Normalize 2 recording samples


New user to audacity here. I’m currently trying to put together a review and am in the process of recording/editing the sound portion. What I end up doing is if I find a particular section didn’t come out right (usually I need to re-articulate words) I just end up re-recording a short clip and inserting it into where it should be on the track. The problem I am encountering is that my re-takes tend so sound a little different from the original takes, so what I’m wondering is if there is a way to normalize the entire track so that my voice sounds the same all throughout. I have tried fiddling with the Equalization and Normalize effects to no avail. I’m pretty new to this so I could definitely use a push in the right direction.

I attached a sample so you can hear what I am talking about.

I am currently using Mac OSX Lion and cannot recall for the life of me whether I used the dmg or zip…I THINK it was the zip file however.

Some of the highly experienced forum members may be able to suggest post-processing techniques that might rescue your work. However, it sounds to me as though you have two different “room acoustics” in that sample. I would be inclined to think that the two recordings were made on two different days, in two different rooms, or at least, with two different arrangments of the recording device and the surrounding furnishings. I have been recording my own voice to use as voice-overs for almost 30 years and I know that it is impossible to get exactly the same sound on two recordings made on different days. Even if the room acoustics are properly controlled (and that can be difficult to achieve in a domestic environment), my voice changes according to my state of health, how tired I feel and even the ambient temperature of the room in which I do the recordings. Doing multiple sessions on one day with a fixed set-up of equipment doesn’t guarantee identical results either. Something as simple as having a drink of tea or coffee between takes can change my voice. The best advice I can give is to try and avoid having to do re-takes. Listen to what you are saying as you record it. If you feel unhappy with it for any reason (even if it is only a vague feeling), do an immediate re-take. That will ensure that all the recording is pretty much the same in terms of tonal sounds and room acoustics.

Unfortunately not what I was hoping to hear but what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the input! I may have to just retake the entire recording, otherwise the shifting will just sound sloppy.

The first half sounds like you are very close to the microphone (but “no pop shield” - you should get one, or make one).

The second half sounds a lot more distant and possibly in a different room.
Many sound engineers will measure the microphone distance and keep a record in their recording notes so that if they need to go back for retakes at a later date they can set the mic position exactly the same.

What else is going on with the second half of the sample? What is the story here? It sounds like it has either been over compressed as a very small MP3 or has been compressed to MP3 format multiple times or had excessive “Noise Removal” applied. MP3 encoding is “lossy” - there is always some quality lost when encoding to MP3. To minimise the damage you need to work in high quality WAV format and only compress to MP3 as the very last step (assuming that you need to convert to MP3 at all).
Avoid doing any processing to the recording until you have the full recording.

Is that a TV in the background of the second half?

It’s possible to degrade the first half of the recording so that it sounds more like the second half, but not the other way round - audio damage is a one way street. Here’s an example - I’ve not got the Eq quite right but I think you’ll get the idea. The real solution is to re-record.

For retakes, keep as much the same as possible. Same room, same person, same microphone, same mic position, same chair and if possible same mood and same day.

Thanks for the info. The reason it’s compressed into MP3 was just so I could easily post it here (2mb limit). As far as as all the conditions noted, I did actually record in 2 different room for that clip, but I also have other segments in my track that were recorded in 2 separate rooms that came out to sounding relatively similar (at least within acceptable levels). Also, about the TV…I honestly have no clue where that came from because I didn’t even have a TV on at time of recording! The only thing I can think of is there were people in the next room over and it must have picked that up somehow

While this may sound a little weak I will just say that I am currently using my gaming headset to record…it’s a good headset (Turtlebeach Earforce) but obviously not the best choice as far as recording goes…but it’s my only option at the moment. If I see that I take to this game reviewing very well I will probably invest into a good mic to make it sound better.

I’ll have to look into a popping shield, though I am not sure how well that will work on a headset, but I will definitely look into it.

Thank you very much for the input guys it was helpful. It looks like I may have to suck it up and re-record the whole thing in static conditions.

For a headset mic, just ensure that the mic is at the corner of your mouth, not directly in front. The “popping” is cause when your breath (from mouth or nose) hits the microphone, so that’s what you need to avoid.

Thanks for the tip. I was trying to do that but maybe I just didn’t have it at the correct positioning