Voice Distortions While Recording Audio Course


I have Audacity 2.0.0 on Windows 7. The computer is a Lenovo Ideapad Z570. I’m having problems whether I’m using the Windows Voice Cancellation (in the control panel) or just Audacity’s “noise removal”. Mic is a Giant Squid mini that plugs into the 3mm jack.

With Windows voice cancellation, it sounds mediocre but with random occasional distortions. Doing the voice cancellation with Audacity-only gives me these wavy background distortions that are constant but not in the voice. Both of the following were recorded with my mouth a foot or so away from the mic.

Sample files are below. Anyone know the best way to optimize in this case?

With the Windows voice cancellation: I get distortions I get this - http://www.mediafire.com/?5zden5768w7evue

Without Windows voice removal but with Audacity’s after the fact, I get this - http://www.mediafire.com/?4dutmnil2ud2m47

In the first one, the distortion is subtle and occasional. Side note: I’m right near the mic, the distortion gets a lot worse and there’s a feedback sound. In the second file, the distortion is loud and constant regardless of where my mouth is.

I’m recording an audio course, basically an audiobook. By the way, if the problem is the mic itself, can anyone suggest a good one I can get at either Walmart or Staples? I’m on deadline so mail order is not an option. Doesn’t have to be super quality. It just needs to be non-frustrating and consistent. Hopefully there’s a fix that will allow me to use this mic. My old Sony VAIO on Vista never had this problem. Audacity’s noise removal worked like a charm.

Thank you.

The sample with Windows features added sounds just as I would have expected it to - lousy! You do not want Windows adding anything to your recording. The second sample sounds just fine to me. But what I would really have liked to hear is the “vanilla” recording: just your voice and what Audacity captured - no processing except to export a sample. Also, it seems you have achieved success in the past, so a sample of a previous recording (that was acceptable to you) would help us understand what you are aiming for.

From what you have said (in the post and in the recordings) there is one area where improvement might be possible - your microphone technique. You say you are sitting in front of the mike. I would stand up to do a voice recording - but that’s maybe just my personal preference. More importantly, I wouldn’t be “in front” of the mike. I would be slightly to one side and the mike would be above the level of my mouth. Imagine you are looking directly at the centre of a clock face; the mike would be at the 10-11 o’clock position or the 1-2 o’clock position. Your “about a foot away” should be about right for most domestic situations.

What your recording does suffer from, and I know of no way of improving it in post-processing with Audacity, is a fair amount of room reverberations - “echo”. You need to add some more soft furnishing (drapes, blankets, etc.) behind and around the mike to absorb some of the extraneous reflected sounds.

Hope this helps you.

Thanks. Did you hear those obnoxious sounds in the non-widows track? They were pretty loud, even when I wasn’t talking. Are those the reverberations you were talking about?Would linens eliminate that?

Now I see why you didn’t hear the background distortions. On normal volume without headphones, I can’t hear it either. With headphones, the noise in the background in the 2nd file is very loud.

Now I get what you’re saying. Below are two files of the same recording. The first one has no noise removal. The second one, the distorted one, was run through Audacity’s noise removal effect. At normal volume, it may sound OK. Try headphones with higher than normal volume and the noise added in is very noticeable. Now I know it’s probably not the mic, but something that happens after noise removal.