sign up for our

Home Shop Subscribe Advertise Articles Directories Classifieds Calendar FAQs Contact Us Login

Voice Actor Tests Word-2-WAV:
Automating Multi-File Projects
By Liz de Nesnera
Voice Actor
Those of us who are full-time voice talent do a lot of different types of work. TV and radio commercials, e-learning, message-on-hold and interactive voice response.
Many of these projects require that individual files be created. MANY individual files. Hundreds of files! With names like #sys_Press_Pound_Twice_then7.wav
Renaming a few of these files manually is fine, but when you're looking at hundreds or even thousands of audio files with names like that, it can be a daunting task.
"Dammit, Jim I'm a Voice Talent, not an editor!" (Sorry, my original Star-Trek geek is coming out!)
Up until now there really was only one piece of software that was up to the task: VoxStudio. It's a great program, but at over $500 ($399€) it's pricey. And unless you do A LOT of telephony work it might not be worth the expense.
Enter: Word-2-WAV (, hereafter referred to as W2.
Word-2-WAV's set-up page. The software automates importing and naming of mutiple files in a single voice-over project.
I spent most of the month of December 2008 working with the developer of W2, Hervé Chain ("RV" to his friends), giving him suggestions as to what I - as a voice talent - would want in a program like this. With each upgrade/revision that he made to the program, I told him what was working and what wasn't.
I have to say that when it comes to customer service, Hervé gets an A+. (YES! The French can be nice, helpful and fun to work with!)
Whenever I had an issue or a question, he was right there with an answer and was open to all of my suggestions.
Personally, it was a real blast to see suggestions that you make as a user, actually appear in a product! At $295 it is a powerful program that is really well-suited to what we do as voice talent.
Here is how W2 meets our needs:
Imports Scripts. We get scripts in either Word Table .doc format or Excel spreadsheets/ W2 imports scripts in both formats.
Automatic Imports. We record many files at once. W2 can import up to 500 file names and associated prompts/paragraphs at a time in batches. This means that if you have 2,000 files to record, it imports the first 500 file names/prompt scripts, you record them, and then W2 automatically imports the next 500. There is no need for YOU to manually cut-up the script. 
Names Files. We need to provide separate files with individual names. W2 names the files as you record them based on the imported recording script.
W2 has few other features that may seem minor to an outsider, but are a real plus in my book.
You can adjust the font size within W2. There is no need to play with text wrapping and cells in the original Excel spreadsheet.
You can type corrections/additions to the script within W2. This is great if a missing word or misspelling is messing up your recording flow! You can then export that corrected script from W2. (insert: Figure2-Recording-Window.jpg)
It has a counter – so if you're recording 500 files, you can see how many files you've already recorded. (You can thank yours truly for that little addition!)
You can see the content of more than one cell. If you record foreign language scripts like I do, you can either have the translation imported into the same cell you are recording from, or have it come up as a separate "comment" – this is very handy for some phrases that can be said different ways depending on the context.
You can choose from several bit/sampling rates to record in.
You can record an alternate take on the fly, and W2 will create a separate audio file, naming that file with the original file's name and "ALT" after it.
  • Keep in mind, this is NOT an audio editing program. In other words, once the files are recorded you must use your own preferred editing program (Audition, Audacity, Pro Tools, Sound Forge, etc) to edit and clean up the files.
  • You may need to get used to the fact that you don't see a meter as you record, but as voice talent, we're pretty consistent, so after recording a file for level, you can be pretty sure that your levels will be fine.
  • Also, if you're importing a WORD .doc, make sure there are no "page breaks" in the script. W2 will see the first one as the end of the script (ask me how I know!).
You can download a fully functional trial version of Word-2-WAV from the W2 web site:
The trial version will expire after 30 days, but you'll be able to put it through all its paces in that time. And as I said earlier, Hervé is very open to suggestions and comments.
In the interest of full disclosure: After all the input I gave him, but before this review was published, Hervé gave me a permanent licensed version of W2. I will tell you though, that I would have bought the program anyway.
I am now off to record a 9,000 word French e-learning narration that needs to be cut up into 401 separate files. You know what software I'll be using! 
Liz de Nesnera is an ever-joyful voice actor with years of experience in voice acting, based in the tri-state New Jersey, New York, Connecticut area. Voicing commercials, narration and telephony in English and French, she also writes an entertaining and informative blog, A Frog in My Throat … or … Un Chat Dans La Gorge.
Tell Us What YOU Think!
Please Note: Since we check for spam, there will be a slight delay in the actual posting of your comment.
Your Name:
Your Email Address (will not be published):
Your Comment:
Your Comment:
Security code:     
Comments (1)
2/7/2018 at 9:12 PM
Howdy folks! I do IVR work occasionally and sometimes quite a number of prompts that each need to have their own filename, etc. Thus, I have used W2W since about 2011 and when it's working, it is indeed an awesome program, however, it seems like every several months, there has been some bug related to either the program itself and/or a Windows update or what have you, and I've had to reinstall the program.

This wouldn't be so bad, but EVERY time you want to reinstall the program, you have to download the demo, register the program, get in touch with the (it appears) one-man band guy who owns and runs the company (Herve Chain), Get a new key every time, enter that in and hope for the best :-)

Today, I went through the whole procedure, downloaded the new file (FYI, EVERY time for many years, we have to turn off Antivirus (in my case Norton) otherwise it just deletes the program and never and lets you download, marking it as dangerous, etc.).

I tried to install it, and error came up and DELETED the program/EXE file from my hard drive! I think Windows OS did it as Norton was not on.

So now I'm looking for alternatives.

If anyone knows of something else other than Vox Studio or Read2Record, please let me know.

When you recording hundreds or even thousands of files, this type of program saves more time than you can imagine, automatically naming the files, being able to click to start a new file automatically, etc. Hopefully, somebody out there has created something that is more solid and a bit more modern, etc. than the current competitors I know of.
Back to Articles
With Sean Daeley and Paul Stefano - check it out!
Inspiring interviews help your VO career
For essential voice-over business strategies
Get your bi-weekly dose here ... all things VO!