Friday, September 25, 2009

Waiting for 2010 #134: Audio Plug-ins (and a Stand-Alone App) That Are Awesome for Audiobooks and Podcasting

Yesterday (and right now), I've been productive in the non-salt mine salt mines, so I don't really know what's going on in global affairs. I'm going to talk about some cool audio plug-ins that could be useful to someone who finds this blog through a Google search:

SoundSoap Pro. I bought SoundSoap 2 in 2006 (I think I still had a teacher's discount then), and several months later (mid-2007), BIAS sent me an offer I couldn't refuse to cross-upgrade to SoundSoap Pro. Usually retailing at $500 (but the "list price" usually high-balled at $600), I think I was able to buy the Pro version for less than half the price.  Recently, I had some electric fan noise while recording a chapter for LibriVox, and I tried to clean that broadband noise with SoundSoap 2.  Unfortunately, whatever I did, SoundSoap 2 made the problem worse by creating some unnecessary reverb, when the recording really needed to be as dry and clean as possible.  It occurred to me to use the Pro plug-in, and with one click (maybe like three mouse clicks and a play-button press), the results were dry and very clean.  I might have gotten even better results by tweaking Sound Soap Pro a bit, but it was seriously good already.

Additionally, I used Digidesign's Expander/Gate, the one that comes with Pro Tools, to further attenuate the room tone during the non-speaking in-betweens, without creating disturbing dead silences.

The Levelator.  I first learned about this drag-and-drop, one-step mastering app from Daniel Royer's blog. Additionally, other LibriVox volunteers have tweeted about this program on Twitter.  It's essential for mono, spoken word files.  After mixing down my LibriVox chapter to a WAV file, I put it through this app, and saved hours of time.  Without The Levelator, I could have fiddled for days on end with compressors, limiters, and automating volume levels with my mixer.  Oh yeah, and unlike the pricey BIAS SoundSoap family, The Levelator is a FREE DOWNLOAD.

I hope any of this information helps.

Comments are closed, but you can reach the author on Twitter:  @DeRamos (please follow!).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note: Comments are open only for seven days after publication of each blog entry.