GLProUK have released an episode of our podcast discussing this blog in much greater detail which you can listen to here.
You have all your equipment, you have your digital audio workspace, and you have started to record your episodes. The next thing you know, you are sitting down with your recordings, staring at the sound waves on the screen thinking … “Now What?”
With so much audio editing technology available on the market, it is difficult to know where to start. At GLProUK we have years of experience in editing, so we have compiled a shortlist of plugins to help you on your way to making a clear and crisp podcast.
1: EQ (equalization)
You might be familiar with the layout of a parametric equalizer if you’ve ever played around in Garageband or other editing software’s. When using this type of EQ, you are able to grab a specific point and drag it around the frequency spectrum. This allows you to select a specific frequency you want to manipulate. You can then either focus in on it, or broaden your selection by manipulating your Q — that’s a bit tough to understand in writing, so just play with it when you can. You’ll hear the difference. The Channel Strip plugin allows you to manipulate 4 different frequency points including a low frequency (LF), low mid frequency (LMF), high mid frequency (HMF), and a high frequency (HF) along with two filters.
Simplified, gates get rid of unwanted noise such as breathing, or throat-clearing by clamping down — closing — when you aren’t speaking. The gate determines what is considered unwanted sound with the threshold. If the audio is quieter than the set threshold, the gate remains closed preventing any audio from passing.
This is the #1 tool I rely on for cleaning up audio when producing voiceover.
Compressors work to decrease your audio’s dynamic range. Why does that matter? When you’re producing audio for broadcast you want a smaller — compressed — amount of volume fluctuation, so that your listener doesn’t have to mess with their volume.
Have you ever watched a movie where all of the sudden the music comes in and you struggle to hear the dialogue? That’s a great example of too much dynamic range, and not enough compression. By keeping your audio in a tight pocket, you enable your listener to hear your voice always whether you speak softly or are shouting.
Speaking of shouting, the compressor also helps prevent audio from reaching 0 dB and peaking. In this case, the threshold determines when to start compressing the audio.
A limiter is essentially a compressor on steroids. As soon as the audio goes over the threshold it is boosted up to the ceiling or specific output that is set — that’s insanely reductive, but we’ll count it. This is used to tighten up your dynamics even more, and can really sound like crap if you overdo it. This is definitely a process that shows its price tag. Waves makes some amazing limiters, but the stock ones that come with most software’s can’t be pushed very hard without causing distortion. Note: Audacity calls their limiter a leveler.
You always need to normalise your audio as a final step. All it does — when the peak setting is selected — is maximise your volume based on the loudest point in your recording. So if you were to set it -1 dB, then the loudest point in your audio will be -1 dB. It’s incredibly simple, but extremely powerful for adding that last little bit of polish to your audio.
These 5 plugins more than any others are the nuts and bolts of great voiceover and podcast audio. If you master them, you will deliver industry standard high quality audio every time. Plus, you will only get better with practice, and experience!
Where to buy them
While most standard plugins are built in, there are many other, better plugins out there to use. The more you edit, the more you will learn, and subsequently the larger your plugin collection will grow. But where are the best places to buy these plugins? We at GLProUK have a vast collection of plugins across all of our various machines and DAWS. Here are the places we recommend best to purchase them:
Waves – www.waves.com
iZotope – www.izotope.com
Accusonus – https://accusonus.com/
Plugin Alliance – www.plugin-alliance.com
They all have their own versions of noise plugins, which all in all work quite nicely together, but Waves is inevitably very expensive, while iZotope, Accusonus and Plugin Alliance are in the more affordable category.
Expand your mind
Expand your abilities
Expand your knowledge
Expand your plugins
Head of Digital Marketing, GLProUK
For help with your content creation and digital marking needs get in touch with us to see how we can help you.