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Editing a voiceover

From: Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

Video: Editing a voiceover

When the editing speech for a voiceover, a monologue, lead vocals, whatever, it's customary to edit the words so that there are no stuttering, stammering, hesitation or mistakes in the reading or performing of the material. Many times, it's also beneficial in voiceovers to eliminate unnecessary pauses and open spaces between words and sentences. This will increase the pace of the performance and is often done when there is a lot of breathing pauses or when you want to intensify the impact of the delivery, like a fast talking radio DJ.

Editing a voiceover

When the editing speech for a voiceover, a monologue, lead vocals, whatever, it's customary to edit the words so that there are no stuttering, stammering, hesitation or mistakes in the reading or performing of the material. Many times, it's also beneficial in voiceovers to eliminate unnecessary pauses and open spaces between words and sentences. This will increase the pace of the performance and is often done when there is a lot of breathing pauses or when you want to intensify the impact of the delivery, like a fast talking radio DJ.

Overall, the idea is to create a perfect performance. So when you're editing speech or vocals, it's always a good idea to have the script, the text or the lyrics as a printed guide for making notes about where you place your edits. In this case, I've included those here in the Comments section of this track. So first, we're going to listen to the entire performance and you'll see along the way that I've created markers that indicate the good spots, I think. You can be the judge. (Male Speaker: Voiceovers can be easy to edit-) (Coughs.) (Male Speaker: Voiceovers can be easy to edit as long as the voiceover talent doesn't screw up- um-huh-) (Male Speaker: Yeah. Voiceover--) (Male Speaker: Voiceovers can be easy to edit as long as the voiceover talent doesn't screw up his lines.) (Male Speaker: As long as the voiceover talent doesn't screw up his lines.) (Male Speaker: You also need to be aware of breath sounds...) (Male Speaker: You also need to be aware of breath sounds because making an edit in the middle of a breath...) (Male Speaker: Because making an edit in the middle of a breath will make your voiceover track sound...) (Male Speaker: Will make your voiceover track sound, well, edited and imperfect.) Okay, so there is the raw track. Not the best material to start working with, but that's why we're here to edit that. So I'm just going to go to town.

I'm going to start with the Trimmer tool in Slip mode and I'm going to trim off certain parts here. So first, before I start editing anything, I'm going to go over and create a duplicate playlist and I'm going to call this Voiceover edit. Now I've got the raw file on this voiceover playlist and this new playlist for my edit. A quick note about markers. I drop these markers in simply by hitting this Plus button at any point where I thought that the performance was good.

So if you hit that, you get this New Memory Location dialog and you can select all these information. We actually cover this in a different video in this course. So check out that video if you have questions about markers and memory locations. So let's get to editing. I'm going to trim off this section right up to the beginning of where I thought that the first sentence was good. Now I'm going to play it and find out how much of this section was actually good. (Male Speaker: Voiceovers can be easy to edit as long as the voiceover talent doesn't screw up- um-huh-) Okay, so I'm going to chop it right here all the way up to the next good point.

I'm going to hit the Delete button to cut that all out. Let's hear this section. (Male Speaker: As long as the voiceover talent doesn't screw up his lines.) I'm going to go over to the Grabber tool and put this into Shuffle and slide this over. Let's see if these two work together. (Male Speaker: Voiceovers can be easy to edit as long as the voiceover talent doesn't screw up his lines.) That sounds pretty good. Go back to Slip mode and to the Trimmer. I'm going to trim this all the way off and I'm going to stop right here because it looks like there is a little breath. Let's have a listen. (Male Speaker: You also need to be aware of breath sounds because making an edit in the middle of a breath...) So it sounds like this is pretty good from here to about this point.

I'm going to choose the Selector and go all the way to the next good point here and it looks like there might be a breath there that I might want to keep. So I'm going to cut this area out and have a listen here. (Male Speaker: Because making an edit in the middle of a breath will make your voiceover track sound...) Let's have a listen to this second half. I don't know that this is very good. (Male Speaker: Will make your voiceover track sound....) Yeah, it gets cut off. So where does this one go? (Male Speaker: Will make your voiceover track sound, well, edited and imperfect.) Okay, so I'm trying to place this cursor and drag it over here with about the same distance between the beginning of this phrase and the beginning of this phrase, because they're both the same sentence. Now, if I hit Delete in Shuffle mode, it will pop that right in there and we can hear what that sounds like altogether.

(Male Speaker: Because making an edit in the middle of a breath will make your voiceover track sound, well, edited and imperfect.) Okay, maybe a little bit too much space between these two regions, but we'll work on that later. So now, I'm going to stay in Shuffle mode and I'm going to choose the Grabber and bring all of these together. And let's hear what it sounds like. (Male Speaker: Voiceovers can be easy to edit as long as the voiceover talent doesn't screw up his lines.) (Male Speaker: You also need to be aware of breath sounds because making an edit in the middle of a breath...) (Male Speaker: ...will make your voiceover track sound, well, edited and imperfect.) Okay, we're almost there. We've got too much space here between these two lines.

It sounds like there is a mistake here in the edit right here because the breath is cut and we've got some extra space at the end here. Let's fix those up real quick. I go into Slip mode with the Selector and take this section out. Actually, go to Shuffle and now I'm going to hit Delete and bring those two together. Let's hear how that sounds. (Male Speaker: ...doesn't screw up his lines.) (Male Speaker: You also need to be aware of breath sounds...) That sounds pretty good. Let's move on. Let's listen to this area here.

It sounds like the breath is cut. (Male Speaker: ...sounds because making...) We'll zoom in. It looks like there are two breaths that were cut together. (Male Speaker: ...sounds because making an...) So let's pick one and in this case, I'm going to go to the Trimmer tool and Slip mode, pull that out, oh! We don't want that to happen. So, pull this back here and let's hear how this breath works. (Male Speaker: ...sounds because making an edit...) That sounds much better. Let's hear it one more time.

(Male Speaker: ...breath sounds because making an edit in the...) It sounds much more natural. Let's check out this transition. (Male Speaker: ...breath will make your voiceover track sound, well, edited and imperfect.) All right, we can work with that. Sometimes when you're editing, you might open up a free space between two regions where there is no audio whatsoever. In this case, we don't have any of that, which is a good thing, because often you want to fill those spaces with what's called Room tone. Room tone is the sound of the room where you're recording a voiceover. The tone of the room includes any unintended noise from computer fans, AC units, or other items that affect the noise in the room.

I'm going to take a little bit of sound out of here. We'll hear what the sound difference is. So I'll delete this for a second and let's hear what it sounds like without the Room tone between these two regions. (Male Speaker: ...breath will make your voiceover track...) It might not be that obvious to you right now, but if you actually increase the volume during that section, or if you end up compressing or limiting this when you're doing the mix down, that difference might be very obvious and unintended effect that you don't want.

So keep the room tone in between the regions and you won't have to worry about it. One suggestion for you too is to record about 30 seconds to a minute of room tone and either have it at the end or the beginning of your session, so that you always have that to pull from if you need to pull a piece and drop it in between two regions. One last thing that I would recommend doing is putting very short crossfades between each of these regions to smooth out any possible clicks or pops, any differences in sound between any of the regions.

So I would go in here, turn on the Smart tool and add small little crossfades, and I would do that for each one of these edits. Now one thing I'll mention too is that some clients actually might want the empty space between each of these regions and it's up to them, but I personally prefer the room tone to carry on the continuity of the sound of the overall voiceover here. So now that we've got a full edit here, let's take a listen to it. (Male Speaker: Voiceovers can be easy to edit as long as the voiceover talent doesn't screw up his lines.) (Male Speaker: You also need to be aware of breath sounds because making an edit in the middle of a breath...) (Male Speaker: ...will make your voiceover track sound, well, edited and imperfect.) Okay, the pace of that is not too bad. It's a little bit slow. There are some longer pauses between some of the sentences that we might want and there are actually breaths in there that we may or may not want. Some people don't like to have the breath sounds on a voiceover track.

So we could go in and fine-tune this, edit the breaths out, create smaller spaces between the regions and create a faster pace for this voiceover, if we want to. It's totally up to you or up to the client. So once you're done editing the voiceover material, listen to the whole track through and make sure it flows and that the pace of the reading and the breaths in between, all sound natural. Alter it as needed, adding fades and crossfades to avoid any sonic changes between the regions. With all those techniques put together, you know the process for editing a voiceover track in Pro Tools.

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This video is part of

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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training

120 video lessons · 10655 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 12m 54s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      3m 51s
    4. Troubleshooting
      3m 1s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 16s
  2. 23m 41s
    1. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      5m 8s
    2. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    3. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      6m 55s
    4. Setting essential preferences
      3m 42s
    5. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 56s
    6. Identifying elements in a session folder
      3m 2s
  3. 47m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      4m 50s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      2m 21s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 55s
    5. Investigating Pro Tools menus
      4m 37s
    6. Creating new tracks
      4m 10s
    7. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 36s
    8. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      5m 54s
    9. Adjusting the I/O setup
      7m 7s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 50s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and keyboard focus
      3m 49s
  4. 30m 43s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      5m 6s
    2. Importing audio
      5m 13s
    3. Importing MIDI
      3m 55s
    4. Importing session data
      6m 17s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      4m 18s
    6. Importing video
      2m 57s
    7. Unmounting a hard drive
      2m 57s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Recording audio
      5m 6s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 31s
    3. Creating a Click track
      4m 53s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      9m 25s
    5. Recording with playlists and the Loop Record mode
      3m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      5m 28s
    7. Dealing with latency
      4m 17s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 33s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      7m 41s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      5m 34s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 13s
  6. 1h 26m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 31s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      6m 57s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 14s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 27s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 26s
    7. Understanding the edit modes
      7m 54s
    8. Arranging regions
      8m 38s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 3s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      10m 29s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 28s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      3m 36s
    13. Special buttons in the Editing window
      8m 16s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 11s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      10m 59s
  7. 18m 43s
    1. Working with region groups
      5m 47s
    2. Setting time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 46s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 10s
  8. 35m 30s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 25s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 50s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 46s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      5m 24s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 15s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 27s
    7. Using step input
      4m 45s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      2m 51s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 47s
  9. 48m 41s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      8m 23s
    2. Editing MIDI data with the MIDI Editor
      7m 20s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 41s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 25s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      11m 31s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 59s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      4m 22s
  10. 18m 51s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 22s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      6m 33s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 30s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      2m 26s
  11. 19m 0s
    1. Utilizing the Time Shift plug-in
      7m 41s
    2. Editing with Elastic Time
      8m 30s
    3. Editing with Elastic Pitch
      2m 49s
  12. 48m 20s
    1. Working with Boom
      11m 23s
    2. Working with Xpand2
      7m 21s
    3. Working with DB-33
      6m 58s
    4. Working with Vacuum
      7m 55s
    5. Working with Structure Free
      7m 12s
    6. Working with Mini Grand
      3m 57s
    7. Using Midi Learn
      3m 34s
  13. 25m 55s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 4s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 56s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 9s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 5s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 25s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      4m 16s
  14. 1h 40m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 0s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 18s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      3m 53s
    4. Dealing with delay compensation
      6m 51s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 19s
    6. Adding compression
      11m 17s
    7. Applying limiters
      2m 57s
    8. Using Gates and Expanders
      4m 40s
    9. Working with Side Chains
      3m 35s
    10. Working with De-Essers
      3m 4s
    11. Adding delay
      7m 34s
    12. Utilizing modulation effects
      4m 43s
    13. Adding reverb
      7m 5s
    14. Adding harmonic effects
      5m 7s
    15. Renting and purchasing plug-ins
      2m 2s
    16. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      5m 19s
    17. Bouncing down a mix
      5m 50s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Setting up a session for mastering
      8m 56s
    2. Using plug-ins for mastering
      8m 47s
    3. Applying Dither and Noise shaping
      4m 5s
    4. Bouncing down master recordings
      3m 56s
  16. 19m 52s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      4m 20s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      12m 28s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      3m 4s
  17. 4m 50s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 50s
  18. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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