First of all, I want to thank you for reading this post and try to help me. I use the very last version of the software: Audacity 2.0.3 in a Windows 7 laptop. Also, I have a Logitech microphone, which overall makes a pretty good recording all together.
Now, I am trying to achieve a certain sound, like the one on the attached document under the name: ‘sample’; but I seem to get something -although good- not perfect, which I have enclosed under the name of ‘my try’. The first one is in English, whereas the second one is in Spanish, but don’t worry about the content, I need to focus on the voice sound and quality.
Could someone please listen to these and try to explain to me what I am doing wrong? What did I miss? What do I need to do to achieve a sound like the one on ‘sample’?
We generally can’t do much with requests that start out:
“Can you make my voice into…”
“Can you make a ______ voice into a _____ voice.”
Human voices are easily damaged and it’s pretty obvious when we mess one up.
Spanish doesn’t bother me a bit. I live in Los Angeles.
You would think Change Pitch or one of those tools could be pressed into service, but they quickly make voices sound muffled and odd-sounding. A low “radio” voice is not a higher voice simply pitched down.
You could try a low boost filter – I used to have a picture of the settings here somewhere, but if you do anything wrong with the original capture, power line hum and room rumble is going to come up along with your correction.
There’s nothing wrong with your sample. You have good interpretation and interesting swing, much better than Jeff. But you and Jeff will generally be doing different jobs.
You, slower and with a little echo:
“Executive Metroliner Service to New York now boarding, track fourteen.”
“-- Spanish version-- .”
If you can do both of those with no serious accent, you got it licked.
Post those with very high quality MP3 if the WAV doesn’t fit. Or better use FLAC. We’ll do the production. Post the straight voice, like in your sample.
Assuming you’ve got a “full and rich” voice to begin with, I’d guess the weak link is your microphone.
A “studio style” condenser microphone is the “studio standard”.
A cardiod (directional) mic will boost the bass when you get close to it. Male announcers love to take advantage of that. (Although you can have problems with “plosives” like the “P” sound when you are too close.)
You can get a mic like [u]this[/u], which has a USB interface built-in. There are quite a few good studio-style USB mics in the $100 - $200 USD price range.
Or, you can get a standard studio or performance mic plus an [u]interface[/u] with the proper low-impedance balanced XLR mic input. A good dynamic vocal performance mic (like the famous Shure SM58) will also work well with an additional USB interface.
A normal soundcard does not interface correctly with with a good performace/studio mic. Regular soundcards only work with “computer gaming” and “computer communications” mics making the mic-input on a regular soundcard usless for high-quality recording. (A USB mic like the AT2020 USB has a “soundcard” built-in, so that’s not an issue.)
A good recording environment is important too. Generally, you want a quiet, “dead” (sound absorbing) “studio”.
Thank you for your responses. I don’t think I can explain clearly what I am trying to achieve here. Luckily, I don’t think I have a damaged voice.
Apart from the fact that the ‘sample’ has music on the back, it doesn’t seem to have metallic or echo sound.
Now, I do have to say that my microphone is very basic and that I don’t exactly have those studio conditions, which would be ideal but I still need to get something done for this occasion and I would truly appreciate if you could work with me on this one to find an alternative solution (until I can get the perfect conditions and tools).
I’d say you’ve a beautiful voice if the low end is properly boosted.
You can of course use the Equalization effect instead. It’s a little trickier because we have 3 amplification points (200, 650 and 4000 Hz), not only with different gain values but also with a different width (ranging from 0.6 octaves to 4 octaves).
In which case you would want to use settings something like this:
Also, applying some dynamic compression will help. As a starting point, try these settings:
Noise floor: -40
Attack time: 0.1
Decay time: 1
Unfortunately the effects will also tend to make the limitations of your equipment a little more obvious, but nevertheless the results should make a noticeable improvement.
Use the Preview button on the effects to test your settings before you apply them. You will need to experiment a bit because the two effects will interact with each other. You could perhaps make several short tests and save them as files, with notes written down about the settings used for each one, then come back to them the next day and listen to them again - ears get tired when listening to the same thing over and over, so it is important to re-listen when your ears are fresh.