Using the silence function on Audacity

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Dini
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Post by Dini » January 13th, 2016, 4:36 pm

I was so excited when I learned about this function and have been cutting my breath and mouth click sounds while editing my recordings. Now I want to ask if that is indeed a good thing to do? Who would like to share their expertise on this?
Thanks
Dini

Availle
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Post by Availle » January 13th, 2016, 4:49 pm

Total silence is not good, it sounds disturbing, especially if there is usually some background noise left around it.

It is much better to take some room sound (from the last 5 seconds of the recording for example) and copy/paste this over any offending sounds. In most cases, it is enough, however, to zoom into the noise you want gone and to either just cut it out very closely, or to amplify with -5 for example.
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TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » January 13th, 2016, 4:49 pm

I don't. If I want to add silence for some reason, I copy and paste surrounding "silent" parts of the recording (with ambient noise).

Personally, I don't cut out breath sounds anyway. I find them natural in a recording. :)
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SonOfTheExiles
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Post by SonOfTheExiles » January 13th, 2016, 9:24 pm

I'm having trouble with a whole lot of wild bird-life at the moment. The noise removal software in Audacity just can't seem to get a handle on their complex vocalisations, and anything that doesn't fall in a pause between sentences is still showing up in my recordings.

I'm doing a Banjo Paterson humorous yarn for the current Short Stories collection ... bet you didn't know that the fellow who wrote "The Man From Snowy River" did a robotics yarn back decades before Isaac Asimov was even born ... but since a lot of it's set in the Bush, perhaps the occasional bit of background bird-call won't seem out of place. What worries me more are the Scottish, Irish, and American accents I have to produce for the relevant characters in the story. I'm not exactly sure just where or how many places the accent I've given the American character comes from. Perhaps the stork got shot down over the Mason-Dixon Line?

There's a whole troop of kookaburras hanging round at the moment. Would anybody care for me to do a brief recording of them for the non-Project curiosity section, so as last year's recording of the "Lyrebirds mimicking Kookaburras" can be compared to the original Kookaburras?


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TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » January 14th, 2016, 7:29 am

I'm not sure what that has to do with using the Silence function in Audacity, SOTE. Or are you asking for help on how to silence the birds? :lol:

Some people have jet planes to deal with in their recordings. Some have motorbikes. And some have birds. I think I'd rather have to deal with the birds. :)
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SonOfTheExiles
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Post by SonOfTheExiles » January 14th, 2016, 10:22 am

Maybe I should just stop fighting the birds, go with the flow, and make a regular YouTube feature out of their calls.

"G'day, folks. I'm Son of the Exiles, and welcome ... to 'Bird-Brain!'"

Leverage the meme into appearances on the telly, and we're off and running. The game show appearances will come next. Forget 'Hollywood Squares', that's so fifteen minutes ago, I'll be pitching 'Bird-Brain Squares'. Can't miss! :roll:

Of course, at that point the birds will probably start in on me some other way. Contractual disputes, most likely.

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kayray
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Post by kayray » January 14th, 2016, 9:14 pm

SOTE -- I like birdsong in the background! In some of my earlier recordings you can hear my budgie twittering away. As long as your reading is still clearly audible, I wouldn't worry about it. :)

Dini -- please don't cut out all your breathing sounds. A recording without the sound of the narrator's breathing is very disturbing. Listen to the professionals -- breathing sounds all over the place. :)
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Dini
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Post by Dini » January 16th, 2016, 11:44 am

Availle wrote:Total silence is not good, it sounds disturbing, especially if there is usually some background noise left around it.

It is much better to take some room sound (from the last 5 seconds of the recording for example) and copy/paste this over any offending sounds. In most cases, it is enough, however, to zoom into the noise you want gone and to either just cut it out very closely, or to amplify with -5 for example.
Thank you. Much appreciated!

EvenKeel
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Post by EvenKeel » January 22nd, 2016, 5:28 pm

If the book is good... total silence, birds, planes, motorbikes.... whatever= doesn't matter :)

EK

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Post by msfry » February 13th, 2016, 6:10 pm

I guess it's OK to jump in late. I don't check this forum as often as I should.

I have motorcycles, sirens and boom boxes driving by every few minutes, not to mention my dogs barking whenever a bird lands on the porch. I just let the recording continue, wait til the noise stops to resume reading, and ZX the noise out n my first edit. I never use silence.

I occasionally have sparrows. I save about 5 seconds of their song, get a Noise Profile of that, then on my first editing pass wherever it appears in the recording I do a noise removal. -- Then I get the regular noise profile for the whole file and remove the regular background noise. That seems to work.

I personally don't like to hear cats in the background, kids playing the piano, thunder, the coffeepot brewing, loud background hiss, etc. Those are things I feel I can control, along with careful editing, which helps make up for my less-than-professional voice and equipment.

I agree that breathing sounds natural, but readers I can't hear breathing sound fine too. I actually don't think I pay attention to people's breathing in regular conversation.
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Post by RuthieG » February 14th, 2016, 4:30 am

I am a firm believer in breathing! No, I'm not going to make the perennial joke about being dead. I quieten or cut out completely certain breaths in narration, but breathing in dialogue can add enormously to the authenticity of a character. You have only to listen to Ian Carmichael's Jeeves recordings to see what I mean. (There are clips in Andy Minter's Community Podcast 96 from about 17:00.

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barbara2
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Post by barbara2 » February 14th, 2016, 5:02 am

About a year ago I read an interview in which an audiobook publisher stressed the fact that they inserted fake breathing to make their synthesised voices sound human. I couldn't find the audiobook service I'd read about but googling brought up a 2014 reference to one of the OSX text to speech voices, "Alex":


"" “Alex,” by far the most natural sounding of the six Text to Speech voice choices, begins sentences of eight or more words with a slight inhalation. Seven words, no inhaling. Eight or more, he inhales."


Best,


Barbara
Last edited by barbara2 on February 14th, 2016, 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

EvenKeel
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Post by EvenKeel » February 14th, 2016, 4:44 pm

Wow. All of the rules and judgements takes all of the fun out of this. I enjoy the individualism of each reader. Not going to count the words between each inhalation, be it slight, average or heavy. I believe most listeners are more interested in the content and not on whether they can hear the reader inhale or not.

EK

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Post by barbara2 » February 14th, 2016, 7:08 pm

EvenKeel wrote:Wow. All of the rules and judgements takes all of the fun out of this. I enjoy the individualism of each reader. Not going to count the words between each inhalation, be it slight, average or heavy. I believe most listeners are more interested in the content and not on whether they can hear the reader inhale or not.

EK
No, no EK. If it was my post (the one just above yours) that put you off, it was because I didn't make it clear enough that I was quoting observations I'd found interesting. I don't even make rules on the subject for my own readings, let alone for anybody else (for fear they'd start making rules for me).

Like you, I hang about the help forums to pick up tips and to help me decide what would work for me. I just couldn't resist joining in the conversation. Also like you and everyone else, I'm here for the fun.

Best,


Barbara

EvenKeel
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Post by EvenKeel » February 16th, 2016, 5:45 pm

:thumbs:

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