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

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Scarbo
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Post by Scarbo » July 27th, 2020, 5:17 pm

This isn't a huge deal since it's part of my process now, but does anyone else find that they have to proof-listen to their stuff without headphones as well as with in order to catch noise issues that don't show up when they listen with them on? (Yes, I do edit with headphones.) Is this just an Audacity idiosyncrasy (now that's a phrase I'd definitely need multiple takes to get if I were recording this!) that's par for the course? Or could it maybe have to do with the quality of my headphones or another factor I haven't thought of?

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Post by KevinS » July 27th, 2020, 6:34 pm

Scarbo wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 5:17 pm
This isn't a huge deal since it's part of my process now, but does anyone else find that they have to proof-listen to their stuff without headphones as well as with in order to catch noise issues that don't show up when they listen with them on? (Yes, I do edit with headphones.) Is this just an Audacity idiosyncrasy (now that's a phrase I'd definitely need multiple takes to get if I were recording this!) that's par for the course? Or could it maybe have to do with the quality of my headphones or another factor I haven't thought of?
I use headphones exclusively.
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Post by GraceBuchanan » July 28th, 2020, 8:36 am

Scarbo wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 5:17 pm
does anyone else find that they have to proof-listen to their stuff without headphones as well as with?
I appreciate the effort that you're putting into the quality of your recordings. I wonder if your headphones completely cover your ears and cancel out ambient sounds. I also wonder about the quality of the speakers that you're using, compared with the quality of your headphones. I "can't hear anything" unless I use my good Sony headphones. My laptop speakers sound like tin cans.
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Post by knotyouraveragejo » July 28th, 2020, 11:39 am

Scarbo wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 5:17 pm
This isn't a huge deal since it's part of my process now, but does anyone else find that they have to proof-listen to their stuff without headphones as well as with in order to catch noise issues that don't show up when they listen with them on? (Yes, I do edit with headphones.) Is this just an Audacity idiosyncrasy (now that's a phrase I'd definitely need multiple takes to get if I were recording this!) that's par for the course? Or could it maybe have to do with the quality of my headphones or another factor I haven't thought of?
What kind of headphones are you using? Are they noise-canceling headphones? If so, can you turn off that feature? What sort of"noise issues" do you hear over the speakers, but not with the headphones? Are you sure it's not an artifact of the speakers themselves?
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Scarbo
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Post by Scarbo » July 28th, 2020, 2:14 pm

GraceBuchanan wrote:
July 28th, 2020, 8:36 am
Scarbo wrote:
July 27th, 2020, 5:17 pm
does anyone else find that they have to proof-listen to their stuff without headphones as well as with?
I appreciate the effort that you're putting into the quality of your recordings. I wonder if your headphones completely cover your ears and cancel out ambient sounds. I also wonder about the quality of the speakers that you're using, compared with the quality of your headphones. I "can't hear anything" unless I use my good Sony headphones. My laptop speakers sound like tin cans.
They don't completely cover my hears, and they're not noise-cancelling. The computer speaker quality certainly isn't great, which is why it's odd that I can hear things with them that I can't with my headphones! I reckon I should look into eventually investing in a better headphone set.

Scarbo
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Post by Scarbo » July 28th, 2020, 2:19 pm

knotyouraveragejo wrote:
July 28th, 2020, 11:39 am

What kind of headphones are you using? Are they noise-canceling headphones? If so, can you turn off that feature? What sort of"noise issues" do you hear over the speakers, but not with the headphones? Are you sure it's not an artifact of the speakers themselves?
They're USB headphones (non-noise-cancelling). It's generally mouth noises and things like a louder background hum in a section that I redid and need to do localized light noise-cleaning on that show up better on the speakers.

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Post by TriciaG » July 28th, 2020, 2:28 pm

I suppose it depends on the speakers. If they are nice, bassy ones, they can pick up the lower tones better - so you can hear the rumble of the passing truck more than through headphones.

Personally, I don't get too picky about that. With time you'll catch the background noise, and there are other tools for finding it, too. But we're not demanding studio quality here, so a random passing car that gets missed, or a little mouth noise once in a while, isn't the end of the world.

(I'm bad in this area. I proof-listen using cheap earbuds or my laptop speakers. The chapter I recorded today, I edited using my laptop speakers and the windows open!) :lol:
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Post by michaelb71 » July 29th, 2020, 6:56 pm

I'm new to narration and need some help. What is the best way to make edits seamless to the listener? I thought i completed a read, but discovered a few missed lines. I assumed I could record the lines on a second track and then paste into the original track. However, when i did this the volume is different and the waveform is different. How can I make the two tracks sound the same without recording again? My recording environment was the same and my distance from the mic was the same. As was the processing applied--noise reduction, compression, limiter, filter curve, and normalize. I use audacity and a USB mic.
Thanks,
Michael

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Post by loon » July 29th, 2020, 7:33 pm

Many (most?) people have voices that change from day to day - this is a pain for those of us whose voices act up this way. You may try -
- Record at the same time of day. Your voice may move from its "I just got up" sound through various stages to the "boy it's been a long day" sound.
- Record full sentences, of course. At least your basic intonation won't switch in the middle of a thought. I sometimes read the sentence before what I'll be editing in to get into the pacing of that part of the story.
- Vary your voice as you record, as fits the text you are reading. (I still have to work on this.) Few chapters call for a dead flat monotone. Then when you edit in a fix it will be just another variation in the reading.
- I see you've been here less than a month - you are probably in the "I hate my voice" stage we all go through when first critically - perhaps over critically - listening to a recording of our own voice. Others will be listening much more to the story you're telling and much less to the edits.
- It'll get easier with practice.
michaelb71 wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:56 pm
I'm new to narration and need some help. What is the best way to make edits seamless to the listener? I thought i completed a read, but discovered a few missed lines. I assumed I could record the lines on a second track and then paste into the original track. However, when i did this the volume is different and the waveform is different. How can I make the two tracks sound the same without recording again? My recording environment was the same and my distance from the mic was the same. As was the processing applied--noise reduction, compression, limiter, filter curve, and normalize. I use audacity and a USB mic.
Thanks,
Michael
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Post by pschempf » July 29th, 2020, 8:52 pm

michaelb71 wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:56 pm
I'm new to narration and need some help. What is the best way to make edits seamless to the listener? I thought i completed a read, but discovered a few missed lines. I assumed I could record the lines on a second track and then paste into the original track. However, when i did this the volume is different and the waveform is different. How can I make the two tracks sound the same without recording again? My recording environment was the same and my distance from the mic was the same. As was the processing applied--noise reduction, compression, limiter, filter curve, and normalize. I use audacity and a USB mic.
Thanks,
Michael
You can fix the volume issue by amplifying the insert to match the adjacent text (Select the text, go to Effects/Amplify, putting the amount you wish to increase (+) or decrease (-) the volume). I'm not sure why the waveform would be different. Different words will look differently. I find it helpful to listen to the text I'm trying to match repeating the text while I listen to the recording, trying to match the cadence and inflection. I do that a couple of times and then press R, which will open another track and start recording below the original one at the position of the cursor. You can mute the first recording so it isn't confusing while you record the new text. Listen to the new text and if you don't like it, erase it by clicking the X to the left of the new track and try again. I find inserting a line of text more difficult than just a word or two. Variation is less noticeable if it's only a short snippet. I also minimize how much I manipulate the text, usually just some light noise reduction. Occasionally I will use compression, but only if I really get carried away. :wink:

As Loon said, your voice changes from day to day. My voice is different in the morning than it is in the afternoon. Talking more will also change your voice. I find myself talking more quietly the more I talk. I can see it in the wave form after I go on for 10-15 minutes or so. It is easier to match text if you do your corrections immediately after the initial recording. The longer the interval between the initial recording and the edits, the more likely it is that you voice will change.

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michaelb71
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Post by michaelb71 » July 30th, 2020, 1:55 pm

Thanks to each of you for your advice. I'll try it all :) It's definitely a learning experience...yet fun!

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