The One with the Thoughts of Frans

Archive for March, 2018

Less Noise and Louder Voice from Low Quality Microphone in Audacity

The basic problem: the various mics I own are all pretty terrible in their own way. This is how to lift it from unacceptable to bad, but similar principles apply to better mics as well. This post is dedicated to those who don’t put up annoying video tutorials lasting several minutes. Admittedly I could’ve recorded and uploaded this in a few minutes rather than the ten or so it took me to write this post, so that probably explains.

Disclaimer: I’m not an audio recording hobbyist, or I would have at least a low-end reasonable mic like the BM-800. This merely describes something incredibly basic I should’ve done last year with the integrated audio recorded by a Sony HDR-CX280E camera.

I’m not sure whether the mic on my phone or the one on my webcam is the best for voice. I think it might be my webcam, so that’s what I used for these samples.

The Recording

I recorded the phrase, “Etymologically, harvest and herfst are the same word.” (See here.)

Pretty terrible. This is how I sound on Skype.

Noise reduction

Luckily Audacity is clever enough to filter out noise. Select some noise, EffectNoise Reduction… and click Get Noise Profile. Then make sure to select the whole track, or at least everything where you want to apply the noise filter, and actually do it.


The final step is to apply a compressor, again through the Effect menu.


Finally, you could consider limiting your finished audio file. In this case it doesn’t really do anything but it can prevent clipping.


KOReader Beta 20180314

As one of the maintainers of KOReader, a versatile a document and image viewer for E Ink devices, I’m proud to announce the latest release.

This release adds support for the Kobo H2Ov2 thanks to @cairnsh. You need to use at least KSM 9 with update 1.

@dengste added a widget to configure the natural light on the Kobo H2Ov2 and the Kobo Aura One in #3744.


The Android x86 build is now a regular part of the nightly builds (see #3384 but it wasn’t finalized on the build server until koreader/koreader-misc#14).

We’d like to thank all contributors for their efforts. Some highlights include:

Full changelog


Twitter and Facebook Don’t Support SVG Yet

Ten years ago I complained that SVG facicons weren’t supported yet. We still suffer from this issue, but a comparatively new corollary problem has joined it.

Facebook’s OpenGraph and Twitter Cards are mostly an annoying duplication of standardized metadata (more details here). Moreover, you can just leave out the nonsense because it will fall back on regular meta description. Always good to know.

Anyway, the main and perhaps only redeeming feature here is that they allow you to specify images to display. That’s cool. It makes your posts stand out better. Here’s how that looks for my snarky post about WordPress trying to sell me some nonsense about Firefox 52:

But then I innocently tried to use an SVG image for a post.

Well, that’s a bit more boring. The Twitter card validator only reports successes in spite of the glaring failure. Facebook’s debugger has something slightly more useful to say about it:

Provided og:image URL, does not have a supported extension.

It’s 2018 and this is a thing. You’ll either have to manually add a PNG or JEPG or do it programmatically. Grmbl.

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