Same Material, Multiple Tracks, Different Proc.

There is a voiceover recording trick that can be done in ProTools and in Reaper that I absolutely want to do in Ardour.

Three tracks are set up to record one input. At the conclusion of the recording, there is one raw file, one file containing a degree of processing, and one file with processing + peak limiting applied.

(Read how to do it in Reaper:

In Reaper, this involves creating “Folders” and the ability to simply & quickly store three separate files at the end of a session; not collapse them to a single mixdown.

As I am championing Ardour as much as I can in the V/O community, I’d sure like to be able to share this with everyone I’m trying to convert. Thanks ahead of time.

record/import the material to a single track.

add N more tracks.

for new each track, click on the “p” (playlist) button in the track header in the editor. select the same playlist as is used by the first track.

all tracks are now playing back the same material.

add processing desired, per-track.

now export to the desired format.

optionally add a bus for peak limiting or add it to the master, and then do two exports, one via the master outs and one using individual track outs.

Sorry for asking a stupid question, but what does having three differently processed mixes accomplish ? It would seem that you only needs two: the unprocessed one and the final mix. The unprocessed is the most important since it is always needed if you need to do some corrections etc. I do some voice over recording sometimes at work so this interests me too. Maybe I just misunderstood something in the article ?

On Pro Tools and Ardour you can create any amount of differently processed mixes while recording. You just need to route the audio to as many busses as you need mixes, then put plugins you need on the busses and route the busses to separate audio tracks for recording. In this way the mixes are all created while you do the recording.

Then if you need to have each mix in a separate audio file outside the daw just export it. On Ardour you could probably do this in a single go with stem export. On Pro Tools you first need to consolidate audio on each recording track and then you can export all these tracks in a single go with the “export as audio files” function.

mhartzel: there are all kinds of things you can do to each replicated track to alter the overall effect. You could, for example, slightly pitch shift them to create a chorus effect. You could filter them differently. You could add a little delay to one or two of them. Etc. etc. etc.

I think you’ve misunderstood the question (or I have :slight_smile:

Ok, thanks for clearing this out :slight_smile:

If I may drop back in again for a moment…

MH, you already know that each V/O talent has his or her signature sound – Don LaFontaine’s “In a World Where…”, versus Cam Brainard’s upbeat reads for The Disney Channel, let’s say. In the interests of speed and consistency, a talent’s optimum settings are applied at the front end, rather than having him/her spend time at the back end futzing and noodling. Because some reads require a bit more emphasis, volume or sparkle than others, a DAW that is agile enough to capture one pass and process it three or more ways at once means the proper recording - and its alternate - is out the door quickly.

V/O is a very weird discipline … when a radio commercial has to be on the air nationally by noon today (especially political spots with their turn-on-a-dime urgency), there really isn’t a lot of time to buff and polish the end product. I do voicework daily for a national radio network in Washington DC, and Ardour lets me tweak and pinch with all the precision and artistry of a sculptor. But there are times I just need to bang my files with an anvil to round off the corners. Hence my question.

Thanks for the good & helpful answers. You guys rock.

Ok thanks for the info, now I understand what you mean :slight_smile:

I do sound work on television programs every now and then and our workflow is somewhat different. On documentaries that my company buys abroad we redo the voice-over in our local language. In these cases we have 2,5 hours to record mix and finish a 50 min documentary :slight_smile: We have adopted a workflow that allows our mix to be transmission ready as we record it.

We do voice-over Eq, compression and limiting on a physical mixing console and feed the speakers processed voice and the music + effects track from the mixing console to Pro Tools and we use the consoles faders to mix the program in realtime. You really can’t go faster than that :slight_smile: Pro Tools plays back the music + effects track to the console and records the speaker alone on one track and the final mix (voice-over and music + effects) on another. After recording is done we can send the speaker home and still make corrections to the final mix if needed (timing, cleaning, etc), since we have the voice-over and music+effects all on separate tracks on Pro Tools.

I’ve been using this workflow so long that it sounded strange to me to create several mixes of the same audio, since you can only listen to one of them while recording. The others are created “blind” and I guess one can not really now if the settings on those are optimal or not.

But I guess the work you do just differs so much from what we do, that your needs are completely different from ours :slight_smile: Thanks for sharing, it’s always interesting to hear how colleagues have solved the little problems of production that we all share :slight_smile: