One Minute Test [OK]

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Kudrna
Posts: 28
Joined: April 26th, 2019, 11:02 am

Post by Kudrna » April 27th, 2019, 1:14 am

Hello, this is my 1 minute test. I use Audacity on Windows 10 laptop. It passed the Checker so the volume and technical specification should be ok. However, it seems to me that there is some background noise and I'm not sure if it's acceptable or if I should try to reduce it somehow.
I'm not a native speaker so pardon my pronunciation :D Thanks for checking and helping :)

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

Kitty
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 19873
Joined: March 28th, 2014, 5:57 am

Post by Kitty » April 28th, 2019, 1:59 am

Hello Kudrna and welcome to our forum :)

thank you for starting with a one-minute-test. Always good to have the technical things checked out first.
Kudrna wrote:It passed the Checker so the volume and technical specification should be ok. However, it seems to me that there is some background noise and I'm not sure if it's acceptable or if I should try to reduce it somehow.
great that you already use the Checker :thumbs: you're right, all the tech specs are correct, but I hear what you mean with the background noise. It is quite disturbing and it would benefit from a bit of cleaning. Audacity has a noise-reduction function which works very well.

Now when I hear the spaces in between your speech I notice that there is no noise at all, so I suspect you inserted silence there, is that correct ? This is not really the best option, for two reasons, first of all, the absolute silence is uncanny when you insert it artificially into a text. In normal speech you would also hear some noise and especially your breathing. If the audience doesn't hear anything at all, it sounds very strange. Secondly, you can use the noise to get a sample and to apply the noise-reduction function in Audacity ;)

So here is what I would do to check this out: Could you please re-record the text once more and let the recording run for a few seconds at the end of your speech, but don't insert artificial silence. Then do the following:

> select a small portion where you don't speak (a good sample will be at the end of your file)
> go to Effect
> go to Noise Reduction
> use the following numbers: Noise Reduction: 12 / Sensitivity: 6 / Frequency Smoothing (bands): 0
> first select Get Noise Profile
> then highlight the entire recording
> again Effect
> again Noise Reduction
> now select OK

Now the noise even inside your speech should be reduced quite a bit. If it's still too disturbing, you can run a second round of Noise Reduction, just the same way as I showed just now. But it shouldn't be applied too often, or it might distort the sound.

The best thing of course would be to try and find the source of the noise (maybe traffic, the computer fan, etc) and try to do something about reducing that (closing windows, putting microphone further away from the source, etc).

Could you try this Noise reduction once please and post the new test in this same thread, so I get alerted and can have another listen ? Just push the Reply button at the bottom of this page. Let's keep it all in one thread.
I'm not a native speaker so pardon my pronunciation :D
I hear a bit of an accent, but your expressiveness and pronunciation is very clear and easy to understand, so don't worry at all about that. :) Accents can be charming and make the listening experience interesting. What is your mother-tongue if I may ask ?

Good luck with the second test and if you still have questions, don't hesitate to ask :)

Sonia

Kudrna
Posts: 28
Joined: April 26th, 2019, 11:02 am

Post by Kudrna » April 28th, 2019, 8:12 am

Hi Sonia,
first, thank you for checking my recording so fast :)
Now when I hear the spaces in between your speech I notice that there is no noise at all, so I suspect you inserted silence there, is that correct ?
This quite suprised me because I didn't insert any artificial silence to the recording; actually I didn't edit it at all. But our house is really silent (or at least when I'm recording), so it's possible that the mic doesn't record anything when I'm not speaking.
I recorded another test and I tried to change my position and the distance from the mic until it seemed better. Here's the new recording:
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_kudrna01.mp3
and here's the same recording but with noise reduced as you told me:
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_kudrna02.mp3
I don't hear any change (which is probably because there's nothing to be reduced) but compared to the first recording, the noise is better.
What is your mother-tongue if I may ask ?
I'm czech and I'd like to widen the czech library here :) I didn't think about recording an english book so far; maybe when I get my first czech book done.
Thanks for checking again :)
Kudrna

Kitty
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 19873
Joined: March 28th, 2014, 5:57 am

Post by Kitty » April 28th, 2019, 8:30 am

Kudrna wrote:
April 28th, 2019, 8:12 am
This quite suprised me because I didn't insert any artificial silence to the recording; actually I didn't edit it at all. But our house is really silent (or at least when I'm recording), so it's possible that the mic doesn't record anything when I'm not speaking.
hmm now this is a puzzle to me, because I never heard any house that was that quiet. And if it was so quiet, there would not have been any noise inside your speech either, but it's there when you speak. Now if you didn't insert any silence, then maybe your microphone was simply "turning off automatically" when you don't speak. Some microphones do that. That could be a reason too. :hmm:
I recorded another test and I tried to change my position and the distance from the mic until it seemed better. Here's the new recording:
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_kudrna01.mp3
and here's the same recording but with noise reduced as you told me:
https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_kudrna02.mp3
I don't hear any change (which is probably because there's nothing to be reduced) but compared to the first recording, the noise is better.
definitely they are both much better. So maybe it was the position of the microphone that did the trick. Well, I think your first was already good enough, if it's like that you don't have to do the noise cleaning (you're lucky, I always have to use it a bit with my recordings). If in one recording you hear some noise, now you know how to use the Audacity cleaning function.

So you are all set to go. Here's your official OK on the test. :) You can now participate in any project on offer ! Have fun.
I'm czech and I'd like to widen the czech library here :) I didn't think about recording an english book so far; maybe when I get my first czech book done.
Ah czech, ok I thought something slavic but didn't really know where to localize it ;) You can definitely also participate in English, I had no problem understanding you.

Actually, before you launch into a long solo, I would highly recommend that you start in a group project first. At least one or two sections, so you get a bit the feel of what is involved and how it all works here in the projects. A short poem or two is already enough, so you see the dynamics here. A solo is quite lonely at times, it's only you and the prooflistener, while in the group there is more interaction.

If you want to try a quick project, do the weekly or fortnightly poem for example. The current fortnightly is here: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=74735 and it will still run for another week I think.

Whatever you choose, I hope you have fun :)

Sonia

Kudrna
Posts: 28
Joined: April 26th, 2019, 11:02 am

Post by Kudrna » April 28th, 2019, 9:31 am

Now if you didn't insert any silence, then maybe your microphone was simply "turning off automatically" when you don't speak. Some microphones do that. That could be a reason too.
Well this seems the most probable option, I didn't think of that. I hope it won't disturb the listeners too much.
Also I didn't know that such thing as Fornightly Poem Reading exists :D I'll definitely try it before recording the whole book.
Thanks for the tip and the approval :)
Kudrna

Kitty
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 19873
Joined: March 28th, 2014, 5:57 am

Post by Kitty » April 28th, 2019, 9:35 am

Kudrna wrote:
April 28th, 2019, 9:31 am
Well this seems the most probable option, I didn't think of that. I hope it won't disturb the listeners too much.
well in your second try it wasn't as bad, but that was because during your reading the noise was not so loud, before, in the first test the difference in noise and absolute silence was too drastic, in the second it wasn't. So this sounds quite good now. No worries.
Also I didn't know that such thing as Fornightly Poem Reading exists :D I'll definitely try it before recording the whole book.
yes and I see that the new weekly poem has also started just now: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=74796

But there are plenty of projects with small sections to try out, in case you don't like poetry. It's only good to try a bit in a group before doing it alone. :)

Good luck

Sonia

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