that’s pretty much all?
That’s pretty much all. It’s the job of the microphone, preamp and volume settings to make the mixer sound meters if you have a mixer or the Audacity sound meters bounce in the right place.
It’s not unusual for modern preamps or microphone system adjustments to run full up. Oddly, it’s a business decision. If a microphone runs quiet, most users assume they’re doing something wrong and tailor their performance or settings hotter, or determine to add effects or processing to fix it. A hot microphone, even slightly hot overloads immediately, creates an obviously damaged show and a desire to return the microphone.
Several times during the show, you should be able to hit -6dB on the sound meters or 50% (same number) on the blue waves. It should look something like this.
You can make the sound meters bigger like that by grabbing the ends of the meter and pull.
If your voice gets too hot, you may get peaks up to 0dB which turn red and may producing a crunch or crack sound. That’s clipping overload.
On the other hand, if most of your work produces a straight line in the blue waves and a sound meter bouncing over on the left, then you are not loud enough. Not loud enough is pretty common.
Not loud enough means you will have trouble competing with the system noises (ffffffffff). Too loud and your voice may pop, crack and crunch from overload. Occasional peaks at -6dB should be just about right.
There is a fuzzy rule of thumb here. Intentionally overload the system just as a test. Make the Audacity sound meter go all the way up and turn red. Did you have to scream or bellow into the microphone to do that? If you did, then you will probably never hit the optimum volume for good theatrical presenting. There is at least one recording suite for sale where no normal human will ever be able to create a good recording—it’s too noisy and it will never get loud enough.
If you have a live or noisy room, the only thing that can help is soundproofing or adjusting the spacing or position of the microphone. Recording volume settings or post production will not help at all. If the metrobus noise outside is half as loud as your voice, it’s going to stay half as loud no matter the microphone volume settings.
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