Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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kozikowski
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by kozikowski » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:42 am

I had to take out the memory card and plug it into a converter to move the recording onto the computer with both recordings, so absolutely sure on that one.
That certainly works, but it's not the best idea. That puppy is going to wear out. It wasn't designed for constant motion. It should be possible to plug the Roland USB cable into the computer and transfer files that way. Consult your instructions.

Have you discovered yet you can't run the computer without the background noise level going up? -60dB background noise in English means your room noises have to be 1000 times quieter than your voice. That's how I could hear you quietly breathing in that first sound test. It doesn't take much.

Koz

Ianto
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by Ianto » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:47 am

"You used the Roland built-in 'Left' microphone recorded on the Roland, versus a mystery external microphone plugged into and recorded on the Roland. Did I get that?"
That's exactly it.

"What's the mystery microphone? There are handy tricks for using microphones. Step one. Never use the little tripod desk stand that comes with many home microphones."
A cheap one with no band name on it. I bought it years ago for so little I can't even remember how much, but maybe even under five pounds. I've been wary of using it because of that, assuming the built in "branded" microphone would be far better. Attached is a (bad) photo showing it and the stand I use - a hobby vice with rubber "lips", lightly pressed in against it wrapped in non-slip cover.

"You should leave out Dacron fabric pop and blast filters until we're totally sure they're needed. That just throws mud in the game."
Wilco.

"That puppy is going to wear out. It wasn't designed for constant motion. It should be possible to plug the Roland USB cable into the computer and transfer files that way. Consult your instructions."
Alas, after a decade or two of heavy use by two previous owners, the USB socket no longer works. (One of those "bigger socket" USB things, but I have a few leads like that which don't work with it, and it stopped working on the proprier.. properiatr... branded lead the previous owner had.) So forced to use it like that, unfortunately. (After getting a converter for SD card to Flash, which the recorder would accept, because it wouldn't recognise modern Flash Cards! A friend into photography was able to help me there, thankfully. Otherwise I would have been stuck on five minute bursts of recording on WAV. Now its up to hours.) But yes, you are right. Another reason I was setting it up to record on to audacity through its microphone now I think of it. Hmm.

"Have you discovered yet you can't run the computer without the background noise level going up?"
Yes, now I've been listening harder! I recently got a refurbished computer with a hard disk drive, and that made a big difference, but it still makes a noise.

There is a difference between "basic equipment" and "old, bedraggled, breaking down equipment which is causing weird problems", so thank you for all your help so far.
Attachments
WIN_20200830_11_16_23_Pro.jpg
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Ianto
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by Ianto » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:15 am

Oh, the microphone only works when the mic type switch is on "cnd" (rather than "dyn") with the recorder (so presumably it is a condenser microphone?) if that makes any difference. Mind you, condenser microphones seem to be more expensive, which is a bit weird for the price I bought it. But I've always assumed that this one is just rubbish.

Ianto
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by Ianto » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:13 pm

Hmm. Just for comparison, here is a sample of a voice recording on a Wellknownbrand mp3 player I just did. It does seem (and look on the wobbly lines when I load it on Audacity) louder than the recording on the internal microphone on the R---- recorder. Maybe both (left as well) microphones on it are a bit dodgy.
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VR-086-0000.MP3
(582.84 KiB) Downloaded 34 times

kozikowski
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by kozikowski » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:48 pm

When you quote existing text, drag-select the text and click the quote button, fourth from the left. That will post in a different colour and make it easier to read. Or you can actually type the markup commands manually, like this:

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The bracketed word on the left means "start quoting now" and the slash mark on the right means "OK, we're done quoting." The other buttons mean Bold, Italic, and Underline.

That's how a markup language works. Don't fall in love with "enhancing" your messages. Occasional tags here and there are OK. Some new users post their whole message in bold, upper case and boosted font size. That's not helpful. It gets our attention for the wrong reasons.

That's also an early lesson on computer programming. Leave out one slash mark and suddenly the rest of your book (for example) is in bold. You never told it to stop bolding, so it didn't. An actual computer program would be more like you left out a slash mark on one page, in one book, somewhere in the public library on the high street.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by kozikowski » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:59 pm

There is a very real version of this kind of error in Audacity 2.4.2. When you apply Audacity Audiobook Mastering, the middle step is Loudness Normalization.... Except the tool settings are RMS (proper for an audiobook) on the left, but LUFS (appropriate for a podcast) on the right.

You can't have both at once. A developer left out a semi-colon somewhere in the program.

Koz

Ianto
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by Ianto » Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:33 pm

Ok, ta, shall do that in the future.

Ah well. The latest try with microphone straight to recorder after switching off everything I could find, does pass the ACX check after loading it to Audacity and mastering (but only at -65Db).

Clip attached is straight from the recorder before mastering.
Attachments
latestsample.wav
(1.49 MiB) Downloaded 39 times

kozikowski
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by kozikowski » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:13 pm

That does work, but it sounds of recording in a box rather than clear tones. You might try one with folded over towels or blankets on the table. I think I'm listening to your green linoleum tabletop.

This is the formula for a Kitchen Table Sound Studio.

viewtopic.php?p=369938#p369938

You don't need most of that with your storage room, but note in the third picture, the table has a large doubled-over heavy furniture moving pad under the microphone. That's part of the design. Heavy is good. A light, feathery duvet need not apply. The distortion is comb filter effects, where certain tones and harmonics get boosted and others suppressed. It gets its name from the analysis of the distortion which looks a little like a comb.

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I do have second thoughts about turning you loose to start reading because if anything happens to your "one foot in the grave studio" what do you do?

You will never be able to pick up where you left off with so much marginal equipment. Quick, how would you replace your Roland? Your mystery microphone? If anything bad happens you will be straight back to first birthday; build a new studio and read it all again.

ACX makes chapter matching a really big deal and that does not leave a lot of room for fudging.

Have you read through the submission requirements? There was a thing a while back about submitting if you don't happen to live in the US. I don't remember what the discussion was. It's worth a Google. Also dig through the ACX help system.

https://www.acx.com/help/acx-audio-subm ... /201456300

When you get rolling, you should be exporting two WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound files. One raw reading when you get to the end of a chapter, and then again as a chapter edit master, before you create the MP3 for ACX. Never do production directly in MP3.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by kozikowski » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:21 pm

Since "Everybody Knows" you need to have Noise Reduction, I applied gentle reduction to your piece and got this.

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

Then select everything and apply Noise Reduction of the Beast. Effect > Noise Reduction > 6, 6, 6 > OK.

The only down side I know of is the need to remember to do this to every Edit Master Chapter until the sun cools off.

Koz

Trebor
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Re: Complete ignoramus re audio stuff, trying to do audio books. Part 1

Post by Trebor » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:19 am

Ianto wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:33 pm
Clip attached is straight from the recorder before mastering.
Attachments latestsample.wav (1.49 MiB)
Equalization can (somewhat) counteract the boxy (comb) effect Koz mentioned.
''biscuits'', before-after.flac
(1.26 MiB) Downloaded 39 times

3 Free plugins worth the effort of download IMO ...
Marvel GEQ ... Real-time graphic-equalizer.
Gmulti ... multi (3) band compressor, can de-ess.
Couture (free version) ... an expander to squash down the noise-floor when you are not speaking.

Currently only 32-bit versions of these plug-ins work in Audacity on Windows, even if your computer is 64-bit,

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