[OK]Sound test - advice requested...

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johnnyenglish
Posts: 313
Joined: August 4th, 2014, 6:10 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Post by johnnyenglish » May 2nd, 2019, 3:51 pm

Hello Everybodypepes!

I've been away for a while, and I have been through a few devices in that time,
so I'm posting a fresh test file.

This is actually one I did for Kos (ultra helpful Dude Numero Uno,) at Audacity Forums.

My raw file was recorded from an untouched download of the software - default settings.

He said it worked well enough for ACX, but tweaked it with what he called 'Number of the Beast Noise Reduction'.
(6, 6, 6.) :lol:

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/Clone-Mastered.mp3

If anyone can suggest improvements that will make my recordings more compatable for LibriVox, I will record a proper
1 minute sample with those setting applied.

My major concern is that I don't have any teeth, so I have difficulty with 'S' and 'T' words. I can just about deal with
the shluurrrring if I am very careful with my pronunciation, but any suggestions as to how to deal with the nasty
'mastication' sounds would be greatly appreciated! :wink:
I have absolutely nothing in this world but time - so I believe I should invest it wisely...

tovarisch
Posts: 2751
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » May 2nd, 2019, 6:46 pm

Hello Johnny,

Except for not being a constant bitrate of 128kbps, your file is fine. Perhaps a little too loud (I'd deamplify it by 2.4 to make it as close to 89 dB as possible), but it comes across clear. No need to worry about S's or T's.

To make it acceptable by LV standards, it needs to be exported with a constant bitrate, an not variable.
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

johnnyenglish
Posts: 313
Joined: August 4th, 2014, 6:10 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Post by johnnyenglish » May 3rd, 2019, 4:53 am

Thanks Tovarisch,

Any chance of a quick 'idiot's guide' to how I do that?

I've tried to find out in help and the manual, without success, and I can't see anything on the toolbar
that seems appropriate. The only mention of rate I can find says this is 44100hz.

Basically if you could just point out where I need to look - and how to 'deamplify' - that
would be most appreciated.

(Oh, sorry if I gave the impression that I know what I'm doing! :lol: )
I have absolutely nothing in this world but time - so I believe I should invest it wisely...

tovarisch
Posts: 2751
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » May 3rd, 2019, 5:46 am

Johnny,

The proper bitrate setting is in the File -> Export dialog. There (depending on the version of Audacity) you should see the "Bitrate Mode" entry, which you change to "Constant" and the "Quality" entry, which you change to 128kbps.

Deamplifying is accomplished by means of the "Amplify" effect with a negative value: select the entire track (or some part you wish to {de}amplify), then menu Effect -> Amplify, and enter the "value" (optionally with a minus). You can always undo, so don't hesitate to experiment.

There are also many good instructional videos that Phis Chenevert created, I recommend you to watch some of them.
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

johnnyenglish
Posts: 313
Joined: August 4th, 2014, 6:10 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Post by johnnyenglish » May 3rd, 2019, 9:27 am

Thanks for that - easy when you know where to look!

I'm just about to go watch some of those vids, but I thought I would upload
this - with one more question.

Now, the 'master' version of my 20 second sample that Kos did for me came back much
louder than my original - don't know why.

Anyway, this sample sounds much quieter than that, so I don't want to 'deamplify' it without
checking first. Question is: Where do I check the sound level, to make sure that I am getting
close to LibriVox preferred volume?

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_je1.mp3

(If that is covered in the vids - wory ye not! :wink: )
I have absolutely nothing in this world but time - so I believe I should invest it wisely...

tovarisch
Posts: 2751
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » May 3rd, 2019, 10:17 am

Good job on the bitrate! :thumbs:

The volume... :? The 'test_je1' is only 74 dB (the first one was 91.4 dB). So, you might want to amplify this one. Beware that if you spoke too softly or placed your mouth too far from the microphone, which now requires a lot of amplification, the noise may be too much (it gets amplified too), so we strongly recommend getting as close to the target volume as you can at the actual recording so that the amplification (if needed) would not be as drastic (in your 'test_je1' it's 15).

Checking the volume and amplifying is undoubtedly covered in Phil's videos. Look for "Checker".
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

johnnyenglish
Posts: 313
Joined: August 4th, 2014, 6:10 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Post by johnnyenglish » May 3rd, 2019, 12:11 pm

Cheers! I'll do that!
I have absolutely nothing in this world but time - so I believe I should invest it wisely...

johnnyenglish
Posts: 313
Joined: August 4th, 2014, 6:10 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Post by johnnyenglish » May 4th, 2019, 6:03 am

Phil's vids are really cool! (I shall be watching a few more!)

However, I did have a slight prob with the MP3gain soft that he used - i.e. - I can't install it.
Apparently, there's loads of gubbins missing, so you have to go to the MP3gain homepage to
fix that, but as far as I can tell - there isn't one. (Only second party download sites.)

Any road up, I thought I would try the applience of science - and guess!

(A little background. When I managed to get a new pc after my last one died, I thought it was the dog's dangly bits - until
I tried to do some recording! It has what they call 'military grade' heat extractors. Kos at Audacity Forums said it sounded like I was sitting
inside an industrial furnace - or something like that! :lol:

Many months later, with my new 'quiet' laptop, I was still putting the mic as far away as the cable would allow! So,
and here's the clever bit! - I moved it closer!)

Still haven't got a clue as to the db volume, playing it by ear - groan!- so if you have any tips as to how I can check,
that would be coolio. (I had to 'allow clipping' before it would let me make any changes - is that okay?)

Sorry if this is taking a while, but I don't want to volunteer to read anything, until I have my sound levels 'LibriVox acceptable"! :wink:

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/test_je2.mp3
I have absolutely nothing in this world but time - so I believe I should invest it wisely...

tovarisch
Posts: 2751
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » May 4th, 2019, 7:15 am

Do keep looking at the videos, there is wealth of information there.

The dBs are simpler than might appear at first. I use Checker (not MP3Gain). See this wiki page for an explanation. If your computer has Java, Checker will run.

There is another way to do the volume verification/adjustment, and another wiki page explains it.

Do ask particular questions, those are easier to respond to than a "haven't got a clue".

Allowing clipping when amplifying is inevitable sometimes. If your reading style makes a widely varied audio (quiet at times and at times spiky), you might consider using a Compressor (look for a video about it).

See if you can get along with Checker, which should help you verify that your volume is in range. The ReplayGain effect for Audacity is another good way to do it.
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

johnnyenglish
Posts: 313
Joined: August 4th, 2014, 6:10 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Post by johnnyenglish » May 4th, 2019, 1:22 pm

Thanks for the tips!

I adjusted the file until Checker approved it - but it sounds painfully loud to me.

I'll do another test on the morrow, and try RealplayGain on it as well. (just point me in the right direction,
and I'm there like a rat up a drainpipe!)

Thanks for your patience!

(Oh - if you would like a specific question - where do I search on the Audacity toolbar for the db level? Not trying to
be funny - I would really like to know!)
I have absolutely nothing in this world but time - so I believe I should invest it wisely...

tovarisch
Posts: 2751
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » May 4th, 2019, 2:35 pm

Yours is a good question. And my answer will not necessarily satisfy you.

Audacity does not really have a "db level". There is microphone gain slider, which you can move left and right, it's on the "mixer toolbar", see here, it's the fifth one, the slider is called "slider recording".

While you're talking, the software will display the level on the "recording meter toolbar" (the third on that page). If it touches 0, you're good. If it goes higher, reduce the gain. If it barely reaches -12, you'll need to amplify in post-processing. I am sure you'll get used to it.

ReplayGain (not RealplayGain as you called it) is a replacement for Checker, I used to find it more convenient because I didn't have to export in order to check my volume. Nowadays I rarely use Audacity, so Checker is my good buddy.

Ask more questions, hopefully I'll have answers, or will suggest some other source of info.
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

johnnyenglish
Posts: 313
Joined: August 4th, 2014, 6:10 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Post by johnnyenglish » May 5th, 2019, 8:30 am

Replaygain is a really useful tool, innit?

I did a new test file, 'cos I was getting bored of the other one, and ran it through both Checker
and Replaygain, then once more through Checker after I normalised it. Says it's 88.5 dB.

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

I'm going to experiment with the recording levels for a while, (once I've finished watching those vids!)
because I actually had to hold the mic in my hand - wannabe Rockstar! - otherwise it was far too
quiet. (The opposite problem from my Industrial Furnace pc! :lol: )

If you (or anyone else,) have further comments or advice - all gratefully received.
I have absolutely nothing in this world but time - so I believe I should invest it wisely...

tovarisch
Posts: 2751
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » May 5th, 2019, 3:42 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:

This one is perfect! :thumbs:

You are good to go! I really like your reading style, too.

An admin will stop by to mark this thread with an OK, and you don't need to wait. Go right ahead to our "Readers Wanted" forums and look for an interesting project to join (if you haven't already).

Happy recording! :)
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

johnnyenglish
Posts: 313
Joined: August 4th, 2014, 6:10 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Post by johnnyenglish » May 5th, 2019, 11:31 pm

Many thanks! :D
I have absolutely nothing in this world but time - so I believe I should invest it wisely...

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