Mastering the Spoken Word

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by kmdavidson, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. kmdavidson

    kmdavidson Active Member

    I know this is hardly the most exciting topic, but does anyone here have any suggestions on mastering the spoken word to meet broadcast quality. There are three speakers, each using a different mic, and each erratically speaking quietly and loudly (with a few mic pops) throughout the hour. Any help would certainly be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. Sonarfox

    Sonarfox Guest

    Perhaps research how they record guests on chat shows - button-mics are they called? I'm sure you'll be able to rent some broadcast quality mics for the session. You might try finding someone that knows a bit about radio too - this often presents the same scenario of multiple speakers without any knowledge of mic technique.

    Hope this helps.
  3. kmdavidson

    kmdavidson Active Member

    Thanks for replying. I guess I forgot to mention that the session has already been recorded. I would have used different equipment if I had the choice, but they're on a limited budget and I had to make do with their equipment.

    I assume the best thing to do is to use DINR or something to get rid of the unwanted noise, then single out the pops and random noises, and try to eliminate or mitigate them, and then compress a bit before using maxim. But I was wondering if anyone had any specific suggestions on this or on other ways to approach this. Thanks.

  4. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member


    It is pretty hard to answer to that without hearing it. But I'd start with removing the noises and other anomalies then control the dynamics and the level. Hope this help... a bit. :wink:

  5. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    I concur. I used to do a lot of radio. It does take time however, so be patient and don't be afraid to add quite a bit of compression. You still want to be able to distinguish when someone is raising their voice, but you don't want a massive dynamic range. You might also need to de-ess.
  6. kmdavidson

    kmdavidson Active Member

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the feedback.
  7. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Peaks of -6 are fine for the spoken word. no need to run the dialog to 0.0 db
  8. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Very true - Spoken word does not need to be 'hot'. For the BBC -6db is the absolute max.

    Have a look at this:

    It's the technical guidelines for radio programme delivery to the BBC.

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