Feedback for Editing Voice Over?

I'm new to VO and the thing I'm having the hardest time understanding is the standards for editing. Its hard to find guidelines for what is "right" and "wrong", and what can pass as a professional sound. I set up a converted closet studio and would really like to get good enough to do all my own recording and editing from home, to a professional standard.
Here is a link to a short clip of mine that is raw vs edited. Any feedback on the clips, or on "professional editing standards" is general, is appreciated. Thanks!

Raw vs Edited Clips

Edit: I did pull the clips because they were showing up high on google searches for my stage name and I didn't want shitty audio showing up so high lol. I don't know how to delete this thread.
 
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DaleVO

Poor Farm Productions
I'm new to VO and the thing I'm having the hardest time understanding is the standards for editing. Its hard to find guidelines for what is "right" and "wrong", and what can pass as a professional sound. I set up a converted closet studio and would really like to get good enough to do all my own recording and editing from home, to a professional standard.
Here is a link to a short clip of mine that is raw vs edited. Any feedback on the clips, or on "professional editing standards" is general, is appreciated. Thanks!

Raw vs Edited Clips
I can't access your clip.
Dale
 

Massive Master

www.massivemastering.com
Closets generally make horrible recording spaces (except in the movies). The only time (okay, there were several) I was able to turn a "closet" into something resembling a vocal booth, I had the drywall completely removed, the studs filled with massive (no pun intended - we're talking kilograms per cubic meter) glass or rockwool (Roxul Safe 'n Sound worked pretty well) insulation, covered the insulation with cloth (furring strips to cover the staples) and added additional layers of drywall to the opposite sides. Still not great - But not too bad either. Higher voices obviously better than lower (because, physics), but somewhat usable stuff.

And we can't access the clips.

[EDIT] But I could access the page -- Definitely "something" going on that I can't put my finger on. Might be a "semi-cheesy" mic, might be a condenser where a dynamic would be more appropriate, might be some upper-midrange comb filtering. Would be interested in knowing your chain and the space (rough dimensions and surfaces) used for the clips.

Now - on the "sensitive" side - I don't do a crap load of VO work anymore, but I've got a few hours in if you know what I mean... Your end T's are pretty good ("devote" for example) but you've got a decent bunch of "fors" that are coming out as "fers" -- Don't feel bad, it's fairly common, especially if you're new-ish to the game. And I wouldn't come in without a "pro-tip" as I suffered from that liability myself.

[PRO TIP] When presented a script on paper, cross out the word "for" and write "4" over it. If you're lucky enough to have a digital copy in the form of a doc or txt file, replace "for" with "four" -- practice the lines once or twice (as they may be visually confusing on the cold run) and go 'fer it. :thumbs up: Once you see those "4's" or "fours" it's like magic. Your brain just pronounces them automatically. And it's a subtle thing - A fast "for" can make you trip up in a long sentence. But it's important to get that "aw" instead of "er" in there. One of my warm-ups was (is) always "one small, two medium, three large, four cream, four sugar" and that eventually made it so I didn't need to make those annotations anymore. [/PRO TIP]

"One small" - reminds the mouth to end one word before the next or you wind up with "onezmall" -- "Two medium" - the end of "two" puts the mouth in the perfect low spot to start "medium" -- "Three large" - the high position at the end of "three" is the exact same position as the start of "large" except for the position of the tongue when it pushes forward for the "L" -- and then the "four cream" (end of "four" again, the exact same position as the start of "cream" except for the back of the tongue) and "four sugar" (end of "four" prepares the *tongue* for "sugar" but the shape of everything else needs to change - then the lips are like a see-saw in motion if you stay on "four sugar" a few times - both lips tense and raise for the "sh" and both relax and protrude for the "fou" - Plus, it's just gets the whole "four" sound in mind. Go ahead everyone, read it slowly. I actually taught this one to my voice coach.

But as I do it less as of late, I've gone back to the "4" and "four" on the script. Just did a bunch of station ID's last week and needed to replace a "for" with "four" after I said "fer" several times (thank Jeebus I do my own editing before anything goes out...).

I don't mean to turn this into a critique session - but that ("fer") was more distracting to me than any audio anomalies you might be worried about. I've done a zillion "less that wonderfully recorded" VO editing sessions - many with the producer / director in the room (or more recently, on Zoom or something). Audio quality can be massaged to some extent as long as the recordings are "decent" (yours can certainly be improved, but they're at least consistent). "Fer" instead of "for" or "Firmiliar" instead of "FAMiliar" are the ones where we look at each other and decide if a re-do (or an alternate VOA) is in order. [/EDIT]
 
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TalismanRich

Well-known member
I think the OP has pulled those particular files from Soundcloud. I had given them a quick listen shortly after the original post, but was busy and didn't have time to listen closely and comment.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Where did this idea of turning a closet into a vocal booth even start? Horrible idea. And the only reason why vocal booths existed were in big studios where the singer had to be isolated from the rest of the band to prevent bleed. That’s practically a thing of the past.

That being said, one of my best recordings was done in a closet, BUT I was practically making out with the mic and singing very softly.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
The one studio I built with a 3m x 1m vocal booth was a total mistake, never again. It was treated, so sounded fine but was oppressive, and unpleasant to be in. Just not nice. It just felt like when you hid as a kid in the wardrobe. Ended up full of flight cases and junk!
 
Where did this idea of turning a closet into a vocal booth even start? Horrible idea. And the only reason why vocal booths existed were in big studios where the singer had to be isolated from the rest of the band to prevent bleed. That’s practically a thing of the past.

That being said, one of my best recordings was done in a closet, BUT I was practically making out with the mic and singing very softly.
lol I don't get the closet hate. It sounds better than my living room that faces the freeway. I have a 600 sqft apartment, not a lot of options.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Just saw this thread after responding to the other! So, if you're recording in a closet, I would seriously try to figure out a way to treat your bedroom, if it's not a studio apartment. Spending $1k on a microphone to use in a closet is unlikely to make a big difference. Better to spend half that on treatment, maybe with "blocking" drapes, and just live with the fact that you'll have to do lots of retakes when the sirens go by in the middle of recording. It's a fact of life for many home recorders that are micing vocals and acoustic instruments.
 

LazerBeakShiek

Active member
People I know have made nice recordings in a hotel room. So I believe setup is a lot. They push the furniture against the walls. Filling the corners first. Pull the drapes blocking the window glass. Angle the bed mattresses. Etc.

A closet has the potential to be a more controlled space than a bare drywall living room.
 
Just saw this thread after responding to the other! So, if you're recording in a closet, I would seriously try to figure out a way to treat your bedroom, if it's not a studio apartment. Spending $1k on a microphone to use in a closet is unlikely to make a big difference. Better to spend half that on treatment, maybe with "blocking" drapes, and just live with the fact that you'll have to do lots of retakes when the sirens go by in the middle of recording. It's a fact of life for many home recorders that are micing vocals and acoustic instruments.

Thanks, that makes sense. Unfortunately I really don't have any other space in the apartment. I also have a bunch of animals in the tiny little apartment with me and the closet is the only way I'm not picking up them walking around, trying to get into my recording space, etc (I used to have a blanket fort in the living room but the cats were not having it).

I'm trying to convince my BF to get a 2 bedroom with me so I can have a full room, but for now, this is what I've have to work with.

Edit: I was actually going to move to a larger closet this weekend. Its like a half walk-in. I was going to do it as an enclosed space, but I'm wondering if I face the desk so my back faces the door and I just pad the space I'm facing and keep the closet door open in the back would that be better?

I have attached a poorly drawn diagram of the two possible configurations lol
 

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TalismanRich

Well-known member
I've done vocals in the bedroom with a double door closet full of clothes behind me. I don't get any reflections from behind, which is in the front of the cardioid pattern, and the drape and bed knocked down a lot of the reflections from the back side. It's way better than when I tried using the living room.

You might try getting one of the Reflexion type filters.

BTW, cats decide what they will allow you to do. A friend of mine has issues with her cats wanting to a) walk across her keyboard, and b) jump into the frame for her Zoom meetings. Eventually, you just realize that you're being allowed to live in their home, not vice versa.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I would vote for trying the setup where you have the open closet behind you. Its contents will help damp anything bouncing around the room that hits that space. Damping in front of you, even a reflection filter, will reduce the energy of that sound before it starts contributing to the other unwanted sounds bouncing around in the room.
 
Ok I think I've settled on facing the inside of the closet with the door open behind me, but I've bought a clothing rack on amazon where I can drape a large curtain behind me and experiment with the distance away from me to see how open I can sound. Unfortunately I can't do it the other way around because my closet has a weird built in shelf to the side that would prevent me from sitting in the back of the closet facing out. The closet is empty, btw.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
An empty closet defeats the purpose, it's the 36" of clothes, towels, etc that break up and absorb the sound reflections.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Yes but then I put blankets and sound panels in it.
What kind of sound panels do you have? I'd suggest augmenting or possibly replacing if you've just got foam panels. You could take half your mic budget and buy panels for in front of your mic and maybe a cloud overhead, and even a pair of gobos behind. Then look for a used mic with what you have left.

But, maybe start with re-doing your test voiceovers in the rearranged space and see how that sounds. If there's room echo, that needs to be dealt with before the mic upgrade IMO.
 
Do you guys hate it? :D (The table has a cover that goes on it, im going to buy a new one prob. My other space could fit something no wider than 24 in and this is all I could find)
 

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