Weak voice at the start of the recording

Have you noticed, then when you begin recording, if it is for an audiobook, or podcast, that you voice seems to sound rather dull, or weak at the beginning of your recording? Almost as if you had just woken up? Or maybe you did, actually just wake up? Whatever it is, your voice for the first couple minutes of recording sounds just not awake yet, where later on your voice seems alive and what you’d call normal. Here’s a little helpful hint if this happens.

Begin your recording as usually, and completely finish your segment or whatever your working on. At the end of the recording, don’t stop and be done with the recording. Instead, continue on and record from the beginning for about the first two minutes or so, enough so that the entire track sounds lively. Now, if your recording a podcast without a script, you may want to listen to the first couple minutes of your recording, so that you know what to talk about again. However, for future reference, provide a script of the first few minutes. OR, you can simply listen to the first few minutes again, and that way you can input other things you may have wanted to say earlier. Otherwise for audiobook creators, this should help make your readings sound alive from beginning to end.

Of course there are other ways you can awaken your voice before recording over it. You could talk to your cat before starting, or just read the first few lines, or whatever could get you to use your voice.

Hope this helps those who come across this. Thank you

When it comes to EQ, subtlety is key. Never boost or cut more than 5dB, otherwise you can quickly ruin your voice over. 3dB is usually more than enough. Experiment and use your ears. Remove the bad stuff and exaggerate the good stuff.

I find that it’s helpful to do the following:

  1. Make sure the input gain is hot enough without causing clipping, I aim for -5 to 10 dB for vocals.

  2. After recording a section, view the entire vocal section to see the highest peaks in volume. Use the amplify tool to measure the peak of the vocal and what immediately comes before and after the peaks to come up with an average. Reduce the peaks within +- 1 dB of the average.

  3. Research EQ settings online. Then create a few presets in the equalizer tool and test what it does to the vocal. I like “shelving” with eq. It really depends on what you’re going for. There’s many eq plugins out there, find one that allows real-time editing and shows the spectrum. This way you can see where your frequency ranges are with your voice. With EQ, it is dependent on the other audio in the piece. And as the previous post said - EQ is usually +- 0-6 dB within the given frequency.

  4. Use a noise gate (if needed). A good noise gate can save a lot of time with editing out background noise.

  5. There’s much more - “tape” saturation plugins, compressors, limiters, etc. that can help achieve a continuity in overall volume of the vocal.

With your question, maybe a little limiting would help.