Audio Production, DIY, Tech & Gear

Audio Crisis Averted!

20 Apr , 2015   Matt  

Several months ago, production issues halted my work with the Audiobook Creation Exchange, given their Submission Requirements. My noise floor was too loud in raw recordings, and fixing it in post hurt audio quality.

Elaborating will take a while, so here are the most important gems to come out of this:

  1. Every piece of hardware between mic and recorder can degrade signal
  2. External hardware cannot combat issues inside the recording device
  3. Post production can only “creatively degrade” a signal

If you want the long version, I was running from a mic into a preamp, then a mixer board, then into a recorder. That’s actually a normal pipeline, but there were issues.

First off, VO is best served by a condenser, not dynamic mic. Additionally, nothing used the same I/O jacks. I had to use converters to jump between XLR, 1/4″, and 3.5mm, degrading my signal each time. The ideal would be start-to-finish balanced XLR.

Given that kitchen-sink setup, it was difficult to diagnose the worst source of noise. Mentor David Hirt‘s sudden donation of a Tascam DP-02 revealed the consumer-grade recorder as the main culprit. It also combined mixer and recorder, reducing equipment and conversions. Thanks David!

Now to get back to work.

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