ACX meditation - silent gaps affecting RMS?

Audacity 2.2.0/Windows 8.1

I am recording meditation files for ACX. In a 30 minute file i have perhaps a brief vocal introduction, followed by very limited speaking (eg.“Breathe deeply.”) interspersed with 30 seconds to 3 minutes of just gently background music. The overall file will show RMS is -28dB, even though if i just analyse the concentrated vocal intro, it is a perfectly acceptable -19dB RMS. I feel like the the recordings are perfect, but I assume it is all the quiet parts of the track that are bringing down the RMS outside of acceptable ACX requirements. Is there anything i can do to help my meditation tracks pass?


Yes, if you have a long pause, or quiet music, that will reduce the overall RMS level.
I don’t think the ACX specifications explicitly describe this kind of situation, but my guess is that if the speech parts are at the right level, then that’ll be OK.

It’ll take a while, but I suggest that you submit a test sample to ACX:
Ensure that you follow their guidelines exactly or they will just reject it with very little useful feedback.

I posted some notes to help before you actually log in.

*ACX Audition

Also Known as ACX Test Clip and ACX Sample.

An Audition is a short reading you can submit to ACX to prove your performance quality before you submit a whole book. ACX will review your work and post comments. The work does not have to be produced using Adobe Audition.

Works must be perfect and ‘Retail-Ready’. ACX will not change any work once you submit.

Auditions should be between three and five minutes long.

Auditions should have 0.5 to 1 second of Room Tone at the beginning and 1 to 5 seconds of Room Tone at the end.

Auditions must be in MP3 sound format with constant bitrate of 192, minimum.

Auditions must have sound peaks no louder than -3dB.

Auditions must have a voice RMS (loudness) value between -18dB and -23dB.

Auditions must have Room Tone (natural background room sound without you performing-or moving-or breathing) quieter than -60dB.


As above, we don’t know how ACX deal with outliers like what you’re doing. If you make it past the basics, they will offer commentary, so it will be interesting to hear what they have to say. Do post back.You are the poster child for a performance that doesn’t easily fit into normal reading specifications.

Also post back if you find their specifications different from ours. It’s a little hard to get them to tell us anything since they’re super busy right now.


I am recording meditation files for ACX.

You might fail for a completely odd reason. You’re not a book. ACX doesn’t deal with radio theater or other forms of entertainment—that I know of. People have been rejected for including music in the work.

Just a caution.


Thanks very much for your advice. I sure hope i can report that ACX QA was completely accommodating. :smiley:

I sure hope i can report that ACX QA was completely accommodating.

It’s super important to post the rejection if there is one. This isn’t a help desk. This is a forum with users helping each other.