1 Minute Test

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odditologist
Posts: 5
Joined: November 12th, 2020, 9:41 am

Post by odditologist » November 17th, 2020, 11:29 am

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

This was recorded in Audacity for Windows, with a headset microphone (analog). It is a raw recording, and at the highest microphone setting on my volume mixer comes in just under the required decibels.

I appreciate any feedback! There is a hiss in the background, and quite a few plosives.

Thanks in advance for your help.

adrianstephens
Posts: 1431
Joined: August 27th, 2019, 5:06 am
Location: Cambridge UK
Contact:

Post by adrianstephens » November 18th, 2020, 12:57 am

odditologist wrote:
November 17th, 2020, 11:29 am
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_odditologist.mp3

This was recorded in Audacity for Windows, with a headset microphone (analog). It is a raw recording, and at the highest microphone setting on my volume mixer comes in just under the required decibels.

I appreciate any feedback! There is a hiss in the background, and quite a few plosives.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Hello Katherine,

Welcome to librivox. Thank you for participating here. It’s always great to meet new readers, particularly odd ones.
You have a nice clear voice, I had no trouble understanding you.

I’m sorry, but you need to make change(s) in order to meet Librivox’s technical standards. I’ll tell you what these are and how to address them. You can then upload a new file and I’ll take a look at it. Don’t worry if this takes more than one go to get it right - I didn’t get it right on my first recording either.

Advisory: The volume is a tiny bit too low. You should expect to record at a lower volume to give headroom and adjust post-recording.
You can download the checker program (https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php?title=Checker) which you can use to check the volume against the expected range. This recording was 85.7 dB, and the normal range is 86-92 dB. In Audacity, you can use Effects / Normalize or Effects / Amplify to change the volume post-recording.

Required: There is a lot of background noise. It sounds to me like microphone hiss.
You can listen to the noise by taking a portion of silence and normalizing it (Audacity Effects/Normalize) to that you can hear it clearly. Think to yourself, what is the source of the noise?
There are three things you might try to reduce the background noise. You might need to do more than one of these.

To make the noise visible in Audacity you need to switch the track’s display mode to “Waveform (db)” using the little pulldown arrow just to the right of the track name (prior to Audacity 2.4) or in Edit/Preferences/Tracks/Default Waveform scale: Logarithmic (dB) (Audacity 2.4 onwards). I recommend leaving it there, as I do all my editing in this mode.

Avoid the noise. Move to a quieter room. Turn off the clothes drier. Choose a quieter time of day to record. Set the laptop power settings to “passive cooling”.

Move closer to the microphone, but watch out for those “p” sounds! You should be about 4 to 12 inches (10-30cm) from the microphone. You will need to position it to the side and/or use a pop filter.

Use noise reduction using Audacity as shown here: https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Noise_Cleaning. I recommend making this a part of your editing routine. You’ll be surprised how much difference it makes, but be careful of over-doing it (more than about 18dB), which can affect the quality.

Ultimately, I think you are going to be disappointed using this mic. Do you have an alternative you can use/borrow?


Please record and upload a new version that addresses at least the required technical issue(s). If you quote this message in your reply (hit the big quote button to the right of the post title), I’ll get a notification and will go in and re-check.

If you haven’t already, you might spend some time browsing through the LibriVox Wiki. It contains a wealth of great information that you’ll find useful and informative about who does what, and various technical aspects.


Thank you, again, for participating in Librivox,
Adrian Stephens

PS - If you’re interested in developing your technique, and have the time to spare there’s a whole bunch of informative YouTube videos.
Our excellent admin Phil has recorded a lot of highly accessible videos (https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php?title=Instructional_Videos).

I have also recorded a number of YouTube videos on this subject, longer (and thereby going into more detail) than Phil’s.

Part 0: Introduction. https://youtu.be/pMHYycgA5VU
Part 1: Installing Audacity https://youtu.be/w_QZ15c4_10
Part 2: Setting the Volume https://youtu.be/-RoWbeJoMKk
Part 3: The Checker Program https://youtu.be/-5szxU8JE7c
Part 4: ReplayGain plugin https://youtu.be/jwmSVJIDeVM
Part 5: Performance and Volume https://youtu.be/WaekYMX519I
Part 6: Microphones looked at https://youtu.be/gcVYx3ZSrfs
Part 7: Microphones listened to https://youtu.be/607ijxEw7mU
Part 8: Noise Reduction Using Audacity https://youtu.be/KsFkmvF-9d0
Part 9: Avoiding Pops https://youtu.be/zPpz1qv0XSk
Part 10: Recording and Marking Mistakes https://youtu.be/G_ceO3YmcM8
Part 11: Editing Marked Speech https://youtu.be/la87iCO7HeI
Part 12: Recording Dramatic Works https://youtu.be/ZuRKu9s9Krw
Part 13: Introduction to the Librivox forum https://youtu.be/ukGUc_Cyr0o
Part 14: Participating in Librivox https://youtu.be/_gCcMGey04E
Part 15: Case Study (Poem) https://youtu.be/41sr_VC1Qxo
Part 16: Case Study 2 (Dramatic Reading) https://youtu.be/GBIAd469vnM
Part 17: Editing using labels https://youtu.be/eM7wcwAL84w
My Librivox-related YouTube series starts here: Part 0: Introduction. https://youtu.be/pMHYycgA5VU
...
Part 15: Case Study (Poem) https://youtu.be/41sr_VC1Qxo
Part 16: Case Study 2 (Dramatic Reading) https://youtu.be/GBIAd469vnM

odditologist
Posts: 5
Joined: November 12th, 2020, 9:41 am

Post by odditologist » November 18th, 2020, 3:43 pm

Thank you so much for your feedback! I agree that this microphone may ultimately be more trouble than it's worth. I will look into options for a replacement and record a new sample.

odditologist
Posts: 5
Joined: November 12th, 2020, 9:41 am

Post by odditologist » November 21st, 2020, 9:51 pm

adrianstephens wrote:
November 18th, 2020, 12:57 am
odditologist wrote:
November 17th, 2020, 11:29 am
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_odditologist.mp3

This was recorded in Audacity for Windows, with a headset microphone (analog). It is a raw recording, and at the highest microphone setting on my volume mixer comes in just under the required decibels.

I appreciate any feedback! There is a hiss in the background, and quite a few plosives.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Hello Katherine,

Welcome to librivox. Thank you for participating here. It’s always great to meet new readers, particularly odd ones.
You have a nice clear voice, I had no trouble understanding you.

I’m sorry, but you need to make change(s) in order to meet Librivox’s technical standards. I’ll tell you what these are and how to address them. You can then upload a new file and I’ll take a look at it. Don’t worry if this takes more than one go to get it right - I didn’t get it right on my first recording either.

Advisory: The volume is a tiny bit too low. You should expect to record at a lower volume to give headroom and adjust post-recording.
You can download the checker program (https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php?title=Checker) which you can use to check the volume against the expected range. This recording was 85.7 dB, and the normal range is 86-92 dB. In Audacity, you can use Effects / Normalize or Effects / Amplify to change the volume post-recording.

Required: There is a lot of background noise. It sounds to me like microphone hiss.
You can listen to the noise by taking a portion of silence and normalizing it (Audacity Effects/Normalize) to that you can hear it clearly. Think to yourself, what is the source of the noise?
There are three things you might try to reduce the background noise. You might need to do more than one of these.

To make the noise visible in Audacity you need to switch the track’s display mode to “Waveform (db)” using the little pulldown arrow just to the right of the track name (prior to Audacity 2.4) or in Edit/Preferences/Tracks/Default Waveform scale: Logarithmic (dB) (Audacity 2.4 onwards). I recommend leaving it there, as I do all my editing in this mode.

Avoid the noise. Move to a quieter room. Turn off the clothes drier. Choose a quieter time of day to record. Set the laptop power settings to “passive cooling”.

Move closer to the microphone, but watch out for those “p” sounds! You should be about 4 to 12 inches (10-30cm) from the microphone. You will need to position it to the side and/or use a pop filter.

Use noise reduction using Audacity as shown here: https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Noise_Cleaning. I recommend making this a part of your editing routine. You’ll be surprised how much difference it makes, but be careful of over-doing it (more than about 18dB), which can affect the quality.

Ultimately, I think you are going to be disappointed using this mic. Do you have an alternative you can use/borrow?


Please record and upload a new version that addresses at least the required technical issue(s). If you quote this message in your reply (hit the big quote button to the right of the post title), I’ll get a notification and will go in and re-check.

If you haven’t already, you might spend some time browsing through the LibriVox Wiki. It contains a wealth of great information that you’ll find useful and informative about who does what, and various technical aspects.


Thank you, again, for participating in Librivox,
Adrian Stephens

PS - If you’re interested in developing your technique, and have the time to spare there’s a whole bunch of informative YouTube videos.
Our excellent admin Phil has recorded a lot of highly accessible videos (https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php?title=Instructional_Videos).

I have also recorded a number of YouTube videos on this subject, longer (and thereby going into more detail) than Phil’s.

Part 0: Introduction. https://youtu.be/pMHYycgA5VU
Part 1: Installing Audacity https://youtu.be/w_QZ15c4_10
Part 2: Setting the Volume https://youtu.be/-RoWbeJoMKk
Part 3: The Checker Program https://youtu.be/-5szxU8JE7c
Part 4: ReplayGain plugin https://youtu.be/jwmSVJIDeVM
Part 5: Performance and Volume https://youtu.be/WaekYMX519I
Part 6: Microphones looked at https://youtu.be/gcVYx3ZSrfs
Part 7: Microphones listened to https://youtu.be/607ijxEw7mU
Part 8: Noise Reduction Using Audacity https://youtu.be/KsFkmvF-9d0
Part 9: Avoiding Pops https://youtu.be/zPpz1qv0XSk
Part 10: Recording and Marking Mistakes https://youtu.be/G_ceO3YmcM8
Part 11: Editing Marked Speech https://youtu.be/la87iCO7HeI
Part 12: Recording Dramatic Works https://youtu.be/ZuRKu9s9Krw
Part 13: Introduction to the Librivox forum https://youtu.be/ukGUc_Cyr0o
Part 14: Participating in Librivox https://youtu.be/_gCcMGey04E
Part 15: Case Study (Poem) https://youtu.be/41sr_VC1Qxo
Part 16: Case Study 2 (Dramatic Reading) https://youtu.be/GBIAd469vnM
Part 17: Editing using labels https://youtu.be/eM7wcwAL84w
I got a new microphone. You will find a new test recording here:
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test2_odditologist.mp3

adrianstephens
Posts: 1431
Joined: August 27th, 2019, 5:06 am
Location: Cambridge UK
Contact:

Post by adrianstephens » November 21st, 2020, 11:57 pm

odditologist wrote:
November 21st, 2020, 9:51 pm

I got a new microphone. You will find a new test recording here:
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test2_odditologist.mp3
Hello Katherine,

This mic is much better, but there is still a high level of background noise.
I applied Audacity noise reduction to it, and it did a pretty good job of cleaning it up.

Please either re-record away from the source of the noise (an AC?), or apply noise reduction to your existing recording and upload.
Details in my previous reply.

Best Regards,
Adrian
My Librivox-related YouTube series starts here: Part 0: Introduction. https://youtu.be/pMHYycgA5VU
...
Part 15: Case Study (Poem) https://youtu.be/41sr_VC1Qxo
Part 16: Case Study 2 (Dramatic Reading) https://youtu.be/GBIAd469vnM

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