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Help make narration sound better / richer...

Talk about anything audio here. From video narration to podcasting, MP3s to MP4s - whatever your flavor, this is the place.

Help make narration sound better / richer...

Postby rvrkids » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:00 pm

Hello - I have the video thing downpat but am now grappling with audio. I am a novice in this area. I have audio in my movie but want to add narration on top of the music. I do know how to record and change the foreground / background volumes etc. but my narration sounds very "shallow". It is recorded on both left and right channels but there is no "bass" and it just sounds very "flat". I hope my choice of descriptive words is helpful to what I am trying to say.

How can I make the narration sound fuller / richer? I am using a headset microphone that my son uses for his flight simulator online communication so it is not the best but I don't want to have to buy something for this project.

Please help. I do have audacity but don't know what to do to the audio file.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Help make narration sound better / richer...

Postby Dave McElderry » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:50 pm

I think you've already figured out that a recording made with that microphone is never going to sound like it would using an expensive mic, and there's only so much you can do with what you've got. Try playing with the bass boost or equalization under Effects in Audacity to see what you're able to accomplish. If it's in the budget you may want to consider a better mic for future projects. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars, but you may find that a medium quality mic would make a big difference.

EDIT: In Equalization click on Graphic EQ and play with the sliders.
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Re: Help make narration sound better / richer...

Postby Matthew Max » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:01 pm

Here at my house, people make really good recordings for the kind of thing you're doing, with a simple 30-dollar Logitech desktop microphone. Not a 10-dollar one. The 30-dollar one. It's worth every penny. But for more serious recordings, I use all kinds of mikes and for lots more money. Someday I will reveal what I have done with the Logitech mike, but not yet. Suffice it to say that I fooled a whole lot of people with it. I myself don't use it anymore, though.

Here's the trick with that mike: Do not talk into it. Talk several inches away (two to four), and across it. If you do that, it will deliver the sound you want for what you are doing. And since you're laying it over other audio, it will be even better than alone. I've done it THOUSANDS of times. So go buy it!
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Re: Help make narration sound better / richer...

Postby rvrkids » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:01 am

Thanks for the feedback.

Another thing I might try is the microphone on my camcorder. It produces pretty good sound so I might try using that and just using the audio from it.

If that doesn't work I will try the Logitech desktop microphone.
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Re: Help make narration sound better / richer...

Postby Matthew Max » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:57 am

Yes, you can make great audio on a camcorder. Then you can upload it to your computer and turn it into a mere wav file or another type if you like, and it won't take up much space at all on your hard drive and it will also be easier to work with.
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Re: Help make narration sound better / richer...

Postby Bill Hunt » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:58 pm

I am a big fan of recording narration in mono. I can then place it, where desired, on the "sound stage."

Two things that I also do is use a good, narrow pattern cardioid, like the Rode: http://rodemic.com/microphone.php?product=NT1-A

I use a V-shaped pair of gatorfoam boards, with sonofoam on them, behind me, to deaden the sounds that reflect around the room, and a couple of pieces of the same, between me and the computer's case w/ all those fans. If one does not want to build the light-weight "mini studio," with the gatorfoam, then hanging some blankets will work too.

Good luck,

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