Please review my first audio book recording

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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LALStudio
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2022 3:15 pm
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Re: Please review my first audio book recording

Post by LALStudio » Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:05 pm

I will be in the studio tomorrow and I will take a closer look at the current setup. I rent the space and equipment from someone else so unfortunately there isn't an option to change them. I will take a look at the microphone brand tomorrow as well. Thank you!

jademan wrote:
Fri Nov 11, 2022 3:00 pm
LALStudio wrote:
Wed Nov 09, 2022 6:11 pm
1. When recording, even though it sounds very loud thru my headset, the actual recorded volume is very low. We use a Beringer XR18 in the studio and I dialed the mic way up. I have to boost the sound in audition/audacity by 10db to reach the RMS standard
I suspect that the XR18 may be overkill for your project. While it can be extremely flexible in its capabilities, the downside is it extremely complicated and confusing to operate. Your question may be better directed at the XR18 specialists (try their forum).

Having said that, run the X-Air Windows controller program for the XR18 and establish a connection. Then click on In/Out (next to your Setup icon), then select USB Sends. You may find you are able to choose output from any of "Analog", "Input", "Pre-EQ", "Post-EQ", "Pre-Fader", and "Post-Fader", and various other selected levels to each USB channel. Perhaps you have selected "Analog". You may need to change this to "Input" or to "Post Fader". You may also choose to output the Main L or R to USB port 1, for example.

jademan
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Re: Please review my first audio book recording

Post by jademan » Tue Nov 15, 2022 7:39 pm

LALStudio wrote:
Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:05 pm
and I will take a closer look at the current setup.
Yes, I am thinking in USB 1 - Channel 01, for example, you might want to change the red circle=Analog to a cyan circle = Post Fader. Or ouput Main L or R to USB 1. Good Luck. If It doesn't look easy that is because it is not. ;)
XairSends.png
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Coyotease
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Re: Please review my first audio book recording

Post by Coyotease » Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:26 pm

kozikowski,

You mentioned that you did the initial mastering with a macro rather than the individual tools in sequence-

I'm a bright-green narrator. I have a lot of stage performance experience, and enough coding experience to get into trouble, but my mastering process is currently brutally inefficient and probably negatively impacting my quality; e.g. bouncing back and forth between amplification and limiting. I just read another post of yours in which you mentioned how new readers tend to over-edit, which I have certainly been guilty of.

I wonder if you would share your macro, or more likely, point me to the thread where you already have?

(For context, I just submitted my first completed audiobook and it is currently in it's ACX approval stage, and I am doing the recording for my second audiobook, and I'd like to mess it up as little as possible in this learning curve.)

Thanks for all your excellent advice on here. I would have messaged you directly with this question, but as a brand-new account it would not let me.

Gratitude,
Jack

kozikowski
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Re: Please review my first audio book recording

Post by kozikowski » Sat Nov 19, 2022 6:27 pm

You mentioned that you did the initial mastering with a macro rather than the individual tools in sequence-
There is a formal posting for Mastering and I can post the Macro here.
I will be in the studio tomorrow
If it seems like we have been operating cross-purposes through much of this, it's because we have. You have been using a formal Sound Studio and have been accepting their work for further processing at home and then submission. When most forum posters refer to their "studio", they're talking about the spare bedroom in the back of the house.

So you don't have to worry about the microphone, preamplifier, sound desk, mixing console, soundproofing, environment suppression, recorder, or any of that. That's being taken care of by the Studio. You might keep that in mind if you decide to actually use your spare bedroom to record. It's not as easy as it looks. I got supersonically lucky. The original owners of my house had a boy who played drums and the tiny third bedroom is soundproofed. I also have a garage jam-packed with boxes and junk which makes a terrific soundstudio.

This is the exhaustive, Encyclopedia Britannica version of mastering.

https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audiobook_Mastering

This is the TLDR version.

Image

And if that's too much work, I created a Macro which will do the whole thing in one swoop.

Audiobook-Mastering-Macro.txt
(498 Bytes) Downloaded 3 times
This is a picture of the programming. Computer programs don't need to worry about the length of text lines, so the programmer can write them as long as they want.

Screen Shot 2022-11-19 at 9.55.56 AM.png
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If your screen is large enough, you can look and see the individual steps called out from when you were doing it by hand.

I'm a couple of versions behind, but I believe you can install it like this:

Audacity > Tools > Macros > Import > Point to the macro file > Open.

It should appear in the macro list if you have one.

Screen Shot 2022-11-19 at 10.08.32 AM.png
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Select the audio to be mastered. Tools > Apply Macro > Audiobook-Mastering-Macro. There is no OK. It just does it. It is a little strange watching all the steps blasting by.

We should note that the Mastering Macro guarantees Peak and RMS (Loudness). You can throw trash in there and it will come out passing ACX inspection. It may not pass noise, however. Noise kills most home performers. You don't have to worry about that because that's up to your Studio.

Another note. The Macro has no intelligence at all and doesn't use compression. So if you spend the first half of a chapter whispering and the last half shouting, you will get a theatrical disaster that will technically pass ACX-Check.

https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Nyqu ... #ACX_Check

It will probably not pass ACX Theatrical Quality Control. Some human is going to notice that your voice volume in that chapter is wacko.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Please review my first audio book recording

Post by kozikowski » Sat Nov 19, 2022 6:32 pm

I would have messaged you directly with this question
That's not recommended.

It's best to keep all the questions and answers in the open forum so the most readers possible can benefit from the conversation.

Also, Do Not go back and change an old message or posting. Nobody will see it and it may result in several different conversations in the same message thread.

Koz

LALStudio
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Re: Please review my first audio book recording

Post by LALStudio » Mon Nov 21, 2022 5:00 pm

kozikowski wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 6:27 pm

This is the exhaustive, Encyclopedia Britannica version of mastering.
That is incredible information and thank you so much for helping us rookies onto the right path.

The studio I rent uses audio technica microphones, and although they've done quite a bit of sound proofing, the building they use has very noisy pipes and AC. I turn off the AC when I'm in there but I feel like i can still hear some humming in the backgroupd once I apply loudness normalizer. Somehow it passes the ACX check, but I'm concerned that something will cause it to be rejected by the human inspector.

Trebor
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Re: Please review my first audio book recording

Post by Trebor » Mon Nov 21, 2022 6:11 pm

kozikowski wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 6:27 pm
... This is the exhaustive, Encyclopedia Britannica version of mastering.

https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audiobook_Mastering
I beg to differ: it does not mention dynamic-range-expansion,
e.g. expanders like Couture (free edition) can squash down the noise-floor when there is no speech,
and can even reduce room-reverb a little ...
before-after Couture.flac
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before-after Couture.png
the yellow dots on the spectrogram mark some examples of reverberation from the room.
before-after Couture.png (605.78 KiB) Viewed 128 times
Don't overdose on Couture, it will then just be a conspicuous noise-gate. Typically -6db, -9db at most.
(-6db could be the difference between passing & failing ACX )

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