Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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christianw
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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by christianw » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:42 am

But ACX wants natural readings at a bargain price. So don't get bogged down.

Audible customers rate you publicly on performance. Reviews of sloppy processing or annoying sounds can be brutal. Audiobooks are expensive and intimate. Getting them right is usually a lot of work.

It sounds as if your performance has few problems with mouth sounds, breaths and so on. That makes it easier.

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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by kozikowski » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:38 am

Pieces of that are wrong, but I can't stick with this right now. Sometimes the Low Rolloff for Speech is needed to correct noise problems inside microphones and interfaces and has nothing to do with your voice. We called it that because that's roughly what Hollywood and the studios call it and the most people will recognize it and what it does.

I gotta go.

Koz

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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by kozikowski » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:09 pm

I need to hit and run. Blitz-Posting.
Koz, is the complete instructions on one webpage — no guidebook .pdf to download?
It's not even a web page. It's a forum post. Posting it to the Audacity wiki manual is on my 2-Do list. There is one up-side to the post. It's a snap to post corrections—not that it's had that many. But it's not easily searchable.

"USB Microphones" are understood to be the ones that plug directly into the computer with a USB cable. The G-Track is a USB microphone.

Image

They come with baggage. They almost invariably come with low volume because high volume and overload in the hands of a New User is immediately and permanently fatal to a performance.

You can't separate the performance location from the noisy computer by more than one USB cable. By contrast, you could put the noisy computer and XLR interface out in the garage.

Image

Technically, that would work, although it's a little rough to see the Audacity sound meters out there.

I need to go.

Koz

EricMC
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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by EricMC » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:51 pm

More good advice. Thank you very much.

And thanks, for the offer to have a listen.

Please find a sample of my recording set up as a .WAV file.

It was recorded around 4am, when traffic quiet.

I may send another sample from later in the day - when you'll hear more intrusive traffic noise.
Attachments
Eric's recording test for Koz.wav
First Sample
(1.96 MiB) Downloaded 8 times

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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by kozikowski » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:32 am

I personally would not put punctuation marks in filenames. Upper case, lower case, numbers, -dash- and _underscore_ are the only universally acceptable characters. Otherwise, you could submit paid work to someone running an older Windows machine and have some entertaining emails as to why they can't open your work.

~~

That was easy.


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EricRecordingTestForKoz-Patched.wav
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I applied Mastering 4 and Noise Reduction of the beast, 6, 6, 6.

There is a technique to listen. Scroll forward and set your listening volume for normal voice. Then scroll back and listen to the whole thing. Don't change any settings. If I did it right, you should hear little or no noise at the beginning.

That was the good news.

The awkward news is your sibilance. You have strident "SS" sounds in your words. Many new microphones do that because it sounds "professional."

There is a "DeEsser" program available about which I know next to nothing and I have had reasonable luck with custom equalizer settings—about which more later.

viewtopic.php?p=245549#p245549

I know DeEsser has a very gentle effect after you master a work. I experimented changing the first value to -30dB from where it normally is. I understand that's the value which sets the amount DeEsser squashes the harsh tones.

I could listen to a story in that voice. I could probably listen to you read the phone book.

Koz

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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by kozikowski » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:35 am

Skip the DeEsser at -30dB. That makes you sound like a cartoon character. I got reasonable results on your sample at -20dB which I believe is the default.


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Koz

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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by kozikowski » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:53 am

"Glazing." That would be "glass," right?

I am concerned about this being the most quiet time for recording. Not that it didn't work. It worked fabulously, but if it turns out this is the only time you will be able to work.....

Microphone system hiss (fffffffff) was the reason I used Noise Reduction this time. And technically, you didn't need it, but you passed by the thickness of a playing card, so that's not repeatable or stable.

Traffic.

Effect > Noise Reduction doesn't work on moving or changing noises. So if you can arrange for the same cars and buses to go by repeatedly, we may be able to help you. Noise Reduction is a bloodhound. You let it sniff the noise (profile) and it goes howling off looking for that exact same noise in the show. If the noises changes........

Prepare a new test under Difficult Conditions and see how it goes. This is a good deal less of an emergency now because you have a known, good, working technique.

Koz

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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by kozikowski » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:07 am

There's been a little bell ringing since I heard your test. You're a professional presenter, right, and you decided to record either your own paper book as an audiobook, or record other people's books unencumbered by the studio system.

Did I hit it?

Koz

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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by kozikowski » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:42 am

Since you're this close, you should start to worry about Computer Hygiene.

Export each chapter raw reading as a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file and copy it somewhere safe. This against the time the laptop fails during an edit and takes the track with it into the bin. You should never be in a position to need to read it again.

And after you finish your edit, make a new WAV (in spite of ACX requiring an MP3) and that becomes your archive. Then make the MP3. Then be able to point to two separate places that contain your work. This is against the time the dog eats your laptop.

That's no problem, just get the backup thumb drives from the credenza. Cloud storage works here, but I'm leery of corporate shenanigans. "Doobly-Do Corporation declared a hacking intrusion that wiped their servers."

Darn.

Koz

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Re: Advice on Chris's Dynamic Compression: use INSTEAD of RMS Normalize? When to do the De-Noise?

Post by EricMC » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:16 am

Thanks again, Koz. All great advice.

No. Not a professional presenter so much as a humble actor with a marketable voice.
The author found me on ACX, because he liked my second rate impression of Lawrence Olivier narrating World at War.

I have done V/Os here and there, over the years and, until I tried this ACX malarky, I had no idea just how much work the poor engineer put in after I went home.

Very sad to hear my sibilance is de trop (I did wonder, but thought I could get away with it — on the grounds that every presenter under forty seems to lisp these days; but that's actually a trick of the microphones, eh?).

I had been toning down extreme esses by hand, using parametric EQ. Easy to do in seconds, here and there — but a pain if every last 's' actually needs attention. Thank you for the suggestion. I will look at that and various other packages.

I got caught late at work, today, and will send the worst-case noise scenario tomorrow.


ATB, Eric

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