Feedback Request on Sample Recording for Audiobook

Ummmm. It’s you.

The iPhone and the H1n are very close to each other (given a small volume change) and they’re both bright and crisp.

This is a first. Your apparent natural tonal range sounds like a broken microphone or a processing error.

So if you decide to continue, you will need some correction. My choice is still Bass and Treble with Treble at -6. I tried the sibilance corrections and since you don’t have classic sibilance errors, they were hard to adjust and didn’t sound very good.

Further, even with no corrections, I applied Audiobook Mastering to the iPhone file…and it passes.

Screen Shot 2024-03-27 at 2.40.38 PM

Then I applied Bass and Treble, plus Noise Reduction of the Beast (6, 6, 6). Given the 48000/44100 change, I think that’s submittable for an audiobook.

Koz

Just to be perfectly correct, I applied Bass and Treble, then Noise Reduction, then Mastering.

I would still give a lot of chocolate to hear you read something theatrical.

“What do you think?” he asked. Jane looked around for a second and said, "…

Koz

:joy: :rofl: :joy: I’ve had a lot of comments about my voice over the years, but “processing error” is a new one.

Nice to see my streak of breaking all of the conventions continues.

I hadn’t thought about this before. How might the conversion (?) affect the sound or process?

Ha, is theater where broken microphone tonal ranges go to flourish?

Not at all. 44100 is the sample rate for Audio CDs and AudioBooks. 48000 is the rate for simple video sound.

It doesn’t sound broken with the corrections. Just delicate and light.

I haven’t done the processing with the H1n yet, but just based on the sound, I expect the same kinds of things to happen. There’s still the possibility of noise problems, but that’s a piffle compared to the tonal dilemma.

Koz

That did keep me going for a while. This is almost the exact sound you get when someone applies too many effects, corrections, and filters. Sibilance and piercing, ice-pick in the ear “SS” tones.

Surely that can’t be her natural tone?

Koz

Thanks for the analysis. I’ve gone ahead and returned the H1n, so no need to analyze that sound.

Interesting. Well, I’ll be sure to have a, “no, that’s really how I sound” reply ready for any concerns about over-processing.

Haven’t seen the movie “Airplane,” have you?

You’re suppose to reply: “Yes, that’s her natural tone. And don’t call me Shirley.”

You’ve made it into my gallery of odd and unusual complaints.

That’s why I used Bass and Treble and Noise Reduction of the Beast. Take some of the sharpness off, suppress the noise, and neither can be detected in normal operation.

That’s similar to the design goal of Audiobook Mastering. It sounds about the same only now Peak and RMS (Loudness) pass ACX.
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So your production process, as I see it, has you reading the work and overlapping any errors (go back and read the error again from the first even sentence break). You will not need the step where you export a protection WAV of the Raw Read. The phone takes care of that.

Transfer the work to Audacity and do any cutting, re-arranging, and editing, and hopefully not much processing.

0/Bass and -6/Treble and Noise Reduction of the Beast (6, 6, 6). Audiobook Mastering. Export an Edit Master WAV. Export an MP3 with the Quality set to 192-Constant and the sample rate changed from 48000 to 44100.

Submit the MP3, become famous, make a fortune, and retire to a cottage in Majorca.

Koz

Meanwhile, I still have no clear, convenient way to get sound files from my iPhone to my Mac.

The transfer through iTunes is no longer available. I have not been able to get AirDrop to work. I have an unlimited, updated iMazing license for file management…which fails. I have been escalated to senior troubleshooting at iMazing.

I’m on the edge of my seat…and my knees are falling asleep.

Koz

I left out the Mastering step.

Koz

I’m saving these posts. This is as close as I ever got to the “Recording an Audiobook” class.

Koz

Until now. Using a clue from one of the troubleshooting steps, I changed iPhones. I’m using one of my older iPhones and I recorded and transferred a successful voice test.

Posting shortly.

Koz

This is an iPhone-SE. If you’re counting, it’s the second Apple version of four, I think. Anyway, I have it mounted in Pressure Zone Configuration (on my desk with no case).

The Voice Memo microphone is on the bottom of the phone, so the microphone is aimed toward me. The blue painter’s tape is to keep the stiff charging cable from rotating the iPhone out of position. It’s plugged into a charging brick, not a computer.

This voice test is from the short forum submission page.

https://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/TestClip/Record_A_Clip.html

The Starbucks is Americano (because of convenience) and either Full or Decaf depending on time of day.

The room is my quiet, echo-free, carpeted office.

I recorded the piece, transferred it to Audacity 3.4.2 in my Mac, cut it down, applied Mastering, and it passes ACX-Check.

Screen Shot 2024-03-31 at 10.14.39 AM

That noise, while passing, is a little too close, so I applied Noise Reduction of the Beast (6, 6, 6) and exported a 192 Constant-Quality MP3.

Screen Shot 2024-03-31 at 10.15.22 AM

I believe this is technically submittable.

Koz

I know I’m missing two steps.

Because the original performance is on the iPhone, I didn’t need to Export a Performance Protection WAV file. It’s already on the phone.

Also I forgot to write that I Exported an Edit Master WAV file before I exported the ACX- required MP3.

The point is I did all this with parts on-hand.

Koz

It’s Audacity 3.4.2.

Koz

In making the best use of an accident, I made two different recordings, one with Voice Memo Audio Quality Compressed and one with it Lossless.

Both files are m4a types, and as near as I can tell my voice sounds the same, so you won’t know if you make this mistake. The good news is the compressed file is slightly quieter (less data) and it’s easier to make the ACX noise quality standards. But Compressed Quality is a mistake because you can’t ever remove compression damage and it will prevent ACX from producing all of their different products and services from your file. It’s a time bomb.

“Lossless Quality” should be used for production.

In obsessive numbers: Compressed Quality applies over 10 : 1 compression to the work.
Lossless applies 2.4 : 1. These numbers can wander a bit as compression success can change with the show.

Koz

Hi Koz - Thanks for all of the updates. Been delayed as I’ve been in transit for a bit.

Good to know!

What a clever way to make sure the phone stays in one spot too.

Did you manage to solve the airdrop mystery on your other phone?

Will report back with other questions once I get set up again in case it helps add to your future help guide/book.

I’ve been running the mastering steps manually (but in the listed order). That should still yield the same result, right?

Ha. If only. But at least it will feel nice to have made something as well as possible.

I’m off to work a bit more on the non-audio parts and then figure out how to keep the dog I’m sitting for entertained long enough to not rustle around when I get back to recording.

There’s trick to that. Starbucks will make you up whatever you want, but the two Americano versions are hot in the tank and ready to go. It took forever for somebody to tell me that. No, I don’t have to sit in the corner while they made up a custom drink.

The best phone test I did was the overall volume test. I stood on the opposite side of the room and started announcing in a normal voice while I approached the phone. I was delighted to find that Voice Memos didn’t try to “fix it” by adding Auto Gain, Volume Setting, Boosting, or any other processing. I was just quiet. When I got too close (nose on the phone) it just started applying gentle compression to avoid the damage of overload. That’s a cousin to what we would be doing to the voice anyway.

All that and the doubling of volume that Pressure Zone (on the desk) gives makes it possible to apply Mastering and pass ACX-Check right out of the gate.

Hard to beat that.

Koz

No, and I have a license for iMazing to do file transfers and whatever iOS 17 did to the phone thwarts that software as well. I do have one secret possibility. I live between two Apple stores (California, right?) and their associated “Genius Bars” where they answer tough-dog questions in real life/time.

Koz