No Woman, No Cry

As temporary-measure, what about putting an ironing-board on top of a desk*, (it usually stands on the floor),
then draping the quilt/duvet over it to make a tent.

Not as comfortable, or stable, as that PVC-pipe tent, but has the advantage that you probably already have the materials.

[ * If you get the moving blankets, put one on the desk first ].

You have a very good recording environment to begin with, so almost anything may get you over the edge.

Do remember you need to start and stop a job with the same environment. A recent poster did an upgrade and/or software update in the middle of a production. It didn’t go well.

Don’t do that.


Reading you 5-by-5.

Besides the resources in this forum, are there any other sound engineering resources that I can use? I can read “Apply Audio Book Mastering 4,” and do the steps, but I don’t know what all the effects are or what they mean. I need some kind of “Sound Engineering 101” website that explains better, in a format that, say, a bright 16 year old child, or a Golden Retriever, can understand. This is the “guy still recovering from a TBI that has the desire to be an obsessive engineer” talking here. :slight_smile:

ETA: Found this site:
Looks like as good a place as any to start.
My apologies if I sound snippy. Juggling spinning plates, flaming bowling pins, and riding a unicycle through an obstacle course since Friday.


“There’s another little exercise that’s handy. The H4 has a sound meter, yes? Make a constant oooooooo sound and see the difference between the H4 meters and the Audacity bouncing light meters. There may not be any, and yes I know it’s rough to perform and look at the H4 meters at the same time. I expect them to be within about 6dB of each other. Let us know. -Koz”

This is an impossibility. I can’t be in the same room as the PC that Audacity is running on, remember? The PC is the “cement factory.” And “rough to perform and look at the H4 meters at the same time,” well, that’s an understatement. I’d either have to use some kind of bicycle mirror or become Stretch Armstrong. :laughing:


I can’t be in the same room as the PC that Audacity is running on, remember?

I do forget you’re using the H4 as a stand-alone recorder. In that case, it’s a little more involved. Do the “ooooo” thing and announce where it is on the H4 meters. Nobody will stop breathing if you don’t hit it exactly.

“ooooooooo, minus ten.”

You don’t need to be in front of it, either.

Now transfer that file and see where Audacity reads it. I have one combination that’s some distance off between two recorders and it’s good to know that.


Drag-select some text in your forum writing and click the fat quote marks at the top.

That will form a tan quote banner in your posting.

That’s called marking up your text.


Ahh, I see!

Thanks, that helps. > :slight_smile: >

I’m a bit slow on the uptake myself : it only just occurred to me that because you’re recording in stereo, rather than mono, then de-reverb plugins can be helpful in your case.

Some of the reflected (reverb) sound can be excluded by de-reverb plugins because it comes from a different direction than your mouth, (only possible because H4N has two microphones pointing in different directions, recording at the same time).

Now the bad news: those plugins are expen$ive, $50 - $500, and they can introduce computery processing-artifacts.

Treating the room with sound-deadening material is the best option, but a de-reverb plugin could be used in addition to squeeze out any remaining reverb, if you’re recording in stereo.

The de-reverb plugins also employ expansion, (aka transient shaping),
so either de-reverb or expander, but not both plugins.

Now the bad news: those plugins are expen$ive

Or, you could stick with the ironing board and moving pads. One-time solutions.


I talked with an ACX rep this morning.

I’d like to create my ACX account, take the survey, and submit my sample today or this weekend, weather and sound environment permitting. It’s going to be raining pretty hard here today and into tomorrow afternoon and a cold front is moving in, so I might have to turn off the heater and maybe unplug the fridge (direct LOS from my recording position on the couch in the living room). The only sound deadening improvement(s) I’ll have over my last reads is the wind muff; maybe some thermal curtains over the sliding-glass patio door we’ve been thinking about buying and hanging for a while now.

She suggested a sample of at least 5 minutes and I think I read on the ACX site no more than 10.

She said content doesn’t really matter, and I have hundreds of books on the shelves behind me here in the study. So, I could read from any of those, but I don’t want to infringe upon any copyrights. I wouldn’t be selling from my sample, right? Then again, I could read from a couple of Wikipedia article printouts I have, one about George Washington’s farewell address, the other from an article on Bactrim, the multi-spectrum antibiotic. Pretty dry stuff, but I can probably make either of those reads sound good. I could also read from our iPad Air, but I’m not sure if that would introduce any Wi-Fi interference noise.

Or, I could possibly print out other suggestions anyone might have, and read from those.

As always, any advice is greatly appreciated. :slight_smile:

This might work. It’s still not five minutes, but it’s a narrative and I can hear it in your voice. It’s also © me.

Here’s how this works. This is a biography completely made up from the rhythm, style, and structure of a person’s name. Actual facts are irrelevant. The trick is to maintain a plausible timeline and setting without committing accuracy anywhere else.

jeremyBartelWines.txt (3.5 KB)

I believe I can make that work just fine. Thank you, sir. :slight_smile:
Just need to make the text a little bigger.
Anything in particular you’d like me to put into the tag sections when I rip down to .mp3?

Nothing I can think of.


You may have a hard time breathing. I wrote that for reading with your eyes (the best way, I found) and it has some pretty serious run-on sentences. I’m interested to see what you do with that. I guess the up side is being able to handle almost anything if you can crank through that.


That’s another reason graduates of Philip Morris University, should try short*-form,
e.g. a 30 second commercial, computer-game character, or an instructional voice-over which is only a few minutes long.

[* IMO don’t bother auditioning for telephony/IVR jobs :
your bass-voice will be less intelligible than an average voice after it’s gone through a telephone system ]

Hudson Valley milk is fortified for strong bones and teeth…


I read the entire script out loud a couple times last night, and yeah, that first paragraph is one very long sentence; I was utilizing my diaphragm muscles pretty seriously to keep an even volume and tone, while leaving some room for emphasis where needed. There are some other long passages and some tricksy sibilance/fricative turns as well. You ain’t the only one who wants to see how I am able to motor through it. :wink:

Definitely concur with you Trebor. From what I’ve seen you guys post, ACX understands that humans need to breathe, they just don’t want to hear someone gasping for air like they are trying an Everest ascent sans oxygen. I can deliver up probably an octave into baritone, and perhaps down half an octave, but it doesn’t sound like “me.”


I can deliver up probably an octave into baritone, and perhaps down half an octave, but it doesn’t sound like “me.”

Which snaps us back to ACX’s insistence that your presentation sound natural and with no distractions.

That’s how they publish it, but that’s not exactly true. You should sound natural and pleasing. Not everybody can read out loud. The company where I used to work had an artist who was really good at this. The joke was he could play to standing room only by announcing he was going to read the phone book.

That’s the ideal.

I wasn’t paying enough attention at the time to record him and see how he did it.

I attended a Voter’s Info presentation at the local library. It was given by two women who both knew the work and used the same words, but only one was pleasant to listen to.

There is another extreme. There was a post from a clinically asthmatic who wanted to read. Probably not the best match.

So. ACX wants five minutes, the instructions say nothing over ten and ‘Jeremy Bartel’ is unreadable by normal humans. Anything I write is going to have the same problems and almost all of the older stuff is shorter.

Have a happy day.


You don’t have to be broadcast perfect, either. One of my favorite audiobook readers is Sarah Vowell. She has a quirky delivery I like. I have four of her audiobooks.


that first paragraph is one very long sentence;

There are ways around that. There is a VLOG presenting technique that has no breathing. I’m sure this is a genetic failing on my part, but I like several shows that run at 110% forward speed and nobody takes a breath for 12 minutes.

You can’t arbitrarily do that. The basic podcast has to be terrific and dense with entertainment, meaning or both. You can’t make mistakes. I’m crystal clear that editing those is a nightmare and your content vanishes 10% fast.

Not for the easily frightened.

Purists and ACX would be understandably horrified, but I think the opposite is an abomination:

Let’s present slowly with mistakes and make the viewer sit through the mistakes. I’m getting pretty good at recognizing those in the first few seconds. NEXT!