Koz's Short Story

I decided to read one of my short stories to see just how it would go in real life. It’s 1:27 so the WAV won’t fit.

There are two effects in the piece and yes it does pass ACX-Check. Some of my voice mechanics produce occasional volume spikes which respond nicely to Effect > Limiter: Soft, -3.5dB. I have no way to turn off my room glass window and we’re experiencing Santa Ana Winds (no speed) so I can hear the miles away airport perfectly as well as street traffic. So that’s the background noises. If I was serious, I’d either sew up heavy drapes or cut wooden panels to go over the window.

The limit processed clip will not pass noise, so the choices are try to figure out a Noise Reduction Profile from street traffic (good luck with that), or apply Steve’s LF-Rolloff filter. This is the version with the rolloff. Turns out both work.

Without the window, Allied Van Lines, Metrobus and Air France, I may not have needed any filters past limiter.


Obviously for a commercial release the recording would need some editing (removing / reducing some clicks, such as those just before you start talking). Overall I found the sound rather bass heavy (a combination of mic / mic position / recording environment / your voice). Using Equalization to lower the 400 and 500 Hz bands (mostly 400 Hz) and a little bass reduction with the Bass and Treble effect improved this a lot, bringing it close to “fm radio broadcast” type sound. I enjoyed the content and delivery :slight_smile:

Sounds good to me. A little bass heavy, but in this case, that suits the voice, I feel.

And it’s a good story too.

A little bass heavy,

Fascinating. I just thought it sounded remarkably like me. That could explain my odd ability to leap soundproof walls and frighten cats.

It’s worse than you think. It’s not directional microphone proximity effect. I’m about a foot away from the microphone and the microphone is essentially flat with a slight presence “vocal” boost. The room is dead. This presentation also has Steve’s LF-Rolloff applied, which tends to “tighten up” bass-heavy voices. So we’re experiencing Koz physical vocal characteristics.

reducing some clicks, such as those just before you start talking

I noticed that. It’s habitual and I can probably just stop doing that. It would save a lot on editing.

the content and delivery

Delivery could use work. This is first pass. Some of it worked, some didn’t. Commercial presenters are in no danger.

Content is interesting. Most of my pieces are taken from people’s names. A name will strongly suggest a biography usually divorced from the actual human. I turned one of the women on a movie production crew into a successful mystery writer in Victorian England.

The games and television commercial producer arrived unbidden as a baker in New Orleans. She created a baking and food empire based in no small part on the “herbs” she found in a hidden, hard to reach crook of the Mississippi River.

And etc.

Town names can do it too. A town near here translates from the Spanish “Number Two.” I turned it into a vacation destination with a world-famous nightclub. The real town features a power generating station, an oil refinery and waste treatment plant.

One of the goals of this was to see if I could keep it up over the course of an actual story. It’s all well and good to toss off an eighteen second test clip, but to be useful, it has to work long-haul.


As one who knows Koz in real life I can attest: Yes that sounds like Koz. Except the the delivery is a bit flat. Koz telling that story in person would be more animated.

Except the the delivery is a bit flat.

No doubt caused by my clinical, debilitating mic-fright.

Actually, that can get you into trouble. People into theatrical expression post for solutions to their wildly gyrating volume levels.

The thing that got my attention was not the one gross fluff and edit which is practically invisible, but the normal speech pattern which sounds like bad edits.

“Did you spend weeks cutting this thing?”

“No. Apparently, I talk like that.”

I did experience two unforeseen effects. Don’t eat or drink anything likely to make your tummy gurgle (possibly standing up helps here—I was seated) and don’t wear loud pants. For the same reason we urge people to freeze and hold your breath for the forum Room Tone posting test, any fidgeting in my Patagonia nylon/polyester trail shorts is clearly audible.

Obviously, performing naked is indicated.

And that brings us to the real reason for this posting. It was not to read a story but to illustrate the magnitude of silence needed to read for AudioBooks. I set up a professional microphone sound system in my mostly soundproofed third bedroom, but I left the Ikea “Rusch” clock running on the wall. Even though the clock is in the cardioid hole in the rear of the microphone (which helps), it’s still an annoying one-second tick in the background of the recording. Further, since it’s not a well-behaved, constant sound, I’m betting it would be difficult to remove. This is response to the poster who wanted us to remove a fish tank without destroying her voice.

Probably not.

The story was a serendipitous event. “Hmmmm. While I have this set up…”

I’m preparing the clock clip.


Right then.

This is cut down from a much longer piece. No filters or effects and it will not pass ACX. Note the street noise at around 18 seconds in addition to the clock. Oddly, ACX-Check process may fail because the clock only appears once a second and ACX-Check only needs a half-second of room tone to measure. So it will measure between the ticks.

I got it to pass by lopping off street noise after 17 seconds (traffic would never appear in a serious recording).
Effect > Normalize: -3.5dB, Remove DC,
Effect > LF-Rolloff.

Measure the first six seconds only. If you try to measure the whole thing, the lack of voice after four seconds is not valid will throw the RMS measurement off.

And through all that, you can still hear the clock banging away in the background.

So somewhere in the microphone setup for a real recording, I lock the clock in the bathroom.


In addition to the clock and the car going by on the street, there’s a rumble that doesn’t sound like electronic noise, but rather more like something mechanical. Are you using your book/towel setup to isolate the microphone from the desk?

There is considerable 1/f noise present as well. Application of the 100Hz rolloff filter brings the noise level well below the ACX -60 floor, (but the clock is still probably an issue).

Are you using your book/towel setup to isolate the microphone from the desk?

I am not. I’m using a floor stand, boom and floppy shock mount.

That’s not the microphone I used. That’s the one I had handy for the pix.

I did notice all that going on in the pedal registers. That trash is one of the reasons I used LF-Rolloff.

The Famous Noisy Bass Cabinet is unplugged and both the field sound mixer and MacBook Pro are on batteries.

So this is where I disconnect the floor stand and wave the boom and microphone around like that guy at the beach looking for lost Rolex watches in the sand.

wwwwwwEEEEwwwww. That’s either a diamond ring or a YooHoo bottle cap.


And just because I haven’t been a harbinger of doom yet, In the middle of cutting and filtering GrayHair, Audacity “Did Something,” exhibited the Spinning Beach Ball of Death (SBBOD) and crashed.

Skype was not running (I don’t see it in the list of applications), I wasn’t doing anything particularly unusual (it’s a 2 minute presentation), I save all work to my desktop and I can’t swear to this, but I believe Audacity 2.1.2 was the only application running. That would be normal for me.

I have, of course, the original WAV reading as a backup, so I opened that and kept on going.

So this is a salute to all those producers who were cutting their one and only sound file and inexplicably produced an opportunity to read their work again.