Right then. I did extensive analysis with a strong cup of tea (not on the tea. I know what’s in there) and determined something in your microphone system is boosting certain voice tones. Goodness knows why, but that’s what’s giving you the “essing” and crisp, harsh delivery.
So I build a custom Equalization setting to suppress the boost. With that tonal boost error gone, your normal voice tones return and the audiobook mastering tools start working.
So, download Mordrid2.XML to your machine and install it into the equalizer tool.
Mordrid2.XML (666 Bytes)
Scroll down to #6 Manage Curves.
Post back if you get lost.
If you succeed, Effect > Equalization > Select Curve > Mordrid2 will produce a green line that looks similar to this.
Now you have all the tools together to master an audiobook clip. Cancel the equalizer.
Open the raw, uncorrected clip.
Effect > Equalization > Select Curve > Mordrid2, Length about 5000 > OK.
The next steps are regular Audiobook Mastering 4.
Please note you are using two different equalizations, Mordrid2 and Low Rolloff For Speech. Yes, you have to switch between them.
Effect > Equalization > Select Curve: Low rolloff for speech, Length of Filter: about 5000 > OK.
Effect > RMS Normalize: Target RMS Level -20dB > OK.
Effect > Limiter: Soft Limit, 0, 0, -3.5dB, 10, No > OK.
The clip is a bit noisy (FFFFFFFFF), so drag-select some of the two second Room Tone (silence) at the beginning > Effect > Noise Reduction > Profile.
Select the whole clip by clicking just right of the up arrow.
Effect > Noise Reduction > 9, 6, 6 > OK.
If you run ACX Check right now, you will find it passes easily, the harshness and “essing” is gone and it sounds remarkably like you.
There is a trick to listening. Roll the clip forward and set your voice for normal listening volume. Roll the clip back to the beginning, don’t adjust anything, and play it.
I need to lie down for a while.