voice over music, auto gate/limit

pjrey wrote on 9/13/2008, 11:48 AM
man, cant for the life of me how to get this up and running...
say i have music, or backround sound, and i narrarate over... how do i have the music/backround sound gated so my voice is heard clearly over the music/backround noise?

do i add a buss, with a gate on it? send the music to it? i cant figure it out...
thank you!


jetdv wrote on 9/13/2008, 11:57 AM
I use the Voice Over tool in Excalibur which will duck the music volume whenever you have voice events present. I know Ultimate S has a similar tool.
Rosebud wrote on 9/13/2008, 12:25 PM
SideChain Compressor from DB-AudioWare.
pjrey wrote on 9/13/2008, 12:47 PM
thanks for the posts
im sorry, i should have been more clear...
i already have the limiters and gates (and compressors)
im just wondering how to set it up...
if someone whouldnt mind showing me i would greatly appreciate it!

thanks again!

EIDT: im reading about the sidechain compressor... i just assumed it was another standard compressor, but it sounds like it is one for doing what i want... sorry for not reading/before posting...

just tried the demo out... just what i was looking for... thank you again!
(how do you set this up without this plug? can you do it manually?)
thanks again!
RBartlett wrote on 9/13/2008, 2:43 PM
If you are on a budget or have a bias towards donate-ware:

Historically this has worked fine with Vegas for compressor/limiter functionality. Perhaps it is less like real hardware to control but it scales quite well for multiple tracks etc. I believe the Vegas6 bug that is referred to isn't an issue and was fixed in the lifecycle of V6.
pjrey wrote on 9/13/2008, 3:50 PM
thanks for the link, ill check that out...
what is this effect called? is there a way to do it with vegas and a compressor?
the sidechain seems to be working well...
thanks for posting!!
RBartlett wrote on 9/13/2008, 4:33 PM
The compressor in Vegas is to treat a track in it's own right solely using a set of controls and the input of the track it is applied to.

The concept of sidechain is to make the strength of the compression directly proportional to the contents of another track or tracks. Hence the usefulness in VO work.

The name comes from the terminology used in standalone equipment. The gating reference you made is the same thing in this context. Audio gates are just another piece of the puzzle from the terminology perspective. Same definition, different title: e.g. http://www.kvraudio.com/get/2443.html (can't say how useful this unit is in Vegas though)

The issue for Vegas is in how you stimulate the sidechain given tracks that don't have the sidechain stimulus on the same track as either the voice-over or the ambient-audio/music-bed. SidekickV3 has the benefit of a private audio bus that can use the realtime nature of the Vegas playback/render engine to pass the necessary around. This is why they've gone for all this alpha, beta, gamma type naming. (probably on the assumption that this won't be confusing against tracks that are labeled 1,2,3,4 or A,B,C,D etc).

I'd be interested in all sidechain capable compressor/limiters or gate/expander technologies that work well in Vegas given it's more layer orientation rather than the increasingly nodal oriented presentation in other VST host apps. pj, please report back on what you find works best for you... - TIA.

PeterWright wrote on 9/13/2008, 6:20 PM
The simplest way - and I use this with practically every project - is to highlight the music track, Press V to insert a volume envelope, then create nodes before and after where you want to reduce the music and pull down the volume for that passage.

As Edward says, Excalibur or UltimatteS can automate this but it's still easy doing it the manual way.
farss wrote on 9/13/2008, 9:17 PM
There's much better ways to achieve this outcome than using ducking. Years ago Spot set me on the right path. Use Eq!
The concept isn't that complex, you use Eq to carve out a space in the spectrum of the music for the voice to fit. This avoids the pumping up and down of the music that you'll get from using ducking.
There is a plugin around that'll write an envelope, works in Vegas, based on loudness. Haven't tried this directly however you could copy the envelope and use that as an automation envelope to control Eq of a music track.
You can also sort of build sidechaining in Vegas. The compressors work on stereo busses. With a bit of imagination and channel routing and splitting you can fudge the same outcome as you get with sidechaining..
Of course if you have SFPro and use their multilayered music then it's even easier as you can have it compose the music to leave out those instruments that would clash with speech at that section of the arrangement. I'd guess the same thing would apply with Cinescore.

RBartlett wrote on 9/14/2008, 12:03 AM
Bob, is that the BlueCat tool you are referring to (to create the envelope that becomes, or it's inverse becomes, the mechanism) to control the EQ?:


Interesting point about the pumping, that could indeed be off-putting or sound like cheap production live-radio or DJ if drastically different materials were asked to be intertwined.
farss wrote on 9/14/2008, 12:40 AM
I think you can use the PSP Vintage Meter (free) to write envelopes.
It's been years since I did this, from memory someone (Grazie?) used it to write an envelope that he then used to control a video FX.

TorS wrote on 9/14/2008, 1:36 AM
Bob said: you use Eq to carve out a space in the spectrum of the music for the voice to fit

I second that. You should also compress the voice track (don't normalize, compress!), and you can even use eq to lift the voice a little extra in the region where you've carved your space in the music track. Put this BEFORE the compression.

Unless you are looking for a special effect, music as a bed for voice-over need not be very loud. In fact, if you do the carving thing and preapare your tracks nicely, you should rarely have to do any volume envelope riding at all. If there are a few trouble spots left, and compressing the music to even its volume out does'nt take care of them, it's dead easy to pull at the volume envelope like Peter said.

pjrey wrote on 9/14/2008, 4:19 PM
thanks for the info!
i think i will stick with the manual way.. i like having full control anyhow.. i was more curious than anything...
thanks for all the helpful posts and links!