Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

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piercetheplanet
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Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by piercetheplanet » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:25 pm

Hello Audacity people.

First post here. I'm a pro VO dude trying to get my home setup dialed-in.

SM7b -> cloudlifter -> PreSonus Studio 24c to USB-in on my mobo for a Windows 10 system using Audacity 3.0.0. Attached is the raw audio recording per the guidelines.

Goal: Dial in all settings to get the audio as clean as I can in spite of room tone (dry/open/slight echo; using NoiseGate to help with this), all while falling within ACX guidelines for audible/itunes/etc.

Open to suggestions in any regard aside from changing hardware. Happy to video call to help show setup. Happy to tip/exchange VOX lesson for your help/teach you about wine/record VO for your indy project.

I feel like the hardware can deliver what I need, and audacity can help make it sound pro. I feel like I'm getting close, but balancing ACX specs with RMS normalize feels like I'm chasing my tail and doing too much editing due to lack of know-how with the DAW.

Thanks in advance. I love you. Happy Easter.

Pierce

piercetheplanet
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Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:03 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by piercetheplanet » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:35 pm

VERY SORRY. Please refer to the attachment on this post for the audio sample, the gain was turned up on the track in the last recording.

Pierce
Attachments
Audacity Voice Test2.wav
Unedited audio
(860.04 KiB) Downloaded 8 times

DVDdoug
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Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by DVDdoug » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:46 pm

I can't listen at the moment...
balancing ACX specs with RMS normalize feels like I'm chasing my tail
The Recommended ACX Mastering Process will nail the peak & RMS requirements every time. The "trick" is limiting... Regular linear volume adjustment changes the peak, RMS, and noise flor by the same dB amount.

Note that these are the ACX requirements and for most voice-over work is should be OK to peak at 0dB so you may be able to change the limiter to 0dB and possibly increase the RMS level by about +3dB also.
slight echo
You might need to add some sound absorption to your "studio".
using NoiseGate
Don't over-do it. If the noise floor is too low or if the gating is audible ACX will reject your for "over processing".

piercetheplanet
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Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by piercetheplanet » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:52 pm

Appreciate the reply. Regarding the mastering page, I'm definitely following it as much as I can/learning at the same time. I'm sure I have a lot to learn/test with the limiter.

I really need an ear to help me avoid exactly what you point out re: having submissions rejected due to overprocessing. Any tips there will be appreciated.

I've got some absorption materials but the room is large, may need more. I realize I'm asking for a real consult here, which is why I'm totally happy to compensate in turn, however I can.

Thanks again

kozikowski
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Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by kozikowski » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:54 pm

VERY SORRY.
Should have left it alone. The first post passes ACX with the appropriate mastering steps. This one doesn't. Its volume is too low.

Your work blue waves should be filling the timeline about half-way as your first effort was. It still needs to do that.

Image

Also see: your first post.

I need to drop in and out.

SM7b. Yes, that's the voice I had in my head when I wrote that. There's an Easter Egg in the commercial. There are few if any dairy farms in the Catskill Valley (and it's "Hudson Valley"). They're all on the other side of the Catskill Mountains in the Southern Tier. Little known facts. Amaze your friends.

Koz

piercetheplanet
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Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by piercetheplanet » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:08 pm

kozikowski wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:54 pm
Should have left it alone. The first post passes ACX with the appropriate mastering steps. This one doesn't. Its volume is too low.
This is good to know. I'm still working to understand and resolve the gain on the preAmp and the gain on the track. I think the gain was +16db on the track. Seems like it's not messing with the quality of the recording when I up the gain on the track. I also noticed upping the gain on the track allowed the first sample to pass ACX and not the second. Progress.

I now need to work on quality of the sound. I appreciate your time. I love reading random scratch copy for practice, bring it on. My brain kept wanting to say Hudson River Valley. Ha. Yay NY/PA.

kozikowski
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Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by kozikowski » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:10 pm

Our conundrum is why the volume slider affected the noise like that. Where did the additional noise come from? Anyway, you have a process, if a little odd, to produce valuable work.

Make that original clip again and post it.

You are warned against editing existing forum postings. We are now having to go back and clean up your deletion. On longer posts recursive editing can create very entertaining chaos. You should have said, "Ignore that one, here's a new one."

As we go.

Koz

piercetheplanet
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Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by piercetheplanet » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:16 pm

kozikowski wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:10 pm
You are warned against editing existing forum postings. We are now having to go back and clean up your deletion. On longer posts recursive editing can create very entertaining chaos. You should have said, "Ignore that one, here's a new one."
Thanks for the head's up regarding editing. I certainly don't mean to screw anything up. Will address edits in subsequent posts from now on.

Attached is the original audio sample.

Feeling closer to getting dialed in to ACX at least.
Attachments
Audacity Voice Test.wav
(860.04 KiB) Downloaded 6 times

kozikowski
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Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by kozikowski » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:28 pm

Yeah. See?

Screen Shot 2021-03-30 at 7.19.09 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-03-30 at 7.19.09 AM.png (28.87 KiB) Viewed 128 times

This is that exact post after Audiobook Mastering (see DVDdoug, above).

It passes Peak and RMS (Loudness) as expected, but also noise. The ACX limit is -60db, the practical limit is -65dB and you come in at -68dB.

The truly obsessive will want to apply Noise Reduction of the Beast (6, 6, 6) to produce a commercial grade sound clip.

Screen Shot 2021-03-30 at 7.22.29 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-03-30 at 7.22.29 AM.png (28.3 KiB) Viewed 128 times

Note, I haven't listened to it yet. I'm just throwing tools around, but this process was designed to sound exactly like you with no tonal craziness or distortions.

I like the voice. Makes me want to run out and buy milk.

As we go.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Help getting dialed in for ACX specs

Post by kozikowski » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:34 pm

"Catskill Farms..."

Yeah, there's a little "room ambience" in there. You can cure that easily with a Kitchen Table Sound Studio. No need to wallpaper the room with expensive acoustic tiles.

viewtopic.php?p=369938#p369938

Koz

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