Can't get ACX plug-in to appear in plug-in list (OS Big Sur)

Any help appreciated. Using Audacity 2.3.3 After downloading the ACX check, didn’t see it under Tools —> add/remove plugins. Dragged it from my Downloads to Audacity’s plug-in folder and changed the name so that it didn’t end in “txt” but rather “ny” Tried both “ny.” for the ending and “ny” without the period after it. Still didn’t show up on the plug-in list. Have run out of ideas.

Audacity 2.4.2 is the latest stable build. That’s recommended. There were some recent legacy versions with unfortunate problems.

Attached is the latest ACX-Check (there have been two).

ACX-Check.ny (4.39 KB)
Sometimes the Mac insists on “helping you” by adding bits and pieces to the filename. Not recommended.

Tools > Nyquist Plugin Installer.

It shows up under Analyze, not Effects.

Do you have your audiobook voice mastering down yet? Any trouble getting your studio to work right? Everybody goes straight for the microphone but if you have a good, quiet, echo-free room, most microphones work.


One more. Even if you do succeed in installing, you still have to Analyze > Add Remove.


I just downloaded Audacity two days ago but I guess it wasn’t the most recent?

I will look into that.

My recording area is very quiet. Kind of a room within a room. I have been practicing my narration to minimize the usual problems. Thanks for the info!

When you say Analyze —> Add/ Remove, does that mean I don’t have to implement the ACX download by going to Tools —> Add/ Remove?

“ACX Check” is a “Nyquist Plug-in”.
Installation instructions are here:

I understand that it’s a Nyquist plug-in and I’ve gone over those instructions a few times. Thanks!

It is two steps.

Tools > Nyquist Plugin Installer puts ACX-Check in the right place on the Mac so it’s available to Audacity to use. Analyze > Add Remove Plugins makes it available for you to use it.

A good quiet room is a terrific start.

You can use the Audacity bouncing sound meter and blue waves to set your voice volume.

This is approximately what it should look like for a general, average recording.

Home microphones generally come in quieter than that because too loud—maxing out either the blue waves or the bouncing sound meter creates overload damage and it’s fatal.

Creating dead flat blue waves isn’t good either. Those are usually too noisy

See how yours works.


Thanks! What you’ve provided should give me the necessary components for a good setup.

I have additional layers of noise-reduction within the room.

Also, quick question: why does Audacity have Add / Remove Plugins under three menu headings: Effects, Analyze and Tools?

Add / Remove Plugins under three menu headings:

Not everybody installs one plug-in. Some people arrive with suitcases of different plugins, but they only need them all in one service. Having them all appear everywhere wouldn’t be useful.


There’s a section on Audiobook Production.

This is an abbreviation for the mastering suite of tools.

It’s pretty handy because it guarantees Peak and RMS (Loudness), the first two ACX specifications. If you read in a quiet room with a reasonably well-behaved microphone, you may pass Noise and you’re done.

Home readers never pass noise. We’ll see how you do. The audiobook specification for noise is -60dB, which, in English, means your background noise has to be 1000 times quieter than your voice. I do pretty well, but I still have to wait for the Metrobus to go by.


Before you get all excited and tip over your coffee cup, the technical specification testing is step one. Technical testing can be automated. After that, you still have to pass ACX Human Quality Control. That’s where a real person listens to your work for theatrical quality. They will be listening for tongue ticks, lip smacks, asthmatic gasping, and whether or not your vocal tone scares the horses.

You have to pass everything. You are offering a theatrical performance for sale.

ACX has some new restrictions for audiobook performances and they’re pretty stiff.

I have to be able to buy your book on Amazon. There was a forum poster determined he was going to offer his book on Amazon and post the reading for audiobook at the same time. It wasn’t pretty.

ACX posted a list of unacceptable books. No you can’t read a cookbook, a dictionary, or technical manual. My shortform version of that is needing to come up with characters, plot, and setting. Scroll down.

It used to be possible to submit a voice test for acceptance before reading the whole book. That’s when I found out I can create a technically perfect sound file submission, but I can’t read. I won’t give up the day job. As of the sickness, they no longer allow pre-production testing.

That’s a problem for first-time readers. You can, if you want, submit a voice test on the forum. Do it to this formula. Read down the blue links.

We can’t guarantee acceptance, but we can head off obvious problems.


Having them appear in multiple places is in the direction of having them appear everywhere. Wondering: how are they categorized? What makes one an Effect and another a Tool?

Thank you, yes I am aware of the performance aspect. I have read to audiences from my memoir (which is available on Amazon); and as mentioned, have been practicing minimizing all the extraneous sounds that the mic picks up. Also aware that post-editing can eliminate unwanted sounds as well.

Scratch the question: I stumbled onto the page in the manual that explains how the plugins are organized.

And, thanks! Successfully installed the ACX plugin. Much appreciated.

:blush: - Oops! Responded to the wrong post. Comments withdrawn - :blush:

What makes one an Effect and another a Tool?

You can’t hear the plugin installer.


Also aware that post-editing can eliminate unwanted sounds as well.

That’s dangerous. One of the more depressing forum posts starts out: “Help me clean up…” Those jobs are almost without exception, doomed.

There’s a level to this that nobody ever thinks about. You’re a business. Your job is to produce a quality product with the least investment of time and effort. The instant you need “Editing,” the production effort automatically takes five times longer than the show, and that’s if you’re reasonably good at it. That’s remarkably accurate—and scary.

There was a forum poster a while ago who told us he was planning on editing and polishing his performance word by word.

He’s probably still cutting it.

There is a first time reader condition to note. You start the book a rank amateur and finish a polished, experienced, seasoned professional. And go back and listen to the first few chapters and read them again.


Audacity has 4 types of plug-ins:

“Generators” create / generate sound.
“Analyzers” analyze sound.
“Effects” process sound.
“Tools” are everything else.

In a few rare cases a plug-in may not follow this scheme due to technical limitations. This was more common with very old plug-ins.

Thanks for the clarification on types of plug ins.

Koz, as far as I understand, making the original recording as clean as possible is the goal, but even professionals do post-performance clean up, every time. There is always editing to be done. Always. I’m not talking about editing “word for word.”

And, in response to the ‘no home recorder meets the noise floor requirement,’ I tested mine … and it exceeded expectations (noise floor registered at -70dB).

All responses here are much appreciated. Just to add, as an author, I’m well aware of the business aspect of this endeavor.