Technical help

  • Alison Shore

    Voice Over:English

    Hi everyone. Does anyone know of a service in the uk which could just have a good look at my audio set up so that i can get it pristine. Just had the most frustrating 2 hours trying to work out why there was an occasional buzz like a mobile phone in proximity even though there wasnt.

    There seem to be a lot of US companies that do it but i have as yet to find one here.

    Grateful for your thoughts

    Best

    Alison

    • 7th Apr 2021
    • 1340
    • 30
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hiya! I'm an engineer as well as a voice. Can you let me know exactly what kit you are using, which software and how it's all plugged together?

    Darren :)

    • 12th Jun 2014
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Ollier

    Voice Over:English

    Hi, yes I would like some help too. Quite new to this and setting up at home in my larder, which have acoustically treated as far as I can. Snag is I am a technophobe so just want the process to be as simple as possible.

    I have a Rode NT1A mic, Scarlett Focusrite interface and now trying to decide on the software and am going round in circles! I need something simple to operate but that can offer all the necessary tools to edit properly and save me time so I don't spend ages on the editing and can create simple, clean, dry files to send off to clients. I am usually asked to do short B2B, charity, or corporate reads.

    I am currently using Audacity but I think I can improve on this and don't mind paying for something that will do the job more efficiently, professionally and easily. (Plus I am told producers expect professional VO's to have something more high-end than Audacity anyway). Pro Tools seems too much for me at the moment and Logic Pro X has been recommended but looks incredibly complicated. I don't need most of the features and at this stage won't be using music, although as I get more adept at all this, this may change of course.

    Can anyone else who is non-technical, let me know what they found the easiest to use with the best results?

    Thanks very much!

    • 20th Jun 2014
    • 2
  • Alison Shore

    Voice Over:English

    Hi Elizabeth

    I m using adobe audition software which i find quite intuitive and have been really pleased with it. If you've been using Audacity its not dissimilar. There are plenty of you tube tutorials around to help as well.

    • 22nd Jun 2014
    • 3
  • Elizabeth Ollier

    Voice Over:English

    Thanks Alison, I did download the trial for Audition and then ended up being away unexpectedly so didn't get the chance to try it out properly but a sound engineer friend was recommending Logic Pro X - which has the advantage that he is available to sometimes help with it, but it does look incredibly complicated.

    Hope you got your 'buzz' sorted out!

    • 23rd Jun 2014
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Sorry for the late response. Yes! Adobe Audition is the one. It's really great and super easy to use after a while. Logic and Pro Tools are fab, but you won't need 99% of its functions! Yep, get Auditioon. :)

    • 23rd Jun 2014
    • 5
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Hi, sorry I'm not sure of any service - although maybe room for you Darren to set up a consultation service! Have you tried the manufacturer of the equipment? If they have a service line maybe? Or help line?

    One question I wonder if anyone knows the answer to.

    I've been asked for a certain job to remove the breathes etc. Am I right in thinking that it will just be cutting the breathes out in an edit mode or is it more complicated than that? Don't want to say yes to the job and then come unstuck if it's a tricker job than I imagine!

    Fanks in advance! X

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 6
  • Adam Diggle

    Voice Over:English

    Hi Natalie

    Yeah it's just cutting really, pretty simple, though I've started to use fade ins and outs to cover them now as theres less chance of disrupting the flow of the piece.

    Adam

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 7
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hiya.

    As a rule, I de-breath pretty much everything. It's good practice and a useful thing to get used to doing...

    In Adobe Audition, I stretch the 'waveform' (that's the audio you can see in the window once it's recorded). You can do this my using the plus and minus 'magnifying glass' icons at the bottom right of the 'editor' pane. I can then see clearly each unwanted breath between each word/sentence. Then, working through the waveform from left to right, hightlight each complete gap between the words covering the breath which you will see as a quieter (smaller) sound.

    You will notice a very small window in the middle of the pane with a small knob and 0dB next to it. Hover your mouse over this and you will see it says 'adjust amplitude'. Drag the knob round counter-clockwise with your mouse and you will see the waveform/breath you have highlighted will get quieter and disappear. Kapow! Now there is silence where your breath used to be. Continue on to the end of the audio and save.

    This does take some skill and practice, so I recommend grabbing an earlier job you've completed, take a copy of a minute or so and play with it for a while.

    Another useful tip...

    Sometimes, when you remove a breath from in between words or sentences, it leaves a pregnant pause. If the breath was still there, the listener can hear it and therefore knows that you are taking a slight pause to get a breath in... Once the breath has been removed, the silence it leaves behind can make the gap seem unnatural. Be prepared to listen out for this. You can easily fix it by highlighting some of the chunk of silence left behind and hitting 'delete'. This will remove some 'time' closing the gap between words where the breath was, making it sound more natural to the listener. Play around with deleting different lengths, you'll soon find the 'sweet spot' where it sounds just right.

    Aim of the game is, spend some time practicing with your software and you'll soon be editing like a demon when you are actually recording a job.

    Darren

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 8
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    A quick note about software.

    I highly recommend getting Adobe Audition. It is an audio recorder/editor that is literally set up to do precisely what we as voices need it to do. So it's very easy to use once you learn it, and more importantly, quick.

    Logic Pro and other software such as Pro Tools are very excellent, but they are harder to use, as they are much more sophisticated music production platforms and don't necessarily lend themselves primarily to the type of work we need to do.

    I'd always recommend Audition...

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 9
  • Alison Shore

    Voice Over:English

    Thanks so much Darren and everyone else for your generosity with with your knowledge. I de breathe also using the db knob and have had a few problems with getting the transition right between silence and audio i found using a little noise reduction first helps and not taking it all the way down to silence or higlighting too near the audio helps. Not sure if this is good practice or not but seems to work.

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 10
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Wow thanks for that! Very interesting and helpful! I shall definitely have a practice - thanks.

    I'm on a mac so hoping adobe audition will work on there too. Currently I'm using garage band ha! Need to step up methinks!

    Very much appreciated - thanks.

    Nats ;-)

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 11
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Alison - You seem to be doing all the right things! If you have any sort of background noise on your recordings, and you completely take out the breaths to silence then there will be an audible difference and your technique of noise reduction and a touch of dB reduction should blend it nicely.

    If I were you, I would try and find out where the background noise is coming from and try to remedy that at the record stage (I'd be happy to listen to a sample of yours if you need any advice as to where the noise may be generating from).

    Natalie - I use mac! And Adobe Audition is available for it! Garage band will do fine until you switch :)

    Daz :)

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 12
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Lovely fab! I shall look into it! :-)

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 13
  • Alison Shore

    Voice Over:English

    Thanks Darren :)

    Have sent you an email

    Best wishes

    Alison

    • 1st Jul 2014
    • 14
  • Jonathan Pagden

    Voice Over:English

    I second all Darren's comments, but would add to his mention of timing: don't go to the other extreme by cutting out the breath and joining the ends together - sometimes a pause is necessary for the rhythm. Once you've done your edit, go back a few seconds and listen to it, not for the breath but for the timing. Do this straight away then you can hit 'undo' if it jars.

    And: I use Audition via Adobe Cloud which is subscription rather than purchase, and quite cost-effective.

    PS I'm always happy to inspect kit and train on software if anybody wants! (former BBC editor)

    • 8th Jul 2014
    • 15
  • Natalie Taylor-Scotcher

    Voice Over:English

    Oooh fab to know Jonathon thanks.

    I actually had a play and you are right. If I move it up too much then it sounds unnatural and super speedy. So I think a pause (albeit slightly smaller) is fine it just takes out the noise of the breath?!?

    Yet to try it on the client but we shall see!

    Fanks all! Will look into Audition too as sometimes you end up paying out for sooo much. Subscription is easier.

    Nats x

    • 8th Jul 2014
    • 16
  • Glenn Mckenzie

    Voice Over:English

    There are a few replies so I don't know whether anyone has already mentioned these things - sorry didn't read them all!

    The original problem was a buzzing so here is my mini or not so mini guide of things to check if you get buzzing.

    I had a problem when I was in Turkey. Many problems can be solved by replacing old, worn or bad quality cabling. If you are using cables supplied by the manufacturer (especially in one of those all in one kits) they can be a little on the cheap side and it is advised that you change your microphone cables regularly once every 1-3 years. The cables get bent and twisted a lot so over time they can deteriorate.

    But before spending any money check on the cables crossing over each other (keep all cables separate from each other as much as you can) and make sure the cabling that you use says shielded (usually written on the side of the cabling). The extra shielding gives that extra security against electro magnetic interference.

    The first thing I would check if buzzing was on the recording you have made would be to make sure all of your equipment that is connected to your microphone like your amp, your laptop/desktop PC, if plugged in to the mains, is all connected to the same 4 way or 6 way socket. They should all be connected to the same adapter set to avoid any problems.

    I saw online that there was a person who suggested putting some electrical black tape over the piece of metal on the plug that earths the items you are using but I wouldn't suggest this. I have tried this once and it seemed to work but you don't want to destroy your whole house so please don't do this.

    Lastly, anything electrical that you are not using for recording keep well out of your recording area.

    USB microphones that connect directly to the laptop or desktop PC minus the amp can be a completely different destroy. On a PC ctrl alt del and get rid of any unwanted sotware using resourses in the background and try not to have any extra kit plugged into the same usb slot set (some laptops have two together and then one on the opposite side using a different bus (channel).

    It looks like Alison has solved the problem now but hope this may be of help to somebody.

    As for extraneous sounds on your recording that aren't electrical interference in some shape or form, always have one ear open to your background sounds whilst recording. It is difficult and sometimes impossible to remove these extra unwanted sounds later.

    • 9th Jul 2014
    • 17
  • Alison Shore

    Voice Over:English

    Thanks Glen,

    Really useful info - much appreciated.

    • 9th Jul 2014
    • 18
  • Glenn Mckenzie

    Voice Over:English

    No Problem!

    From entry above:

    "USB microphones that connect directly to the laptop or desktop PC minus the amp can be a completely different destroy." The word destroy was supposed to be story.

    And when you press ctrl alt and delete to end tasks, you can't end everything but you would be looking for anything that might interfere with what you are doing, so anything loaded in the background, video or audio related. A smaller one minute file you may not see/hear any problems but nothing worse than recording a one and a half hour piece and then you find half of it is missing.

    All of these suggestions from above and here are just to be on the safe side since most people don't experience any problems and the only problems they will have is getting rid of echo and soundproofing a room or space.

    • 9th Jul 2014
    • 19