Questions From New Narrator

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:33 am

The noise on the clip sounds like a factory to me.
Right. I isolated your two-second room tone and boosted the volume—intentionally making it worse. Then I selected the clip, copied it and then pasted multiple times. It should be there long enough to get used to the character of the sound and start associating it with machines or conditions in the room. People occasionally post a one or two second test clip and expect us to do extensive analysis. Not so far.

As I said earlier, you are darn close to workable as it stands. The only serious shortcoming I can see is the boxy room sound—and that's not even that bad. That's your voice echoing from the walls (that kitchen/bathroom sound) and we can do nothing with echoes in post production.

The Yeti has multiple different ways to receive sound. You should use simple cardioid (heart-shaped) and you should be speaking into the screen just above the Blue logo. The yeti is a side-fire microphone.
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This is a side-fire microphone. Your lips should be where my thumb is.

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That will change slightly depending on your pop filter.

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I had been using the Silence button to get rid of breaths
I'm not a fan of that. It leaves little dead silent holes in your presentation. I'm not aware of anybody being rejected for breathing, but they totally will bounce somebody for "Overprocessing."

OK, just to bring this all around.

Record another test similar to the first. Export a WAV (Microsoft) and put it in a safe place. That's your backup and it's good to get in the habit. Nothing like having your machine throw up during an edit—and it flushes the only copy of your reading.

Run Mastering Suite, Noise Reduction, and then the DeEsser. Those DeEsser values are factory. I have no idea what some of those settings do.

Run ACX Check. I expect it to pass and I expect it to sound reasonable.

OK, no I don't actually expect that, but I have no idea what's going to go wrong.


Oh, can you do a newspaper white noise test? White noise is similar to rain in the trees on a warm spring day. SHSHSHSHSHSHSH. Doesn't work for me. Cactus's don't make noise.

Stand or sit about a foot or foot-and-a-half back from the microphone and instead of speaking, crumble a newspaper. I'm talking a regular daily: New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times. Not the heavy paper grocery specials and not the neighborhood Free Paper although that can be used in a pinch.

There is a microphone quality test you can do with a perfectly sound-proofed room and calibrated instrument-grade microphones, etc. etc. etc. Or you can get really close by crushing newsprint. Take your time. Four seconds? Five? I'm going to analyze what it does to all the tones in the crush.

I have one of those tests here somewhere.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:47 am

This is a Blue Snowball microphone.
SnowBallNewspaper1.wav
(1.47 MiB) Downloaded 8 times
Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:19 am

Still there [knocking on screen]?

If you get stuck anywhere, post what happened and we'll dig you out.

I guess it's also possible you are performing your real life and ran out of time.

It's also possible it all worked and you're on your third book.

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:41 am

Sorry. For some reason, I didn't get notified of your response but I have been busy. First, I tried recording a sample in another room (bedroom) because I thought the bed might absorb some of the sounds. But that was worse. I couldn't get it to pass the check at all. So I went back to the setup I had in the dining room and it passed on the first try. I guess I'll stay in there.

I will try your suggestions tomorrow and let you know what results I get. I have not been using the heart-shaped mode so hopefully, that will help too.

Thanks!

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:47 am

The stereo mode is wacky and almost unique to the Yeti. That's a special effects pattern. The Figure of Eight pattern is used when you have two presenters, one on each side. The circular pattern, omnidirectional, is an extension of that. Those last two almost demand a studio because you would have trouble orienting them to avoid room effects and noises.

The cardioid has a dead spot directly behind it—opposite from the presenter. That can be very handy if you have a single source of noise.

You can help with the room boom by making a dead tunnel. Pile boxes or stacks of books or something on each side of the microphone and cover them with double layers of bath towel. The idea is to make it difficult for sound to enter from the sides. The area directly behind the microphone is dead and you are directly in front. That and putting a room corner behind you may be enough.

There are mini-studios you can get which shield the microphone.

That's the thing on the far right.

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And another one (scroll down).
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Or you can simulate that with enough cardboard boxes or stacks of books. I did it with furniture moving blankets.

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One presenter did it with hardware store plastic pipes and actual quilts.

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She didn't use glue. That whole thing falls apart for storage.

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:59 pm

Okay, I built the dead tunnel and changed to the heart-shaped setting on my microphone. Then I recorded the three clips below. The first is completely raw and saved to a WAV file. The second is the same clip after I applied the mastering suite, then the noise reduction and the de-esser. When I put it through the check it passed with no problem. Interestingly, the raw clip also passed the check with no problem.

I'm interested in what you think.

Thanks
Attachments
Test 4 WAV.wav
Unprocessed except exported as WAV
(1.47 MiB) Downloaded 16 times
Test 4.aup
After Applying Mastering Suite, Noise Reduction and De-esser
(1.29 KiB) Downloaded 11 times
Newspaper Test - WAV 2.wav
Newspaper Test WAV File
(1 MiB) Downloaded 12 times

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:24 am

Test 4.aup isn't a sound file. AUP is an Audacity Project Manager. It goes with a similarly named _DATA folder which has the actual sound.

That's a project.

Image

That's only really useful if you have a complicated edit and you want to pick it up later with all the tracks, positioning and screen management in place. Oddly, it doesn't save UNDO.

Stick with WAV files until you get more experience.

So you need to post the "post" again.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:46 am

Interestingly, the raw clip also passed the check with no problem.
You win!

Nobody wrote that you can't read right into ACX conformance. It is possible. It's just most people can't.

You also present an interesting conundrum. Should you go through Mastering or not?

If you don't, then you have to read exactly that same way... every time... for a whole book.

But if you do go through mastering, then your presentation can wander a bit and still conform nicely.

ACX recommends using the minimum number of corrections. They hate noise reduction (I think because most people abuse it).

Now it's going around in circles. DeEsser depends on the timeline blue waves being exactly correct which is why it's at the end. It follows mastering. I don't know if you would get consistent de-essing with a raw reading.

If you go with live reading (no corrections) and one chapter doesn't quite pass, I'm not sure I can tell you how to fix it. ACX is very clear all your chapters have to match and if you mess with one, someone would have to come up with custom corrections.


I've never run into this before.

Let's see what your processed one sounds like.

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:08 am

Ok, thanks for the explanation about the Audacity file. Here's the WAV file for that raw file.

Also, it seems to be better to master the files because I don't know how I can be sure every file will be exactly the same.

Do you think my setup is ok or do you think I should still plan to build a booth like the PVC one in your picture or a small shield that surrounds the mic?

Things seem to be moving along! Thank you.

Dianne
Attachments
Test 4.1 Corrected.wav
(1.47 MiB) Downloaded 12 times

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:10 am

While all that happens, it's time for the disclaimer: There is no acting filter. If ACX or the client rejects you for theatrical acting reasons, you're on your own. When you read in your apartment, you have to be your own recording engineer and acting coach.

Your newspaper test came out better than several of my microphones. Are you sure you're using a Yeti? There are two Yetis. Are you using a Yeti Pro?
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Dueling posts. I'm reading your other post.

Koz

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