My 1 minute test - 1st attempt

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joywolfe
Posts: 6
Joined: May 16th, 2018, 6:31 am

Post by joywolfe » May 17th, 2018, 5:36 am

Hello,

I would love some feedback on my 1 minute test.
I used Audacity 2.1.2 on a windows laptop and a USB Blue Snowball Mic. I don't know if I'm missing a setting, but in order to get the RMS level up, I have to keep the mic so close to my mouth. Is that normal?
Noise floor reduction was challenging too. I ended up finally on the floor in my carpeted bedroom with a large laptop case surrounding the mic and a pile of towels separating me from the laptop. I think I'll have to find something a bit more sustainable! LOL. Next plan is to move some furniture around in my bedroom to create a small workstation area.
I guess I'll have to use a tablet or electronic device for reading the books rather than the laptop if I need to keep it away from the mic. Is that typical by any chance?
Thanks in advance for the feedback! I'm excited to get started, but want to make sure everything is perfect first. Based on this test, that could take longer than I had anticipated...
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_joywolfe.mp3

-Joy

moniaqua
Posts: 818
Joined: April 11th, 2013, 4:48 am
Location: Somewhere in the south

Post by moniaqua » May 17th, 2018, 6:00 am

Welcome at LibriVox, Joy
joywolfe wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 5:36 am
I have to keep the mic so close to my mouth.
What is "so close"? It is normal that you might need to amplify, depending on the setup, if you read with the microphone with the proper distance of about 15 cm.

I'll go have a look at your recording and be back for a bit more input :)

Here we go:

Wonderful lively reading! :clap:

I hear some plosives, so "so close" might be something at about 5 cm or so? The snowball comes with a -10 dB pad, so you might want to make sure that this setting is switched of. You want to have plain normal cardioid. The is also the possibility in Audacity to adjust input volume, the slider besides the little microphone in the taskbar. Slide this one more to the right, if possible.

If volume still is too low, you can amplify in Effects-Amplify until you reach the 89 dB.

For the plosives it helps to a) keep distance and b) speak not directly into the microphone, but in an slight angle to the left or right of the mic. A windshield also might be helpful (a less expensive one as the one from Blue might do as well ;) ...)

Now the technical stuff:

Almost all tech specs are fine. The only thing is the bitrate.
We need 128kbp at constant bitrate. You set this on exporting, see http://cisdem.de/librivox/AudaCity_2_2_pics/export.png

Please edit your file accordingly and post the upload-link here in the thread again, thank you :)
Last edited by moniaqua on May 17th, 2018, 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

linny
Posts: 8953
Joined: November 5th, 2010, 12:37 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Post by linny » May 17th, 2018, 6:05 am

Hello Joy,
Welcome to LV!

Yes, getting your area set up is often a challenge. There are loads of conversations over in the Help Wanted forum. viewforum.php?f=23

You sound great! There are only 2 corrections for this recording.

First, a little bit of noise cleaning. Do you see how your line during the "silent" areas is "fuzzy or speckled"? This is a visual indicator there is too much background noise. Don't worry. Noise cleaning and amplifying are the two most common edits we do.
First highlight some of your "silence", say 0:28-0:30.
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.

Next, 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
Save

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqmCOxOs_pM
Noise cleaning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFSg9o37HMw
Here is our full catalog of videos: https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php?title=Instructional_Videos

joywolfe
Posts: 6
Joined: May 16th, 2018, 6:31 am

Post by joywolfe » May 17th, 2018, 6:28 am

Thank you! Those noise cleaning specs were perfect. I will watch the videos, especially on noise cleaning. This is definitely the type of thing I will need to practice. Here is my upload with the corrected mp3 constant 128 formatting and the numbers you had suggested.
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_joywolfe.mp3

(I uploaded the correction with the same name as the original - I'm not sure if it duplicated the file or deleted the old one? I hope you can see the new one...)

Regarding the mic distance, I was about 7cm away - about half of what you had suggested was typical. I found anything further was too low on this mic - and amplifying caused the noise floor to amplify along with it. Although, your trick with the noise cleaning effect I believe might help with that.
Thanks again!

-Joy

linny
Posts: 8953
Joined: November 5th, 2010, 12:37 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Post by linny » May 17th, 2018, 6:38 am

A new file named the same as the old file overwrites the old file...actually it renames the old file so we can still get to it if we need to.

With mic position; hold your finger in front of the mic. Now talk. If you feel breath on the mic then move your head slightly until you don't feel your breath. That should stop the popping.

If you do need to increase the amplification always do that before you noise clean. You want the noise cleaning to be done using the loudest volume.

As for this recording... you are PL OK! :thumbs:

I look forward to seeing you in the forums. Have fun!

moniaqua
Posts: 818
Joined: April 11th, 2013, 4:48 am
Location: Somewhere in the south

Post by moniaqua » May 17th, 2018, 6:49 am

joywolfe wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 6:28 am
Regarding the mic distance, I was about 7cm away - about half of what you had suggested was typical. I found anything further was too low on this mic - and amplifying caused the noise floor to amplify along with it.
That's right, if you amplify noise get's louder, too.

I forgot one thing that might help before:

A mic picks up the more, the closer the source of a sound is to the mic. So, if the mic is as far as possible away from the mic and your mouth is closer to the mic, noise might be less. It also should help (if you have the cardioid setting) to make sure the PC really is in the back of the mic.

@linny, I like your explanation with the breath on the finger :thumbs:

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