When it comes to dealing with the audio frequencies of voiceover and music, it can be difficult to find the proper level of hearing both without one clashing with the other. If you are an audio expert, you probably have some experience in mixing. If you are a video editor like myself, you are nowhere near as good at mixing then it never hurts to have extra tools that can reduce the hassle of mixing. That’s where ClearVoiceOver comes in.
Created by the folks from CrumplePop, ClearVoiceOver is an audio plugin (available for Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Audition, Logic and more) that removes clashing frequencies with background audio so that your voiceover can have the proper amount of presence. This plugin is meant to remove the need for the user to fiddle around with their NLE’s EQ plugin. The one thing this plugin is not meant to do is add a ducking effect to your background audio.
I had an opportunity to try this plugin for myself and it has been very helpful in my editing workflow. Below I have a piece of voiceover with music. One clip is the original and the second clip is with ClearVoiceOver applied.
Using ClearVoiceOver, I was able to get a more coherent and non-clashing sound between my voiceover and my background music. One of the things I like about this plugin are how simple the controls are.
When the plugin is applied to your background music track, pressing the Clear Voiceover button does an analysis of the frequencies in your track.
The strength slider allows you to control how much the overall effect is applied. Usually having the strength slider at a level of 80-90 seems to yield pretty good results.
Mud removal allows you to fine tune how much the clashing frequencies are removed. Not all background music tracks are the same so you may have to adjust this slider to fine tune it to your needs.
Bass boost allows to add or subtract the amount of bass presence in your track if needed. The last thing you would want is for your music track not to have enough presence or to have too much so it helps modify this when necessary.
Output gain allows you to adjust the volume level of your track after the plugin has done its job. This slider is to me seems more useful than boosting the gain using your NLE’s audio controls and having a mismatch sound coherence throughout. It makes sense to have this feature in the plugin to modify your audio gain after the plugin does its job in the background.
Overall, I really enjoyed using this plugin and the simplified controls the folks at CrumplePop put into. This plugin is by no means meant to replace the dedicated work of doing precision audio mixing but it will help you out when you need to level off your voiceovers and music tracks into a cohesive and non-clashing sound.