Does anyone use audacity for their content? I’m having a few problems and could use a little help 'cause my audio is coming out artificial sounding.

I’m quite familiar with Audacity, though I usually use Soundforge. What exactly is going wrong?

Well my microphone got screwy today and now it buzzes in the background. When I remove the buzzy noise it turns my voice really artificial sounding. I’m not sure how to remove the buzz without ruining actual speaking

Did you move slider to the lowest position? (When you open dialog “Remove background noise” there is a slider… I don’t remember its title…)

That worked perfectly. Thank you!

Hi Rasana and Nathan,
I am having the same trouble with my recordings of Spanish.
I use the Noise Removal option and move the slider to the lowest position, but the final result makes a kind of a robotic voice that it is not natural.
Do you have any other ideas?

Hi Francisco,
when you chose an example of noise, this fragment should consist only noise, nothing else (like your breathing). In this case the result is usually quite good. And when there are your breathing at noise example, than voice become rather cracking and artificial.

I use audacity a lot and I find it to be an excellent tool. I also use cubase for converting cassettes into wav files but the audacity is way easier to use for making clips. Noise removal, however, I find problematic in that sometimes, the amount of filtering needed to remove the noise does change the sound of the remaining audio and there is nothing to be done to fix it, no matter what software I use. I am very sensitive to noise and distortion on a recording and so, I try to get really good recordings for the original file, min 192 kbps @ 44khz. Then, I try not to convert back and forth from the wav format to mp3 and vice versa except for the final mp3 conversion (which for this site is 64kbps) and if I do have to try to remove any noise, I try to remove just a tiny bit so as to not distort the remaining sound too much. So far though, I have never really found any amount of noise removal that did not create some level of distortion. My solution was to get a good mic, use the dolby filter when converting cassettes, and keep everything away from unshielded AC electrical wires which can cause 60 cycle hum, or the refrigerator or Air conditioner, (or heater in Canada, heh-heh!) or jets flying overhead etc!

Here’s a good tip to improve the quality of your mp3s and reduce their size dramatically at the same time.

When converting raw audio to mp3 use the following settings:

mono, 32 kHz (or even 24 kHz), encoded @ 48 kbps

The lower the sampling frequency, the lower the bit rate you can select without fearing to get the characteristic “flanger” sound of mp3. For dialogs, you don’t need 44.1 kHz or stereo sound. Due to the low bit rate of mp3s, higher sampling rates will end up making the sound worse, not better.

Another tip. Whenever possible, use AAC instead of mp3. The AAC algorithm is by far superior to virtually all mp3 algorithms. This is especially noticeable at lower bit rates.

Hope this helps.

Thanks, astamoore, those are good suggestions. Keep in mind that in order to upload audio to LingQ, it needs to be 22050 Hz or 44100 Hz. Otherwise, it will not play on our flash player. However, if lower frequency reduces the distortion, 22050 Hz should be better. It also needs to be an mp3 file.