1-Minute Test from paulbrianstewart [OK]

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paulbrianstewart
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Post by paulbrianstewart » November 30th, 2019, 5:54 pm

Gidday, I would appreciate any feedback for improvement. Please and thank you, Paul Stewart

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_paulbrianstewart.mp3

Specifications:
PC - Windows
Software: Audacity
Mic: MX1 Condenser using Focusrite Scarlet Solo (with Kaotica Eyeball cover)

lymiewithpurpose
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Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » November 30th, 2019, 6:55 pm

Hello there! Lovely recording, I quite enjoyed listening to it. Unfortunately, there is one major thing to change. Your volume is quite low.

If you haven't already, downloading the program Checker can help you see your volume. Your volume is currently at 67 dbs, Librivox requires a range of 86-92 with 89 being preferred.

I recommend increasing the microphone slider in Audacity, so that it will input at a higher value. To fix this recording however you could:
1. Select your entire recording
2. Go to menu items Effect>Amplify
3. Enter whatever number you need to get to 89 (in this case 22) in the first box
4. Hit OK.
This should get you to the required range!

You will likely have quite a bit of noise with this (which is why you should make sure your mic slider is up when recording). To fix this:
1. Select a small piece of your recording that is pure noise
2. Go into menu items Effect>Noise Reduction
3. In Section 2 on the screen, choose your settings. My settings are Noise Reduction: 12, Sensitivity: 6, Frequency: 0.
4. Select 'Get Noise Profile'.
5. Select your entire recording.
6. Go to menu items Effect>Repeat Noise Reduction.
7. Take a listen, you may find that you want to do this over again to reduce more noise.

So, you have two options here. Please either re record with the mic slider up (my recommendation), or amplify and do noise reduction. Then, please re upload, post in this same thread, and I will be back in a jiffy to check again. Thanks for reading!

paulbrianstewart
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Post by paulbrianstewart » December 1st, 2019, 4:17 pm

Hello lymiewithpurpose,

Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. Also thank you for your specific instructions and advice on how to improve the volume. I will do exactly that and post the updated 1-minute test shortly.

Thank you again for your help, really appreciate it!

Kind Regards,
Paul Brian Stewart

paulbrianstewart
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Joined: August 29th, 2015, 7:21 pm
Location: Washington, USA
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Post by paulbrianstewart » December 1st, 2019, 5:37 pm

Hello again lymiewithpurpose,
Please find linked below an updated version of my 1-Minute test file.

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_paulbrianstewart.mp3

I followed your instructions (thank you for the great, detailed instructions) and now the file is 92.3 db, slightly outside the range, but I wasn't sure how to lower the db back to 89. I'll look online for instruction on how to do that, but in the meantime I wanted to upload for your critique.

Thank you again,
Paul Stewart

Specifications:
PC - Windows
Software: Audacity
Mic: MX1 Condenser using Focusrite Scarlet Solo (with Kaotica Eyeball cover)

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1963
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » December 1st, 2019, 8:39 pm

Nice work getting your volume up! Good catch that it is slightly loud. Sometimes amplifying it by a large amount is a tad imprecise. There are a few things to do:

I would run one more pass of noise reduction. If you notice, there are places where there is silence, but you see a blue fuzzy line as your waveform. Ideally, this would be a flat blue line, which noise reduction could help. It is possible that this run could lower the volume enough to get into the range required. However, sometimes this does not lower the sound enough. Also, while it may be in the range needed, it can be nice to get to the ideal 89 dbs for consistency.

This is where the amplify effect comes in. Amplify essentially takes your recording and raises or lowers the waveform to provide the proper db level. If you follow the steps I listed above for the amplify, this should work. Instead of using the value I provided to enter in step 3 (it was 22 I believe) you would have to do the math to figure out how much you need to amplify to to get to 89. If you put a negative value in the volume will decrease. So, if you started at 92.3, -3.3 would get you down to 89. Hope that makes sense, let me know if questions arise! Hopefully one more try will do it.

paulbrianstewart
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Post by paulbrianstewart » December 2nd, 2019, 8:47 am

Gidday LymewithPurpose,
Thanks again for your great info and instructions, I really appreciate your help, fielding this noob's questions :)
I will try again and upload later today, after work.

Thanks for your help, have a great week,
Kind Regards,
Paul Stewart

paulbrianstewart
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Joined: August 29th, 2015, 7:21 pm
Location: Washington, USA
Contact:

Post by paulbrianstewart » December 2nd, 2019, 6:04 pm

Hi again lymiewithpurpose,
I tried my best to follow your instructions for the amplification and the noise reduction and I got it to pass the checker with 88.6 db. When you have a minute could you please check it again. I tried the noise reduction and got some of the noise to reduce, but I may not have completed it correctly, I'm still a newbie on Audacity.


https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_paulbrianstewart.mp3

Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.
Kind Regards,
Paul Stewart

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1963
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » December 2nd, 2019, 6:36 pm

Hey, we were all newbies at some point so no worries. Someday you may be a Librivox whiz helping all the newbies! Nice work with the volume, you got it perfect! I am still slightly concerned about the noise. It is not too bad, but I can still see that fuzzy blue line in the silence. I am wondering why this didn't quite work, it looks like nothing changed too much. Did you make sure to complete steps 5 and 6? That is what actually removes the noise after you get a sample. If you find my instructions unclear or need something to compare your process to, there is a nice video by one of our admins Phil that demonstrates this process:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFSg9o37HMw

Note the setting numbers have at least changed order in the newer Audacity versions. So when Phil gives setting recommendations, be aware of that. In addition, there is a slight discrepancy between instructions. When he gets to step 6, he instead goes to effects>noise reduction and hits OK. This does the exact same thing as going to effect>repeat noise reduction. So either is fine!

I would try one more time on the noise reduction. Just to make sure you have it down, as this is a very common/important effect. You are almost there, and when you finally get it it will feel amazing! I hope this helps.

sjmarky
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Post by sjmarky » December 2nd, 2019, 10:33 pm

The volume instructions above are incorrect. All you need to do is turn up the gain knob on your Solo. The peaks in the wave form in the raw recording should be about half the height of the window.
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lymiewithpurpose
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Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » December 2nd, 2019, 10:38 pm

sjmarky wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 10:33 pm
The volume instructions above are incorrect. All you need to do is turn up the gain knob on your Solo. The peaks in the wave form in the raw recording should be about half the height of the window.
That also works, which I suggested above. The amplify effect can help you fine tune your recording to get into the range. That is why I first suggested to turn up the gain, then the amplify as a second choice/assisting effect.

paulbrianstewart
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Post by paulbrianstewart » December 3rd, 2019, 11:20 am

Hi lymiewithpurpose, sjmarky,
Thank you both for your continued help, I really appreciate it. I tried the noise reduction steps 5 and 6, and it only seems to drop it a little...then I'd do 'repeat noise reduction', and nothing seemed to happen, as in, it would move the fuzzy lines a bit, then the next few times I did it it wouldn't seem to. Do I need to get the noise profile each time I do the noise reduction?

The second question I had, while I'm still trying to perfect the audacity settings can I look for a writing to volunteer for, or do I need to get the setting exactly right before starting?

Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.
Kind Regards,
Paul Stewart

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1963
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » December 3rd, 2019, 11:38 am

paulbrianstewart wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 11:20 am
Thank you both for your continued help, I really appreciate it. I tried the noise reduction steps 5 and 6, and it only seems to drop it a little...then I'd do 'repeat noise reduction', and nothing seemed to happen, as in, it would move the fuzzy lines a bit, then the next few times I did it it wouldn't seem to. Do I need to get the noise profile each time I do the noise reduction?
I do get the noise profile each time. This step pretty much shows Audacity what the noise is. So, if you managed to decrease the noise, and then try to repeat it again without getting the noise profile again, Audacity may not recognize this as noise (at least this is my understanding, someone may come along and tell me I'm way off). I would definitely try to get the noise profile and see if it works. If not, let me know, and we can continue to problem solve. I do know that when you posted the second test, I tried one round of noise reduction which got rid of that fuzzy line. It will still show a non fuzzy blue line though, which means you have reached your goal. Is that not your case? Also, I want to double check. Which section of noise are you selecting for your profile? That section from 0-3 seconds actually does not show that noise, so it may not help. A good section would be from 33-35 seconds.
paulbrianstewart wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 11:20 am
The second question I had, while I'm still trying to perfect the audacity settings can I look for a writing to volunteer for, or do I need to get the setting exactly right before starting?
Sometimes people claim sections before they finish the test. If you have your eye on something that you don't want to be taken, I don't think it would be bad to ask for that recording. However, I probably would not start recording until we get this figured out. If you did claim a section, I would mention to the coordinator that you are still working on your test and will wait to record until you have passed it. I honestly don't think you are very far away and we will get this figured out very shortly.

paulbrianstewart
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Location: Washington, USA
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Post by paulbrianstewart » December 3rd, 2019, 11:45 am

Hi lymiewithpurpose,

Thanks for the advice. I'm at work right now, but I'll try exactly as you explain as soon as I get home tonight.

Thanks again,
Paul Stewart

paulbrianstewart
Posts: 14
Joined: August 29th, 2015, 7:21 pm
Location: Washington, USA
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Post by paulbrianstewart » December 3rd, 2019, 6:32 pm

Hi lymiewithpurpose,

Thanks again for your help. Here is the latest upload of my 1-Minute Test. I followed your instructions and got the noise profile each time before doing noise reduction and that appeared to work.


https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_paulbrianstewart.mp3

I also managed to get the volume to 88.7db.

Thank you for your time, I really appreciate your continued assistance.
Kind Regards,
Paul Stewart

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1963
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » December 3rd, 2019, 7:14 pm

Good news, everything is great and I can give you the OK! Thanks for sticking through it and not giving up, it will be wonderful to have you at LibriVox. I hope that you feel at least a bit more comfortable with Audacity and how to process your recordings. I hope to see you around!

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