Audio Sample: Noise Issues. (2.3.2)

Cool. The milk jug quality sound went away, but the reduction was doing something useful. I attached a short clip where I intentionally made the noise worse. Is there something in your room which could be making that nose?

Are you sitting your Yeti directly on the desk? The noise could be coming up from the floor through the desk. That’s typical of air conditioners or other air handlers.

Try this. The towel-book method.

Any folded up bath towel and heavy novel. If the noise goes away, it was coming up through the desk and you can record that way forever. If it doesn’t go away, then the noise is probably actually in the room with you. The Macbook Air doesn’t make noises like that, so it’s air conditioner?? Refrigerator??

Now that the voice is clear, I can hear the P-Popping. “Pop Filter” at 8.4 seconds and “Processing” at 14.8 seconds.

Is the Yeti pop filter a black tennis racket like this?

Back away from the pop filter a little more than you are and make up the volume difference by boosting the Audacity record volume a bit.

Home readers never pass noise. All this is perfectly ordinary. The only problem is going to be if you promised somebody a book at the end of the week.


The Yeti has a place for headphones. You can clearly hear P-Popping in your live headphones and adjust your face/microphone spacing until it goes away.

You need heavy, cover-the-ear headphones, not earbuds or thin “fashionable” headphones.

Listening on headphones like that also helps keep your volume more even.

NPR’s David Greene in the middle is using Sony MDR7502 headphones. Those are standard in the movies, too. I don’t like to listen to those for a long time, so I use an older Sennheiser model no longer made.


Luckily, I made no promises on a fast book :slight_smile: I swear I can’t thank you enough. I was floundering. No amount of youtube videos were getting me anywhere.

Here’s one trying the towel/book method, further from the pop filter (yep, I have the tennis racket), and with audacity recording volume turned up a bit. I wore headphones to listen to the previous clip, and I heard the pop. It’s less bad on this new one. I still hear it though :astonished:


Overall much better. Plain, ordinary noise now, no compressors or motors.

I still hear it (popping) though

There’s tricks here, too. The grownups frown on this, but it works very well for me. Don’t speak head-on into the microphone. Push the microphone in an arc to one side or move your chair so the microphone is opposite your cheek, or say, half-way between your nose and your ear. It’s still pointed at you, just not your lips. Most of your plosives (P-Popping) go straight in front of your lips and this adjustment should pretty much eliminate them.

I gotta do a picture of that… It’s the only way I can get through a presentation without constant popping and lip noises.

View > Show Clipping. Set that option and look at the last test you sent. Do you see the red lines in the blue waves?

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Those little pieces are too loud and are permanently damaged. So now you’re too loud. The very tips of the blue waves should land at about the 50% (0.5) mark every so often. I think the “5 jillion” sound test was almost perfect.

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You’ve been the best! Thank you. I’ll quit bothering you, turn my audacity input level down until I have no red spikes, and try the cool kid trick of not speaking directly into the mic. And then I’ll start this darn book.

I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH!!! Thanks again.

Oblique Microphone Placement

If the A position has too many problems, p-popping, frying S’s, try B. Experiment. Make sure your volume doesn’t change when you move the microphone.


Post something from your final environment and settings. There may still be one noise adjustment.


There’s still the matching rule. Whatever you do to one chapter you should do to all of them. There is no individually tuning each chapter. So you gotta get this straight right at the top.

And then I’ll start this darn book.

Then you can start the short ACX acceptance submission.


great graphic! makes sense.

I am traveling through the weekend. i’ll jump back on sunday night or monday when i have the final environment and settings, and i’ll keep the matching rule in mind.

thanks again, and have a good rest of your week.

Koz, I lied :laughing: I am sending another sample, but this is my alternate recording location (I’ll be doing a different book here).

Same equipment. I’m using the “B” angle with the mic from your picture, and I turned down the audacity input level. I don’t see any spikes damaged “too loud” moments in it, and the popping sounds better.

So here’s a sample from this environment.

Also, if I do noise reduction, to keep it the same across all chapters/files,do I use the same noise profile for each, or sample the noise from each and run the noise against that file?

do I use the same noise profile for each, or sample the noise from each and run the noise against that file?

That was an Audacity development discussion a while back. Noise Reduction doesn’t save Profile as a file. It just memorizes it. When you close Audacity, it forgets everything.

The safest thing to do is get a new Profile from the Room Tone at the beginning of each chapter. If you can keep track of it, you can use one single Profile forever as long as you never close Audacity. I totally can’t do that, but you may be able to.

I can’t stop to listen for a while.


The good news is the P-Popping is gone. So whatever you did to make that happen, keep doing it.

Where did the volume go?

It’s not hard to set this. While you’re announcing, the bouncing sound meter should just/occasionally tip into the yellow region.

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When you get done reading, the blue waves tips should occasionally reach up (and down) to 0.5.

Open the barn test. The blue waves aren’t even close to being loud (tall) enough.

As before, your job is to make your voice louder than the noise, which in this case, is mostly coming from the microphone itself. All electronics make a little noise. Higher-end microphones and recording systems promote the quiet operation of their products—usually on the front page.

The barn test will not pass noise without help.

I can hear you complaining, “How do you expect me to look at the screen and record at the same time?” I don’t. I expect the recording engineer to do that. So if you’re wondering what one of their their jobs was, now you know. If you do it yourself, you should establish an environment, spacing and speaking volume, start reading and stick with it over a chapter. AudioBook Mastering will make up some of the difference between chapters, so you don’t have to hit it perfectly forever, but you do have to get close.

I bet you’re also wondering why nobody said a thing about this while they were selling you the microphone.

Behold Ian who holds the record for long forum postings. 39 chapters and over a year. All he wanted to do was read audiobooks from his apartment in Hollywood (the actual city). We did get him rolling and he’s a successful reader (and voice-over artist as I understand it).


We published a thing on how to use the meters.

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Also, I don’t use the standard meter sizes. They’re so important, I stretch them out over the whole Audacity width.

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The meters and tools all have drag bars and handles and you can arrange the display however you want. That’s your barn blue waves, by the way. Louder, please.


Oh my Ian wins for persistence. I’m just an author who can’t afford not to have audiobooks but can’t afford to spend $3500 on them either, with a 4-book a year publishing habit and a long backlist…

Ok, I moved audacity sound input up to .50. I’m at 100% on blue yeti gain. Standing at “b” position at the mike. Hovering at around -18 db when I narrate normally. No “red” spikes of clipping. The noise is up. But my fingers are CROSSED (and so are my eyes).

Thanks Koz

My upload failed. I’m also uploading my acx check results after 1. equaliztion/low rolloff for speech at 5001 2. set target rms 3. limiter (#2 and #3 set per specifications by you elsewhere on the forum). Praying.
Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 8.48.43 AM.png

That will do it. That’s well behaved enough not to need Noise Reduction at all. Tonal balance is good with no p-popping or other odd problems. Volume is perfect.

I bet I can make the noise go down a little more. The Room Tone at the beginning of your clip is supposed to be just the sounds of your room and the microphone system. Yours also has you shuffling in your seat, adjusting your clothing, sorting through some papers and checking your Twitter feed, “Chapter one. Don’t tread on me…”

That room tone segment needs to have you holding your breath and not moving…at all.

Lots of decisions are made from Room Tone and it has to be pure and perfect.

Past that, and if you can keep that quality forever, I don’t see any reason not to submit for approval.


There is a Room Tone trick. If you get a two-second chunk of good, pure tone you really like, you can Copy/Paste edit that into much longer chunks for all the places ACX requires longer times. No, you really don’t have to hold your breath for five seconds at the beginning or end of each chapter.

Don’t forget to adjust the chapter presentation as per the requirements.

You can also Export your prized Room Tone to a WAV file and drop it into the show as needed. Yes, that only works if you change nothing between chapters.

I would not allow the Mac to automatically update. Turn that puppy off. We have a festival of troubles apparently caused by the Catalina update.

“My Mac no longer records from my microphone!!!”


Mac Auto Update

Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > App Store (there may be other pathways).

I get the notifications for updates and patches. I will do the updates, for example, for Safari or any of my apps. But I am not doing the Catalina system update until the problems are straightened out.

The most important thing the setting does is prevent a change in the middle of a job. Finish a job, do a thorough backup and then do updates.


Are you sensing your presentation and relaxed story-telling improving as we do this?

There is one not-so good thing that happens with new readers. They get to the end of the first book and realize how awful the first few chapters were and read them again.

Fortunately, that generally only happens once. Don’t rip your studio apart the instant you read the last chapter. You may not be quite done.


You are so awesome. Seriously. I am grateful beyond belief. This has all been extremely helpful, down to these last few tips. Thank you, Koz!!!