Audio Sound Test

Would anyone please give me some feedback on the sound quality of my raw audio test sample? I am a true newbie with untrained ears. Is there anything that makes it unpleasant to listen to, either with my voice or studio set-up? My home studio is in a closet and I’m using blankets and towels for sound absorbtion; fortunately, I live in a quiet area, so I don’t have a lot of outside sounds coming in. I recorded the sample with a Rode NT1 mic and Scalette Solo 3rd gen AI. In my laptop’s sound settings (Windows 10), I have the I/O set at: 1 channel, 24 bit, 44100 Hz (Studio quality) option and on Audacity I recorded as MME, 44100 Hz, 32-bit float, and the mic volume set at 90. Does that sound like how I should have it set up? I’ve been working on recordings for a demo and audiobook samples, but want to stop if I have more to do to improve my sound. TIA, Sue

This is an NT1-A with a Solo? It has a very odd noise signature. Maybe it’s because of your studio.

This should sail right through ACX technical testing.

Cut another sound test. This time forget the WAV file and Catskill cows. Read a story. Actual narration with people, plot, and settings. You can go out to 50 seconds. You don’t have to finish it. I want to hear your theatre. Do leave about a second of holding your breath at the beginning.

File > Export > MP3 at 192 constant bitrate. That’s the quality ACX is going to want for audiobook chapter submissions.


The NT1-A is a side-fire microphone. You announce into the side grill just up from the gold dot (assuming it’s right-side up). Is that what you’re doing? You can totally run it upside down. The microphone doesn’t care.


Thanks for your help! “Odd noise signature” doesn’t sound good! Maybe it’s my voice?! The mic I have is not the NT1a, it’s the NT1. It is mounted upside down with the dot facing me and I have the Rode’s pop filter. Here’s a sample of a fiction read. I did not do any editing or mastering on it before exporting as an mp3 (since that’s what I think you wanted). I know I have lots of practice to do on my delivery, but I was hoping the audio quality would be one thing I had down!

As expected, I mastered the clip and it sailed straight through technical acceptance.

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Peaks quieter than -3dB, Noise quieter than -65dB (the spec is -60dB, but you have to be qieter than that for actual work), and RMS (Loudness) between -18dB and -23dB. Piece o’ cake.

But you also have to also pass Human Quality Control and theater testing. That’s the one I missed.


Maybe it’s my voice?!

No. This is the analysis in the two seconds before you start speaking. It’s “Room Tone” or everything else with you not speaking. This is the one that home readers miss. The traffic, refrigerator, and computer fan noises do have to be at least a thousand times quieter than your voice. That’s what -60dB means in English. That’s a nasty shock to home performers. I have a silly line that if you can tell your computer is on just by listening, it’s going to be a long day.

It will take a bit to listen. Did you write this?

Fair warning that there are some new restrictions for ACX publication. I need to be able to buy your book on Amazon before you submit sound files. That can be a messy surprise.

As we go.


You have a thing for names that nobody can spell. Katie made it through technical testing perfectly. So did Eiline.


Ha! No, I didn’t write it. I didn’t have any audiobook samples recorded with this mic yet, so I just picked a book off my shelf to do a quick audio sample for you. I had been recording using a Blue Yeti- so plenty of samples with that one, but figured that wouldn’t help to make my new mic sound right.

I noticed that my computer is recognizing my mic as Analogue 1+2. I thought that seemed strange but it didn’t give me any other choices. I had also downloaded the driver from Focusrite and maybe I didn’t need to. Could either one of these be part of the issue?


I haven’t found any technical problems so far. This setup seems to be recording your voice as it is.

We like to hear a recording with no effects, filters, or corrections to judge if the plain, ordinary recording technique is OK. We can’t tell anything if there is a list of different changes applied. There was a recent voice artist who, after we got all the effects stripped away was announcing too loudly and creating distortion. Easy to fix once we know. “You’re announcing too loud. Stop doing that.”

Yours seems to be technically OK right out of the gate.


That’s great that you aren’t finding any technical problems. I’m assuming that means my home setup and equipment is good then. Now it’s time for me to start working on my vocals and performance side!

I appreciate all of your help!