Audiobook-Mastering-Macro

I am an admin for LibriVox (all volunteer readers, public domain works only group) and have been happily recording and doing admin stuff for many years. One of the constant challenges we have is getting tons of new readers to match our technical specs, which are different from ACX. Since most of them eventually use Audacity, what are the chances of a macro that would set these for them? Just a wild thought that it might simplify a sometimes very lengthy process of teaching them how to fix bit rate, then quality, then volume, etc. etc.

I wrote the Audiobook-Mastering-Macro when I got familiar enough with the Macro format and tired enough of telling everyone the three effects steps in detail. It was my first and last Macro.

what are the chances of a macro that would set these for them?

Almost zero. The Macro format is very limited and people are always posting with jobs outside of its range. Yours is a job way outside of its range.

You need a Recording Engineer Program.

I was commenting on this earlier that someone must have published a Recording Your Voice course or class because almost all those setups and adjustments you mentioned vanished from the forum. Everybody Knows you buy a Yeti microphone, set it up on your kitchen table and then arrange Promotion, Publicity, and Marketing.

That’s what ACX used to think. There might be one or two steps in the middle.

So the task is find that course—or record the video yourself. If you’ve been explaining it to hundreds of people you should be good at it.

You might be able to get an actual programming language to do this for Audacity such as Python. That would mean finding an actual programmer to write it.

We can wait for others to post.

How are the formats different? I used to say that once you properly format something for ACX/Audiobooks, you can publish almost anywhere else with maybe a loudness change here and there. Is it a simple matter that you use LUFS and ACX doesn’t?

Koz

That’s not to say there are no problems. We just get different ones now.

“You know you have to give the computer permission to use the microphone, right?”

“Audacity doesn’t get along with Skype, Zoom, Meetings or Cloud Drives.”

It’s not the worst idea when someone tells you they want to read, to send them a completely configured sound recorder. Forcing a computer and microphone to do clean voice recording is most of the time-consuming work.

Or offer it as a service or product.

Koz

completely configured sound recorder.

Or use the one they already have. I recorded this on my phone in the garage.


Koz

Awesome! Thanks for this … I tried narrating my own audiobook. Need improvement.

Awesome! Thanks for this … I tried narrating my own audiobook. Need improvement.

I just applied the Audiobook Mastering, Koz. I can’t thank you enough for your thorough directions and great patience-it means alot. I greatly appreciate your skills and experience with this matter.

Thank you my friend

Koz, I am trying to install the Audiobook Processing Macro (I had it on a previous version of Audacity and it was fantastic) but Tools no longer has an “Import” option under Macros. Is there another way to install it? I downloaded the code, but can’t figure out how to import that either. I’m using Audacity 3.3.3

Forget it, I found the Import button!

Should I apply this before or after dealing with mouth noises and general editing?

My problem is that I never sat down and wrote a whole process. I know surgically how to deal with portions of the process…

Record the work, File > Export a WAV backup, errors and all. Then dig in and edit your brains out. If you can’t see the blue waves large or clearly enough to do good editing, then you can do a volume boost with Effect > Amplify > OK. That will boost the show as much as possible without overloading. You have to do this to the whole show, not portions. Mastering will not split up a chapter and it’s not a Compressor.

Alternatively, you can read it again and do it louder. Your raw reading should have occasional tips and peaks to about -6dB to -10dB (-6dB is 50%).

If you failed to read your work in a quiet, echo-free environment, then most of this isn’t going to work right. Get or make your environment and read it again.

Koz

This is a Copy/Paste from a work in progress document.
~

Record a single mono chapter (one blue wave) in a quiet, echo-free room. File > Export > Export As WAV a protection WAV file (errors and all). Edit out the performance mistakes — lipsmacking, tongue-ticking, gasping, coughing, English errors. Make it smooth. If the chapter is too beat up, you’ll be reading it again.

Tools > Apply Macro > Audiobook-Mastering-Macro.

Analyze > ACX Check.

I decided to write a beginning to end as if everything went perfectly. It’s good to know the order of the steps even if you can’t get them to work right.

The document will have underlined blue links that point to further explanations and descriptions.

Entertaining mouth noises are the reason I’m not an audiobook professional.

As we go.

Koz

Awesome, thanks!—I appreciate the really thorough response! Looking forward to the full process breakdown document

I wrote a quicky explanation of how dBs worked and it got deleted in the forum update. This is the latest iteration.

Note it seems to go “backwards.” Negative numbers. This causes no end of confusion when you have to do math.

Also note, this is different from Sound Pressure Levels. That’s real life sounds and it does use positive numbers. 0dB is threshold of audibility. Threshold of Pain is in there somewhere.

Koz

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Koz.

This is amazing! I just installed it, added a bit of noise reduction and the sound was fabulous. Thank you so much!

A. Weston

One of the design goals was to pass ACX Submission and still sound exactly like you. Same with Noise Reduction of the Beast (6, 6, 6). You can’t tell anything happened, but for some reason, the background sound is quieter.

You still have to conform to all the other audiobook restrictions, you can’t read a cookbook, etc, but If you recorded in a quiet, echo-free room, basic voice recording should be a go.

Koz