Clipped at .5

Hi folks, I’m new to all this so please forgive me when I don’t have all the terms right.
Using Windows 10 version 2.3.2 of audacity

I’m recording an audiobook and things were going good till my pre amp fell off the table. I’ve replaced the preamp but since then haven’t been able to produce recordings like before.
It seems the new pre amps (I’m on the third one) don’t amplify enough. Before, when everything worked, I only had the gain on the pre amp half way up to get the proper wave length. Now with the gain cranked up all the way I can’t get my wave length high enough. At the same the wave length seems to be clipped at .5.

Could there be any setting in audacity that could be causing this?

Attached is picture to show the difference between my old recording and now.
audacity screenshot.png

pre amp fell off the table.

Whose name and model number is??

I’ve replaced the preamp

With one of exactly the same make and model? This is important because some preamps will switch between stereo and mono gracefully, and some don’t.

You should dig in the Windows control panels and see if there is provision to mount your stereo preamp as a mono device.

If not, your choices are to try and get a preamp identical to the one you had that worked; Use the -6dB and 50% points as your new normal and let the Audacity Audiobook Mastering Suite make up the difference; or record in stereo and split the single dead channel off and discard it.

Up to you. Fill in the holes with your equipment information.

Koz

See about the 8 second mark on your new device, there is funny square pattern on the new timeline? That’s very not normal and it could indicate some more serious problem in your system. What’s the possibility your USB connection is loose or damaged?

There are problems on your older show as well. Turn on View > Show Clipping. All the red bars in your show are too loud.

As an example:

If those are original performances, they may need to be recorded again. There is no fix for overloaded sound.

Koz

There is a warning about recording a whole book before you test and see if you’re doing it right. Some reading errors are recoverable later and some aren’t.

We publish an Audiobook Mastering Suite of tools which can apply volume corrections and processing to make your performance compatible with ACX/Audible requirements.

https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audiobook_Mastering

We also publish ACX Check which is a tool that can read the three ACX specifications and tell you how far off you are.

https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Nyquist_Analyze_Plug-ins#ACX_Check

Koz

Thanks Koz,

I did find a setting in windows that was causing the problem. In the advanced recording setting it was set as 2 channel and after I switched to 1 channel my recording volume is back up.

Did you check for Clipping/Overload? That error can give you harsh, crunchy sound on emphasized words and sometimes ticking and clicking depending on the microphone system.

This kind of error can easily make it past audiobook mastering and inspection, but ACX has two different inspections. They have The Robot which works similarly to our ACX Check, but then the work goes to Human Quality Control which catches all the distracting oddities such as noises, distortion and odd reading styles.

The goal, and they’re very clear about this, is sitting in a quiet room telling a story. Distortion, noise and cellphone voice are not welcome.

Koz