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Someone to 'polish' dry VO files then explain what/why - can pay
Old 30th May 2020
  #1
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Sanchez's Avatar
Someone to 'polish' dry VO files then explain what/why - can pay

Hi, I've been recording VO for myself and others at home in a reasonably well-treated room, some nice enough gear then processing myself and sending files out without too much complaint for a few years now. The clean recording part, gain etc is all fairly dialled (or so I believe) but the processing is basically self-taught. What I'm thinking would be a good next step is if I could give a pro clean/dry files from my 3 mics and they apply processing to get them as close to broadcast/end-client-ready as possible plus feedback on those mics+my voice. I have a fairly extensive plugin setup so could hopefully use or at least mimic a similar processing setup as a base going forward. A kind of targeted masterclass/over-the-shoulder mix session if you will. I know there's not a one-size-fits-all chain/process but I am working mostly with my voice and this would be very helpful to at least get closer to the target zone of the most polished, usable result I can get.

I don't have a ton to spend but within reason I'd far rather work with an actual professional here than some Fivr chancer.

Hopefully OK to post this here, please move if appropriate, thanks
Old 30th May 2020
  #2
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Mundox's Avatar
Hey man,
Being a GS member for 15 years qualifies you for processing your own VO.

There isn't much to it, except for good performance and a good signal chain to begin with. The rest is getting the levels tight (see my signature for plugs), some EQ, and just enough limiting for colour.
Depending on what the material is, some harmonic distortion and pitch widening might go well.

Some people also use low freq. synthesizing plugins for enhancement of the low end.

Don't overthink it.
Old 30th May 2020
  #3
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bgood's Avatar
Just straight VO?

Is there something in your deliverables that you’re getting bad notes on??
Old 30th May 2020
  #4
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Sanchez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundox View Post
Hey man,
Being a GS member for 15 years qualifies you for processing your own VO.

There isn't much to it, except for good performance and a good signal chain to begin with. The rest is getting the levels tight (see my signature for plugs), some EQ, and just enough limiting for colour.
Depending on what the material is, some harmonic distortion and pitch widening might go well.

Some people also use low freq. synthesizing plugins for enhancement of the low end.

Don't overthink it.
Qualified to drive a mouse maybe haha.
Yeah what I crank out sounds OK and pro clients seem to be OK and people I've made demos for are generally (rightly) more interested in their performance and the overall package ie VO plus any backtrack etc.
I use Waves Vocal Rider and Izotope Nectar mainly, a little L2 at the end. Already the distortion, pitch widening and low freq synth are news to me so....

Re client feedback, as long as it's fairly in the ballpark I get the feeling they'll generally just do any necessary minor adjustments on their end and leave it at that....I'm kind of a skill slut though

I know there's generally not a ton to do on a good signal but rather than just being 'good enough' I'm hoping to get to the closest possible a pro engineer would deliver with what I have - that might be as simple as plugin order and general levels or simply seeing how much is a standard hi-pass etc. As I record, narrate and engineer, it sometimes feels like I'm too close to the picture and generally listening in the same environment so some input would be good, esp an informed ear on the mics I'm using.
Old 30th May 2020
  #5
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Sanchez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Just straight VO?

Is there something in your deliverables that you’re getting bad notes on??
Yep for the most part straight VO, although there are times I help people with VO demos and add background musc/fx etc

I generally go and VO at studios but I do record me or others here and while I'm not getting bad notes I'd like to up my game if there's headroom to do so.
Old 30th May 2020
  #6
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As a frequent recipient of home studio recorded VO's, I always want them as raw as possible. I even ask some of the more pro talent who have a front end chain that includes processing to bypass it. Every final VO needs some sort of processing before it hits air, at the very least some compression and EQ. But every mix has different requirements for the voice to sit properly, some requiring mild enhancement and gentle level riding, and some needing more, as Mundox spelled out. For a screaming ad with pumping music and massive sfx, the VO track may be mangled to within an inch of its life. And that's okay.

For that reason, I like my VO's raw so I'm not fighting with baked in processing. But for your own productions, just start adding plugins that you have and tweak away until you like what you hear. Everybody has their preferred method, but it's common to find an EQ at the top of the chain, with, if nothing else, a hi-pass filter on it, followed by a compressor, sometimes followed by another EQ to put some sheen back in that the compression may have dulled, with a de-esser at the end of the chain.

Of course there's no shortage of tutorial material around if you want to get really serious with this stuff.
Old 30th May 2020
  #7
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bgood's Avatar
I’m with Sean

In that game, it’s usually just about cobbling together a nice foundational chain:

Decent room
Good mic
Good clean pre
Good clean converter

That’s if you’re just sending out dry VO

Now, depending on what sort of program you’re working on (narration, radio/tv spots, porn overdubs, etc) all manner of FX stuff may or may not go down later down the pike.

Are you looking to experiment with expanding your skill craft with the FX/polish end of things? That’s so program dependent, of course
Old 31st May 2020
  #8
Gear Head
 

Can you post an example? Yeah your room, performance and how close you are to the mic will tell more.
Old 31st May 2020
  #9
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Mundox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanchez View Post
Already the distortion, pitch widening and low freq synth are news to me so....
Harmonic distortion (like saturation) tends to increase the perceived loudness of the signal. And pitch widening (I just came up with that term, not sure if it has a common name) is an old school method of widening the vox. Old signal processing boxes had these delay presets you could tweak to achieve something like +8 cents shift on the Left channel and -8 cents on the Right, each with a small delay amount of say 10-30ms.
I used to use these methods for mixing loud Sony Music promos to keep the VO slightly above pumping music. I wouldn't use them for a narration piece.

Low freq stuff is done with plugins like Pro Subharmonic, adding artificial low end to your signal. I rarely use this method to make poorly recorded VO sound a touch better.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Sanchez's Avatar
Thanks everyone, that's already a real help.
My room is reasonably good (slightly earlier version here my humble abode thanks you!) and I use Metric Halo ULN4 interface/pres w/RE20, CAD E100S plus a couple other mics...so it's not 87s and 416s but still not too shabby.

I think that I have a fairly good grip on the more in-your-face end of things, and side-chaining when I'm adding bgm if people want it for demos etc, I'm more wanting to feel I've nailed the basic sound as well as I can....if someone makes a KILLER margherita pizza, you know you're probably good to go w/ the rest of the menu
Much as I of course don't want to, I'll post up some samples the next couple of days.
Thanks again
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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Sanchez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
I’m with Sean

In that game, it’s usually just about cobbling together a nice foundational chain:

Decent room
Good mic
Good clean pre
Good clean converter

That’s if you’re just sending out dry VO

Now, depending on what sort of program you’re working on (narration, radio/tv spots, porn overdubs, etc) all manner of FX stuff may or may not go down later down the pike.

Are you looking to experiment with expanding your skill craft with the FX/polish end of things? That’s so program dependent, of course
Thanks....yes it's mostly skill with the fx/polish end, predominantly for narration and radio/tv spots I'm looking for.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanchez View Post
Thanks....yes it's mostly skill with the fx/polish end, predominantly for narration and radio/tv spots I'm looking for.
Gotcha...

So, again, that’s soooo dependent on the spot. I did that for years and years... At the station prod room and at my own studios...

pm me if you’d like and I’d be happy to give you any pointers if you’d like

-b
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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Sanchez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Gotcha...

So, again, that’s soooo dependent on the spot. I did that for years and years... At the station prod room and at my own studios...

pm me if you’d like and I’d be happy to give you any pointers if you’d like

-b
Thanks bgood, that's very cool of you, I'll pm you when I get a chance tomorrow
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Hi Sanchez,

Check out Soothe2. It really helps smooth anything thats edgy. Lots of good presets to get started with.

https://oeksound.com/plugins/soothe2/
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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Sanchez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KabbySoundStudio View Post
Hi Sanchez,

Check out Soothe2. It really helps smooth anything thats edgy. Lots of good presets to get started with.

https://oeksound.com/plugins/soothe2/
Whoa....are you looking over my shoulder? Spoookyyy!
I've been looking at it the past few days and literally just gave it a test drive, interesting so far but I need to dig deeper.
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