ACX basics and Audacity Effects

I just cannot grasp how each effect conflicts with the others regarding the three key ACX goals of peak, RMS, and noise floor.

When I use these effects, here’s what happens:

RMS Normalize: I can get two of the three to pass ACX but never all three.
Amplify: Fixes peak and RMS but noise floor won’t pass.
Noise reduction: Fixes noise floor and ruins RMS.

Here’s my question simplified:

How do you raise and lower each of these key ACX goals:?

  1. Peak
  2. RMS
  3. Noise floor

I have spent three days and many hours reading every on this forum and the manual. Yet tweaking one effect, upsets the others. HELPPPPPP.

Home performers nearly always miss ACX conformance when they record low volume with either a poor microphone or a noisy environment (or both).

Record a short test and post it here on the forum. The content isn’t important, read the milk carton, but do it in your normal performing style and Do Not apply any effects or corrections. We need a “raw” recording.

File > Export WAV has changed a number of times since that was published. Post back if you have trouble finding it.

Also post which three-number Audacity you’re using.


I know you’re looking for “Push this button and everything will be OK.” There are certain microphone and environment combinations which will never be OK and we need to know that before we waste everybody’s time.