Handmade Hero»Forums»Game
8 posts
"Bad" audio quality on stream
I wonder if I am the only person who notice it. I am very sensitive to acoustics and since I purchases only professional headphones I am able to hear very subtle differences in sound quality.
But my complain is not completely made up subjectively. You can hear Caseys voice sounds much better on The Jeff and Casey Show as on the stream (well, maybe not if you have very bad speakers). You will also notice that the volume on stream is a bit too low even OBS settigs shows 100% volume. Perhaps Windows itself has a different setting or the microphone is just too far away from the face.

Simply by looking at the "headset" where the little microphone is attached on the cable I asume that it is ...not the best of the best for good audio quality. I can understand that a full home studio with high professional voice over microphone would be overkill and it also can be irritating while coding/teaching, but this need some attention.

I don't want to defame Casey, maybe I'm totally wrong here, I just want to ask if there is someone else who expierenced bad audio quality on the stream/youtube. Of course, this is not a rare case if you look to other videos, but after a handmade hero episode it is really exhausting for me to listen while I'm focus on the topic, especially when Casey goes loud and fast (remark on the sound quality, not the voice itself). I can't really describe it but on "The Jeff and Casey Show" Caseys voice is much smoother and on handmade hero it is somewhat high pitchy and choppy, like Caseys microphone cant handle his enormous enthusiastic voice about to teach the world his superior programming skills and his passion for making the game :D
Casey Muratori
801 posts / 1 project
Casey Muratori is a programmer at Molly Rocket on the game 1935 and is the host of the educational programming series Handmade Hero.
"Bad" audio quality on stream
The reason it is better on The Jeff and Casey Show is because that is recorded with an actual studio microphone with a pop filter that is situated right in front of my face :) Obviously, that is not a possible recording method for Handmade Hero, because I would not be able to see the monitor!

- Casey
6 posts
None
"Bad" audio quality on stream
Edited by TheEpsylon on
Bumping this topic, I am the one who asked for a boost of volume yesterday on stream.
Some people in the chat mentioned that they did not perceive the issue, and indeed my flimsy laptop and bluetooth do not push as much volume as I'd like them to do, but that doesn't mean there isn't a problem.

I did some measurements on the soundtrack of an episode (101 as I happened to have downloaded it earlier) and found an average dBFS of -28dB, which is pretty low. For that same soundtrack peaks were at -8dB, which means there's a lot of headroom before any clipping is involved. If you compare, a typical song or a well mastered podcast would be somewhere between -12 and -20 dBFS with peaks typically near zero (from -1 dBFS to "0.0").

My question to Casey is: what gear are you currently using to record your voice?

I understand that this may not be important as it seems that only few viewers have complained about that, but still, I think the current situation can be improved.
Without going as far as hiding your monitor behind a pop filter :), a good microphone (no filter is required if you don't have your mouth directly in front of it) backed by a solid amp, maybe additionally a compressor and a gate (hardware is better but there are software solutions) can do wonders to improve the audio quality.

So the second question would be, is that something that you plan to improve in the future?

Thanks !
- Adrien
Casey Muratori
801 posts / 1 project
Casey Muratori is a programmer at Molly Rocket on the game 1935 and is the host of the educational programming series Handmade Hero.
"Bad" audio quality on stream
The problem here is strictly that there is no compression happening, and the dynamic range of the microphone is actually pretty high it seems. So what happens is that I have to keep the gain on the microphone very low to avoid clipping, but that means the quiet parts are relatively quiet.

Adding a compressor to the setup would definitely help, as then I could turn up the gain on the microphone without clipping. However I don't know much about audio and don't know what I would buy that would be a good in-line clipper for a headset like this (it is a standard phone headset style thing - like what goes into an Android phone).

In general, though, I find that the audio level is actually totally fine - like when I listen to the YouTube videos, and look at the output level, it seems fine to me. I realize that "loudness wars" people like everything to be up in the maxes these days, but I never care particularly much about that :) But if there is a simple hardware compressor solution to buy I wouldn't be averse to adding it.

- Casey
Benjamin Bumblebee
2 posts
"Bad" audio quality on stream
Any news on the matter? I'm certainly no audiophile or picky about sound at all, but I always watch the recorded videos (got some catching up to do) on headphones and at 90 minutes a day it really becomes quite unbearable at times. Peeking at the latest episode (number 149) the problem still seems to persist.

I know from movies that you guys in the US generally seem to favor dynamic range over loudness and that's fine, but from my subjective point of view your stream doesn't really seem to exhibit either. I've got to crank up my volume close to maximum to understand you at all, but as soon as you raise your voice ever so slightly you clip. I also popped my ears repeatedly after forgetting to bring the volume back down, because virtually no other material is like that.

Maybe your onboard soundchip is just really really bad, because I've certainly experienced better audio quality over cranky mobile connections with worse headsets. So please look into this again, your stream deserves better!
Mārtiņš Možeiko
2358 posts / 2 projects
"Bad" audio quality on stream
Edited by Mārtiņš Možeiko on
It would be strange if audio volume issue is on Casey side. Because I am watching videos on two different machines (Windows desktop and Linux laptop) and on both my volume settings are around 20-25%. With such volume I can hear audio very well. If I turn in up more than 50% then it gets too loud.
Miguel Lechón
78 posts / 2 projects
"Bad" audio quality on stream
I've extracted the audio from yesterday's (day 149) archived episode on youtube and loaded it on audacity. The level of the recording stays low (at around half of the available range) and well below the clipping danger zone, even when Casey talks about microsoft (which is the loudest moment of the video), but I don't have any trouble understanding him without maxing out my volume settings. Bumblebee, what device are you using to watch the series?

There is, however, some strange stuff going on only at the beginning of the video, when Casey says "hello". I suppose OBS is doing something funny with the gain control, because it does sound like it clips (see the highlighted flat sections on this image):

I can't hear that artifact anywhere else in the video.
Carlos Gabriel Hasbun Comandari
35 posts
|· noise ·|
"Bad" audio quality on stream
I created a screencast precisely to address low volume, but also clipping and plosives and buzzing sounds.

The community should take a look and help improve the audio quality.

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR6N105XElw[/video]
Benjamin Bumblebee
2 posts
"Bad" audio quality on stream
debiatan
The level of the recording stays low (at around half of the available range) and well below the clipping danger zone, even when Casey talks about microsoft (which is the loudest moment of the video), but I don't have any trouble understanding him without maxing out my volume settings. Bumblebee, what device are you using to watch the series?


You're right, audio seems totally fine at this very instant and there's no clipping. So I've followed suit and loaded this episode's audio into Audacity, too. On my second random seek I found myself right into one of these "defective" spots again, at 44:00. Maybe it's not clipping after all, but those artifacts are all over the place with some episodes being affected more than others.

I watch the episodes in mplayer at my PC, but I don't think this has anything to do with it. During the first couple episodes more people complained about clipping, which persuaded Casey to lower his microphone gain or something. Well, he became a little quieter, but come to think of it, it didn't really help much fixing the artifacts.

And as for the rest, maybe I exaggerated a little by saying I'd have to turn the volume all the way up, but levels stay on the low side, which I still find irritating and harder to understand. And what is all that dynamic range needed for anyway, it's not like we're listening to a classical piano concert here. Top priority should be to be easily understood and this probably implies dynamic range compression - if the lack thereof actually is the problem.
Bill Strong
50 posts
"Bad" audio quality on stream
Ok, first, this takes some configuring, but here is a software solution that works with OBS that will allow Casey to noisegate the clipping, while at the same time boosting his volume.

It is called VoiceMeeter Banana. It is used by lots of youtubers and Twitch streamers, because it gives much more control over the audio that is heard.

It basically adds two new audio devices to the computer, and allows you to record them and stream them to other applications. Skype users also use it to create online podcasts.

It even allows you to deepen your voice or make it louder. It can play Desktop sounds through OBS, and it allows you to play only the sounds you want to play through OBS.

It is donationware, with no nag screens. They ask for donations if you find it useful.

VoiceMeeter Banana