My 1-Minute Test

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Post by Mariana2017 » May 11th, 2018, 9:51 am

Hello all!

I'm new to Librivox and recording, so please listen to my recording and let me know any advice you have.

Audacity, Windows 10, Samson USB C01UPro

As a newbie, I'm not sure I've set things up correctly.... Thank you so much for your time!



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Post by Lmnei » May 12th, 2018, 11:43 am

Hi Mariana!

Welcome to Librivox! :clap:

Well, as you suspected there are a couple of issues with your recording - I have listed them below -

The bit rate should be 128 kbps. The recording should use a constant bit rate rather than variable bit rate (VBR). > These two you fix when you select File Export MP3 file on the bottom of the window - you need to pick 128 kbps option from the drop down and select the Constant button.

The recording should be in mono sound, not stereo sound. > This you fix by going in Audacity to Edit / Preferences / Devices and picking Mono near the bottom of the display.

The volume falls outside of the target range (86–92 dB). > Your volume is 82.9 dB so just a little too low. You can play with the recording level on the front of Audacity where you see the microphone image - to the right of that and reduce it OR you can use Amplify within the Effects menu item. You do have to select the whole recording (Ctrl - A on a PC) first and then go to Effect / Amplify and enter 5 which will increase your sound by 5 decibels to start.

The audio has a high level of background noise which should be cleaned. > This has to do with your recording environment. There was a low buzz in your recording which Audacity picked up. Try moving your mic closer to your face if it is a head set or lapel mic. If you are using the mic on a laptop you are going to have to get a mic that is a bit closer to your face to record. What type of mic are you recording with? A head set?

So if you can make these changes that would be great!

Then re-record the 1 minute test again and re-submit it to this thread so we can review it again :)

Your recorded voice is very good - so it is just a few technical things we need to get ironed out. The good thing is once most of these settings are set in Audacity (or you understand the level you need to speak to get the right recorded volume level) you do not need to change them.

Let me know if you have any questions - I am here to help you!

Last edited by Lmnei on May 12th, 2018, 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by linny » May 12th, 2018, 11:45 am

Hi Mariana,
Welcome to LV! There are a few things to work out but they aren't too challenging. I'll try and walk you through them but please post if I lose you along the way. :wink:

First take a look at your audio. Can you see two panels of waves? If not, adjust the Audacity screen. You should see two almost identical panels one above the other. This shows you that you have a stereo recording. We need mono. Go to Tracks>Stereo to mono. Now there should only be one panel of waves.

Next we need to get you a little louder. For future recordings you can try adjusting your mic positioning or the input level but for this one let’s just amplify. Your recording is at 82.9dB. We aim for 89dB with an allowance of 86-92dB. Go to Effect>Amplify>8 ok. Now see how the majority of your waves are about the height of 0.5 to -0.5. This is the height you are aiming for. (look to the left of the wave on the Audacity program you should see numbers ranging from 1.0 to -1.0)

Now let’s do a little bit of noise cleaning. Do you see how your line during the "silent" areas is "fuzzy"? This is a visual indicator there is too much background noise. In the future be sure that you turn off everything you can hear before you start recording. Sit quietly in your recording area and just listen. If you can hear it, so can the microphone.
For this recording try some noise cleaning. Noise cleaning and amplifying are the two most common edits we do.
First highlight some of your "silence", say 0:26-0:27.
Effect>Noise Reduction>Get Noise Profile
Select your entire recording
Effect>Noise Reduction>Play around with the noise settings (using the "preview" button until you are satisfied). I used 20, 6.00, 6. Toggle to reduce noise>OK.
See how the line in your silence areas became a very fine line? That's what you are looking for.

Finally, some of your export settings are not on target. The good news is with Audacity when you get them set, the program remembers them for future exports.
File>Export audio>(wherever you want to save it is fine).
Bit rate should be 'Constant'
Quality '128kbps'

Please upload the modified file and post another link to this same thread for a double check.

In case you are a visual learner here are some videos which may help. They aren't your version of Audacity but should still prove helpful.
Setting up your specs:
Noise cleaning:
Here is our full catalog of videos:

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Post by Mariana2017 » May 16th, 2018, 5:17 am

Thank you both so much for listening and providing feedback. I will try these tips and re-record the audio.

I think the hum was my computer. I have a Dell all-in-one and it seems to have a bit of a hum, but I can try moving the mic or other strategies to quiet it a bit. I am using a Samson mic and it was on the desk (it is not a headset), so maybe it was also picking up the computer hum from the vibrations? I've gotten a mic stand so I'll use that next time.

I think my personal challenge will be with the sound levels. I viewed one video on increasing the boost on a mic on Windows, but my screens didn't have the same options as were in the video, so I'll try both the suggestions you provide as I was speaking loudly. I think I just need to clear the learning curve on the technology settings and I'll be good to re-record.

I'll repost when I have it re-configured.

Many, many thanks and have a wonderful day, Mariana

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