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Mic shootout for audiobook narration
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Laurel S



Joined: 13 Mar 2015
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:54 pm    Post subject: Mic shootout for audiobook narration Reply with quote

Hi all! I just got a new mic, and I'm trying to decide between it and the mic I've been using for audiobook narration. I did a quick shootout with a short piece of text. I know which one I like better, but I'd love to hear what others (with perhaps more sophisticated ears) hear.

https://soundcloud.com/laurel-schroeder-1/mic-shootout

Any input is welcome, thanks!
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richvoice
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the second half was the tiniest bit clearer, but... just barely. Other than that, I didn't really hear a difference.
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sdaeley17
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Laurel,

Thanks for the shootout! Some have pointed that since SoundCloud compresses uploaded files, it's not the best way to get an honest-to-goodness shootout. Dropbox or something similar might be better.
That being said, I also liked the second mic more. The first one was very forward and in your face, not unpleasant, but maybe a little too aggressive for longer listens? The second seemed more mellowed out and natural, much easier to listen to. Hopefully that was the one you liked!
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Laurel S



Joined: 13 Mar 2015
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both! And thanks for the tip about Dropbox, that's good to know.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pick the one you like as you sound just fine on both. It's about the story and the story teller not the slightly compressed 2db lift across the 7hz rolling wheat fields of the Mojave Desert.

"Momma died right there where you're standing" sighed Cleetus Farl both de-breathed and normalised to -3db.

"Don't y'all talk yo me like that!" exclaimed Marlene. "No man ups and tells me about his Momma using no $24.99 soundcard from RadioShack! And git yerself a pop shield!"
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paulstefano
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with what's been said already. They are very similar, almost like it's the same mic, maybe A has a pop filter, B does not. Are you trying to trick us?

For narration, I like B better. There is something about A that is bringing out more detail, maybe even too much. You can hear every consonant hitting hard. B is softer without losing anything.
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse me for a moment as, for the benefit of others, I go slightly off-topic; in that I'm not going to opine on the differences between the two mics. But as someone who has been producing audio for several decades, I have to say with regard to...
paulstefano wrote:
There is something about A that is bringing out more detail, maybe even too much. You can hear every consonant hitting hard.

I have heard too many demos where what Paul describes is distractingly glaring. For example, where the letters "D" and "T" (and there are others) sound like little hammers on a desktop when spoken. I think it's more a compression thing but, regardless; one thing we need to remember is that anything that distracts from the story being told (just like plosives and mouth clicks) is not a good thing. And the longer the story, the greater the chances of turning off a listener... whereas, especially with audiobooks, the whole idea is to ENGAGE the listener.

I believe the most natural-sounding speech is much more enjoyable to listen to. Don't you? Wink

/end threadjack
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Philip Banks
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll ask Dave.
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vkuehn
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will also cast a vote for the mic in the second half of the shootout audio.

And now for a philosophical thought about Soundcloud as a vehicle for such a demo, such a test. When doing auditions of say... broadcast commercials... which may be listened to by a lifelong sound-nut now reviewing audio in a studio like setting with much discrimination.... Soundcloud might make the audio sound inferior to the competition.

But audio book narration. Which probably in most cases will be consumed by people listening to earbuds or headphones of less than great quality, or on the speakers of an automobile or truck.... after the audio has gone through the hamburger grinder at ACX or some other "book mill".... Is it possible the Soundcloud delivery gives a more accurate example of what the consumer will hear when it comes to comparing Mic A to Mic B?
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Philip Banks
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The international bench mark for listening to stories

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b078xpfq
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DenaliDave
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can upload FLAC or WAV uncompressed files to Soundcloud...
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MBVOXX
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listening on earbuds I can't tell much difference between the two...there may be just bit more sibilance on 2. But either mic sounds fine.
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HeatherMasters
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with what everyone else said. I'm curious which one you liked better? It's funny how we can grow so attached to these mics. It makes me wonder, if you did love your old mic, would you be able to recognize a better sound, or do we get blinded or rather, deafened I suppose, to those things?
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Moosevoice
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

call me 'Late to the Party' but has the audio file been deleted?
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Philip Banks
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it was compressed, limited then edited for content.
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