The Levelator™ has been a smash success among podcasters. Many have asked what is going on under the hood. Here is a great interview with Bruce Sharpe, the main designer of the technology used. He discusses, along with Doug Kaye, the concept and implimentation of the processing the powers The Levelator. [Link to interview.]
We have just released version 1.1.0 of The Levelator™. This is the audio tool podcasters have been raving about. Not only does it have a new look, it is also substantially improved over its beta release. We have also adjusted the license so that it can be used free for both commercial and non-commercial use. Downloads (Windows and Mac) and additional info is available here.
It has been one week since we debuted The Levelator™ and to say we are pleased is an understatement. The response has been overwhelming! With kudos and claims of “hit of the Expo” and “best new software” from folks like Robert Scoble, Leo Laporte, Jake Ludington, Scott Bourne, Rocketboom, Paul Colligan and many, many others it can get a bit heady. Let me take a step back and explain The Levelator™ for the uninitiated; what it does and why we made it freely available.
The Levelator™ solves a common problem for podcasters: recordings with participants at various levels. Whether this is a multi-mic setup such as a panel discussion, a single mic interview with multiple people, a “double”/”multiple” ender or the infamous Skype recording. With one fell swoop of the drag and drop, The Levelator™ will take a Wav or Aiff file and “level” all those various speakers. Here is a quick example:
Notice that the middle section is severely reduced. In this case I turned and stepped away from the microphone. The lead and end levels are me speaking directly into the microphone. I took this file and with no other audio manipulation dropped it on The Levelator™. The Result:
Now fixing a single segment like this is easy with standard tools, but imagine if this were a forty-five minute interview. Now you understand the power of The Levelator™. I took a sample file that originally took me 3 hours to fix, and The Levelator™ brought it up to broadcast/podcast standards in a minute and a half. Pretty incredible. Many see The Levelator™ and assume that is is doing normalization. While that feature is a step in the process there is much more going on. For a technical description check out Doug Kaye’s explanation. Also, please check out The Levelator™ forums.
So why has GigaVox made this available for free for non-commercial use? As many know, GigaVox Media is the parent company of IT Conversations and our other podcast channels. Currently, we have 1400+ active podcast episodes on our network and that number is growing every day. What many do not know is that in order to run a network and production team of 55 plus people we needed to implement innovative tools and solutions to automate the production workflow. Our three years of experience and development clearly establishes us at the premier podcast technoloogy company. Simply put, while others have interesting ideas, no one has the hard earned and tried and true technology that we have developed. Whether it is the monster Content Management System/Audio Assembly System that runs the entire network that allows us to inject sponsor messages into any and or all episodes with the click of a button, our recently debuted GigaVox Media Audio Lite, our coming video technology or the tools we give to our audio engineers such as The Levelator™, we are the podcast technology leader. We gave The Levelator™ out as an example. It is an amazing tool and one we hope will help podcasters make better podcasts. For those who are curious, you should see what we keep behind the curtain…
Download The Levelator here.