Monday, December 31, 2012

Audacity and The Levelator

Happy New Year! 

 I am really excited about this upcoming year; it’s already off to a great start for me and hope it is for you as well. I currently have six audiobooks in production with two being release towards the end of January. I will be providing more information on the authors and the coming release dates soon.

 Today I wanted to share a great tool I found a while back and thought it would be helpful for those starting out with pod-casting or home audio work. If you are on a budget and don’t have the money to put towards professional audio software; two that I have worked with is Audacity and a really great little tool called the Levelator made by The Conversations Network.

 Audacity has some tools to help with normalizing, compression, equalization and noise removal, below is a screen shot of where you can find these tools in Audacity and here is the link to their Wikipedia page that offers more in depth instructions on how to use these tools.

Normalize is simply enough, for vocals typically you can use the preset settings and apply it to the track, however with Compressor, and Equalization that is different for everyone as everyone has a different voice and needs to be adjusted to what suits you best. I usually use a bass boost in my equalization, it really helps give me a much nicer, fuller sound to my track. 

The Levelator happens to be the easiest tool to use hands down. For those who record audio tracks that is a lot of pause and record, as you make mistakes you stop, deleted and begin recording again. I found that although I would use all the tools in Audacity sometimes I would find a slight volume issue where one part of the track might sound louder than the other. Now you could go through your track in Audacity second by second to find the part that is off, find out what setting you need to use in Audacity’s Leveller and that does work, but if you have a long track this could take a while. However with the Levelator is does all that for you, it levels and normalizes your track to give you a nice clean polish sound. Here is what the creators have to say on the Levelator’s website


“It's not a compressor, normalizer or limiter although it contains all three. It's much more than those tools, and it's much simpler to use. The UI is dirt-simple: Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler's application window, and a few moments later you'll find a new version which just sounds better. 

Have you ever recorded an interview in which you and your guest ended up at different volumes? How about a panel discussion where some people were close to microphones and others were not? These are the problems the post-production engineers of Team ITC here at The Conversations Network solve every day, and it used to take them hours of painstaking work with expensive and complex tools like SoundTrack Pro, Audacity, Sound Forge or Audition to solve them. Now it takes mere seconds. Seriously. The Levelator® is unlike any other audio tool you’ve ever seen, heard or used. It’s magic. And it’s free.”
It really is that simple, just save your track as a WAV file and drop it into the Levelator and it does the work for you. Give it a try, experience how easy and simple the Levelator is and post a comment letting me know your experiences with it.

 I hope this was informative and you can email me with any questions you may have at Rebecca@rebeccalbedford.com

 Best Wishes to you in the New Year! 
Rebecca

1 comment:

  1. Thanks I never heard of the Levelator before, I gave it a try on my podcast and it worked really well, not a bad program.

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