Recording a Voiceover

After you’ve set up your microphone and audio interface, and the recording duration and destination audio track are defined, you can record your voiceover. If you aren’t satisfied with your first voiceover clip, you can record multiple takes.

Recording a Voiceover Clip

The Voice Over tool provides a number of timing cues and status messages to help you record your voiceover.

To record a voiceover (or any other single-channel audio source)
  1. Choose Tools > Voice Over.

    In the Voice Over tab, the status area is green and displays “Ready to Record.”

  2. Click the Record button in the Voice Over tab.

    Once you do this, several things happen before your clip is placed in the Timeline.

    • Any audio within the defined duration of your sequence that requires rendering is rendered.

    • The playhead moves back 5 seconds before the specified In point, and a 5-second pre-roll plays to prepare you for recording.

      The last 3 seconds of this pre-roll are indicated by beeps to give you a timing cue. Also, the entire duration of the pre-roll is indicated by a countdown to 0, along with a progressive change in color from yellow to red in the status area. Even though this countdown happens before the duration you’ve specified in the Timeline, audio is recorded during this pre-roll to avoid cutting off the first word you say.

      Note: During the 5 seconds of pre-roll, audio that occurs before the beginning of the Timeline cannot be recorded.

  3. Once the pre-roll has played, begin your voiceover.

    The following things occur as your voiceover is recorded and saved:

    • The status area is red and displays “Recording” to indicate that you’re recording; a bar graph shows you how much of the specified duration still needs to be recorded.

    • Fifteen seconds before the end of your recording, you are cued with a single warning beep.

    • During the last 5 seconds of recording, the status area displays a countdown from 5 to 0, and you hear five beeps to let you know your time is nearly up. The last beep is longer and has a lower pitch.

    • Recording continues 2 seconds past the end of your specified Out point to prevent your last word from being cut off. During this time, the status area displays “Finishing.”

    • The status area displays “Saving” while the audio clip is saved to the specified scratch disk.

    • Finally, the recorded clip is automatically edited into your sequence and the status area displays “Ready to Record.”

Recording Multiple Takes

Each time you record a clip using the Voice Over tool, the a2 destination track automatically moves down one track. You can record multiple takes, one after the other, with the same specified duration in the Timeline. These new audio clips are placed beneath the one previously recorded. Recording multiple takes this way results in a stack of alternative takes, lined up at the same In point of the sequence. This lets you edit the best parts of multiple takes together to assemble one perfect performance.

Figure. Timeline window showing four voiceover audio clips stacked in tracks A2 to A5.

Note: When recording is finished, the newly recorded audio clip is automatically selected. If you want to record another take, press Control-B to disable the newly recorded audio clip so it won’t play back.

You rarely record your voiceover track in a single take, especially if it includes long stretches of narration. Instead, you may record several takes of a voiceover track and then edit together the best parts of each take to create your final voiceover track. You can also isolate parts of the first take that you don’t like and rerecord just those parts.

For example, suppose you were trying to record a long piece of narration. Instead of rerecording the same clip over and over in an attempt to get a single perfect take, record your first take. If there is any part of it you don’t like, simply set new In and Out points isolating that section of your recording. Then record another clip in which you narrate just that part.

Eventually you’ll have a few different takes, each with a sentence or two from different sections of your narration that you like the best. Combining all of the best parts of these various takes lets you get the best overall performance for your program.

About Audio Recorded with the Voice Over Tool

Audio is recorded during the pre- and post-roll period each time you use the Voice Over tool, giving you extra audio for trimming at the head and tail. Each clip has a 5-second handle at the head and a 2-second handle at the end. By definition, handles do not appear in the sequence clip, but they are visible if you open the clip in the Viewer. In the Viewer, you’ll see that the In and Out points for that clip match the beginning and end of the specified recording duration. The extra handles are there if you need to extend the clip head or tail.

Figure. Diagram showing 5 seconds of pre-roll before a voiceover clip's In point and 2 seconds of post-roll after the Out point.