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Noise Reduction & Consistency

Mastering is the final step of audio post-production. So what is the purpose? Think of mastering as the glue, varnish and polish that optimizes playback quality on all devices from tiny iPhone speakers to massive dance club sound systems. If you are doing work for the ACX, you must know how to meet their requirements!
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thestorygirl
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Noise Reduction & Consistency

Post: # 314Post thestorygirl
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:33 pm

Hi, Dana,
Here is an update on how my paid textbook narration is going!:
First, I was assigned a chapter to read and I sent in the test files of the first sections they wanted. They said they sounded 'splendid'! :D They also assigned the next chapter to me as well. It took them about two weeks to get a dedicated PLer.
I turned in the second assignment in full yesterday. As of today, the PLer had been through all the files. The first chapter went well. The first parts of the second as well. However, some of the later files had noticeably more background noise and I will need to fix it.
I am puzzled over this because I knew you had stressed the importance of consistency and I made sure that I did not change a thing. I didn't think the heater had run more than usual (not any more than the first chapter with no problems). I remember noticing a lot more noise when editing, though. It looked like a thick blue line after I amplified (before I did noise reduction). I cannot figure that out.
They are asking for more noise reduction on those later files, and also the mistake-sentences I patched up are not consistent. I had made all of my files 89 db, and ran noise reduction at 10/6 sensitivity/3 frequency smoothing. Would you have any suggestions for what settings I could set to clean them further?



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Dana
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Post: # 317Post Dana
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:47 am

thestorygirl wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:33 pm
Hi, Dana,
Here is an update on how my paid textbook narration is going!:
First, I was assigned a chapter to read and I sent in the test files of the first sections they wanted. They said they sounded 'splendid'! :D They also assigned the next chapter to me as well. It took them about two weeks to get a dedicated PLer.
I do not think you will ever encounter a problem with your voice. It is very pleasant to listen to. :D
I turned in the second assignment in full yesterday. As of today, the PLer had been through all the files. The first chapter went well. The first parts of the second as well. However, some of the later files had noticeably more background noise and I will need to fix it.
Are you saying that there was more then one file that was combined to make one chapter? Or that the problem is with the last part of one file?
I am puzzled over this because I knew you had stressed the importance of consistency and I made sure that I did not change a thing. I didn't think the heater had run more than usual (not any more than the first chapter with no problems). I remember noticing a lot more noise when editing, though. It looked like a thick blue line after I amplified (before I did noise reduction). I cannot figure that out.
Are you sure that you used the same setting for the second chapter, as you used for the first chapter? It has been my experience as well as my own methought, that I will record all the chapters, credits, intros & anything else that goes with that project first. Then, when I go to edit all the files, I do them all at once. This helps make sure, that everything is edited, using the same settings and this helps with being consistent.
They are asking for more noise reduction on those later files, and also the mistake-sentences I patched up are not consistent.
The best way to keep this consistent, is when you make a mistake, simply turn into your mic and use a plosive that starts with a "P". If you notice, I use "Peter Piper" a lot in my videos. You can also use a clicker or even tap the desk area. The sole purpose is to spike the wave form, so you can find this quickly, when you edit. If you mess up a sentence at the end of a small paragraph, after using the plosive, read the whole paragraph again. If they want you to change something that they did not foresee, or you come back to the project 2 or 3 days later, you will need to get back into the frame of mind, as you were, when you read the original. I think they refer to it as "Getting back into character". Before you begin the project, you would simply be "Getting into character".
I had made all of my files 89 db, and ran noise reduction at 10/6 sensitivity/3 frequency smoothing. Would you have any suggestions for what settings I could set to clean them further?
That is one of the downfalls with Audacity. If you keep trying to apply their NR, it will just make things worse. The only thing I can recommend, is trying to apply a gate, where the noise level seems to be the worse, at the worst part of the file. You will need to set it as lite as possible, to avoid chopping any words out, including the beginning and endings, of the words themselves. If this works, it may create another problem. Depending on how strict they are, you may have to apply the same gate setting to the first file that pasted, to be consistent with the second file, that you had to correct.

If you send me all your raw files, I will do what I can to help you out. When I say raw, this time I mean after you have edited out any speaking mistakes and before you try to remove any BG noise or change any audio levels. To reiterate my editing process, when I am ready to do all of my edits to bring the audio to the proper levels/requirements, once I set up my plugins, every file I will be submitting, will be ran through the same plugins, using the same settings, whether or not, some of the files may not need them.
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Post: # 320Post thestorygirl
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:11 am

Each chapter is divided into sections and each section is a separate file. I did the first chapter the first week and the second chapter the second week (very long textbookish chapters, and as they assigned). So the problem is with the background noise on the latter files (I think the ones recorded on the last day).

After recording an assigned chapter, I edited it at home. Of course, I discovered mistakes I did not catch whilst recording. So I went back the next day and rerecorded those sentences to patch in. Since those sentences were later recorded, they show up inconsistently in background noise, too.

Here is what they told me:
"From here throughout all other files until the end of chapter 6: they would benefit from gentle noise cleaning even if PL OK. There is consistent noise throughout that has not been there in chapter 5."

:think: I was SURE I made all files the same. Early on, I think it was the audio quality itself they were referring to as 'splendid'! ; ) So I am disappointed with myself I screwed this up.
Perhaps I will need to go back and rerecord those certain files...
But I sure would like to know where I went wrong.
I am hope hope hoping you are wanting this in .wav, because that's what I sent. Lossless, right?
Deeply grateful for help.
The first file I am sending was one of those latter files that was marked as needing noise cleaning throughout.
The second file was an earlier file that was generally thought good, with the patched in sentence (noiser) at 1:08-1:19

These are the specs iambik gave me:
Bitrate: 192kbps
Channel: stereo
Sample rate: 44,100
Format: mp3
86-92dB
Other specs: Leave 1.5 seconds room silence at the beginning AND end of EACH file.

~Thank you~
PS- They were all recorded with the gain up ALL the way.

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Post: # 321Post Dana
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:32 am

Hey Trisha, I made a video using Reaper, to show you how to be consistent when exporting all your files. In order to do this using Audacity, it will take most people close to 5 to 10 times as long. As far as where you went wrong, that is very hard to determine, other then to say, something must have changed. It could be any one thing, out of 100. Any way, I hope this video helps you out. Please let me know. Dana.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzVMBubgPt0&feature=youtu.be
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Post: # 322Post thestorygirl
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:41 pm

:pray: Thank you, that video was super helpful!
"Well, crap, man! I'm at -45db instead of -18db!" :lol: Yes, that helps explain a LOT!
I can definitely see now why Reaper is better than Audacity at this.
I am now going to work on my files.
So, even if the room atmosphere was somehow different during different days of recording (provided it wasn't too different), these settings in Reaper in post will help make them all equal?

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Post: # 324Post Dana
Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:54 pm

thestorygirl wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:41 pm
:pray: Thank you, that video was super helpful!
"Well, crap, man! I'm at -45db instead of -18db!" :lol: Yes, that helps explain a LOT!
I can definitely see now why Reaper is better than Audacity at this.
I can honestly say that you are the first person that has come to this conclusion, after 14 months of trying to explain this process. Just so you know, that is why you make a GREAT MOD, for any community that deals with audio recording. You do not stop till the light bulb goes off and you are still willing to learn! That is my personality as well. Now you know why we click. :happy-jumpeveryone:
I am now going to work on my files. So, even if the room atmosphere was somehow different during different days of recording (provided it wasn't too different), these settings in Reaper in post will help make them all equal?
You are correct to a point. When I set up a Church that has 2,000 people in the main Sanctuary, I go through my procedures to make the sound, sound the best it can. When 20 people show up for the middle of the week service, everything will need to be readjusted. The recording environment, have now changed!

Do not panic. Remember, we set up the same way, regardless of when we may record. You are correct on your last statement. If you run all your files, through the same plugins, you will get the same results. That's how albums are put together. You are smarter then you think and you are well beyond, when we first met!
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Post: # 325Post thestorygirl
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:18 pm

:shifty: ?Who, me? Well, thanks!

I was just working on it and have a hitch when I right click on the mp3 track, select Open items in editor> but there are no options to choose from. I don't see Open in Mp3Gain, and any options there are nonselectable (grayed out). I looked all over Reaper and Reaper wiki for it, but I am wondering if I am supposed to download something special for it?

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Post: # 326Post Dana
Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:58 am

thestorygirl wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:18 pm
:shifty: ?Who, me? Well, thanks!

I was just working on it and have a hitch when I right click on the mp3 track, select Open items in editor> but there are no options to choose from. I don't see Open in Mp3Gain, and any options there are nonselectable (grayed out). I looked all over Reaper and Reaper wiki for it, but I am wondering if I am supposed to download something special for it?
Mp3 Gain is a stand alone program. You can down load it here. Once you download this program and set it up, it is at that time you can set it up in Reaper as well. Sorry you had to waist your time. I will try and do a short gif file to show how easy it is to do. BRB.

OK, when you download and install MP3 Gain, you will need to go where you installed it, and select the (.exe) extension for both programs you want to use. The exe extension for any program, is the file that starts the program just as a jpeg extension tells your browser, it is a picture. Reaper refers to them as "External Editors". The gif file below, should walk you through the process. It will just keep looping so you can have Reaper opened and follow what the pic is telling you to do. As you watch it, the beginning will be when I show you where to do this in Reaper. You will start under the "Options then Preferences" from the menu bar. This is the same window you used, to select your Alesis as your input for recording.

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Post: # 330Post thestorygirl
Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:13 pm

:banana-dance:
YES!! Hooray! I'm so excited!! I think I was successfully able to go through the video with running at least 3 files through the Reaper fixups.
I'm so gloriously pleased with myself and
THANK YOU!
Your last post helped do the trick.
Now I have a lot of work to do! :lol:

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Post: # 332Post Dana
Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:16 am

thestorygirl wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:13 pm
:banana-dance:
YES!! Hooray! I'm so excited!! I think I was successfully able to go through the video with running at least 3 files through the Reaper fixups.
I'm so gloriously pleased with myself and
THANK YOU!
Your last post helped do the trick.
Now I have a lot of work to do! :lol:
Someone asked me last week at Church, "why do you spend your own money and time, to run your websites"? They have no idea how much joy can come from a simple statement. It is statements like the one you just posted, that can never compare to any $$$$$, I could ever receive. That's why I do it. You may not realize this, but I think you just pushed through a massive road block, concerning your Mastering education and using Reaper. I would like to say that you made my day, but that would not be true. Ya made my WEEK! If you click here, you will see what I will be doing tomorrow, to get ready for Thursday. I just hope I can out run them. Happy Thanksgiving.
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