Descript studio sound does some nice stuff but sometimes too much so dial it back from 100% to maybe 60%.
Look at Krisp to avoid getting unwanted noise in there to begin with. Add-on that creates a digital mic option (in zoom and many other places - not convinced whether it works in Audacity though) 60 free minutes a day. Could you persuade a guest to download and install, and use? Maybe but no guarantee.
The big expensive tools are things like Izotope RX. They do a great job but you need to learn how to use it and to justify the price. If you are only going to use it once a month it is probably too much. Start with special offers on the Elements version (often $129 down to $29) and then maybe step up to Standard with a loyalty offer in the sale. Will you ever need Advanced. Not likely.
Avoid the problem and only fix it if you need to. (Needs saying twice).
Don’t buy a fix for something that you can’t say is really a problem for you.
Identify your biggest problem and start with that.
If you want the best, buy RX Standard but wait for a sale - and it is still going to be expensive.
Some stand-alone plugins like the Waves Clarity Vx I think are definitely worth having in the toolbox (plugin list). Here is my affiliate link if you want to save 10% and give me a little benefit at no cost to you. https://www.waves.com/r/886022
Alternatively, if you have the occasional major problem, I love a challenge and we may be able to help you figure out the best fix.
Hope it helps a bit. Confused? You could always ask another question.
I hear you, @steveh, loud and clear. My Heil mic with a pop filter as well as a foam screen needs to be repaired. My female cat insists on chewing bits off the foam screen on my Audio Technica mic. And my pop filter won’t fit on the AT mic.
I’m working on mic technique (as well as breathing and enunciating clearly) and haven’t discovered the recording sweet spot yet. When I record the audiobook on Hindenburg, I actually start clarity vx set at 33.6 before I start recording.
Since I’m narrating my first audiobook, and both publisher and author are happy with chapters for mp3 files I send for approval, I’m cutting myself a little slack and trying not to slip into my perfectionist mode as I record.
You’re absolutely right … I’m agreeing with you 100% about upping the audio quality as I record more. I don’t want to spend too much time and effort editing.
Thank you for your generous and educational reply. My podcast/audio coaches are the best! I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing without all I learned from you
WOW @Lovelace - by the time I figure out what the hecky you are saying here (echos of @ShannonMWhitaker) and then absorb those 10 Points to Simplicity by @steveh, I’ll have learned LOTS which I’m SURE will be relevant and useful to me as well. I started by googling DAW. THANKS so much for this breathtaking question.
I’m still learning with the assistance of our coaches. I make mistakes and I learn. I’m making do with my recording studio that isn’t perfect but it’s as good as it gets for now. I have to reread and digest what Coach Steve said in his 10 points.
If you scroll to the top, you’ll see that the chosen solution is summarized automatically into the original post. Since you’ve chosen my reply (the one where I asked you to choose a solution) that not-helpful-to-the-original-question reply is summarized at the top.
If you actually choose the specific reply which best represents a solution, its being summarized at the top then helps others who later find this topic.
Hi @Lovelace. I’ve not found a plugin that can act as a “one button solution” I’m afraid - I’m not saying it’s not out there but I’m still looking forsomething at a price I can afford. Most of the plugins, free or not, need you to do lots of tweaks before they are effective. Plus a lot are aimed at singers rather than spoken word artists.
Say what Heil mic do you have? Is it the PR40? If so the “de-esser pencil trick” might work for you. Google it and there are lots of guides e.g.
Let me know if it does work for you. I really want to know as it’s only supposed to work with side-addressed mics!!!
Anyway, if it’s any comfort, I’ll bet cold, hard cash that your listeners will not pick up on your sibilance. Your “problem” is that you have the ears of a total pro!!!
I loved your reply and thoughts. You wrote several days ago, and I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful and v. kind message. I confess that I lost my confidence after reading the list with 10 bullet points, and I had to get my head in gear to finish narrating the book. It was problematic because there were typos, misspellings, incorrect punctuation… and quotes from newspapers and books from the mid 1800s… not to mention the phrases in French (and I don’t speak French.)
The job was a nightmare, and I’m going to make the few corrections the author noted, and hire an audio editor in New Zealand to take each of the audio files and fix them… I have to get the project off my plate.
I’m losing money already because of the additional time I spent. And it’s important to have closure because I have a publication date of 15 September 2022 for my novel Meet Me in Mumbai and a print date of 10 August 2022 for the ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) to get blurbs and reviews.
I enjoy the narration process but the project/book was a poor choice (on my part.) I turned it down initially back in April, and the publisher came to me for the second time in May to ask me to take it on. Anyway, I’ve spent too much time on the project and I’ll know better than to accept a project that’s problematic from the outset.
Hope all is well is London!
I have a Heil PR40 mic that’s not working and I need to send to Heil for repair. I am using an AudioTechnica mic to record … it’s at an angle to me and about 6-8 inches. away… perhaps I set the gain too high. The Focusrite 2i2 doesn’t allow me to have precision settings. And, yes, I know, I need Proper Mic Technique lessons. I’m going to ask a jazz show producer friend to come over and help me set up the “studio”
Oh my, what a lot of pressure you are under @Lovelace. Do you think your publishers might be happy if you split the project so that you deliver part one of the audiobook rather than the whole story?
Financially it would generate more revenue for all of you if you served it in sections. And you could focus on delivering smaller episodes but of higher quality?
Whatever happens, I hope you remember that you have a wonderful story to tell. And you have the skill to serve it in a unique and impactful way. I remember your 60 seconds and the custom music you designed. Both are very special and thrilling to listen to.
The audiobook narration project is for a book about Octavia Walton LeVert … Such A Woman: The Life of Madame Octavia Walton LeVert by Paula Lenor Webb, who may be a brilliant researcher with her Masters of Library Science, but she’s not a good writer. I have a contract with the publisher who is a good friend’s husband. He’s a bit of a dodgy character, I’m learning.
The publication of my novel is more important to me, and I plan to print 25 advance reading copies by 8/10 for reviews and to request blurbs from some well-established authors. I’m already doing the marketing of my book (with a publication date of 9/15.)
I set the dates because I will have to go back on the road (i.e., travel for disaster relief) this fall (hurricane season is forecast to be active) to pay for self-publishing my novel. Thanks to Akimbo Writing in Community, I finished writing it in January, gave it to me beta readers in April, and I’m doing a read-aloud, line by line, to check for mistakes in the manuscript. That’s the long story.
I will narrate my own audiobook for Meet Me in Mumbai but I will wait until I don’t have so much on my plate.
The only reason I want to sub-contract the final audio edit on the book from hell (Octavia) is that it’s already “sunk costs” as Seth might say. It’s my loss leader into audiobook narration, and my folly as an inexperienced narrator that I underestimated the level of difficulty narrating prose from the mid 1800s.
Case in point… one of the easier passages (of countless quotes from primary research sources):
Dorothy Walton wrote to a niece in September 1822 and told of their situation, “You will no doubt know before this reaches you…the yellow fever
is in Pensacola, and be anxious to hear from us…Yes, my dear, that place has been visited with an overwhelming calamity. All those that did not leave the City at the first commencement have been swept off. (The American population I mean) We are the only family that remained any time after the commencement of the fever that have been spared. That we are spared is owing to the superintending hand of a merciful God.”
Jey, my thanks to you for all your support and encouragement! I hope you and your family are happy and healthy. Wishing you all the best!