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Subject:Workflow for Recording Audiobook Narration SF11
Posted by: R Hansen
Date:8/22/2013 11:33:46 AM

I upgraded to SF11 for the new Punch and Roll feature. However, I'm challenged with developing an efficient workflow to use while recording hours at a time. Has anyone else worked through this?

I've searched and can't find much written on the practical use of the feature in the new release. Thanks in advance.

Subject:RE: Workflow for Recording Audiobook Narration SF11
Reply by: Iacobus
Date:8/22/2013 12:28:45 PM

There's the obvious stuff, like learning the keyboard shortcuts for recording, setting in and out points, focusing specific windows, etc.

I would probably look into recording multiple takes into a selection if you haven't already.

Anything specific in your workflow that you wanted to work on or had a question about?

Subject:RE: Workflow for Recording Audiobook Narration SF11
Reply by: R Hansen
Date:9/5/2013 7:16:14 AM

My goal is to have a finished file that measures between -23 and -18dB RMS with peaks hovering around -3dB. My noise floor is between -60 and -50dB. This is a simple audiobook narration. Just a simple read.

I feel like I'm trying to speak and understand a foreign language. SF11 is overkill for what I'm doing. You will tell me I need to use RMS normalization or compression/limiting.

I've fooled around with WaveHammer, Izotope elements, and other tools. Do I attack the peaks first or last? What settings should I start with. Do I process the file after recording or do I set up a chain to record with?

Is there a good "Dummies" book for a beginner you'd recommend?

Subject:RE: Workflow for Recording Audiobook Narration SF11
Reply by: Iacobus
Date:9/5/2013 2:49:32 PM

Well, in the area of voice/narration, I couldn't recommend a book offhand; I'm just a lowly musician. But there are plenty of books/resources out there dealing with the subject and I'm sure others can chime in here. There's a webinar that Sony did not too long ago (deals with Sound Forge Pro 10, though, which is different than Pro 11 but the methods are similar).

Subject:RE: Workflow for Recording Audiobook Narration SF11
Reply by: roblesinge
Date:9/5/2013 4:04:38 PM

I do very similar recording and editing for my day job. Our process is a little specific to our medium (telephony recordings) however, it should give you a basic idea of what we do in Sound Forge as far as processing goes. For VO, I find it best to process in post. We record as dry as possible.

Generally, I start by running a 120Hz High Pass EQ to remove any low-end rumble. Then I'll see if any noise reduction needs to be done. We generally like our noise floor to be below -65dB. I'll find a "silent" section and mark it as a region so I can reference it for a noise print throughout the process. If the noise floor is above my desired level, I'll run a pass of NR, with no more than 12dB of reduction. Next is the compression step. We used to use the WaveHammer, but we don't do much expansion, so now I go with Multi-band Dynamics which will also let me add in a De-esser if the file really needs it. Generally, I'll do a 1.6:1 compression starting at the RMS level of the file. Not really scientific, just something that yields a result I like. After that I will check the noise print region again. If it is still above my threshold, I'll capture another noise print and run another -12dB pass of NR. Next I normalize to -18dB RMS (which is our preferred level). Finally, I check the noise print region one more time and run one last pass of NR if it is still above -65dB.

This is just my process. It works for me for just straight VO destined for phone or web applications.


Message last edited on9/5/2013 4:05:38 PM byroblesinge.
Subject:RE: Workflow for Recording Audiobook Narration SF11
Reply by: bdg
Date:9/7/2013 11:09:24 AM

I prefer to record to my portable SD recorder (running on batteries) in my "studio" (garage), while listening on headphones so I can pick up any outside noise (cars/planes etc).
Then I transfer the file to my pc using usb and edit it in SF.
The SD is completely silent which neither my pc nor my ups is.
I use either a shotgun with a built-in 50c/s low cut or a full freq mic with a 40c/s cut in the SD. Then I apply noise reduction in SF.
The newer version, SF11, is not as editting friendly as the old SF9. 11 has a different way of expanding the timeline which adds a few seconds to each edit. Pity.

Subject:RE: Workflow for Recording Audiobook Narration SF11
Reply by: rraud
Date:9/8/2013 10:47:42 AM

I use the mouse wheel (and Ctrl.+ mouse wheel) for magnification and zooming. That hasn't changed in SF11. For that matter, neither has the scrollbar... perhaps it's hidden. Options> Data window> Scrollbar

Subject:RE: Workflow for Recording Audiobook Narration SF11
Reply by: bdg
Date:9/8/2013 9:12:37 PM

It has definitely changed since SF9 - for the worse.
I now have up to two movements of the mouse wheel and one mouse click MORE per edit in SF11.
In a typical 1.5hr file with maybe 100 to 150 edits to be made thats an annoying *decrease* in productivity from SF9 to SF11.
Here's how I described it in a previous post: (What do you need and want?)
1) highlight the rough area I want to edit. (bad takes I want to delete)
2) use the scroll wheel on the mouse to expand the timeline so I can see in detail the point at which I let go the left mouse button while highlighting.
However, and this is the important bit, SF9 expands from the above point WHILE KEEPING THE START POINT VISIBLE, until the highlit area FILLS the time line, then it loses the start point if you expand more.

1) as above
2) the expansion works by keeping the end click point centred on the screen.
This means the highlit area only fills HALF the screen before the start point is lost off screen.
This means I get half the magnification because SF11 only uses half the screen for the highlit area. If I can't get enough magnification in half the screen then I have to continue to magnify using the mouse wheel, make my edit, un-magnify with the mouse wheel, click the start point of the highlit area, magnify the timeline using the mouse wheel, make the edit adjustment to the start of the highlit area, and then press <Del>

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