View Full Version : Critique request

12-20-2009, 06:57 PM
Well I've been trying different settings etc. for my voice and the one thing I came up with. My voice isn't good for station drops etc. etc. :) I just don't have the voice for it. The only demo that I think I did that my voice seems to fit is the Bermuda Triangle that GK worked on.

demo_bgmusic I just made this one, it's one of the free request. It's so so, not good in other words. :)

One was from another free request Stars Wars Larp and GK did some editing to it.

The Bermuda Triangle, GK did some editing to this one also.

I think I need to find away to get into voice overs like the last two demos.

So now I'm stuck, BW isn't for the Bermuda Triangle type demo. (Unless James expands.) So I need help, anyone willing to work with me, help me out?


Arfa B!
12-20-2009, 08:14 PM
Aren't there any You Tube videos that can help?

First and foremost- you need to buy some GOOD audio editing software, secondly you need to record in a "dead" room with no reverb or echo, and thirdly you need to practice and experiment.

It won't happen overnight!
I have just bought a keyboard, and I don't expect to learn piano and music within weeks, it just won't and can't happen!

I have been doing this since 1975 (at the latest) (EDIT: Too friggin' long!!!) in one form or another, and I am still experimenting. I tend to find now, and the more you learn- the more you find that the simpler a production is (Generally) the more effective it is!

OK, it might not be a 10cc massive production with 3,000 tracks mixed down- but quite honestly- 99% of the time it works better.

and finally, you need the people who did those prod's to tell you how they did it! There is always more than one way to skin a cat!

All I can say about audio production is, it's mainly about TIMING! It is instinctive for some, others have to learn it- and some never learn it!

12-21-2009, 02:59 AM
Hi Bill,
Thanks Arthur

and finally, you need the people who did those prod's to tell you how they did it! There is always more than one way to skin a cat!
Arthur is right in many ways ...
I thought I already wrote once "how" these things were done, and if not ... following some details
- Software : Cool Edit aka Adobe Audition makes it possible to adjust anything, both voice and "all" music aka track channels
About the voice I adjusted your rough VOX file by using these settings / tools :
> normalizer : it makes it possible to adjust all parts who are "below" of the maximum volume ... so you are uplifting all levels as equal
> EQ : or equilazer who manage the several frequencies of your voice
This ain't that easy to your current files for reason that the quality of your mic and/or recording isn't perfect as it should be
> hard limiter : to boost your voice aka content of your VOX file
This setting can give an awesome effect to "some" voices, to other voice types it can give an over-powered result
In fact this setting isn't needed if the voice has the right levels, if the voice is to low (untill crackling) etc
it works very well to voices who have a mid frequency range
to female voices it can destroy the female sparkle
> EQ 2 : if needed after the hard limiter, I add a +2,5 high setting at the channel where I add the voice liner - this can create a sparkle effect

Above are some of the basic things who can be done, if needed ...
Some pro VO voices sometimes don't need any adjustement, unless more or lesser volume during the production
Besides all these you can play around with all other tools of the software, such as : cut and paste the liner, add delay, echo, etc etc

Important is the used hardware, such as your mic, however Arthur and fellow VOs can tell you more about that subject
At my place I use still the "oldfashion" Sennheiser :)

About the used ground loops (music background) :
- for the StarsWars I used an old bed that I ever made for a Halloween event ... the bed is made "completly" with samples only (footsteps, wind, thunder, scream etc etc) ... so in general no real music is involved
All elements have been mixed to one produced bed
- for the Bermuda I used a loop+break and during the second break I created a kind of "bridge" by using some SFX elements

In fact, as quoted already before todays post, I do like your voice the most during both "end" parts of the files who has been produced by Me ... at that moment your voice sounds as a pro VO

Speaking and using a mic is learning and training every day.
If you can achieve to create your own sound similar to the quoted "end" parts I'm sure you gonna receive great feedback ... so far you use the right software, good quality mics etc etc
Try before you buy is my advice :xmassmile:
Anyway .. no pro VO gonna tell you his/her "little" secrets, however you can discover and "create" your own skills by playing around with every available tool, software etc etc

Good luck and Happy Holidays !

Arfa B!
12-21-2009, 03:20 AM
A great bit of advice there Phillipe! I couldn't agree more!!!

May I add something if I may...
and I am sure Phillipe will understand this totally!

When a bunch of like minded people get together, who all have good to great ideas, experience and fresheness combined- MAGIC happens!!

I refer to the sounds that Offshore Radio stations made in the UK in the 60's/70's and partially the 80's- they were NEVER bettered in Europe!

I am sure Bill, similar happened in the 50's and 60's... up to the 70's in the US!?!
I have heard some amazing stuff come from both sides of the pond during those years!

Not the Golden age of radio as it were (Those were the early big band days), the Silver age I call it- but better than the original Golden age! Man, it rocked! REALLY Rocked!!!!

Maybe a little off the main topic- but, it describes what it is all about!

The media of sound should be FUN & MAGIC! .... and it all comes from the mind!

Remember, when radio was considered to be THE biz!!! Those were the days when Radio (and still now, and always will be "Sound") was called "The Theatre Of The Mind" Well....It's true!!!

In relation to v/o work in the 21st century-It ain't about being "easy sell and conversationalist" in order to sell!

That all happens because, conversational is easy, easy can be done by all, and that comes cheap! and cheap means maximum profits!!!! (Damn accountants again!!!)

I come from a real radio background, and bloody proud of it!

The days before accountants and greedy business people destroyed it... but, WE WILL RETURN! Wait and see! ;-)

12-21-2009, 04:11 AM
Most of all "magic" :)

should be FUN & MAGIC!
My resume :) LOL :
At a very early age - 1 untill 3 years old - I always said "boenga boenga" (none translated Dutch child language) at the time I heard music
At the age of 7 a nephew of Me got for his birthday a recorder with mic ... an old fashion recorder with 2 small reels and he recorded my voice ... OOOoo my Goodness ... I was ashamed about myself ...
At the age of 12 I've got for my birthday my first own radio / cassette "and" important it had also a real :) mic ... it became my first "window" to my ideas about music and radio
At the age of 17 (1978) I started my first project, a hospital radio and into time radio became not only a part of my life, it "became" my life also as professional
Strange enough, these days I'm doing it back as hobby guy, but with the knowledge I have a lot of background into media and music
These days I have still often contacts with artists or media people who are asking for my advice ... sad for Me .. but I don't ask anything for it ... lets say a kind of free service ... very stupid, but well thats a part of Me
My idea is : Music will be always part of my life ...

About the "old" days ... well into the past I made several Years an Annual Offshore Radio Special aka ORS produced for a webstation at The Netherlands, a 5 hours set ...
Attached you'll find some promo parts of this ORS set ... The voice you hear is my voice
Feel free to check my own homepage where you find more details (also in English !!)

Hope this was more or less usefull ... lol

Arfa B!
12-21-2009, 04:24 AM
Bloody hell, the last one hurts! Phillipe you are a real radio man, for sure!

Great stuff!

12-21-2009, 04:28 AM
Would you like these demos to be put up for Review in order to become an Imaging professional at BW? :xmassmile:

12-21-2009, 04:30 AM
I know ... I know ... The sound "before" the silence

Bloody hell, the last one hurts!
I have many of those samples at home
I don't know when or where ... but a new transmission of the ORS would make a lot of people very happy ...
Maybe a kind of BW collab aka special could be a nice idea ... who knows :yes:
Interesting if I can be sure of a good listener rating ...

12-21-2009, 04:35 AM
Do you mean those of Me ?
if so = no need to do ... I'm first of all a broadcaster

Would you like these demos to be put up for Review in order to become an Imaging professional at BW? :xmassmile:
If you mean those of Bill ?
if so = follow his improvements - I vote yes :D

12-21-2009, 01:06 PM
I know nothing happens over night, it takes time and it may never work. But thats all right, I can at least say I tried. I also know I need to set up something different for recording. Maybe I phrased it wrong because I don't know the terminology you would use. But I'm just looking for someone I can ask questions about what I'm doing. I did pretty much mean what you said about the settings used etc.. Like GK posted, something like that helps more than someone saying play around with the software. That would be like me telling a new person in the building (construction) trades, Get the jack hammer and remove that concrete or get the spray gun and get in that 80 foot boom (lift) and go up there and spray that section and not tell or show them how it's done. They may find out the hard way that theres a water line, gas line or electrical lines under that concrete. Or get in the 80 foot boom and end up falling 80 feet or tipping it over. I know playing with software isn't the same thing, I got a little off topic :)

I also haven't really looked on YouTube for information. I did a search on there a couple of times and I got way to many different videos. You do have people posting comments about the videos, good and bad. So I have no clue if these people know what they are talking about or not. So I thought I'd see if there was a BW member willing to help me figure out what I'm doing, that I can contact via email or PM. So I didn't have to post questions all the time.

But anyway here's a problem I have. I found when I record I get a lot of clipping when I speak in a normal voice. I am finding I need to basically whisper to eliminate the clipping. So I can't get the sound from the recording that I'm looking for. I don't know if it's my voice or something I'm doing. How can I eliminate the clipping, use a mixing board?

I've had the mic 6 inches away, 1 foot, and over two feet away just to try something different. As arf put it my voice echo's and my set up right now isn't the best, so I need to stay closer. But then I get alot of clipping.

Also thanks for the vote GK, but I think I need more training before that happens lol... :yes::no:


Arfa B!
12-21-2009, 01:54 PM
The clipping could be down to the mic being way too sensitive, adjust the mixer levels in your record software AND the windows mixer too, if needed!

johny c
12-21-2009, 03:07 PM
Have you got the microphone going into the mic input on your computer. If you have that is the problem. Never use the mic input. What it is doing is overloading and no adjustment of the software will fix this (you are overloading the electronics on the soundcard). You need at the least a mixer after the microphone so you can adjust the microphone volume and then be pluging into the line input on the pc. Sometimes there is a box in the windows mixer that you can tick to get more gain, make sure this is unticked .If the signal is not clean at the sound card input , no amount of adjusting the software will work. If you are using a laptop it is worse.

12-21-2009, 03:11 PM
Thanks arf,

I think I just found most of the problem. I just got a new mic and software, so far it seems like it was the mic I was using. I did a quick recording and it didn't have any clipping, even when I talked loud. I'll make a demo with it as soon as I get a chance.


12-21-2009, 03:15 PM
Hi Bill,
I guess the easiest way to use a mic to pc is :
- an USB type of mic (there are some topics about it at BW)
- or use a basic mixer : positive is that you can adjust your mic volume before its entering your pc > record software ...
In fact the type of mic you are using is most important

The right gear is most important, but thats upto you what you are looking for compaired to your budget ...

About your quote : play around
Well that is the only way to "find out" all ways, settings etc to create that one shot.
As Arthur wrote, and concerning myself, its all about experience ...
I also find at some days new things, they are all into the software package ... but for example I never used it before ... one day "that" tool is just what I'm looking for
I have several types of sound editing software, from Music Generation (creates great vocoders), to SoundForge .... untill Adobe ...
For example If I wanna create a "loop" I still prefere SoundForge, however Adobe gives the same result ...
Arthur made earlier a quote about its all about the "mind"
Well thats true ... if you have a bad day, the voice gonna sounds badly
If the spirit / mind has a focus to the subject who has to be made, the sound of your voice gonna flow all the way ...
A marketing strategy is known as "Make it happen" ... well ... depending on each person and his/her skills things "can" happen if you are into the right mood (= mind), the right atmosphere (your studio) etc etc
Did you ever done this ? :
Go into your studio, relax yourself (= focus), dim all lights and put some candles around into your studio aria ... and repeat the text of a liner over and over again .... at once you gonna discover that only one, maybe 2 try-outs gonna give you satisfaction ...
The target you have reached at that time is "your" way
You gonna be amazed of the result

12-21-2009, 09:39 PM
I knew what was ment about playing around with the software. But I was thinking some kind of guide lines to go by. Like the information you posted "how you editied the file". I could sit here for days and never get it, if I didn't ask questions :)

As fas the "mind" well mine has been all over the place the past few weeks. The doctor put me out of work about 7 weeks ago (bad back) and I don't know if I will ever work again and then I had the heart problem pop up. So my mind is all over the place. I do try to sit back and relax some times and the onething that takes my mind off of everything at times, Is when I'm trying to record something and trying to get it right or close as I can.

I also got some music and sounds I can use. I started adding it to my test recordings and I'm getting better at setting the volumes for the voice and background music or sounds. So now if I do a request I can add music or sounds. I'm not into creating sounds or music, I'll leave that up to someone else. If your talking about using the sounds you have and placing them in different sections the recording, then yes I've been doing that. To get the different sounds or change the music. So I've been playing with the editing software just to see what I can do with it. I'm not just sitting here saying, How do I do this and not try anything. I'm starting to drive my wife nuts with all of the recording and editing I've been doing. She tells me right up front what she thinks like, that sounded good or I get, What was that? That sucked! lol ....

12-22-2009, 02:34 AM
Thanks Bill,
You're welcome !
Get well soon and take care

12-25-2009, 05:36 PM
Ok, when made this demo I only used EQ, Normalization and Amplified the volume of the voice and edited the background sounds, adjusted the levels, cut different sections of sound from a couple of files to make the background.

I also think I got the echo out of my recordings, (If not, most of it anyway). It sounds a lot better to me than it did.


Arfa B!
12-26-2009, 01:12 AM
I'd prefer to hear it dry Bill.

The background fx/music is hiding imperfections maybe, firstly- need to be sure you have killed the natural echo.

It would help if you could upload a higher quality mp3 too at 320kbps.
It sounds a little hissy and lacking treble to my ears at first listen. It is definately better than previous though!

The actual read sounds quite good though!

But, the lack of "brightness" may make it a little hard for some people to understand it properly.
Joe public doesn't have trained ears!

12-26-2009, 01:59 AM

Here's the dry read for this demo. I started keeping the dry reads, not just what I think is finished.

I kind of keep my voice at one level. I was trying to go for the voice GK likes in one of the demos. But then again, I got up had a couple cups of coffee and started recording. So the voice isn't the best.


12-26-2009, 02:37 AM
Hi Bill,
Once again, I agree with Arthur ...
The dry VOX sounds pretty good ... I think that type of voice is part of your soul
ok ... you don't like it ... talking about the mind ...
but its still close to "your" soul, close to what "you" feel
I'm not a native English member, so I'm gonna try to explain this as following :
I guess the current sound of your voice is that one where you feel yourself "alright" at moments in time where you are satisfied, sharing good feelings with a partner, your children (if you have children) etc etc
I guess you understand my point more or less ...

I wanna say that you are getting close to what can be done with a human voice :
- all you need now is : the practice, the feeling to get everything in control
- fix even more the current volume levels of your voice ... not when you speak, but during the edit of all parts
- this gonna "uplift" your voice and gonna create that missing sparkle
- after you done that, try to achieve the "same" level during speaking without making any adjustements ...
In other words : Teach your mind how it has to control your voice
aka : practice = learning = practice

I'm gonna download your current file and I'm gonna try to make an uplift if possible
One final note :
Convert your samples / liners always to bitrate 256 untill 320 kbps and with a samplerate of 44.1 kHz
A samplerate of 44.1 kHz is in general the standard

12-26-2009, 03:18 AM
Thanks GK,
That is something I didn't know.
I did have Cakewalk/Sonar set up, but for some reason it will not record any more. So I am testing with Audacity (again) for now. I just set my default settings to 44.1 Hz and 32 bit rate.


12-26-2009, 04:12 AM
Hi Bill,
You mean a bitrate of 320 kbps ... not 32 :yes:
ok ... I made an attempt ... I'm not satisfied with my own result ... but anyway I wanna share it with you

A good idea can be to take some other shots
for example : some shorties
such as : this is station XYZ, more music__more fun etc etc

You gonna notice that your voice sounds "very" deep into the attached file ... in fact a little too deep :)
Anyway ... enjoy the result

Arfa B!
12-26-2009, 08:33 AM
Hi Bill,
Firstly, Phillipe is really spot on, he knows his stuff!!

Let's just concentrate on the recording quality and overall sound. We can leave the Voiceover skill until later...

You seem to have reduced the treble and possibly lifted the bass on your dry there Bill! Hard to say- as I don't know what your voice sounds like naturally?
I have re-done it, the 1st part is as before, the 2nd part I changed the EQ.

I attenuated the mid range at about 850 hz, I heavily attenuated the bass end below 180 hz and I lifted the treble response from 900-7500 hz.

I did this in order to emphasise that the dry of yours sounds dull, and too bassy (I suspect your natural voice doesn't need any bass lifet- but, we can figure it out for you!!!

Perhaps it's a little "boxey" ??? But only a little!

The only way we can get to the bottom of this, is for you to record it again. COMPLETELY Dry!!!
Don't change anything at all- warts and all, then both Phillipe and myself can use our ears to decide what (if anything) needs changing!

2 opinions from people with experience is invaulable!
Wish I had that guidance, years back! (Mind you, I am so tubborn- I probably would have taken no notice ;-))

Please upload a 320kbps/44.1kHz mp3 file though if you can, if not as close as you can.
Then we can sort this out.

What is your setup now?
Mic, room, software? PM me if you want to keep it to yourself!

The echo is much less, did you take up my suggestion in the PM I sent?
Good luck,

12-26-2009, 12:19 PM
Hi Bill,
Hi Arthur,
I guess thats right (see quote)

I suspect your natural voice doesn't need any bass lift
Last Night I wrote "I'm not satisfied with my own result" ... but this has a reason ...
I've used a FFT filter on the voice of Bill, and that was one step too much :)
I noticed to late that this made it even deeper
I even deleted ground loop files during the production, for reason that it only worked out ok on drones beds etc (so on beds without beats)
Into the current situation Bills voice is very close to that one of Deep9 (I guess also known by Arthur ??)
I would like to make some small stagers with his voice (see liner examples into my other reply)
I think, that We are on the right track ... it needs time ... but We are on the go :)

12-27-2009, 02:08 AM
Well seeing I like the blues I made a demo for BLU, no clue I just made it up :) I added music and I got the settings correct (I hope) thanks to GK and ARF.

12-27-2009, 03:02 AM
Hi Bill

Thanks for the demo you have send by PM
I promised to be back in about 1 hour :) ... so I did

demo for BLU
I'm back !!! ... LOL

I have 1 most important critique to you !!!

I LOVE IT !!!! :yes:

ok to you and Arthur ... What have I done :
- I normalized all sections of the voice (adjustement to 1 volume level)
- Played around with some parts of your liner
- I did "not" added any EQ aka general voice EQ
- I only made a small EQ adjustement to the frequency range section from 640k untill 20K by using a "Gentle High Frequency Boost"
Operational it means a straight line between the frequency 640 and 20K

The result can be heard into the attached file ...
- it contains some of your dry reads
- some produced parts
- in between seperated by a test tone

I'm sure We are getting there ...
I see one other improvement who can be done ...
Watch out for a "to" strong P and B sound as in BLu into blues and blu and as in PLaying in playing
The strong P and B gives a bit of to much boost to those small parts into the liner.

I guess also Arthur gonna be satisfied so far and fellow BW members can check your improvements so far ...
From Me you get a = THUMBS UP :xmassmile:

PS : the test tones at the end are a free gift ... lol

12-27-2009, 01:26 PM
Hi Bill,

I can only back up what the others have said.. With a few additional comments. If you are clipping then you need to either stand back a little or turn down the mic volume. One thing that stood out for me, was your timing and rhythm when speaking, specifically in the first radio drop.. too slow...
The narration certainly was better, but really, it is only practice. Most of us here have been doing this for years, in one form or another.
Don't beat yourself up about it. I do see some improvement from the beginning.

(btw Harry.. nice set of pipes you have :) )

edit... I just heard the blues one.... very nice work!

12-27-2009, 07:28 PM
I think it has impoved GREATLY! Congrats! One thing I'd like to point out, which I had a problem with when I started, was running on words and not taking breaths.

It sounds much cleaner if you speak normal pase but pauses when needed :)