Recording Trouble

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Ksimpson
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Post by Ksimpson » August 3rd, 2018, 8:51 am

Hello Everyone,

I finally have a new microphone. A Blue snowball iCE condenser microphone and I attached a pop filter.

I don't know if my struggle is with me, audacity, or the new microphone.

However, on my current project I am trying to record with librivox I have a serious problem. When I record it sounds like I am 5 miles away. So moving the microphone closer I still sound pretty far away. So when I adjust audacity to normalize the microphone is too sensitive. It picks up every breath, and half the time when I talk, it sounds like there are pop rocks in my mouth.

This is all super weird and I don't know how to get it all to sound normal. I would appreciate any help or suggestions.

Thanks.

Kay
I am Kay, fellow newbie and fascinated with voice acting.

"The difference between novice and the master is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried." Koro Sensei

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » August 3rd, 2018, 9:06 am

Hello Kay,

New equipment -- new troubles. And that's while they claim it's "plug and play", right?

First of all, start by situating yourself with your screen in a comfortable reading position (if you read off the screen) related to your head, with your posture relaxed and with your microphone about 6-8, but no more than 12 inches away (15-20 cm, no more than 30 cm, if you're used to metric). Make sure that your sound properties in your system (which is it, MacOS, Windows, Linux?) do not have any automatic gain turned on. If it has some kind of level ("gain", perhaps), set it in the middle.

In Audacity, which you should start after you plug your mic in, make sure the mic is known and selected (it's in the "Device Toolbar" - there is a drop-down, second from the left, I think). You should see the word "Blue" in there probably. On the "Mixer Toolbar" (with two sliders), put the mic slider in the middle. Start recording and talk normally. Stop recording. Save, export under some name so you can upload. Move your slider up quarter of the range (to 0.75). Start recording, talk normally, stop recording. Save, export under a different name, so you can also upload without interfering with the other file. Then move it all the way to the right (1.0). Same thing.

It's rather hard to give advice without hearing the actual recording. So, help us help you. :)
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

Ksimpson
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Location: Michigan
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Post by Ksimpson » August 7th, 2018, 9:15 am

Hello Tovarisch,

I did two recordings. The first one is without the amplify and if you listen closely you can still (well I can) still hear the saliva in my mouth, giving that terrible pop rocks effect.

So in the second recording I softened the mic recording and amplified it a bit. I think by 12 dcb. I would really appreciate it you or anyone reading this would listen. I really do appreciate all the help.

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/testing_blue_mic_01.mp3

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/testing_blue_mic_02.mp3
I am Kay, fellow newbie and fascinated with voice acting.

"The difference between novice and the master is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried." Koro Sensei

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » August 7th, 2018, 9:35 am

(moved out of the Languages Other than English forum into the regular "Need Help? Got Advice" forum)
Fiction, open sections mostly adventure in Australia: It Is Never too Late to Mend
Irish Home Rule Arguments: Handbook on Home Rule
Sci-Fi removing memories: Dr. Heidenhoff's Process

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » August 7th, 2018, 10:36 am

Ksimpson wrote:
August 7th, 2018, 9:15 am
Hello Tovarisch,

I did two recordings. The first one is without the amplify and if you listen closely you can still (well I can) still hear the saliva in my mouth, giving that terrible pop rocks effect.

So in the second recording I softened the mic recording and amplified it a bit. I think by 12 dcb. I would really appreciate it you or anyone reading this would listen. I really do appreciate all the help.

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/testing_blue_mic_01.mp3

https://librivox.org/uploads/tests/testing_blue_mic_02.mp3
Hello Kay,

Thank you. You did great. :thumbs:

You didn't say where in Audacity the microphone slider was for either of the tracks. The need to amplify to bring it to our allowed range, shows that it must be rather on the low side. The first ('01') track needs to be amplified 16 dB, the second ('02') one "only" 12 dB.

I noticed from your comments recorded and the fact that you mention in your posting, that you're concerned with clicking sounds your mouth makes when it moves. We don't usually handle those by recording at low gain and then amplifying. Yes, some detail is lost in that process, but not as much as you perhaps would desire. I know of two ways to combat unwanted mouth sounds, one is to hydrate yourself enough that they become imperceptible (although not go away altogether), another is to use some kind of post-processing (see if you can find a "de-clicker" discussion in our forums). There is another way to handle those clicks, and that's to ignore them. Some folks have expressed a concern with their breathing sounds... Please don't try to remove those, they are normal for a human being to produce.

I strongly recommend you (a) hydrate yourself enough that your mouth mucous membrane is not sticky to cause those sounds, and (b) listen to yourself less critically. The former is easier to do than the latter, so perhaps work on the latter while doing the former?...

Your recording when amplified, still needs some noise reduction (your nice microphone picks up your computer and room noises). Concentrate on that and on the contents of the book and try not to fight against what most likely would go unnoticed anyway.

If you'd like, do one of these like you would prepare for a project (volume in the range of 87-91 dB, noise reduced), and post it again, I (or somebody else) will be happy to give it a listen. :)
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » August 7th, 2018, 1:32 pm

I barely hear any mouth clicks. I've heard MUCH worse. 8-)
Fiction, open sections mostly adventure in Australia: It Is Never too Late to Mend
Irish Home Rule Arguments: Handbook on Home Rule
Sci-Fi removing memories: Dr. Heidenhoff's Process

Elizabby
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Post by Elizabby » August 7th, 2018, 2:15 pm

When I first recorded here I cleaned out ALL the sounds - no breath sounds, no clicks, no background noise, no nothing. It took ages and gave me RSI - and I ended up sounding like a computer!

So my advice would be to claim and record a couple of sections in books that interest you, and fine tune your settings with the help of the DPL in the project. As you read you will get a feel for your own level of comfort with editing.

Enjoy your new mic!
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annise
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Post by annise » August 7th, 2018, 3:47 pm

The advice I was given very early in my LV life was to think of LV readers as friends coming to read to you when you are unable to read for some reason . You'd just be grateful. And would certainly prefer them to keep breathing :D
Over correcting recordings is like over correcting paintings - you finish up with a muddy mess :D

Anne

Ksimpson
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Post by Ksimpson » August 17th, 2018, 9:47 am

Thank you all so much for your help and kind words. I will try again and see if I can post a better one later. Please excuse the delay, there was a death in the family and things have been pretty crazy.

But thanks again and I will see what I can do in terms of hydration, making my room more quiet, and getting more adjusted to audacity.
I am Kay, fellow newbie and fascinated with voice acting.

"The difference between novice and the master is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried." Koro Sensei

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