Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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Josue
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Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by Josue » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:45 am

Hi, I am relatively new to doing audiobooks and still can't get the quality of audio I seek.
The kind of audio I'm looking for is: clear and crisp, nothing of bass (it hurts my ears), nothing of echo too.
I have an Audio Technica AT-2020 and after doing recording (in my room, which is not treated) I notice it has some bass on it, after taking it out on EQ, normalise and denoise, it appears some echo on the voice, an echo that did not exist before.
I am ready to buy another microphone (no more than 200$us) if it helps to solve the issue.

Trebor
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by Trebor » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:48 pm

Josue wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:45 am
... recording (in my room, which is not treated) ... it appears some echo on the voice ...
I am ready to buy another microphone (no more than 200$us) if it helps to solve the issue.
A new mic will not remove echo/reverb from the room.
An expander plugin can reduce the room-echo/reverb when you're not speaking.
Steve's dynamic mirror plugin can expand ...

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kozikowski
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by kozikowski » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:29 pm

I wouldn't fall in love with fixing it in post production. ACX Audiobooks hates highly processed voices.

If you have a live room, you can add a mini-studio to help with acoustics and echoes. This is one from porta-booth.

https://voiceoveressentials.com/product ... gKMEfD_BwE

It's also common to try to buy your way out of trouble with a new microphone. Not so far. Audio people hate live, echoey rooms. In a good environment, most microphones work fine.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by kozikowski » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:59 pm

When you get the echoes and noise solved, you might try AudioBook Mastering 4.

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=96103

That will take you from a raw, clean reading to a finished audiobook chapter. It solves all the technical problems but noise.

If you have a quiet setup, you may be done.

If you're following a different system for mastering, then the rules change. You can't put Noise Reduction at the end and post production tools get harder to manage.

Koz

Josue
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by Josue » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:47 pm

What I think is the echo is appearing because of post-production process. When I hear the raw recording there is no echo (as far as I can hear), of course the sound must be normalised since it is always so quiet when in raw. Also I like to compress it, and at the end I use noise reduction to fix any undesirable background noise (although I have a much quiet environment). I don't know whether it can be considered as "highly processed". I wonder if it is normal for an echo to appear because of these processes, I tried to vary the order of those, buy with no success. I attach a picture of the place I am recording, my room is 3.5mx3.5m.
Attachments
Env.jpg
Env.jpg (433.73 KiB) Viewed 254 times

kozikowski
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by kozikowski » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:37 pm

Thanks for the illustration. You have the worst possible room. Not only does it have bare walls, but it's square. You will have one strong echo going both directions.

I think the echo is always there, it's just seems louder when you get done with effects.
I like to compress it
Then you talked yourself out of Mastering 4. It's one or the other.

You can try to mix and match effects and processes if you want, but hitting all three ACX specifications at the same time and make it sound good isn't easy.
When I hear the raw recording there is no echo
Record a test clip and post it. Raw recording, no processing. We'll run it through Mastering and see how it goes. Sometimes, the presenter is just using the tools wrong and it works fine when we do it. And we'll tell you how we did it.

http://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/Test ... _Clip.html

It's not kidding about holding your breath and not moving for that first two seconds. For the rest of the 18 seconds, you can read anything but do it in your normal presenting voice. We need to hear many different words, so don't go "Testing, One, Two, One, Two, One, Two....."

My joke is read the side of the milk carton: "Hudson Valley cows are very happy...."

Koz

Josue
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by Josue » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:38 pm

I attach a 16 seconds raw file recorded on Audacity (I'm not native english speaker), thanks for your willingness to help, I appreciate it much.
However I must admit something, I use to record on LogicPro and do the processing in Audacity, since the sound I get from LP is clearer but I prefer the editing tools on Audacity. Hope not enrage you, I thought I should explain that "detail". I also put the same sample recorded on Logic Pro, in case you would want to hear it also.
Attachments
Test16Audacity.wav
Recorded and exported on Audacity
(1.35 MiB) Downloaded 8 times
Test16LogicPro.wav
Recorded and exported on Logic Pro
(1.37 MiB) Downloaded 8 times

Josue
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by Josue » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:54 pm

Josue wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:47 pm
When I hear the raw recording there is no echo
What I meant was when I hear the file produced by LP when exporting. I didn't pay much attention to the one Audacity gives, but since you asked for it.
You can regard me as a not very serious person, because of the way I presented this issue I can't blame you. But honestly I do want to make a decent quality voice recording. I can't quite get why should the echo always be there, whenever I speak in my room, even loudly, I hear no echo.

kozikowski
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by kozikowski » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:01 pm

I'll get to this in a minute.

I don't care how you recorded the work and whether or not you're in English. You're mastering in Audacity and we can help with that.

I need to go play Real Life for a while.

Koz

Trebor
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by Trebor » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:04 pm

Josue wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:38 pm
ATTACHMENTS
Test16Audacity.wav (1.35 MiB)
Test16LogicPro.wav (1.37 MiB)
The difference in quality between those two recordings is huge.
Possibly the Audacity (muffled) recording is accidentally from the computer's inbuilt microphone,
rather than from the Technica external microphone.

If you gently tap on the external microphone, then tap on the computer,
you will be able to tell what device you are actually recording from.

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