ACX check can't see code

Hi I am using mac High sierra 10.14.4 and have Audacity 2.3.0

I have downloaded the ACX check plugin. I understand that i need to copy and paste the code into an Audacity folder but:

I can’t see the code. What application can I open it with in order to view it in order to copy it?

I am also not sure where I will need to put it when I can finally see it. Would I paste it into the Nyquist prompt in Audacity?

please can someone can help me? I am new to this and struggling to understand the instructions I have found.
Many thanks


Close Audacity.

Sometimes when you download a plugin (which is what acx-check is), the Mac will try to change the name of the file. This bollixes up everything because Audacity will have no idea how to use it.

If you have Acx-check.ny from the download site, Right-Click or Control-Click or Control-Tap > Get INFO.That should tell you what the actual name of the file is. If your Mac added .txt to the end of the file, use the INFO control tools to delete it.

Screen Shot 2018-10-27 at 20.12.18.png
You should not need to know anything about the content of the file.

From the desktop > Go (at the top) > Go To Folder.

Screen Shot 2018-10-27 at 20.15.02.png
Find and click on audacity and drag Acx-check.ny into the Plugins folder.

Close everything.

Launch Audacity

ACX Check appears under Analyze, not Effect. You may need to go through the Add/Remove Plugins dance. I haven’t done this in a while.

Did you get it that far. Get stuck?

If you succeeded, you should be able to open a show or performance and Analyze > ACX Check.

Most New Performers fail noise for two reasons: They’re using ACX-Check wrong, or their room or microphone is actually noisy.

ACX-Check needs at least 3/4 second of clean, pure background sound to measure Noise. No moving around, shuffling, breathing, gasping or coughing. Most theatrical performances have too many fast performer words to work right, so you may have to create a special test clip to measure.

That panel tells you to submit the clip to the forum, but you can measure it at home after you get done and see how it goes.

Did you pick a mastering process for your work?


I think the “Add/Remove Plugins dance” will be the same as in Windows …

Thankyou so much Koz and Trebor
I needed both of your replies and after following both your directions I have now finally got the ACX check working. YIppee!

HI Koz, I am very new to this and am not sure exactly what ‘picking a mastering process for my work’ means. I was doing the 5 day audiobook challenge by this lady: which has now finished. So really I have been following instructions without fully understanding the reasons behind the method. I uploaded my first audition after I had completed the challenge and unexpectedly was delighted to receive an offer immediately! Which is fantastic but as I embark on the recording process i want to set off with a better understanding of the technical producing requirements and methods so I don’t end up having to do an excessive amount of adjusting or re-recording.

The recommendations for live recording and the recommendations for audiobook submission are different.

When you finish recording according to recommendations, you may have a show somewhat low volume and possibly with sound errors such as sibilance where your “S” sounds are harsh and piercing. My joke about that is the “ice pick in the ear” sound.

“Mastering” in this case means solving sound quality issues and then making your sound file conform to ACX requirements for publication. In short, chapters should all be about the same volume with no distracting background noises. They should sound natural, like normal conversation.

Sounds simple, right? Few inexperienced home readers succeed first pass. There is the assumption that whatever reading is done can be fixed up later in post production processing and corrections. Stores that sell microphones are fond of this idea.

Sometimes. Home reading errors such as echoes and reverberation are permanent. Some errors such as very low reading volume are time bombs. You can fix up the presentation with effects, patches and corrections only to have the result fail quality control later because your voice sounds terrible. Nobody is going to pay you to read a book in honky, cell-phone voice.

We publish one method of mastering, but it’s not the only one available. If you have one method that succeeds and you like the result (and ACX accepts it), then you win. But if you just can’t get there, we may be able to dig you out of trouble.

I’m going to look at the link you posted.

I’m intentionally avoiding getting deep and techie until we figure out what you have and how your pathway so far works. It’s possible to have two different mastering methods fight.



Very nice site. We part company here and there, but the for most part it’s a lot of the same things we recommend here.

It seems to be difficult to get her class concepts without actually taking the classes. That can work if you’re a non-techie, but can create problems if anything goes wrong. I think that’s your actual question, right?

Also, I noticed that classes aren’t at the top level of her offerings. Do you have to get there by asking the right questions in the animated Q&A box?

Can you summarize the classes?

Day One: select a microphone and set up recording environment.

Day Two: Select recording software and connect the microphone to the computer,

Etc. I’m making that up.


If you feel like it, you can record a 20 second test performance and post it here on the forum.

Text isn’t important. Read the milk carton, but do it in your normal (or what will be your normal) voice. That silent two seconds at the beginning is important. Freeze and hold your breath.

There are explanatory links embedded in the text, but I picked the wrong blue so they’re hard to see. Fixing that is on my to-do list.


Here is a test clip. It is completely without adjustments as requested.

I am very short on time at the moment but will get back to you about the content of the course I did ( i just did the free 5 day challenge which disappeared after those 5 days) she also has a full course that you have to pay for which I think is much more in depth. (have a 4 month old baby and trying to record and edit during nap times :wink: luckily I picked a very short book to start with!)

If you install this De-Esser plugin into Audacity it will remove the loud sibilance …

De-Esser demo.gif
Those loud esses are one of the reasons it fails the ACX test.

Your microphone system is insanely harsh and crisp. Even if you use the DeEsser (Sister Suzy SellS), the rest of the clip still sounds like a music system where you turned the treble all the way up. The basic voice sounds perfect if we can solve this.

It’s so bad (how bad is it?) it’s so bad it’s affecting the audiobook mastering tools and filters.

Which microphone or microphone system are you using?


I got it to pass ACX and sound reasonably good, but I did not use normal tools to get there. I need to drop out for a while.

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 18.04.04.png


Don’t worry about this just yet. This is a little housekeeping thing.

As we go.

Mordrid.XML (665 Bytes)

Right then. I did extensive analysis with a strong cup of tea (not on the tea. I know what’s in there) and determined something in your microphone system is boosting certain voice tones. Goodness knows why, but that’s what’s giving you the “essing” and crisp, harsh delivery.

So I build a custom Equalization setting to suppress the boost. With that tonal boost error gone, your normal voice tones return and the audiobook mastering tools start working.

So, download Mordrid2.XML to your machine and install it into the equalizer tool.

Mordrid2.XML (666 Bytes)
Scroll down to #6 Manage Curves.

Post back if you get lost.

If you succeed, Effect > Equalization > Select Curve > Mordrid2 will produce a green line that looks similar to this.

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 20.04.39.png
Now you have all the tools together to master an audiobook clip. Cancel the equalizer.

Open the raw, uncorrected clip.

Effect > Equalization > Select Curve > Mordrid2, Length about 5000 > OK.

The next steps are regular Audiobook Mastering 4.

Please note you are using two different equalizations, Mordrid2 and Low Rolloff For Speech. Yes, you have to switch between them.


Effect > Equalization > Select Curve: Low rolloff for speech, Length of Filter: about 5000 > OK.
Effect > RMS Normalize: Target RMS Level -20dB > OK.
Effect > Limiter: Soft Limit, 0, 0, -3.5dB, 10, No > OK.

The clip is a bit noisy (FFFFFFFFF), so drag-select some of the two second Room Tone (silence) at the beginning > Effect > Noise Reduction > Profile.

Select the whole clip by clicking just right of the up arrow.

Effect > Noise Reduction > 9, 6, 6 > OK.

If you run ACX Check right now, you will find it passes easily, the harshness and “essing” is gone and it sounds remarkably like you.

There is a trick to listening. Roll the clip forward and set your voice for normal listening volume. Roll the clip back to the beginning, don’t adjust anything, and play it.

I need to lie down for a while.


You hit the jackpot of having two difficulties, so you need two corrections in addition to plain, ordinary audiobook mastering.

I elected to use Mordrid2 equalization correction instead of DeEsser because Mordrid2 is not volume dependent whereas DeEsser is.

DeEsser may give you different correction depending on how loud you are.

You are right on the edge of having a too-noisy microphone. That hissing, air-escaping (ffffff) sound in the first two seconds is probably coming from the microphone system itself. In general, that’s perfectly normal. The correction of 9, 6, 6 is “medium.”

Lots of people benefit from “noise reduction of the beast” (6, 6, 6) which is a more gentle reduction and if you make it all the way up to stiff 12, 6, 6, Noise Reduction can start to affect the quality of your voice and steps must be taken to solve that at the microphone or microphone system.

How you listen is terrifically important. I designed “Mordrid” on a laptop in the field and I overcorrected based on the tiny laptop speakers. Mordrid2 was created listening to the large music entertainment office system and is probably more accurate. Other posters may have different sound quality ideas.

There is a difference between technical mastering and sound quality. If you have a reasonable recording done in a quiet room, it’s possible to apply Mastering 4 and go home.

You will pass ACX Peak, RMS and Noise and you can do that again and again through a whole book.

Sorry the process for you seems to be a college-level course in technical management. Sometimes home microphone systems do that. We do have a reasonable track record for getting people published, and you have a good reading style.


Now you know what the recording engineer does.


Wow wow wow thank you!