You’ve probably noticed at some point that certain radio ad announcers and voice-over artists have a seemingly endless supply of oxygen. They can speak on and on without having to breathe. While there might actually be a few with exceptional lung capacity, most are mere mortals, and the effect is achieved by a professional recording and editing technique we’re going to show you in today’s post.
This tutorial is adapted from Chapter 4 of our 6.5-hour Avid Pro Tools 11 Training Video course taught by sound professional Joe Godfrey. You can get it as a direct download or on DVD, or streaming through the all-access Learning Library.
Setting Up the Script
If you’re wanting to achieve the breathless audio sound with a scripted vocal performance, you must write accordingly. For unscripted recordings, the same principle applies, but this can be done on the fly. The secret is to overlap your words so that breaths taken in between can then be edited out later. So a script like this:
You can never know how much it means to me to be invited on this trip because I know I have been told that sometimes I talk too much and people don’t like riding in cars or being in small spaces for too long with me because I can’t appreciate silence or even a good pause.
Needs to be adapted as follows:
You can never know how much it means to me means to me to be invited on this trip because I know I have been told have been told that sometimes I talk too much and people don’t like riding don’t like riding in cars or being in small spaces for too long with me too long with me because I can’t appreciate silence or even a good pause.
The rest is handled with basic audio editing techniques.
Getting it Right in Editing
Once you’ve made your recording with repeated phrasing, it’s just a matter of cutting out the unwanted words and breaths while making sure the speech still flows together seamlessly.
In Pro Tools, you will use the normal Trim tool to overlap and line up the repeated phrase where you’d first said the words. In a normal speech pattern, there will not be large spaces between each word in the waveform, so you will have to do some fine-tuning. In places, you will want to use the Crossfade tool to smooth out rough transitions. This takes practice, but to see how Joe does it step by step, watch the free short video below.