The 4 Top Plugins every voice actor should have

Jun 17, 2020

- To be smooth, creamy, and noise-free!

It sounds like an advert for a new thick shake, I know… however, it’s also an important subject when it comes to the craft of voiceover and a working knowledge of these plug-ins will help you immensely on your VO Journey…

Today, we are going through the plug-ins that are hard to live withoutare well worth their investment many times over and their powerful effects will save your hair, your stress levels, and most importantly, your growing band of clients…

You’ll find most voiceover artists are familiar with and recommend Waves or Izotope plugins and it’s a good idea to check out both as deals and packages come up across the year… both brands are great and completely adequate for the type of editing and production you’ll require.

Most are pretty much ‘set and forget’ and it’s also possible and highly advisable to organize a ‘preset’ in your post-production that will clean up your reads and have them ready to deliver to your waiting clients...  

So, Let’s start at the very beginning! 

Noise Suppression:

Pops, clicks, whirrs, hisses, dogs, cats, air conditioners, neighbors…

It’s a noisy world my friends and we are surrounded by it! 

We also create noises of our own, some smooth and creamy, and most welcome in the booth… And some not so, that is most unwelcome in the voiceover booth.

Noise Suppression comes in different branded plug-ins but they all tend to work the same way by removing noise from your audio without affecting the quality of your read…

Generally, just like hair gel, a little dab'll do ya, (10%-20%) and your audio should be good to go… if you don’t already have noise suppression, it’s a worthwhile investment to purchase as soon as possible.

The De-Clicker:

The Long-form read, Thirst, Excess saliva, Dry mouth, Coffee, Beer! - 

Are all the ‘mothers of the unexpected click!’

So, you’ve been ‘going at it’ for a while and the ‘clicks’ start to become evident to your own ear… 

Dry Mouth starts to take its devastating toll,

Mr. Saliva moves in to ruin your session…

Ever had to ‘knock together’ an urgent unexpected read for a client after having a beer or wine?

All great reasons to consider the De-Clicker plug-in and just as the name suggests it does one thing and one thing well… It removes mouth clicks in your audio.

And as a side note: Avoid alcohol well before a voiceover session, 

It absolutely doesn’t loosen you up in a good way…

I can remember ‘needing to put together an unexpected recording’ after having a social drink and having to wait an hour or so before attempting again to complete the task! 

The De- Breath:

I can remember purchasing Waves de-breath and utilizing it for the first time and thinking ‘what is this dark magic?’ and it’s my bet, you’ll have the same experience… 

De-Breath plug-ins are generally a ‘set and forget’ post-production plug-in which is indispensable for long formwork, as it removes breaths as it finds them in your audio and replaces them with either room tone or silence. If set too intensely it can clip words as well, so, like all plug-ins, you can set the intensity of its effect for smooth, trouble-free long-form recording and post-production sessions.

The De-Plosive:

Most voiceover artists can tell you of their battles with the ‘dreaded plosive’ and there’s all manner of Mic socks and poppers that attest to its intrusion into audio narrations and recordings over the years…

That ‘s why we are all aware of and constantly use the ‘off-axis’ microphone method, complete with mic sock or popper and STILL we occasionally ‘pop’ the microphone.

Once again, the De-plosive plugin is another indispensable addition to your audio chain which removes the plosives from your audio and saves editing time and if set properly, can provide a ‘pop-free’ recording.

Extras:

  • Compression and EQ that work together at the same time!
  • Pre Production Processing as opposed to Post Production Processing

Let me start these ideas by saying there are many forms of compression that can be purchased in either plug-in form or you’ll also find most recording programs have compression as one of its many features… you’ll also find compression and equalization in pre-production pre-amps as well, which we’ll talk about in a moment. 

Explained simply, compression increases the volume to soft sounds and lowers the volume on loud sounds in order to level out the audio to make it sound more uniform and ‘together’... 

Equalization used in conjunction with Compression means mids, highs, and lows can be manually adjusted depending upon your individual tone to make you sound spectacular!

Pre-Processing vs. Post-processing?

You’ll find it’s traditionally been frowned upon to pre-process your audio, primarily because you can’t adjust the audio back to the original source after processing the recording, as it’s already done beforehand and you’ll have to live with what’s been recorded… however, the traditional has been challenged by more modern audio hardware and along comes the DBX 286s for example, which is a preamp, complete with EQ, compression, noise reduction and a sibilance control which is indispensable for home studios and noisy bedrooms and personally has pride of place in my own home set up!

I’m hoping all of this information has brought you much closer to sounding smooth, creamy, and noise-free!

If you’d like more help on perfecting your audio… CLICK HERE

If you’d like coaching on building your smooth and creamy empire… 

CLICK HERE

To your continued voiceover success,

Anthony Pica

 

 

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