Advice on meeting specs with no post production allowed

Hello lovely people,

all right, this is a tough one. A potential client wants the following specs:
Background noise: Less than -65dB (-70dB preferred)
Peak Volumes: -3bD to -6dB
RMS: -17dB to -21dB
SNR: Greater than 50dB

The problem? I gotta meet them on the raw file, no post production allowed. I removed even the laptop from my booth but can’t get the noise any lower, and I seem to fail at SNR, it is about 35 db. Can you please hear my demo, check it against the specs and let me know if there is anything I can do? thank you soooooooooooooooooo much!

Find another job.

I can make your posting easily match all of those conditions…after simple Audiobook Mastering.

Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 10.44.54.png
After doing the arithmetic I get 59dB S/N.

Did the client say why they wanted it that way? I guess it’s possible they wanted the maximum possible quality without damage caused by post production processing.

This is you after Audiobook Mastering.

Your posting has rumble noise typical of a home microphone or home recording system. Nobody is going to make those specifications without a full, pro studio or lots of luck. My evil demon wants me to say the client knows that and he wants you as a cheap alternative.


Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 4.16.02.png
That’s an abbreviation from the full wiki instructions. You have to add RMS Normalize and I think ACX Check, too.

I would submit a test reading with just mastering applied and see what they say. This reading will pass actual Audible/ACX testing. If they won’t even listen to it, find another job. There is no win for you.


If you have a bass-roll off switch on your microphone, activating it will make noise-floor closer to “Noise floor(A)” …

Low roll-off for speech equalization drops noise-floor.gif
If you don’t have such a switch, use this equalization …

low roll-off for speech equalization.png

Which Audacity is that? Audacity 2.3.3 doesn’t have a length slider or those green trace errors.

Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 11.31.39.png

Hello Koz,

thank you so much for that. When the client says no post production, I understand no acx mastering tools applied, which leaves me really clueless. Maybe the client does this because they want to exclude home studios for some reason and think they will be working with real professionals instead. Who knows. Thank you for your help, good to know my studio is not a bad setup after all and almost as good as it gets.


I understand no acx mastering tools applied, which leaves me really clueless

Maybe that’s not exactly right. Many first-posters on the forum assume they can record bad voice and “clean it up” in Audacity. You can’t, but everybody keeps trying. If you were a client and heard some of that work (pumping noise, Essing, wine-glass honk, bad cellphone, etc.) you might demand no processing, too.

Audiobook Mastering was designed to be invisible on the job. Can you tell a quality difference between your post and mine?

If your reading doesn’t need RMS Normalize or Limiting, they don’t do anything. The only possibility for damage is Low Rolloff and that one was designed after the sound filters that many Hollywood productions use.

You could lie.


Or use a dbx 286s and you wouldn’t need to lie because its processing is realtime not post. :smiley:


Cool processor. How would I record that?


Plug your mic into the XLR socket on the back, and connect the 1/4" jack output (also on the back) to the line input of your mixer / interface.
(Not a cheap solution. Just the pre-amp costs around $400, then you need a good mic and a good interface).

Or he could read as is, cut it, and post it on an on-line service. We’ll quietly apply the corrections and send it back.

Piece o’ cake.

Also, see that orange “Donate” button in the upper right.