I’ve attached a sample of the audio in question. It sounds mostly fine to me, but the client mentioned it had a slight echo to it. I’m not Audacity expert, so I’m trying to figure out how to fix what they are hearing. It does sound a little…empty I guess to me? Not echo-y per se, but maybe a slight reverb.
I don’t have a professional recording room unfortunately. but I have made myself a recording nook with multiple heavy moving blankets to deaden the sound. The area is rather small and has made my recording sound better. I use a Blue Yeti USB microphone with an attached pop filter, with the microphone turned to the Cardioid mode and gain turned pretty down. Generally the microphone is about 6in from my mouth as I read the text.
I do run a macro for the audio after I have recorded and it is as such: filter curve, loudness normalization, limiter, de-clicker, de-esser. It was suggested from someone I know who does recording and I have never had issues with it before. Generally after running it, I will go through and use noise reduction to catch ambient background noise (in my case, the computer tower quiet whirring), and get the noise floor to about -83dB.
Am I doing something wrong here? Any advice is welcome!
Did you write the script for that sound clip? You may find that written works don’t always make good shooting scrips. The audiobook people run into this. When you’re reading a book, you don’t have to stop and take a breath (although people who write without breathing in mind are sometimes hard to read, too). This is where Writers without Editors fall apart.
and/or use an expander like couture, (which is another free plugin which works in Audacity on Windows) …
Couture on these settings attenuates reverb immediately after you stop speaking: that’s when it is most noticeable, (If couture is cutting-off the ends of words turn-down the “amount” knob).
Couture has next-to-no effect on reverb when you are speaking, (a DeReverb plugin i$ required to attenuate reverb when you are speaking).
It doesn’t have to sound awful like talking in a tunnel or cellphone voice. Sometimes these enhancement tools will just add some noise reduction without telling you and give you a tonal shift you weren’t expecting. That could easily be where your slight honking/echo is coming from.
It could also be coming from Zoom, Skype or other chat programs. DO NOT leave any of those running in the background while you’re recording. Restart the machine and don’t let anything else start except Audacity.
multiple heavy moving blankets to deaden the sound.
Please note in both of those arrangements, there’s a double pad on the floor or desk.
The little desk cave came from this posting.
Finally, you’re recording too quiet.
This is your posting.
It should look a little more like this.
Occasional blue tips up to about half-way. Maybe every couple of minutes or so. Recording is a battle between your voice and the natural noise the microphone is making. Shouldn’t artificially make it worse by recording too low.
Post back if you find one of those Windows settings wrong. Those are common afflictions.
Yeah I’ve noticed the low noise recently. Last week when I would record my mic would be picking up ambient noise and making small wave lines for it. This week, though, even though its picking up the noise there are no wave lines and the wave lines for my voice are much smaller. Nothing has changed to my knowledge, though. Should I turn the gain up? The only thing that MIGHT be affecting it is my spouse uses Discord to chat with her friends while playing games, but the program isn’t running when I record. We don’t use Skype or Zoom either. I’m not by my desktop right now, but I will check the windows settings you mentioned.
My little cave looks a LOT like the second photo you posted, except its a bit wider and deeper to give me space as well as have the monitor and keyboard. I dont have a blanket on the desktop, though, but I do have a foam mat that goes the length of the desk to make it more comfortable to lean on. Is that sufficient?
My little cave looks a LOT like the second photo you posted
And that’s based on an actual commercial product.
spouse uses Discord to chat with her friends while playing games
Restart. It’s not unusual for chat programs to close but leave their microphone processing running to trap the unwary. The Yeti is a nice, very common microphone and I’ve never seen a Yeti record like that. Something is happening to the sound.
If you pass the second week struggling to record on the computer, maybe it’s time to stop struggling. I produced a technically perfect audiobook test using a stand-alone sound recorder and editing on the computer later. That’s an older Zoom H4 recorder in the sound cave, not a USB microphone.
Both TDR Nova & Couture plugins are free, and will run on Audacity on Windows,
(NB: Currently only the 32-bit versions of plugins will work in Windows, even if your computer is 64-bit).
You don’t really need TDR Nova: you could trim-off bass with Audacity’s-equalizer/ filter-curve,
but I definitely recommend downloading Couture: there’s no native expander effect in Audacity.
Couture is useful for attenuating any reverb & noise which occurs when you’re not speaking.
Post back with your solution and what worked for you. We use these responses to help others with similar problems. In general, it’s a terrific idea to get a plain, ordinary recording to work first before you pile on effects, filters, and corrections. The audiobook people actually have a name for the pile: “Overprocessing.” It’s never perfect and it can get you rejected.
I’ve attached a new Example reading now that I’ve tinkered a bit.
I couldn’t find any real issues with the settings for the recording and playback of the computer, but I did disable all other mics the computer had access to and made sure to set the Yeti as the default. That seemed to change things quite a bit. Would you say this is now recording the way you would expect a Yeti to record?
I have both of the plug-ins now, but for the life of me I cannot get the flat, less hollow sound the way you were. The TDR Nova looks a little different than in the snapshot you shared, so I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong there?
You may not need the fancy software. This is a clean, clear recording without any of the oddball echo sounds.
Now we need to deal with the room sounds. ACX calls this Room Tone. I can make you pass ACX standards, but with stiff noise reduction. How far away is the computer from the microphone? Do you have an air conditioner or other fan system in the room?
I intentionally boosted the first two second noise segment. Does that sound like your computer fan? Can you tell the computer is on just by listening?
That is definitely the computer fan. I usually use noise reduction to get rid of it and end up with a noise floor of -80dB or around there. I’ve noticed that sometimes the weird echo/hollow comes back after I do that. I use noise reduction set to 6,6,6 across the board but usually have to select the sound multiple times to get rid of it. I used to use noise reduction at 12,6,3 and could get rid of it in two passes, but read somewhere that that can give the echo effect if it’s set too high.
read somewhere that that can give the echo effect if it’s set too high.
You may have read the one I wrote. Talking into a wine glass or milk jug.
You have to make that stop.
This is where having a moderately echoy room, a noisy computer, and a USB microphone is a deadly combination. Many directional microphones have a dead spot directly behind them. That’s a good place to put the computer assuming the room isn’t going to bounce the computer fan sound all over the place anyway.
Separate the computer from the room as long as you don’t go over about six feet because that’s the limit of a reliable USB cable. You can’t smother the computer in blankets because it will smother and die.
It’s good to be able to see the computer screen to check levels every so often and all this is assuming you’re not reading the script on the computer screen.
Start a timer and if you struggle with this for two weeks or longer, stop recording on the computer.
You can make a perfectly delightful recording on most of the Zoom recorders. That’s my Zoom H4.
I cranked out an audiobook quality voice track with my newer H1n.
Read the script on your phone, or (gasp) on paper.
There are posters cranking out quality voice tracks on H1, H2, H4, and H5. The obvious shortcomings are needing to transfer the works to the computer and batteries. I’ve never used it, but my H1n will run from a wall charger.
Alternately, you can trade out the computer with one that doesn’t make any noise.
This is a photo setup, but it’s a mirror of the setup at the ACX Studio. If you don’t stress them, Macs don’t make any noise.
That’s your espresso-on-tap, steam-driven, hot and cold running beer gaming computer isn’t it? The one with the forty-two processor graphics card and extra cooling to keep the whole thing from smoking itself.
Did I hit it?
Can you borrow your mum’s Mac for these recordings?