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recording voiceover as 16bit Wav 44,100

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Chuck Manly
recording voiceover as 16bit Wav 44,100
on Apr 14, 2009 at 8:47:25 pm


I've hired a voiceover person who can't give me a CD quality uncompressed Wav file using Audition 1.5

The client wants them so I need some help.

They keep sending me MP3's at 128kbps, 44,100 Hz.
When I asked for a CD quality wav they sent me a 4bit, 44,100 Hz Wav.

Can Audition record from the beginning an uncompressed wav file that is 16bit, 44,100 Hz?

At this point I'd be happy with a 256kbps, 44,100 Hz MP3 but they tell me their ver 1.5 software will only produce up to 128kbps.

What do I need to tell them so I can get a better file to work with?
This is for a :30 second Nat'l TV spot and I don't want it to sound thin.


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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: recording voiceover as 16bit Wav 44,100
on Apr 21, 2009 at 1:38:24 am

Hire a new VO who can provide what you require.

Tech-T Productions

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Jerimiah Busniak
Re: recording voiceover as 16bit Wav 44,100
on Apr 29, 2009 at 2:34:04 am

To be honest, I can only tell the difference between a 128kbps mp3 and a 256kbps mp3 through my studio speakers. There's honestly not that much audio loss that the human ear can discern in 128kbps file.

I'd imagine they're trying to save in Adobe's mp3PRO format, which only goes to 128kbps, and is a bit of a dodgy codec. See if they can't change the file type to a plain jane mp3, I've uploaded a picture of how they do this.

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Paul Malpas
Re: recording voiceover as 16bit Wav 44,100
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:52:52 am

To answer the original question, yes, Audition (and any other digital audio recording software) will allow the user to create 16bit 44.1k recordings and to save these as WAVs. Of course it will, and I like the comment about getting another VO! Any VO who hasn't grasped this is unlikely to have given much capital to mic placement, room reverberation, background noise etc (listen out for the whirring PC fan! Especially if it is sitting on a lightweight desk and humming a tune as well.)

In your case, even if they managed to work out that we have 16 bits (or 24) and 44.1kHz (or 48 or 96), I suspect the original recording was saved as 128k MP3 and any further detail is lost forever, even if it is subsequently converted to WAV - like making a high quality print from a photocopied source.

And don't be convinced by 128k MP3 files sounding passable on casual listening. A great deal of subtlety is lost at 128k, the sort that will show up when played out on HD and compared against CDs and BD sound tracks. They even lack some emetional impact when used in soundscapes and punch effects or music in the theatre. This all may sound a little rarefied for some tastes, but with Dropbox accounts, why compromise a few MB on a file that is the product of hours of work and years of training.

A couple of years have passed since the original posting. Perhaps the shock at why a 128 MP3 would ever be considered for broadcast suggests that in just those 2 years we have woken up to what our ears are telling us. That, and TB hard disks and 20MB broadband!

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