Room Noise Floor -59.6DB Argh! [SOLVED]

Thank you Koz. Extra sugar for you for all the energy you’ve spent helping me :stuck_out_tongue: Yes, I don’t see what I can do about the Yeti course. My computer only takes USB mics.

One quick note about my USB ports. I have a superfast one and a normal one.

I just ran a quick room test recording on audacity using a headset. Plugging it into the normal USB, rather than the superfast one creates a much better noise floor than the superfast one. I was definitely recording on suoerfast before. I’m assuming that would be the same for the yeti and make it a little less rumbly :slight_smile:

My computer only takes USB mics.

USB Interfaces. We have a preference for a USB interface and a “regular” microphone over a USB microphone. USB microphones, the Yeti in particular, takes manufacturing shortcuts with the goal of making the microphone inexpensive. The model was/is a big success, but a significant fraction of users complain of data screech leaking into the sound. There is no hardware fix and the problem can efficiently kill high quality production. Until recently, there was no software fix, either.

It doesn’t matter how many times it says “Professional” and “Studio” in the title, if you have frying mosquitoes behind your performance, that’s pretty limiting.

The ACX training video has a USB interface and a very high quality analog microphone.

Fast Track Solo interface
Rode NT1a microphone

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You got very close to the suite I picked.

EQ: LF Rolloff filter around 5000 (5015)

Run Nyquist Prompt – OK (SetRMS: Target RMS -20.00, Linked Stereo > OK)

Run Nyquist Prompt again with the programming from YetiCurse.txt (attached).
You can use Nuyquist Prompt Save and Load to quickly switch back and forth between the two programs, so you don’t have to constantly copy and paste.

Limiter: Soft Limit, 0.00, 0.00, -3.50, 10.00, No > OK

Apply Noise Reduction
— Drag-select Room Tone, silence or the flat area between spoken phrases.
— Effect > Noise Reduction: Profile
— Select the whole clip or show by clicking just above MUTE.
— Effect > Noise Reduction: Settings 6, 6, 6 > OK

I picked a Noise Reduction setting of 9, 6, 6. It’s a little stiffer reduction and it helps further suppress what I’m guessing is heating or climate control “stuff” in the background.


The last filter, that Yeti Curse thing is the programming and development version of noodling on a paper napkin with a felt-tip-pen. It’s very ‘how quickly can you write a program?’

“Here, try this [noodle, noodle, noodle]. Let me know of it helps.”

It did.

Koz
YetiCurse.txt (99 Bytes)

Oh, right. We’re not done yet.
Yes, you can suppress harshness in your voice with yet another effect.

There is a custom De-Esser and De-Clicker tool and any second now I’m going to find it…

Koz

https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/updated-de-clicker-and-new-de-esser-for-speech/34283/1

You want the De-Esser.

I have no hands-on with his. Read through the notes. There are restrictions.

I thought you sounded fine. Note once you change your correction suite, you need to stick with it through a book. ACX puts a high value on consistency.

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Back to the Projects. I think it’s forbidden to Copy and Paste AUP files from anywhere to anywhere else, and it is required that each AUP file be in the same location or folder with it’s associated _DATA folder. It is absolutely forbidden to change the name of either one.

http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audacity_projects.html

Koz

Thank you so much Koz. I just ran your entire process, changed to have Yeti.txt and the 9,6,6 noise reduction on my sample. The Peak and RMS are exactly the same, but the noise floor is down a few notches :smiley: That’s great.

I will have a look into the Rode and Fast Track solo interface, as I want to produce more recordings in the future, and it would be great to have higher quality from the start.

Any objections to the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD USB Audio Interface? I really don’t know much about tecchy stuff.

I’m assuming the Rode mic would need a stand? Not sure how I’d fit that into my recording space!

I’ll have a look at the De-Esser too.

Your help has been so invaluable. Really, I mean that. Thank you a million times :smiley:

Oh, yes and lesson hard-learned re. aup projects. I’ll export to WAV and keep a copy from now on in!

Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD USB Audio Interface

I have thoughts. You have the luxury of recording with a single channel USB microphone. I have a Behringer U-Phoria UM2 which I rather like and ACX recommends the Fast-Track Solo. All of those are single channel interfaces. They mount to the computer in mono and will easily record one blue wave when you speak.

The Fast Track Solo’s real name is Avid Fast Track Solo. It’s designed to connect to an Avid video editing station and can have troubles with home computers. That’s the heritage on its father’s side.

People have posted troubles getting two-channel interfaces to Stop recording in Stereo. You get two blue waves no matter what you do (your voice on only one of them) and the only other option being an odd mixture of the two, effectively raising the background noise.

It’s certainly possible to record in stereo, split the performance into two individual ones and delete the one you don’t want.

It’s only extra work. Someone will post about that. I think that’s still the case.

I have a Koz Aphorism: “If you find something that works, hold onto it with white knuckles.”

Koz

Thank you for your input on this. I don’t have much money to spend, but don’t want to pick the wrong thing. The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is affordable and that means splashing out on a Rode mic won’t be so bad, Just slightly worried about fitting the mic kit into my recording space. The Yeti obviously comes with its own little stand, so I have put it on some of the piled-up boxes in the store-room and covered them with a blanket (so professional!)

I really appreciate all you have helped me with here, Koz. I would have been completely lost without your help :slight_smile:

I have put it on some of the piled-up boxes in the store-room

That’s one of the recommended installs.

The blue furniture moving pad keeps desk echoes and slap reflections down, the towel and the book in combination keep floor and desk vibrations from the microphone.

Grownups do it with a shock mount.

The diagonals in the picture are rubber bands and they suspect the microphone away from vibrations and movement. It’s a common mistake to use a tight microphone cord and then have noises travel up the cord.

You can use a modest tripod behind or to one side of you. I don’t have a picture of that, but this is a shoot I did with the tripod on the table instead of the floor.

When I do experiments in my quiet room, I don’t have room for the tripod in front, either. The actual tripod is by my left elbow during recording. It doesn’t have to be in front.

Suspending the microphone is highly recommended because it gives you room to shuffle scripts and tea.

Also see that little tennis racket thing in front of the microphone. That’s a pop and blast filter to keep your P! sounds out of the show. Here it is again.

Koz

This is awesome - thank you so much. This is my current recording studio, lol. Loads of boxes and a big foam mattress. I’ve added a few more blankety things on the harder stuff (random bits of plywood, stepladder etc.) The mic is hidden - wrapped in the zebra blanket, but I’ve been able to take that off and just sit it underneath since moving the computer out of the room.
DSC_0020.JPG
I know, I know. Where do I actually sit?!

I’ve seen a few reasonable tabletop mic stands, including one by Adam Hall, which adjusts in height and has rubber pads on the tripod feet. That’s got good reviews. There are Rode Mic kits from £120 which have the mic, the pop shield and a shock mount as well. Along with the UM2, that should probably do the job…

To be clear what that shock mount is doing, I built one out of plumbing supplies and postal service rubber bands. It’s perfectly functional and I’ve used it for actual shoots. The pictures click.

http://www.kozco.com/tech/pvcShockMount/shockmount.html

People make mic stands that work like an arm-style work light and clamp to the edge of the table.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KM23850

There are tricks to soundproofing, too. No two opposing flat walls. Echoes happen when the sound bounces repeatedly between walls. If say, the North wall and the East wall are deadened, echoes are killed past the first slap. Throw heavy rugs on the floor and that kills the floor-ceiling bounce. A Yeti and most other microphones with a cardioid (kidney-shaped) pattern will not respond to sound from the rear, so the first wall for consideration is the one behind your head.

I did several good voice recordings in the storage room for a branch of the company. Boxes of paper contracts and manila folders soak up sound and echoes nicely.

Is that an exterior window? So I did hear traffic noises in one of your clips.

The ACX video classes were redone since the last time I viewed them. It’s worth a look.

http://www.acx.com/help/setup/202008260

Koz

Thank you. after reading back what you wrote, I chose a scissor-arm suspension mic stand. I have a little table in the room I can clamp it to.

Yes, there is a small exterior window. I don’t have a room or closet without any windows. It’s three floors up and to the back of the house, so it was the best I could do. I did have to stop recording occasionally for sirens, next doors dog barking and the odd aeroplane, but it is the quietest room in the house. I have the mic turned away from it, but I will see if I can find an old curtain to put up over it.

Thanks for the tips on the flat walls and floor. I think I will be bringing the spare duvets into use there.

I’m midway between a police station and a hospital, so even with a well-soundproofed room, emergency vehicles are a problem.

You can get a slight advantage with wall hangings by not jamming them against the wall, but leaving a small gap, say inch or two. Drape rods or curtain hanging hardware can be handy here.

You may notice being handy with power tools can be an advantage. My Do-List has me cutting panels to go over my exterior window. Even with heavy glass and the blinds pulled, it still transmits too much noise.

Koz

Have you sat through the ACX information and videos? They have very particular requirements for submission. We had a recent poster get bounced for something silly like presenting the introduction and silent segments out of order.

ACX-Check is only the most difficult of the requirements.

http://blog.acx.com/2014/06/26/how-to-succeed-at-audiobook-production-part-1/
http://www.acx.com/help/video-lessons-resources/200672590
http://www.acx.com/help/acx-audio-submission-requirements/201456300
https://www.acx.com/help/encoding/202008310

Koz

Question about operation. Are you reading from a paper script or a screen?

Koz

Thanks for all the extra tips Koz. You’re giving me some great ideas about adding more soundproofing.

Yes, I know all the other requirements. I have copied them onto a Word file, so I have a total list.

I was just reading from my book and deleting the bits where I turned the page. I’ve heard it suggested that it’s better to read off a tablet. Do they make any noise on the mic? My Samsung Galaxy Note (4?) seems perfectly silent to me, but you never know what sounds digital devices produce without you knowing about it. (I am learning so much that I didn’t know doing this process!)

I am learning so much that I didn’t know doing this process!

You are replacing a recording engineer and studio. And now, having personally experienced the problems those two are designed to avoid, I bet you’re reading the adverts for microphones with a completely different eye.

There was a recent poster who was recording in an actual studio with an actual recording engineer—walk in, record, walk out— and she posted about wanting to do it at home. I think she eventually forced it to work, but I know she went back to the studio at least once to keep the work going while she struggled with it. The longest posting on the forum, 39 chapters was Ian who only wanted to record AudioBooks from his apartment in Hollywood. Yes Hollywood is an actual place and not just the world’s most recognized metaphor.

– 2. I don’t need professional audio. I just need clear sound at good volume and no distortion or noise.

Most pros I know would gladly sacrifice several small furry animals to get that.

Koz

Sorry. Didn’t answer the question.

I don’t know of any reason a tablet would interfere with a reading. Is the work completely on the tablet, or are you downloading the work in real time? Being professionally obsessive, I would turn off any radio services: BlueTooth, WiFi, Location Services.

I totally would not bring a cellphone into the studio. Do Not.

Koz

Yes, I never realised that good sound quality could be so hard to achieve when it comes to audiobooks. Luckily, I don’t aim to make a career out of it!

I just want to read my own books in my own voice for my readers. All my books are self-help, so at least I’m not going to distract anyone from a storyline with it not being absolutely perfect. But I do want it to be as good as possible for my readers, hence ordering the right kit now.

Ordered a Rode NT1a with the shock mount and pop filter, plus a Behringer UM2 seeing as you said it was pretty good, and a scissor suspension mic stand. I am now having a look at those reflection/isolation booths, because, although I may be able to put up enough padding to make my room better for the Yeti, the Rode is going to be that much more sensitive to noise from all around.

I can load the Kindle version of the book onto the tablet, have it running offline and just scroll down the pages to read the book.

Nothing at all will be plugged in INSIDE the room after my horrid computer fan hum experience. I can put everything on the stairs outside and pull the door almost shut, so just the mic wire is coming through,

Are you absolutely sure Hollywood exists? lol…