was the signal coming in to you DAW at optimal levels? Did you add any processors to the recording afterwards? What was the loudest output peak level?

    It'd be great if you shared the audio with us to have a better understanding of the situation.

     

    Best,

    Juan.

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  • John B Laing #1205046630
      1

    Adobe Audition has something called the "Spot Healing Brush Tool."

    It is magic. It is almost like something a group of audiophiles from another planet with sensitive ears brought to earth to keep humans from disturbing the universe with bad sound.

    This is a bit simple, but this tool lets you "paint" over noise in your recordings and eliminate it without messing up the sound you want. (If you use it right.)

    When you figure out how powerful it is, an expression will flow over your face as if you were watching a person get out of his wheelchair, stride over to a lake, and start walking across it.

    Yeah. Really. Amazing. There is nothing on the planet like it. And, no, I am not getting a percentage from Adobe.

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  • Angela Serrano #830202147
      1

    Wow, John.

    That tool sounds magically amazing! Like, a brush that can magically erase noise? Just too good to be true D:

    I try to always get a 90% noise free take from the start. I prefer recording again instead of using noise reduction but, when I have issues and not enough time to re-record, I play with the Izotope RX. That thing is so accurate, it's not even cool, it's scary. It's worth every damn penny, seriously. It's hard to use because you need to be very aware of audio concepts and tools, but it can and will become your best friend if you dedicate time to learn how to use it. It should also become your best friend because that guy's expensive. 

    There's also the WNS plugin from the Waves Suite. It's simpler but it's also super accurate when you understand where the noise is coming from and you pair it up with a good compressor and EQ. You can do wonders with that thing. WONDERS I tell you. 

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  • John B Laing #1205046630
      1

    Angela

    Oh thank you! Nice helpful post. Have not heard of WNS plugin. I promise to check it out. A few people have told me about Izotope RX. It is apparently very powerful, as you have said. So you have added to the vibe. I must check this out too.

    Thank you so much for your post.

    Must study....

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  • Angela Serrano #830202147
      1

    John,

    Anytime! If I can help with my 2 cents, I definitely will. The WNS is great. I think it costs $49 outside of the bundle. It's super intuitive and if you pair it with a good EQ to counter some frequency loss, you can have an awesome mix right there,

    The Izotope RX is quite more expensive though. The most basic one which is the RX Elements costs $119 and the Standard version costs $399. I have the Standard version and it does not disappoint at all! They have a free trial. Give it a try and let me know if you love it as much as I do!

     

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