Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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The_zatanna
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Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by The_zatanna » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:45 pm

Hey forum, I read and followed all directions I could after reading this forum http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic ... 52&t=72384 ,to meet the standard requirements for ACX/Audible.

I'm well within the requirements range *crosses fingers*, but when I give my recordings a listen, it sounds like there's "white noise" or "static." Even with noise removal it's still constant, yet I'm not sure if I'm just being too critical.

Could you give it a listen to and tell me if you hear it too? I can post a longer clip if necessary...

[Using 2.0.4 on Windows 7]

Many thanks in advance! :D
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kozikowski
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:50 pm

Noise Removal isn't the angelic gift it seems to be. In order to keep it from destroying your voice, it actually turns off during words. If your background hiss is bad enough, it will make you sound like a snake.

You have a pronounced sharp, piercing quality to your words. Did you equalize after your performance? You have to be really careful how you listen while you're correcting.

Try this. Don't apply noise removal and instead apply Effect > Low Pass Filter: 8000, 24dB. It takes the edge off the words and reduces the background hiss evenly.

We need to find out where the hiss is coming from. Hiss is very difficult to remove.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:56 pm

And no, I don't think they will pass it the way it is. Record a short clip and don't speak. Effect > Amplify (Don't OK) and just look at that first number. That's your noise floor and I think it's much too high. Quiet is larger numbers.

Koz

The_zatanna
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by The_zatanna » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:49 pm

Koz,

Thank you so much for your quick reply. I've seen you help A LOT of people on the forums, so excuse me while I fan girl for a minute.

You're right, I did equalize, and I just did the low pass and found out my floor was at 50 :(

Albeit, after doing the low pass, it seems like the hiss is gone, but now I'm back to square one with the whole "manipulating" the sound gig. What settings would my reverb be at? Right now I have it set to

Room size: 30
Pre-delay: 10
Reverb: 0
Damp: 50
Tone Low: 100
Tone High: 0
Wet Gain: -20
Dry: -20
Stereo: 100

Here's the clip of your post with the low pass, with no other bells or sparkles added.

I now realize I know nothing... :shock:
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kozikowski
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:42 am

I want you to narrate my postings.

Please see attached. That thin blue streak left to right is supposed to look more like these:

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/Audacity1_record.jpg
http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/Audacity1_playback.jpg

Your voice, while perfectly pleasant to listen to, is so wimpy low volume that it almost doesn't appear on the blue waves at all and it's coming out too close to the natural noises from your microphone. All microphones have quiet noise and they will all overload when they get too loud. It's your job to make your voice and the settings comfortable for both you and the microphone.

So you get to describe your studio. Something is going wrong. Part numbers and maker names are good. We can't see what you're doing and we have to build your studio in our heads.

Koz
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The_zatanna
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by The_zatanna » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:09 am

Koz,

I'm the female version of Ian http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic ... 28&t=78561, if only I'd been here to help him out with the female parts.

My setup is completely identical to his, blue snowball, homemade mini-booth (though I didn't use it recording those samples posted), the only thing I lack is the noise he gets outside his place. For me noise is not a problem, but the empty room I'm doing this in is. I'd rather not move my whole desktop into my closet, but hey if I have to, I'll look at investing in a laptop and a different mic.

BUT

If I can work with what I have now and do it successfully, and by successfully I mean tricking everyone into thinking I have some high quality studio and watching their jaws drop with knowing it's not, then I can sleep better at night. ;) [ I'm honestly looking into getting new equipment as we speak though :| ]

P.S- I will gladly narrate anything for you anytime. Seriously, I will... no matter what... so let's have a go, I'll start by reading part of your next post to see how the progress with the recording is. :D

Robert J. H.
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by Robert J. H. » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:29 pm

I think the recording isn't that bad.
First of all, there are no booming sounds like those Ian's recordings suffer from.
The whole sample is even noise reduced if I take all as the noise profile, call noise removal again, reduce by 10 dB and set the sensivity to -20. That's not the way it is meant to be done though, but there's simply no silence to take the profile from.
Narration needs no reverb effect, on the contrary, it will make the sharp s-sounds more pronounced.
You can reduce the strong "-ATION" sound with the equalizer. Set the 4 kHz to about -4 or 8 dB.
Eight kHz can be cut too in order to soften the "here's".
I'm looking forward to a longer sample clip.

The_zatanna
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by The_zatanna » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:39 pm

Hey Robert! I've seen you help on the forums as well, so thanks for your reply! :D

I recorded your comment, for a "longer clip."

Here's the funny thing, I do a podcast from time to time (I don't edit it though), and when I record (it's been a couple of weeks) there used to be the peaks and levels showing like on koz's comment.

Now there's nothing, well close to nothing. What did I do? Did I touch something to make my mic not catch much noise?

steve
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by steve » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:41 pm

I agree with Robert. There's a lot of good things about your sample so we're looking to refine your recording technique rather than starting from scratch.
If you don't already have one, I'd suggest that you get a free dropbox or Google Drive account (or similar) to make it easier to post audio samples.
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

The_zatanna
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Re: Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Post by The_zatanna » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:03 pm

Gah, here's the clip!

Sorry I forgot to include it, but in light of that, STEVE! I've recorded your comment too, and I'm attaching both :D

Glad to have your help too! Thanks so much!

Robert https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3HW7y ... sp=sharing

Steve https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3HW7y ... sp=sharing

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