The all-new "HELP! I have an Audacity problem" thread

Post your questions & get help from friendly LibriVoxers
Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » June 28th, 2019, 9:44 pm

For single small sharp sounds, it's possible to delete them without affecting the sound of the overall word.

For example, I often make a very hard "k" sound that shows as a slight spike. I put the cursor near/over it and zoom in repeatedly until the spike is clearly visible; it's usually a cluster of two or more spikes. I delete the largest (highlight it/them, press Z to get a clean cut, press Delete), and zoom back out. I usually double-check the effect on the sound; I may need to zoom back in and deamplify the remaining spike/s by 5 dB or so.

I get occasional clicks in the middle of words. Zooming in far enough, they are usually visible on the line of the sonogram as a little thickening of the line. Highlight to pick up just one curve/cycle of the line, press Z, delete. At this level of magnification, I'm removing such a small fragment of sound that it's imperceptible when I zoom back out and check. If I can't actually see the click, staying zoomed in, I'll highlight different sections of the sonogram and play them, until I can identify the part of the sonogram where the click is and delete it.

And, despite using a pop screen on my mike and speaking to one side of it, I do sometimes get a plosive "p". Zoom right in until the deformed curve of the sonogram is visible, highlight it and apply 5 or 10 dB of deamplification, zoom out and check the sound.

It's always possible to undo the change and try, for example, less deamplification.

Peter
Last edited by Peter Why on June 28th, 2019, 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

carolb
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Post by carolb » June 28th, 2019, 11:10 pm

Hello sacredsounds,

I was very surprised to see Phil Chenevert's dilemma pasted in your post - and then saw that it was from 2012. Phil's now our 'Video Guy'!
You'll find the answer to lots, if not all your queries here: https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Instructional_Videos :wink:

lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » June 29th, 2019, 2:49 am

sacredsounds wrote:
June 28th, 2019, 9:18 pm

I'm a *total* newbie to editing in Audacity. If it's not possible to do that (clean up sounds on words) would y'all recommend re-recording a small section and trying to patch it together again? If so any links to tutorials on how to do that would be super appreciated! Whenever I try to record a section I didn't like it goes onto the next track (which is fine) but it always sounds totally different and I don't know why since I haven't changed settings as far as I know and would continue recording in the same way as before. o.0 I also have no clue how to edit it to make it sound similar so it doesn't break up the flow (in terms of noise- volume etc) I dunno what the hekk to do since I can't possibly get the recording perfect in it's entirety especially if it's a longer reading (which I am only now moving past the 1 minute range with much frustration lol) Any help is much appreciated!
It is important to make certain you make an edit (re-record) and replicate the exact setup for the previous recording. In other words, the exact same distance from the mic, in the same exact position the mic was in, and no changes to the room acoustic. Also speak at the same volume that you used before and also set the gain on recorder or computer to be exactly the same. (It is a good idea to make a note of gain settings and all the distances and setup by measuring and also taking photos. In professional studios they take photos of the way the mics are setup and the position of the readers/musicians etc so that the next day/week/month/or year, they can set up exactly as before).

Then it's just a matter of finding the exact spot where the edit must fit into the track. Cut at this point and find the end of the to be edited section and cut again. Insert the new edited section and move the previous or following section so that it fits. (The new edit may be slightly longer or shorter than the old one). Use cross fades at each join so that there is no audible click at the edit point.

Recording is a precise science and the need for precision is essential.

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » June 29th, 2019, 6:13 am

Regarding zooming in and cutting out one or two waves: Be sure to cut so that the waves left over match up. If you cut it so that the wave is going up on one side, then immediately goes down after the cut so it looks like a V or ^, it'll have more chance of sounding funny than if you cut it so the wave form ends up going in the same direction before and after the cut. I hope this makes sense.

I don't use cross fades as mentioned in LurcherLover's post. I either edit in a whole phrase, or if it is a word or two, it's got strong start-and-stop points (T, K, or other hard-stop sounds) so that it doesn't need to be feathered in with any big precision.

It would be interesting to hear how bad your edits sound - it could be that you're being overly picky. :) It's nice to have it seamless, but unless it's really jarring, you can keep in mind that we're not professionals, and while it's really nice to have a professional sounding recording, it's not essential to us at LibriVox.

I do suggest posting an audio with examples of your different-sounding edits and the badly edited blip in a word (I'd suggest copying the word with the bad part in it, then editing one of the two copies, so that we can see what you started with). Upload it to the tests folder, and perhaps make a new thread with this audio link rather than posting it here. :)
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lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » June 29th, 2019, 6:40 am

Hi Tricia

I think if I'm correct that you are talking about the zero crossing point i.e. the central line which denotes zero dB. This is fine and will avoid any blip if you cut at that zero point. It's a little more work than using cross fades as they actually do the same thing automatically. I'm not sure about Audacity but in my audio editor I have it set up to automatically select the old edit on the left and when I press delete its gone,* unless I want to keep it and in that case I drag it down to the track below where I keep junk and also possible edits which I might want to go back to. (This track is turned off audio wise, but available with one click if I want to hear something on it). Likewise the cross fades are set so that when I overlap into the previous section it will always give me a perfect cross fade of whatever length I want, just by dragging.

I'm not sure how this works in Audacity as I only use audacity to convert to MP3 files - I use Reaper as my editing program.

* Of course in non linear editing you can always get the file back as it only disappears on the screen.
Last edited by lurcherlover on June 29th, 2019, 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

lymiewithpurpose
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Post by lymiewithpurpose » June 29th, 2019, 6:44 am

sacredsounds wrote:
June 28th, 2019, 9:18 pm
I dunno what the hekk to do since I can't possibly get the recording perfect in it's entirety especially if it's a longer reading (which I am only now moving past the 1 minute range with much frustration lol)
Do you mean you keep trying to rerecord whenever you make a mistake? That would take forever. What most of us do is when we make a mistake, we may take a slight pause, repeat the sentence or something, and continue on. Then we edit out the goof up when we're done.
Campbell
Constructive criticism always welcome

Readers wanted: The Cliff-Dwellers

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » June 29th, 2019, 6:45 am

I'm not sure how this works in Audacity as I only use audacity to convert to MP3 files - I use Reaper as my editing program.
Well, seeing as this is an Audacity problem thread, it's probably not a good idea to give advice to newbies that one doesn't know how to do in Audacity. ;) There's enough of a learning curve as it is.
The Panama Canal Zone during construction: Zone Policeman 88
Report of the President's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization (1953)
Christmas Lore: LINK
Proofs The Earth Isn't a Globe! LINK

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » June 29th, 2019, 7:45 am

TriciaG wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 6:13 am
[W]hile it's really nice to have a professional sounding recording, it's not essential to us at LibriVox.
I'd like to have a coffee mug with that printed on its side.

It might calm me down on my bad days.
"E agora, José?"

annise
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Post by annise » June 29th, 2019, 7:56 am

I'm not offering advice, just saying that the top most useful thing I find in Audacity is the undo in the edit menu - it lets you try something out, listen and then if it's not right you can undo it. If you are nervous when you are trying things out, export them as a .flac or .mp3 then you can play around with the audacity file and whatever you do you will not lose your recording. If disaster strikes you can just upload the file you exported.

Anne

pnagami
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Post by pnagami » June 29th, 2019, 8:41 am

Welcome KevinS,

I also edit mouth clicks coming before words, loud Ks, and plosives using the techniques Peter Why described.

Editing clicks inside words is harder as you often get a bump sound. (Declicker doesn't work for me)

If I do try and edit a click inside a word, I use the C Z function to preview the edit before I commit to it. (C Z works after you have done at least one other splice on a file) You can use the C Z function to preview a cut (say a click inside a word where you fear a bump) Highlight the click you want to cut, then hit c and z and the piece of the file including the edit will play. If there is no bump, then hit z then control x, control s. To make and save your edit.

The undo function in Audacity is a life saver generally.

I record my whole file, re-recording the phrase I'm currently reading if I make a mistake, but otherwise not editing. When I'm done I adjust to 89 db and do two rounds of mild noise reduction. I save the file as an mp3 as backup. Then I edit (usually the next day) finding the file from recents or opening the Audacity file in my documents. As I do splices, I do one round of noise reduction on them and adjust the volume (roughly) visually up or down prior to my splice.

I don't usually give technical advice, not being a techie, but after 50 solos, I thought I might contribute.

The key to Librivox is not being too perfectionistic. It's a learning curve and no two readers do it the same way.

Good luck,

Pam
"Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm."

Robert Louis Stevenson

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » June 29th, 2019, 9:23 am

pnagami wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 8:41 am
Welcome KevinS,
Thank you!


By the way, the procedure you describe is very similar to the steps I take.
"E agora, José?"

pnagami
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Post by pnagami » June 29th, 2019, 9:34 am

You are welcome and that’s interesting—that readers converge independently on the same techniques!

Pam
"Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm."

Robert Louis Stevenson

maxgal
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Post by maxgal » July 1st, 2019, 8:00 am

HELP! indeed...

I can't find ReplyGain.

I've viewed tutorials telling you how to use this function, but I can't get it to appear on my "effect" menu.

I have Audacity 2.3.2 on a MacBook Pro.

In the "effect" menu, I went to "add/remove plug-ins" and then enabled every plug-in I could see in the "manage plug-ins" menu; ReplayGain was not on that menu.

On one site/tutorial, it says:
: Go to the ~/Applications folder, and find Audacity
: Right click on it, and select Show Package Contents
: Double-click on the contents folder, and go to the plug-ins subfolder
: Copy ReplayGain.ny there
: Restart Audacity
: You should find ReplayGain as one of the items under the Effect menu (towards the bottom, under the horizontal divider).

I did exactly what it says, but got stuck in the plug-ins subfolder; there is no "ReplayGain.ny" or anything that looks similar.

Where is it???

Thanks for any and all suggestions...LJB (maxgal)
Louise
"every little breeze..."

maxgal
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Post by maxgal » July 1st, 2019, 8:34 am

maxgal wrote:
July 1st, 2019, 8:00 am
HELP! indeed...

I can't find ReplyGain.

I've viewed tutorials telling you how to use this function, but I can't get it to appear on my "effect" menu.

I have Audacity 2.3.2 on a MacBook Pro.

In the "effect" menu, I went to "add/remove plug-ins" and then enabled every plug-in I could see in the "manage plug-ins" menu; ReplayGain was not on that menu.

On one site/tutorial, it says:
: Go to the ~/Applications folder, and find Audacity
: Right click on it, and select Show Package Contents
: Double-click on the contents folder, and go to the plug-ins subfolder
: Copy ReplayGain.ny there
: Restart Audacity
: You should find ReplayGain as one of the items under the Effect menu (towards the bottom, under the horizontal divider).

I did exactly what it says, but got stuck in the plug-ins subfolder; there is no "ReplayGain.ny" or anything that looks similar.

Where is it???

Thanks for any and all suggestions...LJB (maxgal)


O BTW, I did go to this link: https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php?title=Measuring_Volume_within_Audacity
I got exactly as far as where it says to download ReplayGain.
I downloaded it all right, but then couldn't open it; the msg says Safari "can't open the file...because no available application can open it."
At least I am somewhat heartened by seeing that other Mac users have had a similar problem...
Louise
"every little breeze..."

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » July 1st, 2019, 8:51 am

You need to copy/move that file you downloaded and cannot open into the plug-ins subfolder. Did you do that?
The Panama Canal Zone during construction: Zone Policeman 88
Report of the President's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization (1953)
Christmas Lore: LINK
Proofs The Earth Isn't a Globe! LINK

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