Mastering is a three-step process. You are urged to take the steps in order, don’t add any in the middle, and don’t leave any out. It is a Suite, a harmonious grouping. They clean up after each other.
After you set all this up, the tools and settings stick and it should be possible to rip through them quickly for each chapter or video.
– The first step is the Low Rolloff or High Pass Filter depending on which direction you start from. It suppresses rumble and some bass notes. This is important because many home systems have rumble (thunder) and bass distortion that has nothing to do with the voice or the show. Further, rumble messes up the other two tools.
– Set the RMS (loudness). This is straight out of the audiobook publication. RMS (loudness) should be between -23dB (quiet) and -18dB (louder). The tools are normally adjusted for -20dB (in the middle).
– Tame the Peaks. It’s not unusual for the tips and peaks of the blue waves to get too high after you set loudness. The Limiter gently and gracefully pushes the peaks back down without it being obvious what it’s doing.
That’s it. If everything goes well, the result conforms to the audiobook standards, is usually louder, and sounds exactly like you.
Note that noise isn’t listed anywhere in there. Noise is the college level course and is the reason we urge, strongly, that you record in a quiet, echo-free room. If you don’t, you can spend a very long time trying to “clean up” the damage.
In this particular case, I used one of the segments of background sound as Effect > Noise Reduction > Profile. Then apply the small noise correction. Select the whole show, Effect > Noise Reduction > 6, 6, 6 > OK.
You will probably have Effect > Equalization.
Steve wrote a bass curve which is cousin to the one that broadcasters and podcasters use in the field with their microphones to get rid of traffic, jets, thunder, and other low rumbly noises.
LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml (299 Bytes)
Effect > Equalization > Save/Manage Curves > Import > LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml.
If everything goes well, you should get a picture that looks like this.
I need to drop for a while.
rms-normalize.ny (809 Bytes)