Welcome to the continuation of our journey into editing voiceover. Be sure to catch up with part one before going any further. Now, similar to that of crafting a pallet drooling cake or painting an awe-inspiring masterpiece, editing audio is a fine art. That being said, acquiring mastery is not a walk in the park. Many may boast of baking skills or basic audio editing competence, but this doesn't automatically qualify one to be a professional patissier or sound engineer. Let's delve into the fundamental editing techniques crucial for any voice actor.
The previous article emphasized reducing errors during recording to yield superior audio files. However, nobody's perfect; even the best performers occasionally struggle with loud breaths, lip smacks, or stumbles. Let's take a closer look at these issues:
In specific contexts, such as video games, breath sounds can enhance character depth. But, out of context, a harsh, audible breath can be jarring for the listener. The decision to retain or remove breaths is subjective, based on the performance and context. If you opt for removal, several plug-ins, like the waves de-breather, can cleanse an entire audio file of breaths in a single moment.
This pesky sound, created by the moisture on our lips as they part, might be undetected by our ears but is an eager catch for the microphone. Resulting in a distinct lubricated pop sound during playback on headphones. lip smacks can be manually removed or eradicated with a noise reduction tool available in most editing software.
Unfortunately, stumbles require manual elimination. To mitigate this issue, try doing a cold read of the script before recording. Practicing sight reading daily can also improve your performance and reduce stumbles.
The issues mentioned above are common challenges a voiceover artist might encounter while editing - possibly even on a daily basis. However, the world of voiceover editing expands far beyond these basic problems. Depending on your proficiency, you might be familiar with more advanced elements like compressions, LUFS, EQ, and so on.
If you're eager to deepen your understanding, by all means, do so; such knowledge will prove invaluable down the line. But beware of over-editing your recordings, especially if you're unsure about the process. Over-editing can inadvertently harm your work in ways that might be irreparable later. When in doubt, it's always advisable to have a sound engineer review your work for constructive criticism.
Voiceover Editing Part 2 by Alan Shires