Video Production

Recording Great Audio into Avid Media Composer

Make sure your recordings made using Media Composer are as good as they can be with this handy guide

In this article we’re going to take a look at recording your own voiceovers in Avid Media Composer. We’ll cover both recording live into your Media Composer timeline and onto a separate track to work with as needed.

We’ll also take a look at some of the key things to consider when it comes to your recording environment.

Recording Voiceovers in Avid Media Composer

To record our voiceovers we’ll be using the Audio Punch-In tool. It’s a great way for you to record scratch, or even final voiceovers, depending on your means, budget and equipment. For this article, I’ll use myself recording a scratch voiceover as an example.

Quick Tip: Don’t remove hardware while Media Composer (MC) is running. MC will freak out, and more likely than not, crash.

To Configure your Microphone with Media Composer

1. Open the Audio Punch-In Tool (APIT) in Tools >> Audio Punch-in

2. Select the audio device you want to record with. In our case, the input in question is an Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone

To Prepare a Recording once your Microphone is Detected

1. Choose which track you want to record to (normally an empty track, or you can have MC create a new one for you), choose your drive and the bin you want your final sound file saved in.

2. Now, depending on how you want to do things, you can proceed one of two ways. If you have a blank timeline that you’re going to record your voice to as one long clip, simply deselect ‘Stop at End or at mark out’, hit record, and start speaking.

3. If you want to record your voiceover to your video, you have the ability to do that as well. Figure out what you want your Pre and Post Roll to be, meaning how much do you want MC to queue up your timeline to play, before it starts recording. 

4. If you want handles to allow you to crossfade into other clips, you can add them here. Normally 0.5 to 1 second is more than enough. 

5. If you want to record for only a specific duration, simply mark an in/out point in your timeline, and make sure the Stop at End or at mark out box is now checked.

6. That’s it. Hit record, your timeline will playback. If your audio levels are too low, you can head into your Settings Cmd/Ctrl Shift =, head to Project >> Audio Project >> Input and adjust the fader to the desired volume.

Recording Techniques

When it comes to recording voiceovers for tutorials, a simple desk mic with a pop filter will be good enough for most people. However, if you’re going to be bringing people in to record professional voiceovers it may be worth investing in some pro acoustic treatment. 

Unless you have a sound-proofed room, it’s very likely that you’ll have some ambient noise interfering with your recordings. This could be traffic outside, airplanes or air conditioning units. If you can try and time your recordings when these ambient noises will be quieter or and switch off mechanical equipment in your studio that makes sound. We’ve got a whole guide on different types of noise and how to deal with them which, if you’re suffering from noisy recordings, should give you some help.

It’s also important to pick up a decent microphone. Don’t just hop on Amazon and buy the cheapest mic you can find, it’s worth doing some proper research into what’s out there. We’ve got a handy guide on choosing a type of microphone which is definitely worth a read. 

April 20, 2020
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