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Help - Speeding up Voiceover audio in FCS2

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Anthony Miles
Help - Speeding up Voiceover audio in FCS2
on Jun 25, 2009 at 10:11:29 pm

Dear audio gurus.
Please help. I have an audio spot that is 31.6 seconds that needs to be a 30, When I speed it up in Sounds track pro it sounds very digitally manipulated. Is the an easy fix or an affordable plugin that can do a much better job? I am on intel Mac with the final cut studio, if it make s a difference.

Thanks for your help and wisdom.
Anthony Miles


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Greg Curda
Re: Help - Speeding up Voiceover audio in FCS2
on Jun 26, 2009 at 7:29:03 am

What happens when you use the "Duration" or "Speed" settings, under "Modify" in FCP? Too many artifacts?? It is a 5% change, which for most "time/pitch" plugins is on the edge for a clean conversion.


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Bill Davis
Re: Help - Speeding up Voiceover audio in FCS2
on Jun 28, 2009 at 8:32:35 pm


If you have a 30 second VO that times out at 31.5 - then that's NOT a good take. And if the talent can't PERFORM the script inside 30 than might have a talent problem but more likely you have a SCRIPT problem.

If your script is like 99.8% of the copy written today - there are probably several simple, clean ways to re-write it to cut it down to BELOW a MAX of 85 words - which is the long time industry standard for a :30

(And by the way, when you're counting words "Highway 505" is NOT two words - it's FOUR which is why experienced copywriters will write it as "Highway five oh five" so it doesn't screw up the word count functions)

Unless this is a used car screamer - using tech to speed up and pitch shift the track - is one of the last things I'd use to fix things.

Change script first, hire better talent second, speed and pitch shift something a distant third.

But that's just me. A guy who's participated in more than 2000 VOs as producer, writer and voice talent for more than 30 years.

Good luck.



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Anthony Miles
Re: Help - Speeding up Voiceover audio in FCS2
on Jun 28, 2009 at 10:50:01 pm

Thanks Bill. I agree with most of what you are saying here. Unfortunately, the copy was to long. As is most of the copy I get on many spots. I made the call to read it long, and now I am stuck fixing it. (I used to do this in sound forge successfully, pretty easily and it sounded fine) What should be the proper word count for a 30 and a 60 second spot? if you want a human sounding nice read and not a screamer. I have been on mac now for about 5 years and I haven't even had sound forge installed on a machine in years as i still am on v.4.5, I think.

Best,
Anthony

Best regards,
Anthony Miles
DP, Editor 4th Wall Productions, LLC
http://4thwalltvandfilm.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Help - Speeding up Voiceover audio in FCS2
on Jun 29, 2009 at 7:27:57 am

Anthony,

Traditionall standards MAX OUT at 85 words for a :30
160 words for a :60.

Yes, you can find skilled high-energy talent who can do a bit more, but virtually anyone will start to sound rushed at a clip much faster than this.

This presumes a wall-to-wall professional announcer pace. At that clip, there's not a whole lot of room for interpretation other than in-line inflection or time for anything other than very minor pauses.

It also presumes that if you have any music bed, you're going to duck it ASAP and it will play a low-priority supporting role, rather than really be a part of the construction of the commercial since that pace won't allow your announcer to hold for stings or work WITH the music bed at all.

The truth is that most local commercials - particularly radio commercials - are badly overwritten.

Listen to the better national spots - transcribe them - and you'll notice that they often take a "less is more" aspproach. That's because the writers know that getting one or two concepts across CLEARLY is a much better commercial strategy than trying to jam seven concepts in an ad - only to have NONE of them stand out enough for anyone to remember.

Oh, and when the client tells you they want close the ad with a call to action that includes a phone number - ask them the last time THEY were listening to the radio and actually wrote down a phone number themselves.

FWIW.




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Anthony Miles
Re: Help - Speeding up Voiceover audio in FCS2
on Jun 29, 2009 at 2:38:47 pm

Thanks Bill,
I totally agree about the phone number I have said that for years. I appreciate your feedback and information.

Take care,
Anthony

Best regards,
Anthony Miles
DP, Editor 4th Wall Productions, LLC
http://4thwalltvandfilm.com


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