USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by BonnieO » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:50 pm

Hi Koz.

I'm ready to throw up my hands and just get used to speaking more loudly and/or boosting with Amplify. I bought an IOGEAR USB-C hub to plug right into the Mac. That accomplished making the mic unrecognizable to the computer and with a solid red (not good) status indicator light on the Mac so that's going back to B&H.

Uploading test for you.

You're the best.
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by BonnieO » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:03 pm

Final test results:

Tried the cable switch one more time.
Tried Samson mic one more time in the Mac and got plenty of volume.
And tried Rode in my PC and got the reduced volume as well.

So, it’s not the cable, it’s not the Mac.

I think it’s the mic. It varies between .25 and .5. But, if I’m mindful of my volume and/or use Amplify when needed, I guess I can get used to it.
Just so odd. Such a better mic than my Samson.

Thank you for all the effort you've been putting into helping me.

Bonnie.
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:08 am

That's what I thought.

The main shortcoming of this recording system isn't the microphone. I count at least two different motors or fans in the room with you. Fortunately, most of the rumble noise is below your natural vocal range, so I went in and surgically removed them, plus applying the generic rumble filter.

Note sentence 2/3 down.

Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 17.50.45.png
Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 17.50.45.png (41.78 KiB) Viewed 164 times


Also attached, edited and cleaned clip.

Note that noise only passes by the smallest possible amount in spite of very serious editing. The cut-off is -60.

Play the one you sent and then mine. Note the first two seconds between the two clips. That's causing that rumbly roar?

So. Try again and turn off the air conditioner, food processor, refrigerator or whatever is running in there with you. I count two. So this isn't going to be simple (although this could be one thing with two fans).

I can force harder corrections, but much more than I already did may leave your normally terrific voice tones damaged.

Now I'm curious what you find.

Koz
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:17 am

most of the rumble noise is below your natural vocal range

I mean lower in pitch than your normal voice. So the only way I could force it to pass was to apply three different noise corrections.

It would be grand if I didn't have to do that.

Were you blending daiquiris during the performance?

Koz
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:40 pm

By my measurements, your natural noise level is in the -40 range (gets quieter at higher numbers).

To put that in perspective, sound doubles every 6. So your environment noise level doubled three times from where it needs to be.

How did that daiquiri come out?

Koz
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:36 am

The desperation method is not do this at home. I have breakfast at a small cafe across the street from a for-hire voice recording studio.

Walk in, perform, walk out with a finished track.

The more successful voice producers (title intentional) have and continue to produce voice work at professional studios. They're on Audacity because they want to start doing it all at home. When that doesn't work as smoothly as the advertising suggests, they're fighting with their home recordings while still delivering client work. Not failing to produce any work at all.

Koz
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by BonnieO » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:47 pm

Well, THAT's a lot to process.

Ok. Here goes:

1. Your version is of course cleaner. And no background noise at all.
I can't figure out what that hum is on mine. I do hear it now. Didn't before. Sadly, no margaritas being made and refrigerator pretty far away especially for a dynamic mic. Air conditioner not on. Maybe the construction outside coming through the walls. Or...I have the Sony Vaio nearby. Maybe that fan was on. I'm going to wait for the construction to stop today and record and see if there's a difference. And ensure Vaio is off.

But - I don't notice any increase in the volume of my voice in the recording.

*****Are you suggesting that whatever the rumble is, is blocking the output of my voice? Or that my volume is ok but I should be aware of the rumble in terms of quality recordings?*****

*****Should the sound wave be between 0 and .5? Why is it between .5 and 1.0 on the PC?****

****This begs the question of why the Samson mic, when plugged Into the Mac gives me bigger voice output and I don't have to amplify.****

2. RODE is offering to replace my mic. I'm gathering you don't think that's necessary.


3.Sidebar:

I don't quite understand the ACX menu. Especially this part --
"Note that noise only passes by the smallest possible amount in spite of very serious editing. The cut-off is -60."
You mean it's only heard when higher than -60? And where are you getting that number? Does it show up in Audacity?
Where do you see my natural noise level (and what does that mean - acceptable noise level?)
? "sound doubles every 6. So your environment noise level doubled three times from where it needs to be"

4. Using an AC powered hub with a USB-3 to connect the mic was a disaster. I've sent it back. It overloaded the mic (red light) and didn't work.

5. The Apple guy who enabled the voice activated recording in order to set levels was wrong I think. I had to shut that setting off completely. Audacity would freeze.

6. Of course I agree recording in a studio is a better idea. I just want to make sure the auditions I send in are the best they can be. This all started because a producer got back to me saying the volume on the recording I sent him was too low. That's when it clicked that the waves were so narrow and I turned up volume on Mac and within Audacity and got it better but still not as wide as on PC. Of course, I don't understand why they sounded fine to me. I'm guessing he didn't have his volume all the way up.

Whew. Ok. Thanks again,
Bonnie
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by BonnieO » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:10 pm

Gotta be the refrigerator. That's the only hum in the joint.

And I can't get to the plug to turn it off.

And I don't want the ice cream to melt.

So I guess I'll do a separate noise reduction profile for the hum if you think that's a good idea.

But again, wondering if this is affecting the sound level of my recording.
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by BonnieO » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:14 pm

Well, refrigerator fan just went off.

But the hum is still there.

So I'm stumped. It's air!!!

Also I forgot to send Test2 while refrigerator was still on.

Here's both.

Bonnie.
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Re: USB connected mic to Audacity for MAC

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:23 pm

I thought we lost you there. We were going to send out the dogs.

I need to go read that again.

I don't think changing the microphone is going to do a lot of good.

The desirable volume level (on the blue waves) is peaks between 33% and 50%. It's a constant source of irritation that the bouncing sound meters and the time line are in different numbers. They should not be and there is a Request for Change in Audacity to make them match. Those two percent values work out to -6dB and -10dB on the sound meters.

So if you can generate blue wave peaks up to 0.3 (30%) on occasion, that's probably enough.

Only the top three numbers in ACX-Check are useful in AudioBook Reading, and then only the dB values. From top to bottom, overload distortion (Peak), overall loudness (RMS) and how loud is it when you stop reading (background noise). Overload and Noise are limits. Loudness is a range.

In the ACX-Check panel I posted, the Noise value was -60.1. The restriction is -60. That means if anything at all goes the slightest bit wrong, the presentation will fail. And that's after I sent the work through very serious noise reduction.


A very quiet recording environment is really important.

Through a series of accidents, I have a soundproofed third bedroom. If I wait until traffic dies down, I can make a respectable sound track with no microphone. Just using the built-in on the laptop, or my iPod or any one of my pro microphones.

Image

Almost any microphone works.

The noisier your room is, the harder it is to record and the more work you will have to go to to fix the recording in post production, if you can even fix it at all.

You can record at any volume you want, as long as it's 1000 times louder than your refrigerator. That's the takeaway. Converting in my head......your refrigerator is only about 100 times quieter than your voice. It needs to be 1000 times quieter.

Noise Reduction tools are not open-ended. I stopped short of harming your voice tones. I can get rid of all the noises, but you will sound like talking into a wine glass with a head cold. ACX AudioBook has a failure called "Overprocessing" for people who overdo it. Nobody is going to pay to hear you sounding like a bad cellphone.

I can collect and publish the tools and settings I used to get your quieter sound clip. But fair warning you will have to remember to do all of them, in order, every time you submit work.

And, in case I haven't been enough of a wet blanket, you can't change anything. If you get a new refrigerator or move the furniture around, we'll have to analyze the damage and change the tools.

I bet you're wondering how the grownups record under difficult conditions.

They throw money.

Image

That thing he's holding is a shotgun microphone which comes in somewhere between $800 and $1000, not counting the sound mixer and recorder. I did it a different way. I have a head-mounted microphone similar to the TED Talk people.

...For which I used to have a picture.....

So that's why we're trying to make you louder. You don't have to do that, you can make your room quieter.

Koz
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