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primarypanel
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Audio questions Jan. 14th, 2013 @ 08:32 PM Reply

Hey everyone,

Watching other flash animations, I can't quite seem to get the quality I'm looking for, and I'm wondering what kinds of steps/programs people are using.

As of right now, I'm using Audacity to record voices, but I can't get the volume/clarity that everyone else seems to get. Do you guys master your voice tracks? Or do something special? Thanks a lot, I'd really appreciate the advice and/or any tips.

AetherX
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 14th, 2013 @ 09:14 PM Reply

Disclaimer: I have no experience recording voices, this is just what other people always say.

Audacity should be sufficient, it's great for a free program. The first thing you should probably look at is your mic. No amount of mastering is going to turn something recorded with a cell phone into professional quality. That said, a bit of EQ doesn't hurt. Cut the extreme highs and lower the mids slightly, I think (don't quote me on that, you're better off looking up vocal EQing or something of that sort on Youtube).

Also, what kind of space are you recording in? RicePirate made this nice video about space:

  • VO Home Studio : Space
    VO Home Studio : Space by RicePirate

    How to Make a Home Recording Studio like you Robbed an Airport Baggage Claim

    Score
    4.40 / 5.00
    Type
    Movie
    Popularity
    27,194 Views
    Rated
    Ages 13+

Hope this helps.


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primarypanel
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 15th, 2013 @ 01:16 PM Reply

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the tips and the video, helps out a great deal!

SuperBastard
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 15th, 2013 @ 08:52 PM Reply

At 1/15/13 01:16 PM, primarypanel wrote: Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the tips and the video, helps out a great deal!

For voice acting I'm going to recommend that you get a decent electrostatic condenser mic. As AetherX said, your priority should be a solid microphone, and honestly those are going to have the best quality you can feasibly get. I'll leave it up to you to do your own research on which models are best at which price points.


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SonicJ
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 15th, 2013 @ 09:06 PM Reply

Like AetherX already stated, you can't "up" the quality of your sound if the quality is poor from the start. If you have a really low end mic, your final audio will reflect that. Sometimes adding reverb can help if the space you record in isn't quite up to par or under your control. Managing the EQ can help quite a bit regardless of your mic.


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Echo
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 16th, 2013 @ 12:19 AM Reply

You can find a great deal of Tips & Tricks on Voice Acting here:

- Voice Actor Wiki

MetalRenard
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 16th, 2013 @ 11:11 AM Reply

A professional production's sound will always be heavily mixed, edited and processed to give the best result. Major motion films spend millions of dollars just on mixing the audio for the cinema. After that they mix it again for DVD/BlueRay etc.

So, yes you should always mix your audio, including the voices, to optimise clarity and sound quality. EQ is a big part of this, but you'd need an in-depth tutorial to understand even the idea of the basics behind it...
Research it yourself and ask questions on things you don't understand, then I'll be happy to offer detailed feedback and help.


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Ectohelix
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 16th, 2013 @ 11:35 AM Reply

Back when I made flash, I found that mp3s seemed to be detrimental (on overall file size and quality). Might've changed since then, but when I used wav files it turned out much better.


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primarypanel
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 16th, 2013 @ 03:50 PM Reply

Thanks for the great input everyone! I've got a pretty good mic, it's a Baby Bottle condenser by Blue. I use a pop filter in front of it. My main concern isn't necessarily even the quality as much as it seems to be volume + clarity.

I notice that, my quality is good, just really quiet, even after I've used the amplify effect within Audacity. And comparing other people's animations/voices, I notice theirs are much clearer (more than likely because of EQ) but where does the extra boost in volume come from? If I try to boost it that loud, I usually end up with peaks.

Mastering maybe?

Thanks again.

Ectohelix
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 16th, 2013 @ 10:15 PM Reply

At 1/16/13 03:50 PM, primarypanel wrote: If I try to boost it that loud, I usually end up with peaks.

Mastering maybe?

I've only dealt with song mastering/levels, but I imagine it's the same for all types of audio.
If I'm wrong someone PLEASE correct.

Anyway, sounds like you're over-killing your volume increase.
So yes, if it could be mastered, then that should help.


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Twune
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Response to Audio questions Jan. 17th, 2013 @ 11:05 PM Reply

Your mic seems like a fine one for the task at hand. Mind the sibilance and use proximity effect to your advantage (I'm offhandedly assuming that it's a cardiod only mic, forgive me if I'm wrong). Truthfully, I'm inclined to use large diaphragm dynamics for inexperienced VO artists, they are a bit more forgiving and eq nicely, but most any quality mic will do.

Make sure the level of your mic pre is set for the best quality. Note that this doesn't mean the highest volume. Route from your pre to a compressor to catch peaks and add coloration if you want.

Once the audio is in your DAW use gain and compression to bring the level up. Limit it if you have to. Don't go crazy and keep gain staging in mind. If your record chain is correct, you won't have to do a ton of processing.

I'd be more detailed, but I'm not familiar with Audacity other than using it to make wavs from vinyl.

Hope this helps.