So that leaves environment. Where’s your cellphone during all this? Do you have any BlueTooth equipment or connections? Do you have those Philips LED lightbulbs that change color with the time of day or other stimulus?
Cellphone stays in another room (partly for noise/interference potential, partly because I get all OOH, A NOTIFICATION). I literally unplugged everything in the house but the fridge when I first had my frenzy about this; I keep a small 40 watt bulb in a desk lamp, but even that is off right now.
I record with just a mic (yeti usually for warmth, sometimes an AT, tried both) and a laptop (tried a mac, tried two different dells), in a baffleboxed tent of sorts (see here: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/i-passed-acxs-qc-but-the-end-result-sounds-horrible/42749/15), although I’ve moved it to a different wall since those pictures to avoid being on an outside wall. I own pre-amps and a few more technical doodads from years ago when I did more radio work, but for audiobooks, this has been really all I needed. I know the bane of audio recording issues is someone with a USB mic and a laptop, but for the most part, I haven’t had many problems besides a hum that turned out to be my radon (which is thoughtfully easy to turn off).
I never had this issue during previous recordings.
It gets worse while you’re editing?
I thought it did, but I’m pretty sure I was wrong. I think I just didn’t notice it until edits, when I was listening to things really closely. While I do normalize and occasionally a few other gizmos, I noticed it before processing - I was just doing basic edits - removing duplicate sentences, cleaning up occasional mouth smacks, etc. I did throw a notch filter at that particular file to remove a hum at 50.
When I record room tone, I get a whole lotta nothing. I talk, it happens, and I seem to notice it more with vowels. I’m now 95% sure it’s me. If I wear headphones and listen to it live as I record, I hear it happen sometimes. I apparently morphed into a $&^#ing squeaky toy overnight. I’ve tried a lot in the last two days - uber hydration, 8 hours of straight voice rest before recording, drinking frequently WHILE recording (water, not liquor, unfortunately, although that may change), and just listening to myself and repeating sentences in different ways until I don’t squeak, which is making each chapter take 3 times long to record and edit.
Which means I put you wonderful people through a lot of hoops!
I do have a question though - on your spectrogram, I can see them so clearly (beyond the fact you helpfully highlighted them) - when I look at the spectrogram myself, I can hardly ever find the buggers. Is there anything you’re doing that I could use to help me out? I’m going to TRY to move forward and aggravatingly repeat sentences until I don’t sound like a clarinet (until I can perhaps see a physician who will likely treat me like I’m nuts), but for the worst honks (and for the honks that occur during emotional scenes) I’m trying to figure out how best to diminish them without 5000 re-recordings.
Thank you guys so much for your help!
Edited to clarify: I can’t hear myself doing this without the headphones recording back live to me. I can’t feel a change in my voice or anything or that nature, so that’s why I’m not 100% sure its me. That, and sometimes it sounds oddly digital in nature. I’ve had my SO sit here and listen to me record while it happens and he swears up and down there is no underlying clarinet happening from me. I did a short recording in a different (but much noisier area) and didn’t have any squeaks, but I have also been able to get it to not happen by changing how I say a sentence. To end, I’m confused as balls, but I’m the only constant in each situation.