Quick Tip: How to Get a Consistent Voice Level When Editing Interviews

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If you ever shot interviews, you probably know that problem: your talent is murmuring, and suddenly, he starts talking much louder. In this quick tip tutorial I’m going to show you how to get a consistent voice level of your talent quickly. Let’s take a closer look at it!

Disclaimer: Let’s start by saying that I am not an Accusonus Ambassador. Like every other article on cinema5D, Accusonus, or any other brand, did not pay me to write this article. I bought this plugin with my own money, and this is my unbiased opinion.

Inconsistent Voice Level

Nearly every filmmaker that shoots interviews faces this problem one day or another: inconsistent voice level of the talent. The person you’re interviewing is a human, not a robot, so sometimes they talk louder than others. This is not a problem if you have a sound recordist with you, but if you’re a one-man-band filmmaker, you can’t adjust your audio level consistently. If you have a -6dB/-9dB difference in your audio recording, this is something you can fix in post.

However, you can’t fix an inconsistent voice level by merely doing an audio normalization of your track in your editing software. An audio normalization simply takes the highest-peaking point of your audio signal and put it at 0dB. It means that the parts of your track that are quieter won’t be at the same level as the others. You can adjust the level of each part individually, but it is very time-consuming.

VoiceLeveler_Def_01

Image credit: cinema5D

Using ERA-4 Voice Leveler

To save some time, I show you in this tutorial how to use a plugin by Accusonus called ERA-4 Voice Leveler. This “one-knob” plugin will automatically adjust the voice level of your talent by turning only one knob. The part of your audio signal that is quieter will get a boost, while the loud part will remain untouched.

For this tutorial, I show you how to use them inside of Adobe Premiere Pro, but the ERA-4 plugins work with every video and audio editing software that accepts VSTs like Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve, ProTools, Avid, Logic Pro X and so on. Working with the ERA-4 Voice Leveler plugin is easy: drag and drop it onto your clip, open the plugin, and start playing with the central knob.

There are a couple of settings you can adjust at the bottom of the plugin, including Breath Control and Emphasis. These settings are especially useful to tell the plugin that he should not raise the level of the parts that are silent and introduce unnecessary background noise. Of course, you can also run the ERA-4 Noise Remover after the ERA-4 Voice Leveler to fine-tune your result. I did an entire quick tip tutorial about the Noise Remover and Reverb Remover that you can watch here.

Pricing and Availability

You can try all the Accusonus ERA-4 plugins for free if you want to test them out and see if they improve your audio recordings. If you wish to purchase the ERA-4 Voice Leveler, you can do it individually at $59.00 per plugin, or get several plugins as a bundle. The ERA-4 Bundle Standard is $149.00, and the ERA Bundle Pro is $449.00. Alternatively, you can also buy them at B&H through the links below.

What do you think of this Quick Tip tutorial? Did you find it useful? Do you often do manual voice leveling on your projects? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jon CollinsJeff LochBen JSteve Oakleyjohn Recent comment authors
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Steve Oakley
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Steve Oakley

you can do the same thing with a compressor. not always a single application of the filter but 2 each with fairly low ratios, or try one of the vintage compressors which have different responses . not hard, nothing special required.

Ben J
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Ben J

Has anyone had any luck with this? This is the second time I’ve checked out the demo and I’m still hearing pumping artefacts common with auto-compression (when it’s struggling). This is with <50% processing. I'm getting better results with traditional compression. OS X in Resolve 15.

Jon Collins
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Yeah or just use any compressor which comes free in any NLE. No need to fork out for additional plugins if you don’t need them.

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