Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by lingyai »

Maybe too subjective a thing to have expected a quick-use consensus steer on ... FWIW I've asked here, a trainer in the same medium, and 7 prior students, i.e. folks who by definition are my target audience. The only ones who said it is a barrier are here. Plus there's my own ears, which after these iterations don't object. So not sure I'd declare it a smoking wreck, but thanks for the views.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by BWC »

How long did your other test subjects listen for? You expressed concern about it being fatiguing, and I'd agree with the others here that it is. I'd suggest having your target audience test subjects listen for as long as you expect the actual audience to listen for, and see if it gives them any trouble. Not having the level of ear training that folks around here tend to have, they might not notice a problem so immediately, but only after the fatigue sets in.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by resistorman »

Kwackman wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:35 pm
lingyai wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:08 pmthe aim of the voice is to explain but do no harm, i.e. not be off putting

I hate to say this, IMHO that processed voice IS off-putting. It almost sounds like an older generation of AI voice.

My thought exactly. Extremely grating.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by resistorman »

lingyai wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:09 pm Maybe too subjective a thing to have expected a quick-use consensus

I think the consensus is quick and clear. You have made your narration unlistenable. Learn from your mistakes.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by lingyai »

Well, I guess "the consensus is clear" if you exclude over half the respondents. ;-)

The argument that those who are fine with it actually don't know enough to trust their ears, is not so persuasive for me. It's like saying even if someone says they like a sample of chocolate, they are wrong because they are not educated/experienced enough to know what they actually like. A minority of us use DSPs, but everyone watches videos with audio.

I didn't ask people how many times they listened, I trusted them to decide for themselves, just as I've done here.

I've posted 3 versions here, responses would be more useful if folks said which they were responding to.

Anyway, the discussion did prompt me to try some other things. This 4th version is where it stands now. It's 12 seconds of speech, played twice in a row.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/29iaqqdstryw9 ... 3.wav?dl=0

(The delivery is a bit halting as it is syncing with some screen action)

I've listened on several devices, higher and lower end, slept on it, and then listened again.

I for one truly don't hear, for example, anything resembling an early stage AI voice, as someone put it, but horses for courses.

To my ears this version tames a lot of the original sibilance while improving articulation vs the previous versions, and sounds pretty much like normal if boring speech of the sort one hears in many instructional videos, which I've consumed a lot of without auditory objections.

So in getting me here, the discussion has been a useful prompt, thanks.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by RichardT »

I think the likely cause of what’s happened is that folks on the SOS forum spend a lot of time listening to and fixing up audio so they are going to be more critical than the average listener.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by Mike Stranks »

Although I trust the comments of some of the previous posters here - I know their background and how they earn a crust - I decided to listen for myself to determine my personal views: are people being hyper-picky and is it fuss about nothing or are there fundamental issues?

It's the latter.

I've been working with spoken word for several decades and immediately heard several issues.* And the OP suspected there were issues which is why he came here in the first place. :)

But he is where he is. He doesn't want to start over, and states that his target audience is quite happy with the sound. So end of discussion.

But is it good spoken word? No.

* In summary: the results of over-processing. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. :)
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by Kwackman »

lingyai wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:33 amI for one truly don't hear, for example, anything resembling an early stage AI voice, as someone put it, but horses for courses.

That would be me, although I did say there would be other opinions...
I was commenting on the latest version that was available when I posted.
If you're happy, then go with it.

There's another thing that might be worth considering.
We're listening to WAV files here.
If this gets streamed, the audio will be processed to the streaming platform's format. So, that might change the quality of the audio.
This is not an area I'm knowledgeable about, hopefully someone who is can confirm/advise.

Apart from the subjective audio quality, I like your "performance" (I'm sure there's a better term for it!). You're not shouty or over animated which is a pleasant change from many video voice overs out there. :thumbup:

Good luck with your project.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by BWC »

lingyai wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:33 am The argument that those who are fine with it actually don't know enough to trust their ears, is not so persuasive for me. It's like saying even if someone says they like a sample of chocolate, they are wrong because they are not educated/experienced enough to know what they actually like. A minority of us use DSPs, but everyone watches videos with audio.

An average person might need to take a couple of bites before noticing a funny aftertaste, whereas someone who taste-tests chocolate all day, everyday, might only need a quick smell to know that something's off. This is not meant as an insult to the average person's taste buds; it's the reason why you ask professionals for their advice. You are, of course, free to ignore that advice, at your own risk.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by blinddrew »

For what it's worth, listening to the last version posted, I do think there is still too much de-essing going on, but when it's been compressed for a video file, throttled by network management tools, and played back through a set of laptop speakers or cheap earbuds, it'll be fine.
I'd run with it and chalk it up to experience for next time.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

Consider that the people you asked first are personally connected with you so may not be entirely objective. There was a reason you then decided to post the question here. What was that reason? Did you suspect, at some level, a lack of objectivity?

Whereas the users here are being objective because they are responding purely to the question. Not to you personally. They have no skin in the game.

Consider also that when you've put in a lot of work you won't want to (seemingly) throw it all away. Especially with a deadline looming. I think that's called disappearing down a rabbit hole? Happens to us all! :) Personally I take these occasions not as wasted time, but time spent learning a valuable lesson.
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Re: Before I render a lot of video, advice on the audio settings (dialogue), please

Post by blinddrew »

One other thing I have just remembered. I think it was a Harvard study that said a subject matter expert could seem up to 20% less credible if the audio on a lecture was bad. I wish I could find the paper again. :(
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