I finally finished my audio book a few days ago and uploaded it to ACX. I used the ACX check plug in to ensure that all files passed the ACX requirements. Silly me. One feature I used to reduce the noise floor to within limits was to use the noise reduction facility in Audacity. Two days after uploading, the ACX QA guy comes back to me and says that the files have been ‘gated’ too much which has clipped some sounds and introduced ringing artifacts, whatever they are. His suggestion was ‘to reduce or remove the amount of noise reduction you are using to allow for a more natural sounding recording. Please also adjust or remove the gate settings to allow for every word to remain intact.’
There are several issues here. The first is that I sent them a sample file weeks before recording the whole book which they never bothered to reply to so I stupidly assumed it was alright. Secondly the word ‘gating’ does not appear anywhere on the ACX submission requirements page and frankly I still don’t know what it means. I have no idea whether the ringing artifacts and the clipping are actually because I used the noise reduction facility to meet tier 60db floor requirements or there are two issues here.
Finally as all I did was save the files once they passed the ACX check on Audacity I have no raw files to go back and play with so have the horrible feeling that two months of work has just one up in smoke.
I have to wonder just how many amateurs actually manage to get an audio book to meet their standards. Is it a conspiracy to drive us all into the arms of the production companies???