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  1. #1
    Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook
    I want recommendations on: microphone (under 200$us), steps on recording (I am not in a treated room), and processing (preferably on Audacity, since I like it more than other DAWs), to get: clear and crisp voice, nothing of bass (because it hurts my ears), and no echo too.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
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    Thank you in advance.

    I am surprised there have been no replies to this so why not just Google what others have said previously with the search like this and just check out some of the hits:
    https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8





    - Patrick
    ======

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    I want recommendations on: microphone (under 200$us),
    Shure SM58 (around $100, dynamic) Shure SM86 (around $180, condenser, requires a preamp/sound card with phantom power). There are many other options.
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    steps on recording (I am not in a treated room),
    You'll need to do some treatment if you want this to not sound like someone in their living room or kitchen. Sorry, it's physics.

    Both mics above exhibit "proximity effect", the increase of bass response when closer. You can use that to advantage, but close-talking a mic has it's own issues, like making a windscreen an absolute necessity. Talking closer eliminates some of the acoustic issues of untreated rooms.
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    and processing (preferably on Audacity, since I like it more than other DAWs),to get: clear and crisp voice, nothing of bass (because it hurts my ears), and no echo too.
    Start with none. Don't know what your target use is, that dictates processing more than anything. Crisp/clear is no problem with either of the mics suggested. You can always cut bass in Audacity.

    Echo? What echo? There should be none.

    Get a mic stand, ideally not sitting on the same table you're working on. Floor stand with a boom is good, a shock mount is nice to have. Headphones are important for monitoring, something that doesn't leak sound outside the headphones like IEMs or over-ear sealed models. Avoid the "open air" type.

    You'll likely do much better with an external USB sound card than whatever is built into your computer, if for no other reason than they have good preamps and XLR/balanced inputs. Most include phantom power for condenser mics. No need to spend a lot, the Behringer U-PHORIA is fine for a single mono mic, $49. Paying more gets you more features and inputs, which may not matter.

    It would help to know what your project is.

  4. #4
    Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
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    10,029
    As for decent microphones, try this search:
    Mac best microphone to produce clearest voice for audiobook
    https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    FWIW: A local recording studio fellow I know had a small area in his home basement he had lined with kraft pulp egg trays and I believe some fairly dense rubber foam to get rid go the empty hall sound. But he was mainly recording music rather than voices.



    - Patrick
    ======

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    As for decent microphones, try this search:
    Mac best microphone to produce clearest voice for audiobook
    https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
    Well, as an audio professional, I disagree with at least some of that article. Everyone has their favorites. The OP seems to not want much bass, and most of those will be bass-abundant. The 416, not so much, but also not a great choice either unless the VO artist has a certain voice quality, then it works well. What I recommended is actually more universal, and better for the beginner.
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    FWIW: A local recording studio fellow I know had a small area in his home basement he had lined with kraft pulp egg trays and I believe some fairly dense rubber foam to get rid go the empty hall sound. But he was mainly recording music rather than voices.
    Egg crates have no valid acoustic properties other than a bit of diffusion, and not good at that either. More trouble than anything. There are many inexpensive real acoustic treatments available, but before I would recommend anything I need to know much more about what the OP is doing, his target use for the recording, and what the actual environment is. He may need a lot of treatment of one kind, not so much of another, and it's important to realize that no treatment works across the entire spectrum evenly. The rough rule is the thicker it is, the more effective at low frequencies, but it's actually more complex than that. The typical 1" foam on the wall will often result in a dry top end, but a very boomy bottom.

    So, OP, more info???

  6. #6
    Advice on how to produce clearest voice for audiobook
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    Posts
    10,029
    So, OP, more info???

    Hopefully, maybe they will take you up on your offer with your seemingly experienced audio knowledge.

    It seems a bit odd to me, but I have often been told I have a very good pleasant "Radio voice", yet when I hear my own recorded voice it seems much too bassy to me and it also sounds like I'm down a well or in some tunnel.





    - Patrick
    ======

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    Hopefully, maybe they will take you up on your offer with your seemingly experienced audio knowledge.

    It seems a bit odd to me, but I have often been told I have a very good pleasant "Radio voice", yet when I hear my own recorded voice it seems much too bassy to me and it also sounds like I'm down a well or in some tunnel.





    - Patrick
    ======
    Generally all rooms have low frequency resonances. They are hard to control. The lower male voice stimulates these resonances, which is why voice studios have measures to reduce them. Thick corner absorbers and tuned bass traps are some of the ways to deal with the problem, but there are no generic solutions. Each room must be dealt with individually. It's one of the ways home studios are different from commercial facilities. Noise is another.

  8. #8
    Well, thank you all for your comments. Do you think Sennheiser e935 would be better than Shure PG42 for producing clearest voice? I am ready to do some treatment in my room.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    Well, thank you all for your comments. Do you think Sennheiser e935 would be better than Shure PG42 for producing clearest voice?
    The PG42 is not a current product. The general character of both mics would is similar, but I have no experience with either one. Frankly, I'm not sure what you are going for, or how you define "clearest voice". There are far greater differences in voices than differences in microphones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    I am ready to do some treatment in my room.
    OK. Really can't help you with that little information.

    What room?

    What are the room dimensions?

    What's in the room now? Furniture, carpet, bedding?

    What is the purpose of your recording?

    Who are you recording?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dc2bluelight View Post
    What room?
    What are the room dimensions?
    What's in the room now? Furniture, carpet, bedding?
    What is the purpose of your recording?
    Who are you recording?
    -My room, the one in which I live, sleep, cook.
    -3.5m x 3.5m x 2.5
    -1 desktop, 2 tables, 1 bed, 1 stove, 1 clothed closet. Cement floor, no carpet, ceiling clothed (a very thin one).
    -Just to have a history book I bought, in audio format, so I can listen to it while doing other things. I use to work on sewing, and the workshop I work on has a very bassy speaker, it hurts my ears, that's why I want the bass of recording to be as low as possible.
    -Myself.
    I own an Audio Technica AT-2020, but the raw recording of it has some bass, I am a bit disappointed since I expected this condenser mic not to have that characteristic. I tried to reduce the low frequencies on EQ, but the result is a somehow robotic voice.
    BTW, I am not native english speaker, if I used some not common words I would thank corrections or suggestions.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    -My room, the one in which I live, sleep, cook.
    -3.5m x 3.5m x 2.5
    -1 desktop, 2 tables, 1 bed, 1 stove, 1 clothed closet. Cement floor, no carpet, ceiling clothed (a very thin one).
    The room seems like it would be very reverberant, with the bed being the main absorber. The floor and ceiling are the largest reflective surfaces. Carpet on the floor helps absorb high frequencies but does nothing for bass. This would be a difficult room to treat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    -Just to have a history book I bought, in audio format, so I can listen to it while doing other things. I use to work on sewing, and the workshop I work on has a very bassy speaker, it hurts my ears, that's why I want the bass of recording to be as low as possible.
    I understand. However, your judgement of bass is based on what you hear in that room, which will exaggerate bass being very bass-resonant. You should not adjust your recording to the room. Record well, and fix the room.
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    -Myself.
    Purpose? Podcast? Reading a book for your own listening?
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    I own an Audio Technica AT-2020, but the raw recording of it has some bass, I am a bit disappointed since I expected this condenser mic not to have that characteristic. I tried to reduce the low frequencies on EQ, but the result is a somehow robotic voice.
    The problem is bass resonance in the room. No mic or equalizer can fix that, it must be done with acoustic treatment. The AT-2020 will have more bass than any mic that has been suggested, but you can also do the same thing in software with the same results. I don't believe your problem will be helped with a new mic, the problem is the room.

    I could send you settings for Audacity that will simulate the Sennheiser mic, but the problem wouldn't be fixed that way.

    Take a look at this site and send them an email with your room details. They will have suggestions for you. Spend your money on their suggestions and keep the mic you have.
    Quote Originally Posted by Josue View Post
    BTW, I am not native english speaker, if I used some not common words I would thank corrections or suggestions.
    You're doing very well!

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