Adjusting dB rate to meed requirements

I’m using Windows 10. I am narrating a title for The sample recorded as usual and seemed all right when I was watching the levels during playback and editing, but they subsequently informed me the test upload was too low a level. I can’t pull it now but somewhere, I think around 24 bB. They want it is 1.2dB. I have no idea where to adjust this in Audacity.

Can you please advise me?

Mark B.

We publish an Audiobook Mastering Suite of tools.

Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 4.16.02.png
That’s from here. This is more detail about what you’re doing and how to get any tools you’re missing.

If you recorded in a quiet room with no echoes, the work will pass ACX Technical Standards.

You can post a sample voice file on the form and we can analyze it for you.


This is a more Englishy description of that the words mean.


The sample recorded as usual and seemed all right when I was watching the levels during playback and editing,

Meters are not as reliable or as convenient as “scanning” the whole file at once with ACX check (or similar). And, Audacity doesn’t have an RMS meter built-in.

RMS is a kind-of average that roughly corresponds to loudness. The peak levels don’t correlate well with loudness and the limits are to prevent [u]clipping[/u] (distortion). (The ACX peak dB requirements are “over cautious” but they are requirements.)

RMS Normalize is a linear volume adjustment. The RMS, peak, and noise levels all change up or down by the same amount (usually up). The limiter “pushes down” any peaks above the threshold with almost no effect on the RMS level or perceived loudness.

just FYI - dB is a “level” or “amplitude”, not a “rate”.

Well, I’m using the most recent version and while I see an option for NORMALIZE, I don’t see an RMS NORMALIZE option. Is this the same?

RMS normalize is different: it’s a plug-in you have to install into Audacity,
see … rms-normalize download - #5 by steve

Normalize adjusts the tips of the blue waves. RMS Normalize adjusts the loudness. There are not that many tools that work in loudness and special ones had to be designed so we could help people with audiobooks. Same thing with ACX Check. There are ways to measure your voice file success without that, but they’re pretty scary.

The more you tell us about how you’re reading, the faster we can get you rolling. Which microphone do you have and how do you have it connected? What’s your recording room like? Are you following somebody’s YouTube posting or other instructions?

Are you a voice performer with or without the microphone? Real Life Actor? Are you the author?

It can make a world of difference if we can hear you perform.


All right. I’m using a CAD U37 mike run directly through a USB port to a Win10 laptop.


This is a standard narration, the start of a three-book deal with my current author.

And I included the image, as it indicated the only Reduction option I see on drop-downs.

The hiss can be brought down to ACX levels with processing in Audcaity …

but see if you can reduce the hiss by adjusting the levels in Windows microphone properties.

top switch should be on zero (as shown).png

Yep, mike is on ''0".
I can still sue Compression as usual, right?

I applied the three tools in Audiobook Mastering…

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… and the clip passes.

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So you could stop right there. No other tools. However, you don’t pass noise by all that much and I would add very gentle noise reduction of the beast, 6, 6, 6.


The voice is very hard and crisp. That would give me a headache if I had to listen to a book in those tones. Does it sound aggressive to you? I suspect strongly if I brought down the crispness a little, enough of the background hiss noise would go with it and you wouldn’t need the noise reduction.

I’m going to mess with it a bit. The published Audiobook Mastering is usually the simplest way to get to a working submission. These are the wiki supporting documents.

It’s not the only way and you do what you think best, but this is soooo close.


You have “essing,” too. Harsh SS sounds.

Are you speaking into the company name? This is a side-address microphone. I don’t think the instructions come out and say that anywhere.


That’s Tone, Noise Reduction, DeEssing and Mastering.

It passes ACX Check and sounds reasonable, but I had to do way too much work to get it there. Correcting a whole book would be a career move.

Set normal playback volume to your voice, then roll it back to the beginning, don’t touch anything, and listen to what happened to the ffffff noise.

The other mic switch isn’t compression, its a rumble-filter which cuts back the bass.

You should turn-off all Windows real-time effects, as they change the sound before it gets to Audacity
see …
(disable all “enhancements” on both the recording & playback tabs on Windows sound control panel)

Windows real-time effects,

I don’t know of any Windows effects that can give a harsh tonal boost like that. Treble turned up and Essing. You could cut wood with that sound.

You may run into an odd production problem. You can’t change microphones in the middle of a book. So whatever you decide to go with, you’ll be going with it for weeks or however long it takes you to read.