Questions From New Narrator

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

Post by DianneG » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:19 am

The instruction manual says the mic is the one dot to the left of the camera.

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:35 pm

Hi Koz,

I'm attaching the Room Tone Test and the Microphone Test below. When I was recording, I could hear (very faintly) what sounded like a commercial in the headphones but I couldn't hear it without the headphones. Before recording, I turned off everything in the house so I don't know where that came from. Do you know what's going on with that?

Also, to answer one of your previous questions about the mistake I made in a sample. Normally, when I make a mistake I clap twice and then repeat the last several words. That makes it easy for me to find the problem. I just didn't do that on the sample I sent you.
Attachments
Room Tone Test.wav
Room Tone Test
(1.51 MiB) Downloaded 23 times
Microphone Test.wav
Microphone Test
(1.25 MiB) Downloaded 18 times

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:21 pm

what sounded like a commercial in the headphones
You could be one of those lucky celebrities with one of these towers in the back yard.

http://kozco.com/pix/KABC-Full.jpg

I was working in the neighborhood and heard about a movie production shooting literally in the shadow of that tower. Super sensitive Hollywood microphones a block away from a rock-crusher radio station. What could possibly go wrong?

If you're really lucky, you can get KABC radio Los Angeles on your waffle iron. Did it appear during recording? Does it appear on your recordings?

I'll pull down your clips shortly. I'm particularly interested in the Room Tone clip. You have Something in the background but it's not there long enough in a regular performance to identify it.

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:35 pm

kozikowski wrote:You could be one of those lucky celebrities with one of these towers in the back yard.
Just my luck. Oh well, I'm looking forward to finding out what you're hearing in my room tone clip. Also, I think I figured out what that clicking noise was on one of the first recordings. There was a ceiling fan on in a room across the hall.

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:52 pm

OK, this is too good. I can't quite make out the words, but I suspect anybody who likes rap music would be able to pick it out in an instant.

All I did was make your room tone segment crazy loud.

"something something Call me on the Tele Phone."

So we're not joking about the candy-cane striped tower in the back yard any more. This is classic radio station leaking into your performance—unless you have a neighbor that likes rap.

The fact that you remember a commercial pretty well nails it.

Look around the neighborhood. AM radio towers are very tall and tend to be on their own for about a block around. There could be several matched towers or a main and smaller backup as in my illustration.

I'm sure you're wondering what to do about this.

Probably nothing simple. Try this, do anther room tone test with nothing plugged into the wall. Completely battery power. Don't just turn off the adapter, unplug it from the wall.

There are people who have to record everything on batteries because their wall power is so ratty it gets into their performance.

Koz
Attachments
RapTest.mp3
(375.6 KiB) Downloaded 22 times

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:17 pm

Well, this is really annoying. I checked and there is a tower about 8/10 of a mile (as the crow flies) from my house. But it's not very tall and is close to several 2-3 story buildings I didn't think it was even in service because the building next to it with the station name on it is ratty and looks abandoned. I do live in a semi-detached house but my neighbor is 84 years old so I don't think it's her, but you never know.

Attached is the second Room Tone clip. It sounds like they're playing a different song if it's turned way up.

Arggh, I wish there was a way to fix this, other than moving.
Attachments
Room Tone Test 2.wav
Unplugged Room Tone Test
(1.93 MiB) Downloaded 22 times

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:45 am

Britney Spears, unless I miss my guess.

Was that on battery power with no connection to the wall?

Is the laptop on WiFi for the internet connection, or do you have a network wire?
Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 21.26.54.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 21.26.54.png (9.98 KiB) Viewed 327 times
OK, so now it's a decision tree. We can continue to troubleshoot. There are sometimes things that can be done once we figure out where it's coming from. Something in your system is an antenna or has high sensitivity in the presence of radio energy.

Typically, it's not hazardous. I worked at several transmitter sites and all the workers retire at a ripe old age and take up skiing in the Adirondacks.

The very first place to look is the Yeti. There is a small, very thin piece of foil inside the microphone (to catch your voice) and it's connected to very high volume boost electronics. That grillwork on top of the Yeti is supposed to be metal and bonded to the case of the microphone to prevent problems like this. That could be expensive, so I wouldn't be shocked if it was actually plastic with a metal coating.

.....!!

Wait. One more easy one. Do you have a second USB cable? If you do, swap it with the one on the microphone. Unplug and plug a couple of times at each end. Restart Audacity.

If you have no second cable, unplug and replug both ends of the existing one. Restart Audacity.

How long is the USB cable?

If you can hear the station with your volume turned up, you don't need to post new clips.

Do you have a nice roll of aluminum foil?

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Yes, the computer was entirely on battery power. The internet connection is on a network.

I ran the room tone test again this morning, this time with a different USB cable (3-feet long), unplugging it several times and restarting Audacity. I do not hear the radio station. Yay!

But now when I run the ACX Check it passes peak and noise floor but not RMS. It says that RMS is too low. Is this a problem with where I have the gain set or ???

Yes, I have aluminum foil ???

Do you want to hear the clip from this room tone test that was clear of the radio station?

kozikowski
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by kozikowski » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:02 pm

Yes, I have aluminum foil ???
You only needed that if the other radio station tests failed.
A shorter USB cable was on the list further down.
It says that RMS is too low.
The limits are -18dB to -23dB. Did you miss it by much? -24dB??

If not and you didn't change anything (the cable should not affect volume), then this is just the normal announcing variation for you—and it's very common.

I predict (pressing finger tips to forehead) you can apply the Mastering Suite and the test comes out fine. We should remember that ACX Check will give bad noise readings if you don't have at least a half-second of room tone.

Koz

DianneG
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Re: Questions From New Narrator

Post by DianneG » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:20 pm

On this morning's clip the RMS was -60.9, but on another clip that I recorded yesterday (with a regular passage read and the longer USB cord), it was -25.3. I did run the mastering and now it passes except for the noise floor. It says it is -23.7 and exceeds the noise floor.

What do you think? Is this now operator error?

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