In order to use Overdub, you will first need to create a custom Overdub voice or use one of our pre-made Stock voices.
Once your Overdub voice has been trained and activated, open a project to start using it. In order for Descript to know which voice to use, you will need to associate the Overdub voice to a speaker label in your project which you can do in one of two ways:
First you may select the voice in the speaker label dropdown menu. Overdub voices will be listed at the bottom of your speaker label list under the "Create from voice" speaker label section.
Alternately, if a label already exists for the speaker in question (for example if you've already imported and transcribed a recording), you may associate the Overdub voice to an existing speaker label by clicking on the label, selecting Edit speakers, then selecting the Overdub voice from the dropdown button on the right.
Creating an Overdub is as easy as typing on a blank line just as you would in any text editor. You can do this either in a new Composition, or by creating a new line in the middle of an existing recording.
After waiting a few seconds, you will see the message "Generating Overdub" while the speech audio is created. Once complete, the blue underline will disappear and a new waveform will appear in the timeline below.
You can also insert or replace audio in the middle of a pre-existing recording by clicking the location you would like it to appear in, or highlighting a section of text and pressing the letter D in the pop up dialog. When finished, click the Overdub button or press Enter.
Descript may automatically include extra words on either side of the selected word or phrase in the event that it blends into adjacent words. This helps provide a little leeway for adjusting the transition boundaries so your words aren't cut-off in an unexpected way. You may then adjust the cross-over point between your original clip and the Overdub clip by:
- Hovering over the Overdub audio in the Timeline editor below and clicking the Convert to audio button
- Using The Trim Tool to adjust the boundary
- Adjusting the pre-generated Crossfade as necessary
Working with Sequences
Please note that while Overdub is fully supported on standard audio and video clips, when applying Overdub to a Sequence clip in the Main Timeline Editor, the selected region of the Sequence clip will be replaced with an Overdub clip.
This means that if the Sequence contains video, it is expected that the new Overdub clip will contain blank frames. We do expect to support Overdub and video Sequences more fully in the future.
Understanding Overdub Text Colors
When working with Overdub, it's helpful to understand the various color states you may encounter along the way:
- Light blue text - You will see this when text has been added to a composition, but there is currently no assigned speaker label, or the Speaker Label does not have an Overdub voice associated to it.
- Blue text - You will see this when an Overdub Voice has been assigned to the Speaker Label and the audio has finished generating.
- Light Blue text with orange underline - This will appear when the Overdub audio has failed to generate, typically from a faulty internet connection interrupting the generation process.
- Blue text with gray underline - This will appear when the Overdub audio is currently being generated.
- Black text - Once an Overdub has been "Converted to audio" it will change from blue to black.
Regenerating failed Overdub audio
If your Overdub has failed to generate as explained above, you can right-click on the failed line and select Retry Overdub Generation to restart the process.
Voices created on the Free or Creator plans will get a demo version of Overdub with a 1,000-word vocabulary - any words that are not that list will be replaced with "jibber" and "jabber" (and a few others) while demoing the feature. Upgrading to the Pro plan will unlock the full version of Overdub with unlimited vocabulary. See our Managing your Drive Plan article for details on how to upgrade.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I improve the quality of my Overdub voice?
Overdub voice quality relies on a number of factors such as the quality of your microphone, background noise, and room surfaces. Check out our article Overdub Voice Quality Tips for tips on how you can assure the best possible recording.
I want to create a Style from a section of audio, but it's too long because it also selects the silence afterward. How can I prevent that?
To prevent Descript from selecting the full silence after a section of text you can right-click in the timeline just after your phrase and select Split Clip.