Polish Your Voice recordings pt 2: Audio Editing for Non-Techie Amateurs | Ron Masa | Skillshare

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Polish Your Voice recordings pt 2: Audio Editing for Non-Techie Amateurs

teacher avatar Ron Masa, Psychologist, Artist and Educator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Case Study: Intro to Voice Editing

    • 2. Normalize & Noise Reduce

    • 3. Polishing a Female Voice

    • 4. Further Polishing process

    • 5. Special Audio Polishing Techniques

    • 6. Class Project: Polish Your Voice Over!

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About This Class

Improve your voice recordings and your vocal technique! The case study in Part 2 of this class features a female voice. (You don't have to take part 1 first.) Quality Audio is a crucial part of video editing and filming online classes. Most amateur home recordings cry out for improvement. With no tech skills needed you can learn to directly reshape the digital wave forms that record your voice!

Learn the approach that allowed me to complete nearly 500 professional audio jobs at Fiverr.com with 100% positive reviews using inexpensive home gear. Polishing Your recordings fixes existing problems while training your ear and your voice technique to improve these issues in new recordings.

  1. Get to know your own voice better
  2. Improve your existing recordings
  3. Improve your voicing in new recordings!
  4. Evolve your own authentic voice.

Enroll now, It's Fun!

And be sure to see Polish Your Voice Recordings Part One


Meet Your Teacher

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Ron Masa

Psychologist, Artist and Educator


Ron Masa, Ph.D. is a retired Jungian Psychologist and University Instructor who is also an artist. He has sculpted in stone and bronze and paints mostly in acrylics. Dr Masa has authored many articles and newspaper columns on Dreamwork and on the I Ching. He has taught at major universities and also studied with shamans from North and South America. He lives in the redwood forest near Santa Cruz, California with his sweetheart, fellow artist and educator, Debbie Hart. They love cats.

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1. Case Study: Intro to Voice Editing: Hello, I'm Dr Ron Mesa. I'd like to tell you about an audio editing process that improves your recordings and gives you feedback on your voice technique. After retiring from private practice psychotherapy, I decided to try voiceover work, which I had always admired. I hung out a shingle at fiber dot com and then learned by doing. Over time, I developed an amateur editing process that greatly improved the quality of my home voice recordings. We often focus on the videos visuals, but the quality of your audio, maybe the most important element. Any recorded audio can be sculpted or polished to better please the ear, and most amateur audio begs for improvement. Polishing wave forms will polish your recordings and in time, your voicing, starting at any level you're out, and today we focus on polishing. The female voice I first learned edit my recordings because I have a partial denture, which complicates making certain sounds. Every person's mouth creates unique airflow patterns. While I do have a better microphone and a sound booth for this class, I'm using a cheap USB microphone. 80 are 2100 in an untreated room to approximate the minimal standards common in home recordings you don't need any special resource is to expect this quality of sound or better wearing headsets will allow you to hear finer distinctions and sound if you choose, they could improve your listening to this class, but you should use a headset when editing your recordings and noticed the 15 2nd rewind button on the controls below this stream. To re listen to specific sounds, polishing your voice zooms in on the details of audio, and it will develop your ear for sound. First you learned to here and correct audio problems and completed recordings, and later you'll hear and improve those same issues when making new recordings. Polishing audio is learning to play an instrument by ear, and the instrument is your own voice. I use Wave Pat, audio editor for the demo. It's a good digital audio workstation. You can download a free trial, and it's affordable to buy. But this polishing process can be done in any audio editor. Audacity is a famously good and free one. I invite you like a trusted intern to observe my actual workflow as I polish some of my partner Debbie Hearts Online class. Let's make friendship bracelets. Easy candy striped patterns for beginners. Why polish your voice recordings To know your own voice? Better to improve your existing recordings. To improve your voicing in new recordings and to evolve your own authentic voice. Your class project will be to practice applying this method 2 30 seconds of your own voice recording and post the results. The details air in the project link below this screen and in the final project video. This first video is open to everyone to enroll and move on to the next video. Please click Enroll when it appears here on the screen, or click the enroll button below this screen. And if you enjoy this class, please consider checking. Yes, you would recommend the class. It helps this class be visible to others, but first click enroll and join us. 2. Normalize & Noise Reduce: in polisher voice one. We focused entirely on my own voice, which is a male voice if you may have noticed, and I want to work with a female voice now and we'll get some very different kinds of issues and qualities. But some of them will be very much the same. So I think it'll be an interesting comparison to see the two male versus female and so on. All right, so let's work with the female voice and we're going to do Polish editing. Here is the initial file and ah, we first take a look at the overall file. You got a good strong signal. Overall, this is the initial recording and it's ah, often around minus six db and the Peking very close to zero. But that's only a time or two. This is a really nice initial strong recording signal. The first thing I would say about it is that we've got these really tall, extreme peaks up here. They're gonna throw off the curve. That's a peak method in which the overall volume is gonna be increased based on what the tallest peaks are. The first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go through and cut down probably about 20 of these little guys by hand, and I was just manually shorten them and make them a little smaller. Let's reduce him with these guys. Pull it down under the lines that they're not so exceptional. One really loud noise. The peak method will set that is the maximum, and everything else will stay relatively quiet and tiny compared to that as we were reducing their volumes. Select the entire file and then we're going to normalize, and we very frequently use about 75 often a minus three db You're not gonna apply the normalization, all right. The next thing we want to do is remove any extraneous background sound, and that normally helps to have some room at the top here. But we see it beginning. This is no signal at all. Here's where the microphone came on. And then here's a little bit of kind of normal breath and voice noise, and then recording begins. Normally, it's good to leave about five seconds of audio silence so that you can pick up the room noise and tell what noises in the background and in the polish your voice method. You want to take a close look at that initial test recording and see how much background my serious and see if you can go specifically located and remove it at the source. That is way better than trying to remove it in post. Often if you go to the very end here. Looks like a clean spot. Let's see if I turn the volume up so you can hear That's the background sound, and that's what we'd like to correct. So we're gonna go up here under effects. We want to clean up, and we're gonna do noise reduction. Grab a noise sample from that selected area and then control A to select the entire file back up here to clean up noise reduction. And now we'll do a spectral subtraction based on that sample that we took and they will remove that noise. The noise that we measured in those empty spaces. It will remove that noise from all the empty spaces and from the mix with all the language of the recording as well. So that should take care of it. Okay, so it starts beginning now that we All right, So here's the unopened part. These they're just kind of normal breath sounds that people make in part of this will just eliminate that. I was listening to a recording yesterday by a fellow hood, a really excellent audio quality, and he had a kind of a habit of after he causes it. Kind of makes us smacking noise every time he opens his mouth nose like the only thing really, that wasn't ideal about the recording. I was quite impressed with it, and it occurred to me that if he had ever edited his own audio, he would find himself removing that exact mouths Mac every time he opens his mouth and after 10 2030 40 times I learned don't make that sound if you can avoid it. And so that's how polishing your voice recordings helps you polish your voice. When you're making your new recordings, there's one of those sounds like just made, I'll leave it in 3. Polishing a Female Voice: now that we've learned how to make the basic forward, not let's use it with all six strings in place on the clipboard to make the bracelet. Okay, so this is a very nice piece of recording. It's got a good, strong signal, good female voice. Let's work with this. So one thing I notice is that in this recording, feel notice all the way through. Phrases tend to start out very strong, and then they trail off. See how high the peaks are in this part of the phrase and notice where they are in the rest of the phrase right, and you'll notice that that's through in many of these. So this is a vocal speech pattern. Nothing unusual about it. But it's one of the things that the voiceover artist would eventually realize whom Maybe I'll start what seems a little soft to me but still enthusiastic, and then be sure, toe keep my voice up when I come to the end of the sentence, rather than kind of trailing often when they get to the end of a sentence. Alright, some people do that, and if you have that or any other vocal habits, you'll discover it when audio editing and polishing your voice, so there's nothing wrong with it, but you can always improve and learn from whatever is there. So let's look at this now that we've learned how to make the bait. So there's a sound that's a T sewn and it's a strong and it's a feminine sound here, and my teas are always very strong. So we want to pull that sound. This is a huge look how high this signal is. Er, this alone is too big signal, and this piece here is raggedy extra sound that we don't need. So we're gonna pull the whole thing down by 2/3. All right, apply that, and you can see that that's a much more reasonable T. Soon now that we've learned how to make the you still here have learned how to make you want the t one a little punch in there, but you don't need it to be so loud in this particular microphone really picks up some of those sounds and amplifies them. We've learned how to make the basic Here's a B of basic. As another PLO sieve have to make the big we could service was this. You know, we're picking up just vocal noise and junk in the background. Let's eliminate to make the bait much cleaner, they say. Okay, here's the basic and we want to soften that a little bit. It's another PLO sieve and it's very strong. Let's pull it down by about 1/3 and see if that helps the basic. That's better. The basic forward. That's pretty good. Think the basic forward. Not if we'd taken out too much. We'll put some back and someone. So it's an experimental method. You do it and listen to it. Very good. That's better. And here's diplo sieve P, which is the biggest one when we're most likely. And again there are many ways to fix this. Let's fix this one by clearing a little section here. We're not gonna shorten it. We're just going to create silence there. That's a very quick, easy thing to do when you're editing were quickly in place and see how that works Now, Then flight them flight in flight was in place on the clipboard, and now we've got a problem with the sea. They look at this. See here we don't need any of this sound at all. That's all extraneous noise. And this sea is drawn out and noisy and messy. So one of things you can do with that is again. Let's just so that we don't remove the section. It keeps the same spacing. But we shortened the length of that. See, sound like flipboard him Very good in place on the brings in place on the clipboard. Okay, make them. And I think you hear board to make. Here's your next look at that tea. No, The thing I hear is a kind of a slurring found now that we've learned how to right in here , we've learned we've learned in there. Let's try something. Let's fade in right here. Actually, break that word up and see learned had to look at that. That completely removes that slurring sound we've learned have. Let's boost the last part of the sentence where the voice drops off. That's one of the principal lessons to be learned from this particular editing polishing so far, and if we did this, we could amplify 120% and again here we have these dropping off and let's soften this 1st 15% Okay, because we still want a strong opening greeting and that we don't want to lose that style. But we're gonna balance it out a little bit in the editing here now that we've learned have to make the basic forward, not, let's use it with all six strings in place on the clipboard to make the bracelet. All right, so there's the first sentence much cleaned up. 4. Further Polishing process: here in the second sentence we're seeing now the very similar pattern. We have a really high, strong signal in the beginning, and it drops off considerably and then gets a much smaller near the end. So that's one of things will correct after setting. And the contrast here is going to be between this quiet ending toe one and the loud beginning of the other. So that makes a very unfortunate contrast. That's really the problem with that pattern bracelet. Have that when Jeff sounds way too loud and this one sounds kind of gentle and intimate, and then this one sounds almost shouting by comparison. But that's just because of the way it's being recorded here. So let's balance that out after setting up your crafting station. You should. That's very good now. Crafting station notice here in the middle of this crafting station thing Station got kind of underplayed, so let's boost that. Let's try 132%. Yeah, that easily could handle that amount. Crafting station You should, after setting up your crafting station to announce a much more balanced after setting up here's an Essene. We could reduce a considerable amount about 1/3. They're setting up your craft. Wherever you see this, these little blips are never your friend will remove that like weeding in the garden craft . Here's a C sound again and we're gonna shorten it and clean it up. Craft didn't state. Here's their t sand. We recognize it's got that that little extra piece we really don't want on there and it's too large. So we're going to cut the volume on that. Let's take that one in half. I think you're crafting station Good. And now here we haven't s and a T together. Let's do them both at the same time. The S is on the left, and this is a T sound looks good and they're both excessive. And so we can amplify this in. Let's cut them to Let's cut him in half, for starters. That's the other thing station. And this particular little guy was removed lifting station. All right, that sounds much better. That's a little loud. Let's reduce that to 1/3 of its volume. Think station. You should not. Excellent. You should now have looped end of you. We have eight. You should now have a little bit of breath Penis on the eight from the microphone. But I and so let's reduce just that portion of where the heavy breathing part of have the H sound comes in. Still very loud. Let's cut it in half from there, even, okay, it doesn't take very much of that sound to make those words. Work should now have the looped and much better have the looped. Ah, here's an interesting one where the pee is not in the beginning. Close it, and yet it's still an issue. I'm going to quiet. This is the beginning, so we got the P on this end of the word. Usually it's the peop Loesser's at the beginning that are an issue. That's a weird sound, and we're going to fade it out in order to reduce that weird sound. Just click fade out, looped in. That's pure noise. Let's get rid of that. Have looped end of yours. That's better. This is a little abrupt. I'm going to reduce that in volume. That's the loop, toe and looped end of you. Good, good. After setting up your this is still a little loud and I'm gonna take it down another 15%. We have a CH sound here that's connected to a T sounds attached to, and we're going to reduce both of them to about 1/3 of their volume, and that will also quiet. Any noise in between them. Nicely was attached here, attached to your much nicer sound. Which cleaner was attached to your clipboard again. Here's the clipboard of Strong on the Sith, and that's something which one in vocal practice will then begin to work on and make a cleaner, more abrupt see sound. 5. Special Audio Polishing Techniques: So far, I've been inviting you along to just observe the process and the work flow of polishing audio. And now I'd like to show you some specific audio problems and some techniques to address them. First, we have a problem with a s sound, the final s and this sentence has been Elektronik Lee distorted, so you can hear that it's not as it should be. There are many things that can cause you to get part of a word or a final s distorted. And if there are parts of words that are not workable, you may be able to borrow that part of the word from someplace else. So here's a good example where the final s and a sequence is troublesome service like this border, other flat surface like this. The this part, as you can hear, is not healthy. So what we have to do is go searching. And here is a perfectly good s sound right in the word next to it. And so we're gonna stretch that out, get a good look at it, and then copy it and then paste it right in over here Surface like this. That surface like this we now have a really good sounding word in that problem has been resolved. It's a good, clean ending, so that's one kind of problem. Sometimes you borrow a part of words. Sometimes an entire word places in the string order places in the string Order doesn't sound too bad until we get to the order. Word order under under. And so and I have gone back and I've looked all through here and searched everywhere, and I found some place where the word order also occurs in the same recording already in the right order. It's connected with the word right order, and so it's being attached. Another word makes it a little trickier to do. If it's separate, is much easier. Let's replace that order that one. That's kind of squished up with this word in the string order right now that's not string or pick, but that is considerably improved, and it's really as a result of going in and borrowing that other part of a word in the string. Order this in the string order places in the string order. How we did is we just did a kind of a fate in a little bit so that that would be a smoother transition in the word order. You could also turn volume up on that a little bit if you want it. But that's the way to address another kind of a problem. Sometimes you replace a sound, sometimes an entire word, that you can borrow from elsewhere in the recording. The flaws, the flaws, the flaws. This is a kind of a raggedy sound. It's ah, it's a very, ah unpleasant, unsmiling booth kind of a grating sound. And you get this ratchet e raggedy kind of a sound, sometimes from a number of causes. And what we're gonna do is just go through here and expand this F sound and very selectively remove these large, dark chunks of audio. That's where the noises are. That's where the extraneous sound is coming from, and we can go in there and systematically remove them one by one, and that will eventually smooth out. The sound considerably does a much smoother sound now. It may still be a little louder than we're going to need ultimately, but that is a much smoother sound, and much of that raspy nous has been taken out of it by selectively removing those spots. You get those little raggedy sounds every so often, and you can remove them that are each 30 inches long, each 30 30. There's a clicking. They look for it. There it is. Here it is by fading it in. We eliminated that clicking sound from the 30 entirely, and it sounds very clean now, actually, that one really works each 30 each. 30. Let's look at one last issue here. As you add as you add, you add. There's a slurring their do you act. And again we're going to eliminate that specific portion where the slurring waas and how we end up with two very clean versions of, As you add, sort of as you add as you add, Rose has you add Rose. Fading in and fading out together can solve any number of problems, especially if there's a click right at the beginning or end of a word. Fading it in and fading it out often is one of the solutions for it 6. Class Project: Polish Your Voice Over!: let me tell you about the class project. The best way to learn voice polishing is to practice editing and listening to your own recorded voice. So for your project, record 30 seconds of your voice and then polish the recording as you've seen, listen and experiment the deliverable to anyone or mawr, if you must, of the following who won, right and share some of what you've learned when polishing your voice or to upload a screenshot. Still photo of your digital audio file before and or after the polishing or three embed audio or video of before and after from YouTube. If that's familiar to you, if you'll post any of these, I'll be happy to comment on them. It also helps this class be more visible, which I would appreciate if you'll do the project. I'll offer my personal feedback on what you post. If you haven't done many projects for skill share, this one is fun and easy to submit. Here's all you need to do. Just below this video player is a menu of the pages for this class. You would begin on the first option, the community page. Here you can post any questions comments or insights to share with other students and the instructor to get started. Noticed the gray box with the big blue button marked start project. Clicking that button takes you to a page where you can choose a cover photo and type in what you want to say about the project. Then upload your project and click the blue button marked Create project. After that, there will always be an edit your project button so you can always make changes. Keep us updated or discuss your process. Our discoveries. You can also find that start project button on the class project page. You can also find the description of the class project here as well as any supplemental class. Resource is that's all there is to it. I'm eager to see and to hear your contributions. Thank you for taking this class. I really hope you learn something new and that you enjoy the class as well. Please be sure to click. Yes, you would recommend the class if that's true for you.