Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

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

Post by Josue » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:17 am

Possibly the Audacity (muffled) recording is accidentally from the computer's inbuilt microphone
Damn it! so embarrassing it was actually the case.
Here is the right file.
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TestAudacityAT-2020.wav
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Trebor
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by Trebor » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:53 am

Pop-filters are easily made from a sieve or loop of coat-hanger wire ...

What no pop-shield.png
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_filter

or ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAQ8pRMaeHo

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

Post by kozikowski » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:17 am

Do you see in the instructions where it says hold your breath and don't move for two seconds before you speak?

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

We really need that quiet Room Tone at the beginning for the tools to work.

Koz

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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by kozikowski » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:31 am

I forced the tools to work with the wrong Room Tone and got the clip to pass with a little Noise Reduction. First three readings and sentence 2/3 down.


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So we may be done. Post the corrected test clip and I'll publish how I did it.

The background noise sounds like fans, air conditioner or computer cooling noises. Can you tell if the computers are on just by listening?

Koz

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

Post by Josue » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:48 am

Here is the file with 2 seconds of silence at the beginning.
I added some egg containers on the front wall.
The background noise sounds like fans, air conditioner or computer cooling noises.
I'm recording on a MacBook Pro Late 2013, its fans are extremely silent, although when recording for more than 15min or so, it starts to get a bit noisy.
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kozikowski
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by kozikowski » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:43 am

UntitledMastered.wav
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All I did was apply the three tools in Mastering 4 just as it's listed in the post.

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=96103

Effect > Equalization > Low Rolloff for Speech, Length about 5000 > OK
Effect > RMS Normalize > -20dB > OK
Effect > Limiter > Soft, 0, 0, -3.5dB, 10msec, No > Enter.


That's it. Noise even passes, although I can get a very slight improvement with Noise Reduction.

Drag-select a portion of the Room Tone at the beginning and Effect > Noise Reduction > Profile.

Select the whole clip by clicking just right of the up arrow.

Image

Effect > Noise Reduction > 6, 6, 6, > OK.

A word on how to listen. It's a common mistake to go "Diving for Noise." Set the speaker or headphone volume of the mastered clip so it's comfortable to listen to. Then go back to the beginning and listen through the two-second Room Tone without changing the volume. The Room Tone should be gone or very close. Apply the gentle Noise Reduction and it will be silent.

Koz

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

Post by kozikowski » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:07 am

So that's the technical standards. When you get finished mastering, Export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit of the work. That's your Mastering Archive. If you have to make any changes, do it to the WAV, not the submitted MP3. You can't edit an MP3 without increasing sound distortion.

ACX still requires you to submit an MP3 of the work, not the WAV. Audacity will not Export an MP3 without adding the Lame software. Did you get that far? Scroll down on the Audacity download page.

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/ins ... _os_x.html
I'm recording on a MacBook Pro Late 2013, its fans are extremely silent
And they should stay that way. Mine does. Go (top of page) > Utilities > Activity Monitor. See what's taking the machine resources. I had an application monitor program running in the background and taking up 80% of the machine. I killed the application and restarted the Mac and the problem vanished. Also disconnect the network or WiFi while you're recording. See which applications complain. Do Not leave Skype or other chat program running while you record.

If the fans still turn on, post back.

Koz

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

Post by Trebor » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:01 pm

Josue wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:48 am
I added some egg containers on the front wall.
A heavy ruched curtain would be better than egg cartons.
Curtain-fabric can be fire-retardant, not so egg cartons which are a fire-hazard.

Dman883
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Re: Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook

Post by Dman883 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:53 pm

I was also using an AT2020 with a scarlett solo. The 2020 picked up way too much sound for me. It's very unforgiving. On KOZ's advice, I grabbed a https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RKVH0K GLS Audio Vocal Microphone ES-58-S (Didn't mean to get the one with a switch, but oh well) and it does a great job. I recently tried going back to the 2020 after thinking I had improved my technique but I was wrong. Had to switch back to the ES. It isn't quite as "boomy" and rich, but it records well and is much more forgiving.

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

Post by kozikowski » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:49 pm

A heavy ruched curtain would be better than egg cartons.
Curtain-fabric can be fire-retardant, not so egg cartons which are a fire-hazard.
But, if you decide to go with the egg cartons, you can do slightly better by making a curtain out of them and suspend them two or three inches away from the wall rather than nail them in place. They count as two independent sound barriers then instead of one. Not that I've ever done that or anything.......


Were you able to create your own mastered clip with the tools we posted? The object is to do this yourself, publish, become famous, make a million dollars and retire to a cottage on the French Riviera.


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And just when you thought you got this licked, this whole exercise is only to get you past the ACX AudioBook Technical Standards. You still have to know how to read and not sneeze and cough your way through a book. There is no "Voice Actor" button, filter or effect (yes, people do ask for that).

Koz

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