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Vocalign Pro

January 20, 2010

A few months ago I came across a very favourable review of the latest version (4) of Vocalign Pro in Sound on Sound magazine and had consequently decided to try out the demo on the next ADR editing that came my way.

Well, such a project arrived at my door at the end of last year and  so I downloaded the demo and gave it a whirl, and I’ve got to say that I really liked it.

I’m sure this is no great revelation to many dialogue editors who’ve probably been using it for years but until I read the Sound on Sound review, I hadn’t heard one editor have a good word to say about it and so I’d dismissed it as an inferior quality timestretcher.

To be fair, it does seem as though version 4 has brought about quite a significant jump in quality but it always surprises me how stubbornly some sound editors stick to doing many non-creative and, frankly, dull tasks manually that could just as easily be done by software (recutting is another such task).

Don’t get me wrong; unless I’m not using it right, Vocalign isn’t perfect and some manual tweaking is still necessary to get the best sync possible, but it saved me loads of time by enabling me to automate the most fiddly part of ADR editing, which is the timestretching.

Normally, if the sync of a particular ADR line consisting of, say, six words is a bit loose then it is quite possible that I would have to take the whole line (in order to minimize audible artifacts) and timestretch it three or four different ways before cutting together the appropriate words from each different version into one track.  I find that this can be quite painstaking to get spot on so I was very pleased that Vocalign consistently took care of this part of the process for me.

With Vocalign processing the ADR on a ‘time’ basis and on a ‘low flexibility’ setting (as above), I found that the audio very rarely seemed to suffer from any degradation and yet it tightened up the sync enough for me to be able to fine tune without any further timestretching.

The quality of the results along with the amount of time I saved make this a no-brainer for me – this is definitely going to the top of my shopping list the next time I stray into the world of dialogues.

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From → Post Production

3 Comments
  1. Hey Michael,

    Great post. I forwarded this to an engineer friend of mine who does a ton of ADR. It’s nice to get your thoughts on using the software.

    Matt

  2. sonicskepsi permalink

    Hi Matt, thanks – good to hear from you.

  3. Enos Desjardins permalink

    Vocalign is a star indeed. I use it all the time whenever I’m doing dialogue/ADR editing and it just saves you so much time. If you have taken the takes and done a quick edit to get the lines roughly into place, Vocalign will do the last fine tuning for you and do so very well (it claim to be phase accurate and I must say it often sounds it could be so). I use Vocalign Project which is a lighter version without all the features but does the job as well and though I have used Vocalign Pro, I never found the extra features much of a need.

    So indeed, Vocalign is a little shining star that will get you through the dialogue edits faster and do so very nicely.

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