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GarageBand for Voice-Over

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by LionKeeper, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Hello everyone, I'm new here. I'm an aspiring voice actor and am piecing together a home studio. I have played with GarageBand in making voice tracks. I can't find where to normalize the volume. I am also wondering if GarageBand is a good program for what I want to do or should I go to Logic LE 7?
  2. macrumors 601


    what do you mean by normalizing the volume? i.e. i know what it means to me, but what does it mean to you?
  3. macrumors newbie

    To normalize is to make the wave form a similar level so that one word isn't louder than another. For example if I were testing and said "testing one. two three and the word three was louder than the other two words. Some editing software has a normalization feature. One can highlight the phrase and hit the normalization feature and the the volume levels out. Yes, explained like a complete sound engineering dummy:eek:

    Audacity has that feature but I haven't seen it on GarageBand.
  4. macrumors 6502


    Eh, I haven't used garageband much. Keep searching, it really has a lot of features for being free...or bundled with ilife. I've played a little with Logic, and I'm almost positive that it has a normalization feature. Pro Tools has it for sure. Pro Tools IS the industry standard, but I hear Logic is great too...especially for scoring movies.
  5. macrumors 601


    actually, that is not what normalization does. normalization maintains the relative volumes across whatever region is being normalized, but it increases the gain of everything in the region by a uniform amount.

    it does it by searching for peaks and taking the value of the highest one. so, if the loudest part is at, say, -4.1 dB, then it will add 4.1 dB of gain to everything. the loudest part is now at 0 dB, but not everything will be at 0 dB. it does the exact same thing as pushing up the fader 4.1 dB.


    what you've described is what a compressor is for -- reducing the dynamic range of a signal. i've yet to find a compressor plug-in i like for voice, but there are some hardware compressors which are good. or amazing. but they cost.


    so here's the best news: you can do what you want for free. before i apply any compression to a lead vocal (or would apply to a VO, if i recorded those anymore), i gain-ride the track. by that, i mean that i adjust the volume curve according to the performance, to smooth it out.

    i don't use GB, so i don't know if you can automate volume across a track, but all the other DAWs allow it. it's tedious work, but it sounds the best. you go through the peformance, phrase by phrase, word by word, sometimes syllable by syllable, and make the too quiet parts louder, and the too-loud parts quieter, just by drawing the appropriate curve.

    i'll sometimes apply (hardware) compression afterwards, but i do that more for tone than to adjust dynamics.

    hope that helps.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Hey thanks! you said what I was trying to say. And yes it did help. I am seeing that I need someone who knows how to use the gear to sit down and show me how to use it. Thank you again.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Yes, you can. There's a little triangle icon on each track that drops down a volume curve. It can be customized by adding control points across the track.

    TP the OP: I would suggest you get a good mic and start out with GarageBand. It should be just fine for making voiceover demos. If you find that you need more advanced features down the road, you can shell out the extra $$ at that time.
  8. macrumors 601


    good to know, thanks.
  9. macrumors newbie

    auto level control, normalizing!

    in the "info" tab when recording or editing the audio track (found in the bottom right hand side of GB screen, middle of three buttons), there is an "automatic level control" check box, i havent played around with it too much but when checked, the mic input adjusts the mic sensitivity, from what ive seen its good but have a play around,

    its also pretty important to have a good mic, worst case scenario you could have the track mastered...

    hope this is usefull!
  10. macrumors newbie


    hehe just realized original post date, hehe

    hope this helps someone!!!


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