Thinking about what you have said above, I should probably worry less about initial recording volume and a quieter recording level should require less noise reduction and just a slight bit of amplify up to specs. I can always get my chapters to pass but don’t like what it is doing to my voice.
***Whoa, just checked and the noise reduction is set to 20. You mentioned 12 being where things start to get funny.
I expect that to sound exactly like you. It does pass ACX. Anything you do from here is going to involve voice quality changes such as DeEsser or equalizer.
I did it an odd way.
I applied a home-build plugin called LF-Rolloff. It’s difficult to hear tones lower pitch than 100Hz (rumble, thunder), so LF-Rolloff deletes them all. Your microphone system creates some rumble and sub audible junk, so this has the advantage of making it easier to hit ACX Noise with few if any evil side-effects.
Then I applied another new tool I call SetRMS. It analyzes your work and forces it to the correct RMS (Loudness). This tool development is weeks old.
You got lucky because your work passes ACX just like that—barely.
I did apply Noise Reduction of the Beast, 6, 6, 6 using the silent portion at the beginning as the Profile. Nobody can hear that working except the noise magically goes down by half.
I’ll post details of these tools. You have to custom install them.
Everybody gets Noise Reduction wrong. The object is not to create Dead Blackness of Space silence between your words. Assuming a normal, gentle rain-in-the-trees hiss in the background, it’s to make it so you can’t hear it at normal listening volume.
Set my response clip so your voice is normal listening volume. Don’t change anything and listen to the silent portion at the beginning letting it play into the voice. The hiss noises should be very nearly completely gone. It’s important that it not completely vanish for another reason. ACX has a failure called Overprocessing. Odd sounding voice and dead zero noise can be cause for rejection.
Decompress the ZIP archive into LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml. It’s pretty tiny.
Adding Audacity Equalization Curves
– Select something on the timeline.
– Effect > Equalization > Save/Manage Curves > Import
– Select LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml > OK. (it won’t open the ZIP. You have to decompress it)
– LF rolloff for speech now appears in the equalization preset curve list.
The Equalizer Filter Length setting should be around 5000.
Wow Koz, that sounds so warm and natural compared to my edits, even on my headset at work. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to work on this! I am going to read through your posts and cannot wait to get cracking when I get home from work. I have a much better feeling about production than yesterday, thanks for that!
Guilty as charged here. My experience with the noise reduction plug-in was just to use it as-is and boom, noise is gone. With 20 as the default number, I can see why it is so effective (but at a cost). I read some forum posts and saw that some people ran noise reduction too far and that was flagged by ACX as being overly treated. Your advice and experience is a great education and I plan to remaster all of my completed chapters.
Wow Koz, your treatments in this post are working well for me. I sound like me again! On top of the great plug-ins, A big takeaway is your advice on noise reduction. For my current project, I was blindly using the default setting on 20 and now I can pass ACX without any. For consistency with the earlier chapters, I am doing a light treatment, but only at a 2 setting. With that large level of NR, I was sounding a lot like HAL (for us old guys).
Having a bit of trouble. I don’t see a Nyquist prompt available under Effect (it’s available from Tools, but I got a touchy dialogue warning when I pasted it there and hit OK). I’m new to this game and struggling to set my RMS in a way that meets ACX checks.