I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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kozikowski
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by kozikowski » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:16 pm

The clip has several problems, most, hopefully easily corrected.

With the clip open in Audacity > View > Show Clipping.

Do you see the two places with red marks over the blue waves? Those are overload points where the voice is too loud. The digital system has stopped following your voice. There is no easy recovery for that and a simple solution is record the work again a bit softer.

You can get a good idea of your recording volume by looking at the Audacity bouncing sound meters. They should occasionally bounce up to about -10dB to -6dB. The blue waves should fit in about 50% measured on the left. My recorder naturally produces two blue waves. One or two doesn't matter.

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What kind of microphone do you have? The sound has a muffled quality like you're speaking under a duvet. It sounds a lot like 1962 BBC1.

The background noise is too loud. Do you have a fan, air conditioner or other motor in the room with you? The room needs to be very quiet when you stop talking. The audiobook standard for background noise is -60dB. In English, the room has to be a thousand times quieter than your speaking voice.

Let us know.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by kozikowski » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:14 pm

It sounds a lot like 1962 BBC1.
Write down how you did that before you change anything. The old time radio effect is pretty remarkable.

Koz

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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by Deeplyconfused » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:35 pm

Thanks Koz, I shall certainly try to sort this out!

I don't know how to post a quote, so please bear with me:

'It sounds a lot like 1962 BBC1.'

I actually want my story to sound - as much as possible - as if it happened in the Troughton
era of Doctor Who. That's actually how the story is written - but I have no idea how I have managed (if I have,)
to get that sound. (Apart from being a Brit! I was planning to add in a bit of echo as well - but early days...)

'What kind of microphone do you have?'

It's a Tonor, if you've ever heard of them. Got it fot 12.95 on ebay. (All the way from China in a week!
Takes 3 weeks for the UK Post Office to deliver anything from 100 yards down the road!)

Anyway - it's a stand alone mic, not headphones.

'Do you have a fan, air conditioner or other motor in the room with you?'

No. I have my PC! Yes, believe it or not - that is how loud my computer is! I have the mic as far away from the pc as the lead will allow,
but unfortunately it doesn't run as silently as I would like! (I could post a photo of my 'studio' if you like - mught give everyone a giggle! :D )

Anyways, thanks for taking a look, (listen?) Most appreciated!

(PS: Here is the link to the story I'm trying to sort out - just in case anyone may be interested.

https://www.quotev.com/story/10722077/D ... ten-Suns/1

Please feel free to delete this bit if the content is site inappropriate.)

kozikowski
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by kozikowski » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:17 pm

I don't know how to post a quote, so please bear with me:
You can do it the way you did it. We're pretty resilient. You can type something, drag-select it and then tick the quote mark icon above the text, you can tick the quote mark icon and then start typing. Or you can actually type those bracket characters manually around your text.


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That's called marking up your text. There's different markups for italics and bold.
Apart from being a Brit!
That's what sold it. I pictured your voice coming from a large wooden cabinet in front room. It was one of those (!!) moments.
I was planning to add in a bit of echo as well - but early days...)
That's dangerous. Nobody wants to hear a whole presentation in echo. Maybe as a theatrical emphasis.

This may be a good time to introduce Computer Hygiene. When you complete a chapter or logical stopping place, Export your reading as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file and copy it somewhere safe. New Users do things like start applying corrections and effects to a reading immediately without saving anything. The first time Audacity freezes or crashes, they're straight back to reading it all again.
that is how loud my computer is!
There's a question: "can you tell if you're computer is on just by listening?" If yes; kiss of death. You may never pass the audiobook noise test. It gets worse. You can't easily extend a USB cable used for sound. I may need to leave in a bit.
Please feel free to delete this bit if the content is site inappropriate.)
We're pretty resilient about that, too. Past the obvious naughty words, never try to sell us anything unless a forum elf says it's OK.

Koz

Deeplyconfused
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by Deeplyconfused » Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:37 pm

Hello Kos.

Could you clarify "I may need to leave in a bit." Please?

Do you mean that you don't think there is any way to help me, 'cos of the noise my
computer makes being the "kiss of death," - or something else?

I'm going to start off again from scratch - following the Audiobook mastering guideline that you have posted.
(I'm only a few chapters in - I think everything I've put down so far needs re-doing anyway. It's all practise anyway - and it's not as if
I have a deadline!)

If I manage to do any better following the guidelines, I'll let you know.
(But don't hold your breath! :D )

Thanks again!

Deeplyconfused
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by Deeplyconfused » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:09 pm

PS: Having read some of the ACX stuff on their site, I get the impression that this is a standard for projects that you want to make money from.
Is this correct?

If so, I should point out that, as nice as it would be, I don't expect to make any money from this - unfortunately it would be illegal. (What with the Beeb owning the copyright to Doctor Who and all that.)

Still, it seems sensible to use this as a benchmark for acceptable sound quality - would this be the correct approach do you think?

Deeplyconfused
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by Deeplyconfused » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:33 pm

PPS: This is embarassing!

Okay, I installed ACX check and RMS normalise as per instructions. However, not only are they unavailable, (greyed out,)
but the vast majority of the other effects went the same way. I have disabled them again, but I still can't use any of the effects
that were available previously.

Do you think I should just uninstall Audacity completely and start again? (I mean is there a step-by-step 'guide for dummies' anywhere?)

kozikowski
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by kozikowski » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:05 pm

I need to leave..
The forum is staffed by volunteers and we all need to leave now and again for Real Life. I try to warn people I'm coming back. If there is no warning, then I may be leaving the messages up to a different forum elf.
I'm only a few chapters in
One of the warnings is not to read the whole book and only then figure out the patching and correction process. There may not be a correction pathway and you'll be left with days worth of trash.
I don't expect to make any money from this
Then I missed the goal. If you're reading to make yourself happy, then you can do anything you want. Conforming to ACX guidelines is purely voluntary. The guidelines are conventional and they translate closely into other services and customers.

Fair warning, though, if you plan on reading for hire at a future date, failure to conform is going to come up immediately. Nobody is going to want a theatrical reading with a cement mixer running in the background. Also warning, it's not unusual for people to build little studios in their rooms to get rid of noise.

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So it's up to you. How would you like to suppress the rumble/hum in the background?

I do have advice absolutely nobody wants to hear. Stop using the computer.


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Koz

Deeplyconfused
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by Deeplyconfused » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:27 pm

I see... I'm assuming that these people actually have MONEY?

(FYI: I don't. I am physically incapabal of earning a living these days - due to various medical conditions that I will not bore you
with - nobody likes a whiner!)

No, all I am trying to do is fill my days with something slightly more productive than staring at the ceiling.

Sorry to dissappoint. :D :D :D

Deeplyconfused
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Re: I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Post by Deeplyconfused » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:46 pm

PS: Hate to harp on, but that lovely little tent is about the size of my bedroom - perhaps just a little shorter - I would have to fit my bed in, obviously! :D )

If your suggestion is that I buy another pc, well, I'm afraid that won't happen anytime soon, so I'll just have to go back to staring at the ceiling. (I could only afford this one when my benefit was increased after my cerebral haemorage. I was fortunate enough to receive a 3 month backdated payment - an absolute fortune - after 3 months of harrassment from the Job Centre after I was discharged from hospital. Although, to be fair, they didn't actually realise that I was incapable of walking at that time - let alone doing a 12 hour shift in a factory! :)

Ah well, I don't intend to give up - I'll find a workaround somehow - and I truly appreciate the advice.

Thank you! ;)

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