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Alright,

I've got an awesome recording of a voice-over for a trailer, and I want to make it gigantic.

How do you go about getting your trailer VO sounding gigantic and "in-your-face"?

I have a few "tried and true" ways of doing it but I wanted to spice things up a bit and think outside of the box and try something new,

What's your favorite type or model of compressor to use? Favorite type of EQ for this application?

The voice talent recorded it in his own studio with a Gefell LDC mic.

UPDATE: I ended up going with the Renn Axe as the first stage of compression (about 6-8 constant dB and an attack of about 3-4 ms) and the second stage of lesser ratio (2:1) on the Euphonix dynamics. Seems to work well and make the voice sit in a nice pocket. I added some lows after the first stage of compression and then just added a tiny bit of top from about 10K up with 5dB of that. I had a few tight notches on the voice from resonant frequencies of the mic somewhere around 800, 2.5K and 300 (which I think the 300 was the resonance of the booth the guy recorded in).

I put a small room verb for those early refs and a longer verb to automate on certain words to make the reverb "hhhhaahhhhhhhhhhh (sound you make when you're fogging up your glasses with your breath to clean them)" nicely into the distance with an M6000. The preset "Small Room" is incredible - doesn't muddy up the voice with the music but anchors the voice in the music so it's not just this super-dry VO.

Overall it pops and sounds really nice with the music.

Thanks for the suggestions again, guys!

  • I like how reading the question title got "In a World.." in my head right away. – Stephen Saldanha Apr 2 '12 at 4:47
  • Sounds like it's going to be a thick trailer voice! – Alexandre Saba Apr 5 '12 at 19:21
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Some experimentation with a trailer voice, I like this! Apart from Matt's suggestions maybe try bussing it to a pitch shifter at -12 semitones. I would go nuts on the eq cutting anything under 100 Hz hard and poking some frequencies that work well between 120-300, you can remove those same frequencies from the actual track to make them sit well together. A nice C4 under your pitch might compliment it well!

Depending on what your mix contains a tiny reverb with a short pre-delay can give a bit of depth to your mono voice. Even automating your reverb throughout the trailer might add some dynamics and emotion to it at key times.

Have fun!

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Plugs that come to mind: rbass, l1 slammed, rvox also play with multiband comps

  • Oh and always nice to boost 4.5-7khz for intelligibility – Matt R. Sherman Apr 2 '12 at 0:34
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Depending on your delivery specs and subject matter, I have also on occasion add some subtle divergence to the left and right speakers. It helps with that Voice of God feel.

  • This is done to the narration in Apocalypse Now to great effect... – Justin P Apr 6 '12 at 1:07

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