Test [OK]

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Suhail
Posts: 3
Joined: November 27th, 2018, 11:58 am

Post by Suhail » November 30th, 2018, 9:40 am

Hello

Just submitting a test recording from audacity in Windows.
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_suhail.mp3

Let me know if its ok.

Kind regards

Suhail

Kitty
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 14276
Joined: March 28th, 2014, 5:57 am

Post by Kitty » December 5th, 2018, 6:00 am

hey again :) I already replied to your introduction mail, so here I am checking your test as well.

Your voice, expression and tempo are very agreeable to listen to, that's already a really good foundation for any audiobook. :thumbs:

Concerning the technical settings though, we need to tweak a couple of things. Good thing you are using Audacity, then I can give you an easy step-by-step tutorial.

1) your volume is too low. We accept between 86 and 92 dB, yours is barely 75 dB :shock: we need to crank this up quite a bit. Try if you can boost the input volume of your microphone (is there a toggle on the mic ?) Also, check that the slider bar next to the mic icon in Audacity is all the way up to the + sign for maximum input volume.

To amplify this file now, do the following:

> highlight your recording
> go to Effect
> go to Amplify
> input 12 (in your case now) in the upper slot (amplification dB)
--> Warning here: you have a lot of audible plosives in your recording. You can see that by the sudden high peaks in the waves. Because of that, Audacity will give you a warning that it can't amplify with 12 because it will "clip" the peaked parts. You can override this for this time by ticking the box "allow clipping".
But: usually you should NOT tick that box, because clipping is not good, it will distort the voice if it's clipping too much of the sound. Here for the purpose of this test, you can tick it though, just so you get to the right volume. But later on in your "real" recording, try to avoid too high peaks, so try to keep the voice on a similar level all the time.
> press ok

To avoid plosive sounds a good idea is not to speak straight into the microphone, you will "blow" into it and this makes this rustling noise. I always put my mic a bit more to the side of my face, so my breath passes alongside it and not straight into it. This and some practice will reduce the plosives with time.

2) your background noise is very high, especially now that you amplified by 12, because you also amplified the noise. ;)
Always try to use the most quiet room in the house, and close the windows or turn off any electrical appliances in the area of the mic. Moving the mic further from the computer may help, or if you can run it on battery, unplug it while recording, then the fan will be less noisy.

Now to noise-clean in Audacity do the following:

> select a small portion where you don't speak (usually at the end of your file)
> go to Effect - Noise Reduction
> first select Get Noise Profile
> then highlight the entire recording
> again Effect - Noise Reduction
> now select OK

3) and finally your variable bitrate is not correct, we need 128 kbps constant

> go to File / Export Audio
> open Options in the lower right corner
> select the following settings: Bit Rate Mode: Constant / Quality: 128 kbps
> press Ok

Could you do these three changes please and reupload in this same thread ? Then I can have a second look :)

thanks

Sonia

Suhail
Posts: 3
Joined: November 27th, 2018, 11:58 am

Post by Suhail » Yesterday, 12:50 pm

Dear Sonia

Thank you so much for your help. I've made the changes.

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

Hopefully this has improved it. If not, I may just need to speak loader!

Best wishes

Suhail

Kitty
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 14276
Joined: March 28th, 2014, 5:57 am

Post by Kitty » Today, 12:30 am

thank you Suhail :)

you are just inside our limits now with 86.6 dB ;) but the technical settings are correct now, so I can give the test the official OK.

The only thing you need to work on are the plosives. You did not re-record this test so I can't see whether you tried out putting the mic to the side of your head. I would recommend doing that for any official recordings ;)

Speaking louder is usually not a good option, as it will instantaneously clip when the volume gets too loud. I think "speaking on a level tone, avoiding high peaks" is the better choice. Even if the volume is far below the limits, you can always amplify when you don't have high peaks. Then run noise-cleaning and all is perfect.

To practice this, a good way is to watch the Audacity waves move along while you read. As soon as you see a solitary high peak, try to re-do that entire sentence keeping your voice more level or taking care of the plosive which may have been in there ;) If you watch the waves for some time, you will get a feeling for the volume of your voice.

Here is a nice plug in for Audacity, to calculate the amount you need to amplify to get to 89 dB. I use it all the time, it's very helpful:
Replay Gain plugin for Audacity: - http://forum.audacityteam.org/download/file.php?id=4668

1. Save the file to your computer - your desktop or somewhere where you can easily find it.
2. Now browse to the folder in which Audacity is installed. It's probably in C:\Program Files\Audacity) and then open the Plug-Ins folder.
3. Drag the file you saved into the Plug-Ins folder.
4. When next you start up Audacity, you will be able to select the whole recording (Ctrl+A on Windows), then go to Analyze | ReplayGain, and it'll tell you how much to amplify your file to get to about 89 dB.
So, you are ready to roll :) Have fun with your first official section.

Sonia

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