Recording and editing audiobooks: choose programs
Recording and editing audiobooks: choose programs

Recording and editing audiobooks: choose programs

As a graphic designer, you need programs to make up advertising materials, edit fonts and draw layouts, you need a program in which you bring your audiobook recording to the desired quality.

Naturally, the most important thing is a good audio track recorded on a high-quality microphone in a prepared room with a set voice. But do not ignore the subsequent editing of this track either. With the help of an audio editor, you can correct minor flaws in the recording, give gloss to your voice, quality to the entire project as a whole and bring your project in line with the customer’s technical requirements.

How to Choose the Right Audio Editor

The situation with audio editing software is interesting: there is no clear hierarchy with a few favorites and outsiders. All known programs perfectly perform basic and advanced tasks and are provided with a huge library of processing tools. In terms of basic functions and sound quality, you won’t be disappointed even with the free programs. That’s why we advise you to choose according to three criteria. First, what do you want to do with the program? Is there anything besides basic audio editing that you’re interested in – adding writing jingles, creating sound collages, multivoiced recording, restoring damaged or poorly recorded audio tracks to your asset? Although the most advanced tasks can be done in almost any program, some of them are more convenient. If you don’t need anything but basic voice retouching, go with Audacity. If you want to add many voices, effects and musical sketches to your audiobook, have a look at the programs that musicians use. Second, think about how much money you can spend on software. We don’t recommend downloading pirated versions of software. Among other things, distributives, hacked by nobody will not work stably and without crashes. Thirdly, it is important subjective impression of the program. Do you like the interface? Comfortable working in the program for hours on end? Is it easy to memorize hotkeys? Download demo versions of all the programs from the list and try to sit in them and understand the functions. The one you personally find most understandable and you should choose.

We recommend

Audacity (free) Audacity is a free editor that allows you to cover all the basic tasks of processing your voice. The program is characterized by an extremely simple interface and a large set of features found in heavy professional programs: various format converters, multitrack recording and overdub, compressors, equalizers, noise and click removal algorithms. The program is very undemanding to your computer and works on any operating system. If you need the easiest solution to get started as quickly as possible, take a closer look at Audacity.

Adobe Audition (paid) but there is a free version for 7 daysProfessional audio editor from the leaders in design software, part of the proprietary Adobe Creative Cloud. The program contains a huge number of tools for manipulating sound: filters, effects, equalizers and noise reduction, tempo alteration algorithms, spectrum analyzer and much more. Iterations of the project you’re working on are automatically saved to cloud storage. The interface is smart and user-friendly, like other Adobe products. Audition itself is pretty expensive, but there is a 30 day trial period in which you can see if this program is right for you.

Magix Sound Forge (paid inexpensive) A competitor to Audition and Izotope RX 8 with about the same powerful functionality. The advantage of Sound Forge is the automatic editing. For example, the auto cut / trim feature allows you to quickly remove long pauses or peaks recognized, even on multiple tracks. Audio files are supported in any format. What makes it faster is that you can do any conversion and parameter change, from normalization and compression to renaming with multiple files at once. Consider this program if you plan to do voiceovers in teams and in large volumes.

Izotope RX 8 (paid) If you used to work in Photoshop or tried yourself in Audition, you will find the program understandable. It also has the typical tools of graphic editors like lasso and brushes. RX 8 is a highly specialized software for audio restoration and fine detail editing. While there are many different functions to manipulate the audio signal, the interface is thoughtful and not overloaded. Note the change history section and the very handy spectrogram mode, where you can easily remove a variety of artifacts with some practice. Internal noise leveling algorithms are very effective in bringing the audio to an acceptable quality.

Cockos Reaper (paid) Cockos Reaper is a popular program for professional sound engineers for multichannel recording. It is liked for its flexibility, stability, small system requirements and ridiculous price ($60 for the professional segment). Reaper has a lot of effects built in, different schemes to work with large projects, and there is support for external plug-ins. If you have never worked with this kind of software before, Reaper may seem complicated, but it is recommended to pay attention to the program, make a couple of test takes of the recording and try to process them. It is quite possible that this program will open the way to recording projects with a lot of voices.

Ableton Live Lite (paid) with free features A little tiphak. If you or any of your friends bought an instrument like a midi keyboard, pay attention to the bundled software. Many keyboards come with a free basic distribution of the famous Ableton Live music creation software. Look for its key on your own or ask a friend for a key. The Lite version has a limited functionality compared to the basic one: only eight tracks are available, only the most basic processing tools and a small library of synthesizers. But even Lite is already a full-featured music creation environment. Consequently, there are audio track editing functions here, too. And if you want to take your first steps toward creating music/noise accompaniment for your voice and layering various effects, it’s hard to think of a more suitable program for that.

What and how to master

All of the audio editors on this list allow you to work with sound on a professional level. They have a lot of features, and it’s not surprising that programs can seem complicated. But to get started and get your first projects off to a good start, you’ll need to master a very small amount of knowledge:

Understand what the main work area consists of – where you see the audio tracks, signal levels, timecodes, and navigation bar. Learn to record high-quality and smooth audio from your microphone, cut, copy, paste, and tag parts of a recorded audio track. Be able to even out the track by volume and remove artifacts like clicks and background noise using the automatic means built into the program. Can work in Spectral Analyzer mode, where you can also remove clicks and harsh noise. Be able to process the prepared track with equalizer, compressor and limiter. You need EQ to cut or emphasize certain frequencies, you need compressor to equalize the loudest and softest sounds relative to each other, and you need limiter to suppress unwanted peaks.

You can learn these basic skills in just an evening. You can quickly learn advanced skills, such as audio restoration or multitrack recording and mixing, later if necessary. First, turn basic knowledge into a steady skill and try your hand at working on an audiobook. There are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube for every aspect of working with sound, so you won’t have a problem with the instructions.

Source (author of the article): LITRES


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