ClearVoiceOver

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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.

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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.

Voice Leveler

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When recording audio from people, their voices come in at a variety of frequencies. Some are soft spoken, some like to use their outdoor voice and some speak loud/soft on different phrases. Having to manage the level of spoken talent can be time consuming and with project deadlines becoming shorter and shorter, it helps to have a tool that can alleviate the hassle of level talent voices. That’s where ERA Voice Leveler comes in.

Created by the talented folks at Accusonus, Voice Leveler is an audio plugin created to even out the volume differences in your voice recordings instantly. Many times when we are out recording audio with our talent we can overlook things like movement from the speaker, positioning of the microphone or heavy editing in post. With Voice Leveler, you can gain control over your recordings and put more effort into the creative side of your work. This plugin is available for Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro and more.

Voice Leveler is a single knob tool that looks at the audio level problems in your recordings and fixes them in real time. Using the single knob function , you can control how much processing the plugin does. There are also other options available such as Mode, Emphasis and Breath Control.

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Mode allows you change between the Normal mode which is the default or you can change it to Tight which results in a more focused radio sound. Choosing between these two settings allows your dialogue tracks to stand out from the background music or sound effects. I can see this being useful for editors who do podcasts, video ads and many other projects.

Emphasis detects problems with the tonal balance of your voice recordings. It’s for situations such as your speaker not facing the microphone properly or placement of the microphone changing between recordings. With this feature turned on, Emphasis will add a small amount of processing to ensure a consistent sound across the board. Breath Control detects the breaths in a recording and lowers their levels so it isn’t clashing with the final sound.

Below I have two audio recordings. One without VoiceLeveler and one without.

As you can hear from the Voice Leveler recording, the sound is more consistent and even across the board versus the raw sound I got from my recording. Overall, I believe Voice Leveler is a handy tool for editors who want to finesse and level their dialogue audio quickly and spend more time on the creative side of things.