Audacity, Voiceover, Podcasting, Voice Recording Apps and Audio

There is a great way to record test voiceovers or podcasts for quick demos or auditions using a voice recorder and Iphone. You will need a IPhone4 or 5, as they have the best microphone of any phone around, as well as the best Apps being available..

The phone automatically applies a High Pass audio filter that only lets frequencies over a certain threshold get by. The frequency of the data in your voice is compressed around the mid-range and it lacks bass. This ensures that your plosives won’t pop during a call, and it makes calls more intelligible. It also means your voice will sound thinner and not as rich. It also does some trickery involving the three built-in microphones to make them synchronized and reduce background noise. Recording with wavepad won't turn off this circuitry uless switched to do so in settings, However free AVR seems to switch to the one mic on the bottom of the phone case, and turn off the high freq bypass.

Download Free AVR app =Awesome Voice Recorder for MP3/WAV/M4A Audio Recording, which corrects for the IPhone standard frequency meddling. AVR is the best voice recording application for businesspersons, reporters, tutors, audio experts, sound engineers, school personnel, university students and those who need to manage voice memos. It is designed for both iPhone and iPad and the free version exports MP3 without any problem, at least not when I export by email. I'm not sure about Bluetooth and the other options. I don't use iTunes so that's also an unknown.

Take a couple of trial runs, holding the bottom left microphone close to your mouth. The closer it is the more warmth the sound takes on in recording. As you get closer you have to modulate the loudness of your voice to avoid clipping. There is also a built-in microphone emulator that gives you a choice of three microphone sounds in the free version. (the paid version gives more selections of mic emulation). I actually use what they call the "professional" mic and it's the one that is the most like the built-in mic as is.

It does take some experimentation to get a balance of warm intimate sound without going over and clipping. Point it slightly away to reduce plosives and mouth noise. It can even be straight forward but close, but then may pick up more external sounds and noise. Drape yourself and your material with a blanket if need be.   Record your project using AVR, and export as MP3 to your PC by email.

You can also use RecorderHD App but the sound doesn't seem to be corrected for the phone defaults and seems to lean toward the high side, but that may be right for you. It's not bad when worked close, but not so close to start distorting. (from clipping)

Download Audacity, if you haven't already. it is effectively the best free app on the planet for audio, then open your downloaded project. Delete  a small portion of each excessively long silent section, trying to catch any background noises that came up during recording  to give a natural gap between words and sentences. Equalize giving a small boost(2 to6Db) at 315, 2K, and 4K. Run through your project, using noise reduction between sentences on reduce to lower the sound of breaths and noise without eliminating them. Absense entirely of breath sounds sometime gives an unnatural feel. Compress using defaults (click on gain to 0db) and normalize both tracks together. Click Here!

Want a crazily high quality mic sound?
Download Pseudo Stereo plugin from Audacity Wiki, and apply with moderate to very low settings. Just go up to the tracks tab, click "add new mono", then at the left end of the top track on the drop down menu click "make stereo". Then open Pseudo Stereo.
 Voila- Neumann type microphone sound from your IPhone. You will definitely be tempted to pass it off as professional studio work. Well... you will if the background was exceptionally quiet.

This is a great way to produce a relatively quick audition from the road or from a hotel when needed on short turnaround.

Speaking of which, quick audition response seems to be key to getting those little jobs that keep you enthusiastic. Apparently a lot of people don't think ahead or think they will do it themselves until push comes to shove, then they need it now..


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