TEST RECORDING, With Audacity Software & USB Headset

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Post by vkohanek » October 3rd, 2017, 7:27 pm

Please review my test recording. All critiques are welcome!

LibriVox Admin Team
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Joined: March 28th, 2014, 5:57 am

Post by Kitty » October 6th, 2017, 9:18 am

Hi Vicky

welcome to the forum and thanks for starting with a one-minute-test. That way, we can work on the initial recording troubles before you launch into a 30-minute chapter. ;)

First of all, your reading is absolutely fine, you have a nice voice and you articulate well, so it's easy to understand and agreeable to listen to. One big plus for aspiring narrators :)

However we still need to work a bit on the audio level as such. Specifically, your volume and your background noise.
Great that you are using Audacity, that way it will be easy for me to explain the step-by-step.

1) your volume is only at 83.3 dB and this is not loud enough. We accept anything between 86 and 92 dB, with preferred average of 89 dB.

Try the following steps in Audacity, to amplify your recording:

> highlight the entire recording
> go to Effect - Amplify
> input at least 6 in the slot and press OK

Amplification is quite easy, but it is still recommendable to set the input volume of the microphone higher from the start. The less fiddled with in post-processing, the better.

Also check whether the microphone icon in Audacity has the slider all the way to the right on the + sign for maximum input volume.

2) your background noise is really quite high, you can see that in Audacity with the big fat blue line surrounding your reading "up-and-down-peaks". This big line normally should be quite thin and almost not visible. :shock:

And since you now amplified your recording, the background noise will be amplified as well.

Audacity also has a good noise-cleaning function, but also here, the less meddled with, the better. Excessive cleaning can distort the sound. So the best thing would be to trace the source of the noise, and try to evade it, for example, closing windows, turning off electrical appliances, a bit of padding around the microphone, things like that.

Now please try the following to clean in Audacity:

> highlight a small portion, usually at the end of your recording where there is only noise
> go to effect - noise reduction and first choose "Get Noise Profile"
> then highlight the entire recording
> again go to effect - noise reduction and this time press OK

Audacity will do the rest and you should see the big line thinning considerably. Now with your high level of noise, I would suggest repeating these steps a second time, because I don't think it will clean enough the first time around.

Alternatively, it might be a good idea to FIRST noise-clean and only at the end amplify by 6 dB. Maybe you can try both versions and we'll see what gets the better result.

Can you please try these two steps and reupload the same file, so I can have another listen ? Please post in the same thread, so I get notified when there is a reply.


Offline from 23 - 25 March. My apologies for any long waiting queues for PL feedback.

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