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how to get that "announcer sound" in Audition?

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Carly Smithhow to get that "announcer sound" in Audition?
by on Jan 20, 2010 at 1:35:21 pm

Hi all -

I am recording using a C-1 microphone directly into my sound card, and then editing in Audition, which I prefer over Soundbooth.

I am a n00b to EQ/compression/mastering - does anyone have a decent resource for how to use these plugins/tools for basic VO work.

Most of the online resources assume/expect EQ & compression are being done on the hardware end.

All our audio is for web use, not broadcast. I would like to get that warm, round announcer VO sound using digital plugins *if at all posiible*. Any resources, links and advice highly appreciated.

Buying high-end audio hardware is not an option at this point in time.

thanks!


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Rob NeidigRe: how to get that "announcer sound" in Audition?
by on Jan 20, 2010 at 5:47:28 pm

Hi Carly,

The keys to getting "that announcer sound" are in order:

1. The Voice Talent
2. The Voice Talent
3. The Voice Talent
4. The Voice Talent
5. The Voice Talent
6. The mic
7. The preamp
8. The sound card

Obviously the voice talent is the most important. If the talent does not sound like you want, no amount of effects are going to polish it up enough to really be good.

So let's assume your voice talent sounds great on their own. When you say "C-1", is that the Behringer C-1, Studio Projects C-1, something else? I am not a fan of Behringer at all, but even with their mics, good voice talent and a decent preamp, you should get at least good voice-overs. Finally when you say you plug the mic "directly into the sound card", do you mean you are adapting a mic cable to a mini jack and then plugging in to the built in sound card of your computer? Most built in sound cards have marginal sound quality to begin with, and their mic inputs are not that great. You could improve them with using an audio interface. There are many of them available from M-Audio, Presonus and others. Google is your friend here.

O.K., with all of that said, let's just stick to what you currently have and not suggest spending any more money for the moment. Again, if your voice talent is good, you should be able to get a clean recording (depending on how bad the mic input to your sound card is, how much hiss or noise it adds, etc.). Once in Audition you can apply compression, EQ, etc. after the fact. I have found that the Compander preset can work well for voice-overs. What is is doind is compressing some of the peak levels (adjustable if you want to play with it), and expanding the low levels (usually background low level noise, sometimes low level breathing noises, etc.) downward so that you don't hear them. Try that first and play around with the "THRESHOLD" settings. That determines where the effect kicks in. Otherwise just use the Compressor in AA. I would not normally suggest using higher than a 4:1 ratio, with a fairly quick attack (maybe 20ms or so) and a medium release (maybe 100 ms). These settings are just a beginning and off the top of my head, so please experiment! As for EQ, it is TOTALLY dependent upon the talent's voice, but for the human voice, you might want to start by first finding any frequencies that DON'T sound good to you and then lowering them. If it's the Behringer C-1 you are using, you may find cutting frequencies down below 800 Hz may help. I remember that mic as being kind of muddy. Just open up the EQ effect and boost various frequency bands. When you find the ones that make it sound WORSE. cut those until it sounds better. You could also try small boosts at 2 -4k or so. That generally boosts intelligibility a little. But be careful about overdoing it, it can sound pretty nasal and biting in a hurry.

Hope this helps. Have fun!

Rob

Rob Neidig
R&R Media Productions
Eugene, Oregon


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Carly SmithRe: how to get that "announcer sound" in Audition?
by on Jan 20, 2010 at 10:24:35 pm

Hi Rob -

Wow! great response!

Answers:
Studio projects C-1
Professional announcer with a very rich baritone sound with getting too Barry White.
mic to a Behringer board, Board out to sound card input.

I looked for the Compander preset, but couldn't find it even after using the Help/search options.

I may need a real baby steps guide, since your suggestions of "attack" and "release" are pretty much Greek to me...

;)


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Rob NeidigRe: how to get that "announcer sound" in Audition?
by on Jan 21, 2010 at 3:47:54 pm

Glad to hear it's the Studio Projects C-1. I have two of them myself and know that you can get a great sound from them.

The "Compander" effect is in the {Effects} {Amplitude} {Dynamics Processing} menu. Then you will see a list of various presets, including "compander".

I'm sure you can Google for better definitions that I can come up with, but here's a very basic primer on compression.

For using a compressor, there are normally 4 settings to worry about:

Ratio:

This sets how much you want to compress the signal. a 1:1 ratio means it's not compressed at all - for each 1 dB of signal that goes in, 1 dB comes out. A 4:1 ratio would mean that for every 4dB of gain in, only 1 dB comes out.

Threshold:

This sets the level where you want compression to kick in. For instance a threshold setting of -9dB would mean that for all signals louder than - 9dB, the compressor will kick in. Below -9 dB the signal will remain untouched.

Attack:

This tells the compressor how quickly to engage. A fast attack would be used where you want to make sure that the very first sound coming is always compressed. Say if you wanted to make sure that a snare drum hit was compressed immediately. A slower attack lets the initial sound come through, then starts compressing it, so you get a more natural engaging of the compressor.

Release:

This tells the compressor how quickly to "let go" of the signal. A quick release can sound unnatural - sometimes a wanted effect. A slower release gradually pulls the compressor out of the way.

Have fun!

Rob


Rob Neidig
R&R Media Productions
Eugene, Oregon


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Carly SmithRe: how to get that "announcer sound" in Audition?
by on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:11:59 pm

Thanks! I'll play around with it on my next few projects and let you know how it went.


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