Apologies if this sort of question has been asked a billion times, but I was wondering if someone could offer some advice on how to improve my audio quality.
i record through a Yeti Blue Snowball, with a pop filter, roughly 6 inches away from my face.
Once I’ve recorded I then go through a process on audacity that I found a couple years back on youtube which was…
- Noise reduction
- Bass boost
- Treble boost
I recently removed the bass boost from this process because I have somewhat of a deep voice already and it made the audio a little too boomy.
I’d like to improve my current audio further, I don’t think it sounds terrible, but I don’t think it sounds as good as it could.
Below is a link of my most recent recording as an example, if anyone has any tips/advice I’d greatly appreciate it.
Your volume is OK, but it’s low compared with similar YouTubes.
Your RMS (voice + music) is -26dB, it should be more like -20dB.
Apply RMS Normalize at say -20dB
Then apply the (soft) limiter at -3dB (without make-up gain) to remove any excessively loud parts.
I can’t listen 'cause I’m at work, but -
Is the YouTube recording before or after recording? If it’s “after”, please give us a “before”.
- Noise reduction
- Bass boost
- Treble boost
Did you do those steps after diagnosing the raw recording, or just because someone told you to?
You shouldn’t be blindly applying effects. i.e. If you had a good performance in a good soundproof studio recorded with good equipment, you’d need little or no effects.
We do have an [u]audiobook outline[/u] but that’s mostly guidance getting the levels right and removing any low-frequency noise (below the voice frequencies).
…OK I did listen for about 10 seconds of it one side of my headphones held-up to my ear. (I was just checking to see if you were speaking or singing.) I assume that’s post processing and I’d say it’s “over processed”. If that’s the “before” recording, I guess it shows you what I know… But, I’m blaming it on the quick-casual listen.
The good news is, based on that 10 second sample, you have a good speaking voice and I didn’t notice any performance issues. Good job on the performance & recording!
Way back in the analog days I was a DJ on my college radio station (fun times!). There was zero processing/effects. We just had a mixer with big round volume knobs. No EQ. You could get-in close to the mic for the proximity effect. There was a limiter on the transmitter because it’s against FCC regulations to over-modulate, but we were supposed to keep the levels under control by watching the analog VU meters. We weren’t supposed to use the limiter as an effect. Things have changed and radio stations now have advanced digital compressors/limiters “working hard” 24/7, not just preventing occasional overloads. I think some stations also run some default EQ and maybe dynamic EQ, etc.
We had a little recording studio for making public service announcements (non-commercial station) and for anything that needed to be recorded/edited/produced for the news. Again, there was no EQ or other effects. There is an easy way to get echo from a 3-head tape machine (“tape delay”) bit I don’t remember if I, or anyone else, at the station did that. Somebody did once take a microphone across the hall to the rest room for a reverb effect.
We could use background music or sound effects (from vinyl records) and these were typically mixed-in in real-time while recording the voice. Once I made and announcement for a ping-pong tournament and I made sound effects by clicking my tongue and shuffling my hands & feet around. More fun stuff! And, I really got a kick of hearing my PSAs on the radio! That little studio had some awesome-huge JBL monitors, donated by JBL, I think.
In general everything sounds OK, but I hear P-Popping in there. You’re a little too close to the microphone or it’s placed wrong. Are you using the tiny, three-leg snowball stand on your desk? Any way you can get the mic higher? Most P-Popping sounds go down-ish from your lips and raising the mic can help.
"…also suPPorted for an unPPrecidented amount of time…
You can also trying oblique placement instead of having the mic straight in front.
That can be a good way to raise your volume without causing sound damage.
And as DVDdoug, above, I don’t know about piling a laundry list of effects and corrections on the show unless you’re fixing an actual problem. Or better yet, be able to explain to us, in detail, what each step is doing.
Sadly I do have to admit that I was applying effects blindly as I was told it improve the overall clarity and consistency.
I have a few videos from when I applied no effects at all, personally I think the audio in my earlier videos sound worse.
It’s possible that I’m being overly critical of my own voice work of course, but I’d still like to improve if I can.
I’d still like to improve if I can.
So you took care of the P-Popping right away? That’s a new-user, straight-out-of-the box problem. Which technique did you use/are you going to use?
Those two test clips are both workable and the effect is up to you, but the second clip has P-Popping, possibly made worse by the two boosts in there. You might get away with that if you weren’t spitting on the microphone.
Snowballs are not a gift from the angels. Their presentation tends toward ordinary and flat, and attempts to fix it in post-production can create odd tonal balances—very much like what you have.