Levelator Makes Your Podcasts Sound Great, for Free!

So I have been working on some audio tutorials for my fellow Media Mafia members, here at A&S Online Education. I thought I would share one that I think ANYONE can use. Feel free to watch the video to see Levelator in action, or read the instructions below and download it for yourself!

VIDEO:    If the video embed isn't visable, click the link to watch on Vimeo
 

Levelator Makes Your Voice Recordings Sound Great, for Free! from John Buckman on Vimeo.

Leveling Audio with Levelator (aka, performing Black Magic)

The Problem:

Often times when recording multiple speakers you will find that some speak louder than others, have a deeper voice, or were standing closer to the microphone. This can result in inconsistent audio levels (sometimes dramatic). In other cases, someone may hit the microphone, cough or slam a door, causing a sharp increase in audio levels. Properly microphone placement and selection, as well as real-time input level adjustments can lessen the extent to which the audio levels differ. You should always aim for the best sound during recording, as it is far easier and more effective to correct problems at this stage than in postproduction mixing.

However, even with proper attention paid during the recording stage, there are certain factors you cannot control. Examples include the sound of doors slamming, very loud, quiet or dynamic speakers, distance from microphones, coughing into lapel microphones, and microphones being bumped. Variations in sound that don’t appear drastic in real life often become amplified in recordings.

The Solution:

Download Levelator:

http://www.conversationsnetwork.org/levelator

It's donation-ware, so if you find you like it, throw them some $$.

Drag and drop your Wave or AIFF onto Levelator. Don’t look directly at the program, as it uses black magic.

- kthnxbai!

Wait, for real?

Pretty much, yeah, Levelator will automate the time consuming process of compression, normalization, limiting and volume envelope adjustments.

So I should always use this?

Levelator is not human, only magic. There are times when it over does it’s job and with particularly noisy environments you may find that smaller background noises have been beefed up along with the speaker and sound is just a little too “bloated”. Levelator WILL raise the volume of the track so that it is as loud as can be, so don’t let volume differences confuse you. Turn up your volume when comparing what you put in with what you get out. Use your judgment, if Levelator went overboard maybe you should just add a limiter and pull up the gain of your track to raise it’s volume without it clipping.

- That's all for now! Thanks!

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