Questions From New Narrator

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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DianneG
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Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:15 pm

I know this must be a very basic question but I can't find the answer anywhere. Do I record the front matter of the book such as copyright info, foreword, dedication, testimonials etc. or do I just start with the Opening Credits and close with the Closing Credits with no back matter either?

Thanks for your help.

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:38 pm

If you're reading for ACX publication, you should find out what they want.

https://blog.acx.com/2014/06/26/how-to- ... on-part-1/

http://audible-acx.custhelp.com/

They have specific guidelines about what to read and when. I don't think I've ever heard an audiobook with anything more than "Title, Author, Chapter One." The problem with an audiobook is you can't easily skip the pages you don't want.

In my opinion you should find out if you can read to ACX technical standards before you dive into massive production. Have you submitted a test clip to them for inspection?

We posted a sample sound process and ACX Check plugin that simulates their conformance testing.

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

https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Nyqu ... #ACX_Check

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:09 am

Thank you for the advice and links. I will plow through all of that and I think it'll answer my questions.

I am recording for ACX and I have not submitted a test clip but I will do that now. Also, I have never listened to an audiobook with more than the basic author, title and chapter name.

I appreciate your help,
Dianne

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:50 am

I will do that now.
They may take several days to get to you. Reading is pretty popular. You can post a 20 second mono reading on the forum and we will give you the first pass opinion on how it's going.
Doesn't matter what the words are. I've been known to read the cereal box.

"Part of a healthy, balanced breakfast!!"

Oddly, the hardest part of that clip submission format is not making noise at the first two seconds. That's harder than you think. One performer managed to noisily adjust every article of clothing in that two seconds.

The gap isn't fuzzy, either. The mastering and measuring tools need that blank spot to work right, and Room Tone (the official name) is burned into the ACX submission requirements.

The up side of ACX conformance is the ability to submit to anybody. Once you get everything working it's all up to your reading style and performance.

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:45 pm

Hi Koz,

Ok, I'll prepare a clip this morning and upload it here. Thanks for the offer!

DianneG
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Test Clip Upload

Post by DianneG » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:04 pm

Here is my test clip. Thanks for letting me know what you think.

Dianne
Attachments
Test Clip - 4-11-18.wav
(1.68 MiB) Downloaded 48 times

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:59 pm

The background is a little noisy, but it surrenders to moderate Noise Reduction. Attached.

First three readings and sentence 2/3 down.
Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 12.49.36.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 12.49.36.png (48.25 KiB) Viewed 564 times
I can tell you how I did that in a bit. That's basic housekeeping. Can you tell if your computer is on just by listening?

I like your basic human voice quality. I could listen to a story in that voice. "It was a daaaaark and stormy night..."

What is your microphone? It has a slightly peaky and crisp, harsh quality. We have some tools that may be able to help, but sometimes microphone placement can change things a bit.

Are you recording in a room with wooden floors and plain white walls with occasional tasteful artwork?

As we go. Have you ever installed software or plugins into Audacity?

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:51 pm

Thank you! Overall that's pretty good news. I was worried about the base noise level because I can't afford a soundproof booth just yet. So, I will try to answer your questions.

1. No, I can't hear my computer when it's on
2. My microphone is a blue yeti usb. I also have a full-size studio JVC headset and a Knox pop filter.
3. The room where I'm recording does have a plank vinyl floor but it is about 90% covered with a thick rug. My computer sits on a wooden table (well, maybe wood dust, it's from Ikea) but I have covered the table with a blanket. The walls are white and there is a fairly big window on one wall. I do live in a very quiet area (at least from fire engines, etc.) but I know I need to find a way to cut down on the background noise.
4. Yes, I did install a d-esser plugin to my Audacity. It was a while ago but I think I still remember how to do it.

You are being hugely helpful to me. I really appreciate it.

Dianne

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:09 pm

My computer sits on a wooden table (well, maybe wood dust, it's from Ikea)
"Wood-Adjacent."

You ticked all the boxes. You have been doing your homework, right down to the blanket on the wood-adjacent table.

I don't know that you need to go to a whole lot more trouble with noise. It's correctable with modest Noise Reduction.

Speaking of Ikea. Do you have one of their affordable 8" round, plain white wall clocks? I can hear something ticking in the background. I have to take my clock out of the bedroom when I record.

I am curious what it is.

I made a fake extended noise track. I duplicated your two second room tone performance multiple times and then boosted it. It can make identifying noisemakers a lot easier (turn the volume down when you listen).
TestClip--noise.wav
(1.09 MiB) Downloaded 21 times
You don't need to get too concerned about the background rumble because the first step in the AudioBook Mastering Suite is a rumble filter.

Sibilance. Did you do anything to your track submission before you posted it? Sometimes you can get sibilance boost by applying stiff noise reduction.

I got rid of most of the "essing" by application of the DeEsser at these settings.
Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 15.47.26.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 15.47.26.png (51.78 KiB) Viewed 558 times
I don't know what to do about the boomy room.

Are you sitting with your back to one flat wall? Can you move so your back is toward one corner? That should reduce the room boom slightly because each word echo has to travel between two walls instead of one.

I'm supposed to publish the AudioBook Mastering Suite on the WiKi but I haven't yet. So it's still a forum posting.

It boils down to three tools: Rumble filter (Equalization), set loudness (RMS Normalize) and round off the audio peaks (Soft Limiter).

http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic ... 64&t=96103

If you're reasonably careful about your Room Tone noise, you can apply the three tools and go make coffee. I can routinely do that for microphone tests in my quiet third bedroom.

The family two before me had a kid that played drums. Daddy soundproofed the third bedroom for him. I got supersonically lucky. I have a studio.


Noise Reduction is a little wacky because it's in two steps. Drag-select some portion of the evil sound (room tone) > Effect > Noise Reduction > Profile. That lets Noise Reduction "sniff" the sound it's supposed to be attacking.

Then select the whole clip by clicking just right of the up arrow > Effect > Noise Reduction: 9, 6, 6 > OK.

Then try running the De-Esser at those settings.

Let's see how that goes.

Koz

DianneG
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:07 pm
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:49 am

The noise on the clip sounds like a factory to me. Whoa, I had no idea! I can hear the ticking but there's no clock in that room. It's the dining room so there is nothing that moves that I can think of but I'll look around to see.

No, I didn't do anything to the clip except turn it into a WAV file before I sent it to you.

Thank you for the de-esser settings and I will try sitting at the corner of the table with my back to two walls and see if that helps. You are lucky that your house came with a room ready to go. How nice!

I've also downloaded your suggested plugins and I will now try to create a great clip.

One other question, I had been using the Silence button to get rid of breaths, etc. I take it I should have been using room tone?

Thanks again for all your help.

Dianne

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