Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

The voice production process

From: Digital Audio Principles

Video: The voice production process

Finally, let's assume that you've gone out and made your recording, or gotten your performance down, and it's in your dock. So, after you've accomplished recording the voice that you wanted to, and you've got it into your computer and you are ready to work with it, that's when the second half of the job really begins. Now, we could talk for a long time about the production process, and maybe it's a whole other title, to just go in and look at all the different things you can do. But I am not sure that we have time for that here. So in this movie, I just want to give you a quick kind of list of things to check off in the order that you would want to do them when you start your production process on the voice.

The voice production process

Finally, let's assume that you've gone out and made your recording, or gotten your performance down, and it's in your dock. So, after you've accomplished recording the voice that you wanted to, and you've got it into your computer and you are ready to work with it, that's when the second half of the job really begins. Now, we could talk for a long time about the production process, and maybe it's a whole other title, to just go in and look at all the different things you can do. But I am not sure that we have time for that here. So in this movie, I just want to give you a quick kind of list of things to check off in the order that you would want to do them when you start your production process on the voice.

The first thing you like to do is try and get as much volume out of the tracks as you can. Now, if you have one track, you can just go ahead and normalize it and bring it all the way up and increase that volume, so you have a lot to work with. But if you have multiple takes and multiple tracks, then you want to use gain and figure out how to bring it up just enough so that you don't reach any peaks, but remember you want to bring all those files up the same amount. If you did a couple of different takes and you normalize one and then normalize the next take, because there might be different spikes, or someone clapped or drop something in one track and not another, the amount it turns that up when you normalize it might change.

So, if you're working with multiple files, remember to add volume, but to use gain. The next thing you want to do is think about your file, or files, and determine what kind of noise is in those files, and if there's a way to remove that noise to all the files before you actually start the editing process. So, if you have some background noise you don't like, you might want to find some noise-reducing sound tools and apply that next. Normalizing and cleaning up noise are both things you want to do first, and you want to do them uniformly across all your files, so that as you edit and start to move things around in different positions, you have similar sonic qualities going on there.

If you just go and clean up one file and not the next and then do some edits and you find yourself shifting things around, you might find out that noise pops in and out when you have different edits, based on the changes you've made to some of those files. So, these are kind of like global prep things to do. Make sure all the files kind of have the same characteristics. Once, we have some of these global things done, then we can start to going to into editing and really working with the nitty-gritty of trimming the heads and the tails and removing some of the follow-ups or mistakes or coughs or hiccups and things like that. You can also take out pauses and breaths if you desire, and insert silence or speed things up and change the pace of the voiceover or the vocal or whatever you're working on.

Finally, remember to make edits at the zero crossing or use cross-fades for the tougher files to adjoin pieces. Now, that seemed like a short segment, but that's going to take probably the bulk of the time of this whole process. After you have your edits completed and you are liking the way the sound flows and you have all the right words and all the right takes in the right place, then it's time to start working with the sonic quality and use a few plug-ins to improve the sound. Next, you want to use EQ to sweeten the voice, and by that I mean using it to add a little bit of warmth here and there or round it out if it's sounds thin and also to increase clarity, so that it's easy to understand.

Sometimes, you might be able to use EQ to make certain voices sound a little less nasally or throaty, or you might be able to the reduce things like lip smacking sounds or wet mouth sounds. Finally, you can use reverb to soften the voice, or to locate it in a specific place in the sonic landscape. You can put it in the back of the room, or you can bring it right up front, or you can make it big and heavenly, or you can make it kind of dry and scary, like I am, very dry and scary. I would say that generally when you're doing voiceover work for training and things like that, you won't be applying a lot of reverb.

In fact, you probably won't apply any. But sometimes it's good to play with it and see if there's a little bit of effect that helps. I'd say that if you're doing an industrial voiceover, or something for a commercial, or educational like this, you probably won't add a lot of reverb to the voice, and it's going to come into play more with music or special effect situations. If you put a little bit on there and you find that it helps your podcast, I say go for it. But don't put so much on there that it's kind of distracting, or you might want to use it for a special effect here and there, but you wouldn't want to put a lot of reverb on an entire podcast.

So, those are a few things we can do to try and improve the sonic quality: compression, EQ, and adding reverb. At this point, you're about 90% of the way home, and there are just a few steps left. Now, we want to bounce everything down into a single track, either a mono or stereo track, and we'll call this the premaster, and we are going to use that to master. So, we'll start a new session, or reimport that file into your session, and go to work on it. We'll normalize it and try and improve the overall sonic evenness of it, and this premaster is what we'll use to actually generate a master file.

By a master file, I mean a file that we've taken some time to improve the overall volume of, looked at the sonic maximization of that file so that we have a fairly good representation of all frequencies, and it's been trimmed and faded in at the heads or the tails so that when we start to listen to it, or when we listen to the end of it, it sounds nice and clean, and there's a nice silent start and a silent ending. Finally, the last step is to think about if we have to export this, if we have to change our bit depth, then if we do, we probably want to apply dither via a plug-in. Remember that when you're changing your bit depth and downsampling, going from a bit depth of 24 to 16, dithering helps in the resampling process, helps us avoid artifacts and the potential for distortion in the file.

Finally, export that file from the session, and then you're ready to go ahead and put that on a CD or compress it to an MP3 or put that podcast up online, wherever this is headed. So, hopefully thinking about all these processes and applying them in this order will help you whenever you're working with producing the voice. Again, this is kind of a quick and dirty bullet list of the production process, but hopefully seeing all these things, and seeing what order to do them in will be helpful when you are working with voice recording.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Digital Audio Principles
Digital Audio Principles

110 video lessons · 27111 viewers

Dave Schroeder
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 50s
    1. Welcome
      50s
  2. 39m 10s
    1. What is sound?
      4m 15s
    2. Hertz and frequency response
      5m 34s
    3. Phase
      2m 39s
    4. Capturing audio
      3m 39s
    5. Sample rate
      6m 16s
    6. Bit depth
      9m 47s
    7. The waveform
      5m 3s
    8. Audio file formats
      1m 57s
  3. 7m 25s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      2m 59s
    2. Typical DAW signal flow
      4m 26s
  4. 50m 33s
    1. What microphones do
      1m 57s
    2. Element types
      5m 0s
    3. Pickup patterns
      6m 51s
    4. Axis
      2m 52s
    5. Frequency response and the proximity effect
      5m 10s
    6. Phase issues
      1m 41s
    7. Microphone types
      8m 44s
    8. Miking vocals
      5m 39s
    9. Miking amplifiers
      2m 17s
    10. Miking drums
      10m 22s
  5. 16m 39s
    1. Cables and connectors overview
      2m 42s
    2. Balanced and unbalanced cables
      3m 19s
    3. Common cable types
      7m 13s
    4. Cable tips
      3m 25s
  6. 12m 16s
    1. What is an I/O device?
      1m 41s
    2. Analog to digital conversion
      3m 10s
    3. Tour of an audio interface
      4m 49s
    4. Interface considerations
      2m 36s
  7. 21m 5s
    1. What is a preamp?
      3m 21s
    2. Input levels
      5m 29s
    3. Padding
      2m 18s
    4. Phantom power
      2m 37s
    5. Phase reverse
      3m 4s
    6. Preamp demo
      4m 16s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. What is a mixer?
      5m 55s
    2. Input section
      1m 17s
    3. Channel strips
      3m 16s
    4. Master section
      2m 28s
  9. 18m 21s
    1. What is monitoring?
      2m 11s
    2. Speakers
      4m 47s
    3. Room considerations
      5m 43s
    4. Headphone types
      3m 50s
    5. Monitoring levels
      1m 50s
  10. 15m 23s
    1. What role do computers play?
      1m 36s
    2. Performance issues
      4m 11s
    3. Hard drives
      4m 38s
    4. Mechanical noise
      2m 10s
    5. Authorization
      2m 48s
  11. 6m 54s
    1. Planning for recording
      54s
    2. Doing a system check
      1m 26s
    3. Planning your inputs
      1m 42s
    4. The recording environment
      2m 52s
  12. 25m 52s
    1. Types of digital audio software
      38s
    2. Multi-track recorders/sequencers
      4m 56s
    3. Two-track recorders/waveform editors
      4m 55s
    4. Loop-based music production software
      5m 44s
    5. Plug-ins
      6m 56s
    6. Other varieties
      2m 43s
  13. 18m 59s
    1. Common components
      46s
    2. The transport
      2m 4s
    3. The toolbar
      3m 19s
    4. The Edit/Arrange window
      4m 42s
    5. The mixer
      5m 8s
    6. The file list
      3m 0s
  14. 19m 17s
    1. Setting up a session
      3m 30s
    2. Assigning inputs and getting signals
      3m 19s
    3. Input modes
      3m 28s
    4. Overdubbing and punching
      5m 14s
    5. Bouncing down
      3m 46s
  15. 19m 42s
    1. What is editing?
      1m 21s
    2. Waveforms
      2m 53s
    3. Making silent cuts and trims
      7m 1s
    4. Fades and automation
      8m 27s
  16. 1h 23m
    1. What are plug-ins?
      3m 0s
    2. Using plug-ins
      6m 11s
    3. EQs
      7m 4s
    4. Dynamics pt. 1: Compressors, limiters, expanders, and gates
      5m 40s
    5. Dynamics pt 2: Applying dynamic effects
      7m 2s
    6. Pitch shifting
      6m 14s
    7. Reverb
      9m 28s
    8. Echo and delay
      6m 23s
    9. Modulation effects: Phaser, flanger, and chorus
      9m 39s
    10. Sound tools pt. 1: About, gain, normalize
      7m 39s
    11. Sound tools pt. 2: Reverse and time compression/expansion
      6m 29s
    12. Sound tools pt. 3: Noise reducers, dither
      8m 11s
  17. 23m 43s
    1. What is MIDI?
      3m 6s
    2. Keyboard controllers
      1m 23s
    3. Computer-based virtual instruments
      1m 6s
    4. Control surfaces
      1m 6s
    5. Recording and editing MIDI
      12m 4s
    6. Virtual instruments
      4m 58s
  18. 27m 29s
    1. What is mixing?
      1m 54s
    2. Some common objectives
      3m 4s
    3. Some useful techniques
      5m 59s
    4. A quick mixing demo
      16m 32s
  19. 18m 48s
    1. What is mastering?
      2m 24s
    2. Sonic maximization
      9m 43s
    3. Final preparations and exporting
      6m 41s
  20. 13m 34s
    1. What is audio compression?
      2m 16s
    2. Popular formats
      2m 9s
    3. Bit rate, sample rate, and channels
      5m 42s
    4. Other adjustments and considerations
      3m 27s
  21. 15m 6s
    1. Essential gear
      7m 36s
    2. Voice recording setups
      1m 43s
    3. The voice production process
      5m 47s
  22. 10m 4s
    1. Analog vs. digital
      2m 48s
    2. Tube vs. solid state
      5m 6s
    3. The continual upgrade
      2m 10s
  23. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Digital Audio Principles.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.