White Noise is All-Consuming

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.

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Re: White Noise is All-Consuming

Permanent link to this post Posted by cyrano » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:57 am

That sounds fine to me. I listened on speakers first and then switched to headphones because I couldn't hear any noise on the speakers.

There is a tiny bit of noise when I listen in headphones. Nothing to worry about though. And I'm allergic to white noise :D

Your mic is a high output condenser mic. It behaves as is expected. Condensers give you more room, air, high tones. And a high output condenser will have a bit more noise than a low output one. A dynamic mic has a much lower output and less noise, but it will result in the same noise level after the preamp because the preamp has to work harder.

Preamps with extreme low noise do exist. But I wouldn't worry. Your voice and recording sound absolutely fine. I don't think any human ACX operator will object to the minimal noise level.

Besides, these days, white or pink noise sometimes gets added to recordings to make 'em sound less "dead"...
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Re: White Noise is All-Consuming

Permanent link to this post Posted by fadingvoice » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:38 pm

Thanks! I thought also maybe I was being too sensitive to the noise :) Though still curious that the mic went from 20% gain on a preamp to 75%. I wonder what would happen if I used a low out or dynamic mic like you described since it seems like its input is almost all the way up.

Last question -- I'm not sure what kind of mastering to do with this. I definitely hear noise after I apply LF rolloff eq, some noise reduction (6db), limiter, normalization, compression, and normalization. I'm not even sure if I need to do all those steps, but I saw them on ACX's blog and on the forums, so I've co-opted them. The file will pass ACX check, but the entire file (and thus the noise) becomes louder as a result. I'm afraid I might be making it a problem? Will doing all these steps lead to making the background noise too loud?
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Re: White Noise is All-Consuming

Permanent link to this post Posted by cyrano » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:01 pm

If you have a good recording, no noise reduction or other treatment is necessary. But that depends on your surroundings...

You can also gain a bit of quality by training yourself to keep distance to the mic constant, but I think you're doing fine in that area.

Is you latest clip (help-levels-focusrite-new.wav) raw (eg without any treatment)?

If yes, I think you have nothing to worry about, really.
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Re: White Noise is All-Consuming

Permanent link to this post Posted by fadingvoice » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:18 pm

Really good to know, thanks!

Yes, these have all been raw.

Sometimes I get a little too loud with a character voice - so maybe in those cases all I need to do is normalize. Maybe I've just gotten it in my head to overprocess the audio.
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Re: White Noise is All-Consuming

Permanent link to this post Posted by cyrano » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:08 pm

That's the hardest part of the art... Knowing when to stop...

I force myself to take at least 10 minutes off every hour and I never do sessions of over 4 hours. That seems to help. It lets my ears recuperate. And that's really necessary because I suffer from tinnitus and hyperacusis. If I don't pause, the huperacusis ruins all sound after a couple of hours.
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