Transition between recording sessions

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Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by solobo » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:17 pm

I've recorded a 40-minute production in four different recording sessions (on four different days) and mastered using Koz's instructions http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/ACXMastering/ACXMastering.html. Everything sounds pretty good and meets ACX check, but I have one problem; the transitions between recording sessions are a little jarring. Even though I recorded in the same conditions and tried to keep my microphone / pop filter in the same position, my voice apparently changed enough to be noticeable between sessions.

Any tips on either preventing this in future recordings or fixing it after the fact?
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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by flynwill » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:21 pm

Can you post a sample so that we can hear what you are hearing?
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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by Number400 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:00 pm

I have that problem just from leaning down to turn a page and coming back to the mic. I can hear changes between sentences. Other people may not pick it up but I do. If it is truly jarring and noticeable, I would make sure that you find your default mic position and try to get it the same every time as well as making sure your settings and treatments are identical for each file. I think warming up your voice and being in a similar state of mind when you record is important as well. I have recorded after an 8 mile run and a long day at work and I sound tired on my recordings...go figure.

I just completed a 6+ hour read over a several month period and there were a few changes with my voice here and there but overall I still sounded like myself from beginning to end. I have also learned to be "me" behind the mic, not overdoing or reading too excitedly. I actually have to reign my performance in sometimes because I now know that I cannot always duplicate that energy level later.

I am not super experienced at this yet but am learning along the way.

BTW, I found it difficult to blend different sounding sentences but with a little eq experimentation and making the levels the same, I faked it enough.

Good luck!
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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by solobo » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:52 pm

Sorry for the late reply, I somehow missed that there had been replies.

There are 4 tracks:
track1 - recorded Jan12 at 8PM - 5 minutes
track2 - recorded Jan13 at 6AM - 10.5 minutes
track3 - recorded Jan16 at 5:30AM - 13 minutes
track4 - recorded Jan16 at 4:30PM - 3 minutes

Here are the transitions:
Track1 to Track2:
transition1-2.wav
(969.76 KiB) Downloaded 16 times

Track2 to Track3:
transition2-3.wav
(787.21 KiB) Downloaded 14 times

Track3 to Track4:
transition3-4.wav
(759.52 KiB) Downloaded 13 times


They're all obvious to me with studio headphones, but the only one my wife noticed when listening to the whole production on her phone's earbuds was in the middle of track 2, when I messed up and re-recorded a sentence, and apparently changed my voice:
transition2-2b.wav
(1.64 MiB) Downloaded 13 times


I'm planning to re-recorded track1 because that's the most obvious transition to me (and because there are shuffling sounds right at the end). I'll try to work on warming up my voice and being in the same state of mind in the future.

When I'm mastering (I used Set-RMS and Limiter per Koz's instructions http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/ACXMastering/ACXMastering.html), is it better to apply these effects to each track individual or to all together? I applied Set-RMS to each track individually (thinking that if one track were louder or quieter, this would tend to equalize them and make the transition better). I then applied limiter to all tracks together.

Thanks for the help!
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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by flynwill » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:56 pm

Are you sure you posted "transitions"? I can't hear or find anything that sounds like cut within these recordings.

There are however moderate differences from one recording to the next, sounding like each got it own equalization. I might be simply be differences in where you are in relation to the mic. The differences are minor, I notice them in the noise level more than in your voice.

I the 2-2b I can hear your voice change pitch a bit with "Noah held his breath".. but that is a good thing, there's a human reading this story to me not a robot.

The bit of shuffling isn't really objectionable either but it can be easily removed by pasting a bit of "room tone" over it.

I would do both the limiter and the set rms on a "per track" basis as long by "track" you're referring to a full takes of a chapter (or reasonable part thereof), you don't want to take out the dynamics of the performance. Neither of those tools should have cause the difference in timbre that I'm hearing. The noise level shift would indicate you were further from the mic in some recordings. Also "transition1-2" and "transistion2-3" have noise levels that will likely fail the ACX standards. "transition3-4" and "transistion2-2a" pass but only barely.
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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:49 am

Everything sounds pretty good and meets ACX check

And as the first sentence of that process, it's only to meet technical requirements. It doesn't address quality of the sound at all.

I went back briefly over the postings and I don't see anywhere that you went into Windows settings and turned off the conference and chat auto processing. It's the job of those settings to change the quality of your voice to maintain intelligibility and clarity under different recording conditions. Nothing in the ACX processing or that microphone should change voice quality between the time you bent over to turn the page and the time you came back, but Windows processing can certainly do that.

http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/faq_ ... hancements

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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by solobo » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:53 am

Oh, looks like when I exported the transitions I only selected the first track of the transition. Let me try again:

transition1-2.wav
(754.29 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
(transition is between "impotent" and "in some ways")
transition2-3.wav
(1.27 MiB) Downloaded 11 times
(transition is between "to lose" and "on the first dais")
transition3-4.wav
(1.03 MiB) Downloaded 14 times
(transition is between "smiling" and "Katrina")

These are after re-recording track 1, applying SetRMS and Limiter to each track separately, and using slight noise reduction (3dB, sensitivity 6, frequency smoothing 6) on the tracks that didn't pass the ACX check plugin.

I went ahead and submitted everything to ACX to see if the human quality control there has a problem with it. I'd love people's opinion on whether it's very noticeable / annoying. Not sure what else I can do to make the mic position more consistent; I'm sitting in the exact same position with the mic placed the same for each recording.

Thanks!
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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by solobo » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:59 am

I don't see anywhere that you went into Windows settings and turned off the conference and chat auto processing.


You're right, I haven't done any of that; I didn't realize it was an issue. I just went through the FAQ you linked and couldn't find any enhancement settings to turn off: I'm running Windows 10, is it an issue with Windows 10?
recording-advanced.JPG
recording-advanced.JPG (40.21 KiB) Viewed 197 times

recording-levels.JPG
recording-levels.JPG (21.16 KiB) Viewed 197 times

playback-advanced.JPG
playback-advanced.JPG (34.44 KiB) Viewed 197 times
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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:36 am

You are so asking the wrong person. I'm not a Windows elf.

In Mac-Land, it's called:

[_] Use Ambient Noise Reduction.

There may be a different manual posting.

From Google:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-27 ... rking.html

Tried to go to Sound>Recording>Microphone>Enhancements and enable the Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation

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Re: Transition between recording sessions

Permanent link to this post Posted by flynwill » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:59 am

My same observations apply. The 1-2 transition sounds like a significant equalization difference in the bass. Something changed either in the setup (room, mic placement, etc) or there was a difference in the post-processing. You say this is after re-recording track 1, what did you do different? The 2-3 transition much less audible, and I wouldn't worry about it. The 3-4 transition I can 't hear any evidence of a cut. Also the 2 side of the 1-2 transition sounds a bit clipped to me like maybe you over did the limiter. In all cases the noise level is very close to the -60dB ACX standard, don't be surprised if they reject you for that.

I suspect that the "conference and chat auto processing" that Koz refers to may be only for some particular audio devices, and the issues I hear don't sound like audio enhancements running amuck, so I wouldn't worry about that further.

There is a pretty significant amount 120 Hz hum in the recordings, so that is worth tracking down and fixing if you can. Tell us more about your gear and we might be able to give you some suggestions. There is also a lot of low-frequency rumble -- the 100Hz LF rolloff for speech equalization filter would be in order as well. (Koz can you post the link).
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