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Voice recording through little mixette [how to keep same loudness], [moved from General A/V – and you’ll get more views here :P]
post Jun 15 2012, 20:13
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Can anyone show me the way on how to setup voice recording?
I am using Behringer MX602A, Realtek line in input, I have Audacity and Wavosaur installed, both support VST's, Wavosaur in real-time.
Microphone is crap cheap Panasonic, 'tis all I have for now, I will try to borrow Shure or AKG from work. For now, lot of hiss because very high gain is needed.

My question is, how to keep the almost same voice loudness throughout the recording? I know I have to try to talk almost the same volume all the time, but are there plugins which will do voice normalization? Free, preferably.

I am amateur in this, and I am trying to do fairytale reading, also will try recording guitar and vocal, so I would need reading on these subjects, too. Googling revealed nothing usable on these subjects. I was thinking first recording guitar, then voice, and mixing them in audacity. It doesn't need to sound professional, but I would like to learn about the process.
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post Jun 19 2012, 00:23
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Try The Levelator. (It's not a plug-in, it's a FREE stand-alone program.)

Or, you can look for an "Automatic Volume Control" plug-in, or you can use regular 'ol (dynamic) compression. In Audacity, you can use the Envelope tool to "manually" boost/cut the volume where needed. I don't use Wavosaur, but I assume it has something similar (most audio editors/DAWs call this "manual" ramping up & down "Automation".)

The problem with compression and other automatic adjustment is... During quiet parts (or pauses), the volume gets turned-up, turning-up the hiss & other background noise. And with automatic volume control, when the signal comes-back with the volume cranked full-up, you get a burst of distortion while the volume re-adjusts down for the higher-signal. (Distortion is not an issue with compression, which reacts faster than AVC).

For music (the guitar) you can use regular compression if it helps, or if it just sounds better with it. Automatic volume control (a special kind of compression) usually works too slowy and it fouls-up music.

Microphone is crap cheap Panasonic, 'tis all I have for now... For now, lot of hiss because very high gain is needed.
Is that a balanced low-impedance mic (XLR connector)? Make sure you are speaking with a strong voice, close to the mic... The stronger signal you get, the better your signal-to-noise ratio...

Also the more sound/signal you make, the less you'll hear the noise. i.e. Adding the guitar should help to mask the noise. ( biggrin.gif Some screaming electric guitar should cover-up everything biggrin.gif )

Oh, make sure to turn-down any unused inputs on the mixer.

Audacity (and most audio editors) has a noise reduction tool that you use by feeding-in a "noise fingerprint". These are almost always worth trying. They can sometimes work very well on low-level noise. But if the noise is bad, you can get artifacts (side-effects) and "the cure can be worse than the disease".

There is also an "effect" called a Noisegate. It works by totally killing the sound when the signal falls below a preset threshold. But again, it generally works best with very-low level noise. Otherwise, it can get annoying/distracting, or it can cut-in and cut-out at the wrong times.

For home-recording, room noise and room acoustics are often also issues that you have to "fight", espcially with music.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Jun 19 2012, 00:33
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