0054: Why I Use, Love And Recommend Audacity For Voice Over Work

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Hey there, hero!

I often get the questions “What sound recording and editing software do you use? And why?”

Here’s my answer: Audacity. For sure.

And I’ll tell you why (and why I do when I could use a number of more complicated apps, like ProTools and Logic, but don’t) in this episode.

What sound software do you use? And why? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. I use Adobe Audition because of features such as multi-track editing (yes, I have produced demo’s), and range markers that make it really easy to spit out individual files for eLearning clients, by slide, by paragraph, etc.—as an up-sell service. I also love its spectral display and editing, which I think make my editing go much faster and more seamlessly.

  2. REAPER. Far far more configurable for VO and Audiobook work than Audacity. More useful native plugins, plus REAPER accepts most 3rd party plugins. And one can adjust those FX in real time as one is listening to the file and watching the waveform. Once one puts in the time to learn it, Punch & Roll and making corrections (with Time Selection Auto Punch) in REAPER are a snap. And because the editing is non-destructive (unlike Audacity – yet), fine tuning the edits is also much easier and more efficient because there is more recorded (not deleted) material to play with. PLUS – REAPER allows 2 External Editors. So if one really wants to, one can make Audacity one of the External Editors (and iZotope RX the other), edit in Audacity if one insists on doing so (and/or clean up things in RX), and then go back into REAPER (or stay in Audacity) to Render (Export) Mastered files. The only thing I would include to make REAPER even more useful is the “heal” function used in Adobe Audition’s Spectral Repair. (Admittedly, REAPER’s Spectral View and controls are very clunky compared to AA and RX.)

    Quite honestly, other than it being free and relatively simplistic to use, I don’t know why people won’t spend the time to learn and opt for a more powerful and feature rich and configurable DAW than Audacity. It’s the difference between driving a Mercedes S-Class and a Yugo. The ONLY thing I use Audacity for is to double-check my file specs with the ACX-Check plugin. And even at that, it is only as a secondary or tertiary precaution.

  3. David,
    I used Audacity in a rudimentary manner before becoming a VOHero pro. Now I feel so much more confident. It is easy to use and has so many pluses that you show us to make our VO work even easier and better. Thank you.
    Mary Z.
    .

  4. I use Audacity as well. Mostly for my classes, as I’ve not yet been able to break in to v/o.

    It’s everything you said. And I haven’t experienced all it can do.

  5. My feeling on using Audacity is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
    It does the job. I know it well. I can do it quickly.
    With so many learning curves constantly being thrown at actors, why change DAWs if what I’m using is working?
    Note: On my wishlist is an Audacity app for iPhones, so when quick turn around is mandatory and I’m not in vicinity of my book, I could record on Audacity. Right now, the only recording/editing iPhone app I know of is Twisted Wave.
    Question: Anybody got another on-the go record / audition work flow to share?
    Hmmm: I can record in Messages. Wonder if there is a way to send upload that file to an audition site. Not sure if its even an mp3.
    Anybody got an on the go, record audition on your phone, methodology to share?

  6. I absolutely agree!!!! I’ve used audacity exclusively my entire VO career(9+ years) and see no reason to use anything else! It’s free, the updates are free, it’s easy to import plugins and it’s easy to use!

  7. When I first got into voice over I knew about Audacity and wondered why everyone was using ProTools when it was so complicated and Audacity was so simple. I was ecstatic when I saw that you teach people to use Audacity! It’s one of the many reasons why I love being in VOHeroes.

  8. I’m semi-retired but still do editing for other people’s projects, including VO, lectures, soundtracks, etc. I’m using an older iMac and have Audacity on my machine. I do like Audacity but have found another free (they accept donations) app called Ocenaudio that I’ve been using and supporting for years that I tend to prefer over Audacity. Ocenaudio is very clean and simple and allows for plug-ins (I use Soundtoys, RX and Ozone plug-ins mostly). It’s multi-platform and updated regularly. For multi-track, I’ve tried many of the DAWs, but prefer Reaper. Reaper can be complicated if you need a complicated workflow, but if I’m trying to do simple overdubs or segue a couple pieces of audio, it’s so easy to do in Reaper. To me, Reaper is affordable and they offer a generous evaluation time. Because Audacity is continually updated, I will continue to revisit it and I appreciate your take on it. I do enjoy your podcasts!