Why Did My Title Fail QA? Part 4

Below is part 4 of our series aimed at helping ACX users ensure their titles make it from “in production” to “on sale” quickly and painlessly. The rest of the series can be found here. Today we’ve got some great info on the do’s and don’ts of using noise reduction on your audiobook production.

Extreme Noise Reduction (or “Noise, and What NOT to Do About It”)

The sound of your voice and the “sound” of clean room tone are the only things that should be heard in your audiobook (no, not all breaths need to be removed – only those that are noticeably distracting).  Anything else can be an annoyance to the listener.  High-pitched ringing, buzzing, distortion, feedback, or odd “metallic” sounds that occur throughout the entire audiobook are a sign of a bad recording environment and/or a flawed recording chain. Noises such as these are best resolved before you start recording your next project. Leaving them to be fixed after the fact, in post-production, is a recipe for disaster. The improper use of noise reduction to remove these sounds often results in an overly processed and poor sounding audiobook that may be rejected by the ACX QA team. Take a listen to the following sample for an example of overly processed audio:

Overprocessed Audio Sample

If your recording contains such noises, you may need to hire an experienced audiobook engineer to help mitigate the problems and salvage your production.

Momentary noises such as desk thumps, car horns, a dog barking or your kids fighting in the next room – none of these should exist in your final audiobook either.  Treat your room (and yourself!) to more sound deadening to help prevent these issues in your next audiobook, and take the time needed to listen from start to finish to properly remove these sounds from your existing audio.  Of course, if they occur under your narration you will need to re-record those sections and edit them back into the rest of the file.

For more tips and information on the do’s and don’ts of audiobook production, check out our Video Lessons & Resources Page. And make sure to check back tomorrow for the 5th and final part of our series, “Gating.”

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