For years I have used open source, free and low-cost audio tools such as Audacity and Goldwave. I will forever be a fan of Goldwave for its simplicity and the fact its been on the market for so long it has matured into a top tool for its price point. Audacity is another study in simplicity giving great results for the time spent. The problem was my audio sounded like I was using freeware. No continuity as quality went up and down with each new experiment to make things better.
I sought advice, near and far, and a common refrain was starting to take shape. Move up in software. Get an application that can do most of the work for you with little knowledge of how it works. Invest in the audio as it is just as important as what you are teaching in the tutorial. Was I using free or low-cost software for my 3D work? Well no. Neither was I using budget or freeware to edit my videos or touch up image renders. Then why not move up in audio software or at least put a plan in place to move up?
Thats precisely what I did.
I had three major criteria in the search for better audio software:
This lead me to Izoptope's RX6. While it didnt exactly break the bank, the software did have a hefty price compared to what I had been using. $399 US. I picked it up over the holidays for $299 and was very happy to save the money but even at full price it is worth every penny.
For someone like me that has little knowledge of audio tweaking RX6 really is the magic sauce for producing better quality audio. It wont make us an expert overnight but with a few mouse clicks it will improve our audio immensely whether we understand how it works or not.
My number one item was breathing control. The older I get I more I geez and wheeze into the microphone and there is no use trying to control it, so POST work is important. Thats where I take as much of the old man sound out as possible. It had become a major thing with my old tools taking as long or longer than capturing the tutorial! In the end it all sucked. Sounded bad. Robotic in the best of cases.
With this frustration in mind just imagine my wonderment when I opened RX6 Standard for the first time and stared glassy eyed at the interface until I saw the magic button. Breath Control! Dare I even begin to think it will actually work? This was a free trial and I had just loaded up a voice track, so I pushed the button that opened the Breath Control interface and hit preview without making any selections. Instant breath removal. Complete, total and no robotic or tinny sounds. It freaking worked! The first time! The first few presses of the mouse button! The more I worked with the setting and presets the more things improved. It was exactly what I was looking for.
This doesn't even include all the other audio goodies stacked on the right side of the interface like De-bleed, De-ess, De-click, De-plosive, De-crackle, De-reverb you get De point. It Des all the bad stuff and that is as technical as this article gets. The visual interface is actually very clear cut and everything is in a neat layout. The colors of the audio wave enhance seeing what you just did. Both audibly and visually there was a major difference from the first time I pressed Preview.
It has been a major relief for this tutorial author to find this piece of audio software heaven. There may be other tools that can do just as much and just as good, but I wouldnt know because my search stopped at Izoptopes RX6 Standard and Im a happy audio camper.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. M.D. is currently working on VR projects and characters. You can learn more about MD at his website.