I would just like to talk about submissions that I think would have been a lot better had people taken some extra precautions to getting rid of the "noise", and reverb in their takes.
I know that there are plenty of noise reduction techniques plug-ins nowadays, so that can help. But the less noise you have on the recording before you cancel out the noise. The warmer, and cleaner your voice will sound after reducing it, because reduction plug-ins remove frequencies, and your voice naturally will have Harmonics that extend beyond what you can hear, and give the recordings warmth. That is why going to live concerts is always more powerful than listening to something on a CD.
If you use noise reduction with heavy amounts of room tone, then you may even get a strange boxing, or synthy sound to your voice. You DO NOT want this.
Before you start recording, make sure you are in a fairly quiet environment.
- Turn off any electronics that you can. - Your computer will naturally send an electronic signal through your microphones/usb mics, simply by being plugged into the same circuit as things currently running.
- Turn off your AC - Simply put, AC makes a ton of noise. You don't realize it because your brain naturally tunes it out, but the mic will pic it up clear as day. If you can't turn off your AC, do your best to wait till it is on it's OFF Rotation, or find a way to temporarily cover the vents with some heavy cloth.
- Tell others - Unless you've got some nosy family members, or room-mates, who might embarrass you while recording. Inform your family/room-mates that you are going to be recording for a bit. I've found that usually people are cool with being quiet for a short period. If you can, get them to turn off televisions, and avoid turning on the dishwasher/Washer, and dryer. Try not to record during a time when someone might need to take a shower.
- Listen for outside noise. - If you have thin walls at home, (like me) then you will need to check to make sure that there isn't anyone mowing the lawn, or weed trimming. This will inevitably piss you off at some point. Because it happens, and you have no control
- Listen through your microphone - Put on a decent set of headphones, and listen to your recording area through the microphone. I know many people here use Audacity, so you have the option to monitor your input. You can do this by going to preferences, then recording, then turning on hardware, or software playthrough. Then tell audacity to start monitoring by the microphone symbol at the top. From that point just turn your speaker volume up, and if you start to hear heavy noise, then find what is making it, and if you can't get rid of it, then turn your input (mic volume)down to where you cannot hear it anymore. (NOTE: if you turn down your input volume, remember to stand closer to the mic, and speak louder.
Dont clip though, watch your meters/wave input while recording if you can)
- Try to record as far from your computer as you can. Computers, and fans make a ton of noise. And they are not always constant. You could have half your recording without computer hum, and the other half with. Removing noise from that has all sorts of weird sounding effects.
- Wear clothes that don't make a lot of noise. If you are a very emotional voice actor, then you should be really moving your upper body around a lot, to fully immerse yourself in the part. the mic will pick up your cloth movement very easily.
After all this, you should have a very clean, base recording. Then go in, and remove the extra noise with noise reduction and it should still sound very clean.
A lot of you have great techniques, and voices, and accents. But simply put, if your recording has some heavy reverb in it. Then i'm going to wonder whether or not i'm going to be able to use you as a final voice. Everyone has to fit together, and sound similar on the project, and working remotely, I don't have the opportunity to bring everyone into a studio, and record in a reverb free environment, so please do your best to make the recording sound dry.
- Avoid Recording in a room with a lot of flat hard surfaces. ei wood/metal/plastic - never in a room with tile. Rooms with hardwood floors are awful for recording. Try to record in a room with carpet.
- If you can, record in a space with as much cloth/reflection free material as possible. It will absorb a lot of the potential relections. I've heard of people recording in closets. (just don't brush against any cloth while recording, and also being in a closet it will be harder to distance yourself from your computers natural hum) There are also some things you can purchase on-line that provide a small recording booth type area, just remember to get rid of the room noise around it.
This is all I can think of right now.
Just remember, the better the setup before you record, the better it will sound after noise reduction.
Thanks for all the great auditions you guys have been sending in.