Help with low RMS

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Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by Jackxxx » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:48 pm

I have a mono track that currently has these acx check stats

Peak Level -4.5
RMS Level -24.3
Noise Floor -80.5

Is there a way that I could get it to around the following?

Peak Level 3.4
RMS Level 20.#


Normally, I would use Normalize to achieve this, but I guess I was not speaking at my normal volume level today.

Thank you,
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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by Trebor » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:01 am

I don't speak ACX , bit I'd use rms-normalize* plug-in to to bring the RMS to -"20.#"dB,
then Audacity's (soft) Limiter (No make-up-gain) to ensure all peaks are below -3.4dB

[* The "rms-normalize.ny" plug-in requires Audacity 2.1.3 or later].
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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by Jackxxx » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:12 am

I have never used the limiter, can you make some suggestions on the limiter settings to get me started in the right direction?

Much appreciated!
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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:13 am

I published an audiobook mastering suite that includes the correction tools that make a lot of these adjustments automatic.

One of these steps, as above, is RMS Normalize which sets the loudness to the middle of ACX specifications—assuming you change the setting a bit. Many of the tools in this suite depends on the tools that came before so be really careful if you decide to ad-lib.

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=96103

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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:21 am

One poster had us going for several days when the tools just would not work right. They kept getting voice presentations miles away from normal.

Turns out they were not using Audacity 2.1.3. RMS-Normalize requires the software services available in Audacity 2.1.3.

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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by Trebor » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:08 am

Jackxxx wrote:... can you make some suggestions on the limiter settings to get me started in the right direction?

You specify peak level "-3.4dB", so that's the limit to use ...

(soft) Limiter in Audacity.gif
(soft) Limiter in Audacity.gif (144.32 KiB) Viewed 594 times

The RMS value will go down a little after using the limiter,
so after limiting check the RMS value is still within specifications.
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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:16 am

I used -3.5dB in the suite with the idea of leaving a little slop room for the conversion to MP3 for submission. The specification is peaks to be quieter than -3dB.

If you find yourself in Effect > Noise Reduction to make ACX Noise, try the correction suite on a raw chapter and see if it magically passes. Some microphones produce low frequency trash and rumble internally and it throws the other corrections off. That's what Equalization > Low-Rolloff is there for.

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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:19 am

That's how you got the -80dB noise, right? Effect > Noise Reduction?

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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by Jackxxx » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:38 am

Thank you both, very much!

You saved the day, and others in the future as well!
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Re: Help with low RMS

Permanent link to this post Posted by jefflive423 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:52 pm

You'll probably want to use a compressor to boost the RMS, versus normalization which simply turns up the volume (which is why people are suggesting a limiter as well, so you don't clip). Compression will keep you from clipping by reducing the volume of your peaks musically, versus just chopping them off with a limiter (which is basically a compressor with an infinite compression ratio).
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