One Minute test by Farrah

All languages: post your test recording here. Help check audio files, provide editing services, and advertise for proof-listeners.
Post Reply
FIftikhar123
Posts: 37
Joined: March 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

Post by FIftikhar123 » March 25th, 2019, 5:35 am

Hi,
I'm Farrah. Here's my one minute test recording:
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_fiftikhar123.mp3

I made the recording using Audacity with a USB microphone on a Windows laptop.

Any suggestions for improvement would be much appreciated. :D

Regards,
Farrah

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1867
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » March 26th, 2019, 5:36 pm

Hello Farrah, welcome to LibriVox! The tone of your voice is really pleasing to me, hopefully we can get you recording soon! There are a few issues to correct first, however.

The first is your volume. If you haven't already, downloading the program Checker can help you see your volume. Your volume is currently at 64.7 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:
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 24.3) in the first box
4. Hit OK.
This should get you to the required range!

The next issue is your background noise. You already have a decent amount of this, and amplifying it will only make it louder :shock:. Luckily Audacity has a really nice noise filter effect built in. To use it:
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: I've used anywhere from 10-20, for you 12 should suffice, Sensitivity: 6, Frequency: 6.
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.

Your last issues can be fixed together. The first is that we require mono sound, your recording is in stereo. The other is that we require constant 128 kbps, yours is variable 135. These are easy fixes!
1.Go to export it (menu items file>export)
2. Look under the Format Options section
3.Where it says 'Bit Rate Mode', select 'Constant'
4. In the 'Quality' drop down menu select 128 kbps.
5. At the bottom of the screen, select 'Force to Mono'

I also want to mention that I heard some plosives, where your breath hits the microphone really hard. This in itself will not prevent you from recording for LibriVox, but playing with it can help increase the quality of your recording. To fix this you would play around with the orientation of your microphone so that your breath doesn't hit it directly (maybe try placing it to the side of your mouth, etc.). No need to re record this time, just something to think about for the future!

This may look like a lot, but these are in reality very simple fixes. Once you perform these actions, please re upload with the same file name, post in this thread, and I'll take another listen!
Campbell
Constructive criticism always welcome

Readers wanted: The Cliff-Dwellers

FIftikhar123
Posts: 37
Joined: March 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

Post by FIftikhar123 » March 29th, 2019, 6:19 am

Hi,
I've applied the changes you suggested. Let me know if this is any better.

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_fiftikhar123.mp3

So the checker showed my volume to be 86 and you said 89 would be better. Probably a silly question, but how do I increase this volume on Audacity?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Farrah

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1867
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » March 29th, 2019, 7:25 am

Nice job! All the tech settings are correct :D! And as for the volume, you are correct. This test would technically pass, but optimally we would like to have it at 89 dbs. So for this test it will actually be a two step process. If you look at your waveform in Audacity, you will see that there are some really high peaks in there. Those are when your plosives occur. If you find a way to eliminate them you will have a much easier job, but for now the steps you would take would be:

1. Select your entire recording
2. Go to Effects>Compressor
3. The settings I use in order are: -12, -40, 7:1, 0.2, 1.0.
4. Hit ok.

This will bring all your peaks down and allow you to amplify your recording. However, this will also bring the overall volume down. This means you will have to check the volume again (either using Checker or the ReplayGain plugin). Then, you will figure out by how much you need to amplify (89-your current value), then:
I recommend increasing the microphone slider in Audacity, so that it will input at a higher value. To fix this recording however:
1. Select your entire recording
2. Go to menu items Effect>Amplify
3. Enter whatever number you need to get to 89 in the first box
4. Hit OK.
Again, once you try that, you may want to try another pass of background noise to get it to sound great. Are you willing to try this, and upload again? While technically this test would pass, I think that learning this would make it even better :D.

EDIT: I forgot to mention for the compressor effect, neither of the boxes at the bottom should be checked :D
Campbell
Constructive criticism always welcome

Readers wanted: The Cliff-Dwellers

FIftikhar123
Posts: 37
Joined: March 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

Post by FIftikhar123 » April 1st, 2019, 6:41 am

Hi,
Thank you for the advice. I've made the changes recommended. Please let me know what you think.

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_fiftikhar123.mp3

Thank you.

Regards,
Farrah

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1867
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » April 1st, 2019, 6:56 am

Hello there! I listened to your test again! The volume was good, your bit rate was good, and it was in mono. However, I think something might have gone a bit wrong with your noise reduction. It sounded very muffled, which is not ideal.

I think if you can get that microphone slider up all the way, it will really help reduce noise. Have you tried that yet? I also want to make sure that when you do the step where you select the noise profile, only sound is selected, and not your voice. If you know you did that correctly, then I would like to make one setting change: set the Frequency to 0. This is not as effective for me, but it prevents that muffled sound almost entirely.

I would like to get this figured out, as it will really help the quality and listening quality of your recording. If I were you, I might want to re record with the higher input volume to see if we can get rid of that pesky noise (and maybe the plosives too :D), but if you are opposed to that, re doing the noise reduction either the proper way or with the new settings will suffice :D. Let me know wha you think! I am really hoping we can get you up and running soon, you have such a beautiful voice!
Campbell
Constructive criticism always welcome

Readers wanted: The Cliff-Dwellers

FIftikhar123
Posts: 37
Joined: March 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

Post by FIftikhar123 » April 1st, 2019, 9:27 am

Hi,
Thank you for that. I think I'll re-record. Just wondering should I increase the playback volume?

Regards,
Farrah

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1867
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » April 1st, 2019, 9:32 am

That is not really that important. That only controls how loud it plays back, not how loud the input volume is. It's kind of confusing. Increasing the mic slider will get it to record at a better level for us.

Just a hint, you will know if the microphone slider is in the general range if it peaks around the 0.5 mark. Ideally, it should look something like this:
Image.

Hope this helps!
Campbell
Constructive criticism always welcome

Readers wanted: The Cliff-Dwellers

FIftikhar123
Posts: 37
Joined: March 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

Post by FIftikhar123 » April 1st, 2019, 9:37 am

Thank you! Recording now. Will be up shortly. Hopefully this one will be perfect!

FIftikhar123
Posts: 37
Joined: March 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

Post by FIftikhar123 » April 1st, 2019, 9:50 am

Hi,
So I've re-recorded. This one sounds good to me. However, do let me know if I can improve it.

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_fiftikhar123.mp3

Regards,
Farrah

lymiewithpurpose
Posts: 1867
Joined: January 18th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Location: California

Post by lymiewithpurpose » April 1st, 2019, 9:53 am

Perfect! That sounds incredible! You had zero plosives, and this really helped your voice get that nice round sound which we always like to hear. Thank you so much for doing this, and now you know how to fiddle around with Audacity too :D! You have the official OK to go forth and record something fun :clap:. I hope to see you around the forum!
Campbell
Constructive criticism always welcome

Readers wanted: The Cliff-Dwellers

FIftikhar123
Posts: 37
Joined: March 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

Post by FIftikhar123 » April 1st, 2019, 9:54 am

Awesome! Can't wait to get started!

Thank you so much for all your help.

Regards,
Farrah

Post Reply