Clipping after RMS Normalization

I’m having trouble getting the levels right on my recording. I went through the standard editing levels for ACX submission, and while the ACX Check says that it meets the standards, it sounds like it’s clipping. At first I thought I was too close to the mic, but I tried this recording about an arms length away from the microphone and I still have the same problem. Can someone please give me some advice? This is on a Yeti Mic, and I’m using a pop filter. I originally got the Yeti Pro, but then I found out that the reason nothing was going right was because Yeti Pros don’t like Macs.

Also, I had to put the Noise Reduction to 18, 6, 6 to get rid of the whine/mosquito noise. Is it making my voice sound “attuned” for lack of a better term? And would getting a usb hub eliminate the whine? I would really appreciate any help anyone could give me. I’ve been troubleshooting for almost two weeks now, and I’m getting pretty discouraged.

Sorry for the double post, but I was trying to ask if it made my voice “auto-tuned,” not “attuned.” Autocorrect strikes again.

I’m getting pretty discouraged.

Stop doing that.

It’s easy to go off the rails with this process. It is almost without question like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Last first. Frying mosquitoes doesn’t respond well to Noise Reduction. 18dB of reduction is guaranteed to cause tonal sound damage—talking into a milk jug. There is a special tool for that noise.

This is also where you find out it’s a terrifically good idea to File > Export WAV copies of all your original, raw, uncorrected, performances. We can’t take corrections out of a sound file and if anything goes seriously wrong in editing, you get to read it all over again—unless you kept the WAV copies. Then just open up the clean WAV version and keep going.

Mosquito-Killer4.ny (360 Bytes)
You have to install it into the Audacity plugins folder.

This is the tool designed to deal with that whine noise. It defaults to “8” mosquitoes and that almost always does it.

Yeti Pros don’t like Macs.

That’s good to know. It’s almost 100% certain Yeti Pros don’t have Frying Mosquitoes.

As we go. I need to leave the house for a while.

Clipping after RMS Normalization

Did you follow Audiobook Mastering 4? The suite of tools doesn’t have that problem.

I gotta go.


Thank you so much for replying! I did following the Mastering 4 when I was editing that clip. Even with that sequence together, it still had this strange clipping sound. Sorry about not uploading the unedited file–I didn’t realize that would be helpful. I have the unedited file here along with the sample with only the Audiobook Mastering 4 effects added (so no additional noise reduction). The files were too large to attach so I uploaded them to soundcloud.


Audiobook Mastering 4 sequence

My Yeti Pro didn’t have mosquitos, but it had static. I have this same excerpt recorded on the Pro if you want to take a look. The original unedited clip is practically inaudible, but if I turn the gain up any louder then the noise floor is too high for ACX standards. I attached the unedited and the edited with only the Audiobook Mastering 4 steps.

Pro Unedited

Pro Mastering 4 sequence

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help. I am so, so grateful. Thank you!!!

There is the boilerplate note that we’re doing this from possibly multiple time zones away and we can’t see what you’re doing. So there’s nothing fast about this forum thing.

We occasionally get posts about helping someone meet deadlines. Probably not.

The forum has a highly restricted file size limit. You can post a WAV sound file WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit, 44100 Mono about 20 seconds and stereo (two blue waves) 10 seconds.

I wrote a simple format for submitting voice tests.

still had this strange clipping sound.

I’ll need to critically listen to your posts. You beat us to the gate. You already have a SoundCloud account. The only caution with those accounts is make sure they’re “open,” and don’t require a license or registration to download.

I can’t listen right this second, but you might get distortion like this if you select anything but Soft Limit setting under Effect > Limiter. Your limiter panel should look like this.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 14.47.56.png
Mastering Suite 4 uses an odd Audacity property that it’s almost impossible to permanently overload, clip, and distort while you’re editing. That means you can start with vocal floor sweepings and nearly pass ACX. It may not sound very good, but RMS (loudness) and Peak will pass.

I’m fascinated about this Yeti-Pro thing.

As we go.


I see SoundCloud Sign-In, Create an Account, and Upload. No Download and it does it on two different browsers.


Sorry, it should allow downloads now. I thought I had ticked the box earlier. All of the links should allow downloads now, and this is the audio with the Audiobook Mastering 4, Mosquito killer, and 6,6,6 noise reduction. It’s still causing the peaking issues. Thank you again for all of your help!

I couldn’t find any harsh, clipping issues just listening live. I copied a “data grab” of the first clip, no processing, and I think you have a room honk.

This clip has had a “honk filter” applied starting at about 5 seconds. I guessed which voice tones are causing troubles. This is where good quality headphones or speakers come in. Everything past about five seconds should sound more natural and open (on your good quality speakers or headphones). See what you think.

That’s almost always some shortcoming in your studio.

I’ll catch up with the fresh download shortly.


More > Download, after refreshing the site, sends me here:

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 20.36.32.png
Nobody here is doing that.

We’re not all that interested in the post production sample, anyway for two reasons: We can’t take effects out, so the best we can do is sit back and say “yup, it’s broke all right.” And then Full Stop. If you send the raw read, I’m going to process it normally and see if I can break it. If I can, then there’s something funny in the read and I’ll figure it out. If I can’t, it may be your high quality speakers or headphones and the clip is actually fine.

And #2. The clips I’ve seen so far have no Room Tone (background silence). ACX the company, and ACX Check the program both require at least a second of hold your breath and stop moving. The specs in test reading say two seconds.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 20.48.22.png
That’s one of the explanation panels from here.

If you hit 20 seconds mono (one blue wave), you can post directly on the forum. You don’t need Sound Cloud.


I’m so sorry I’ve been giving you the wrong stuff! Here’s the raw clip. Sorry, I assumed since the problem occurred after I put it through the Audiobook Mastering 4 sequence, that was what you needed to hear. Thank you so much for putting up with my mistakes!

And I promise I tried google before asking, but would you mind telling me what a room honk is? Google couldn’t tell me what it was or how to get the filter to fix it. Sorry for my newbie questions, and thank you again!

No problem. We have a pretty good track record of getting people published and it is a little like matching cats.

Can you hear the difference in your voice before and after five seconds?l

I need to do real life for a while.


I may have discovered a human psychological quirk.

Attached is you gasping for air in the room tone segment when you’re supposed to be holding your breath. I boosted the volume for testing.

Everybody reads that instruction and everybody get it wrong. I should ask somebody about that.

Anyway, Raw sample.wav will probably fail testing because you’re breathing in the first second and your one second of silence is only 0.8 seconds.

Describe your system. What’s the microphone and how it’s connected? Are you using a Blue Yeti? That tiny whine in the background of my post is The Yeti Curse or Frying Mosquitoes. Other microphones have it but the Yeti seems to be particularly susceptible to it. It’s a defect where your voice mixes with the USB data signal by accident.

As near as I can tell, all your posts so far have symptoms of automated voice processing. Something is “helping” you.The clips start with very slightly boosted volume for the first two words and then settle into natural volume. You noticed that they all have slightly honky or talking-into-a-wine-glass sound. Those are signatures of voice processing and those are typical of Skype, chat or conferencing. Do you use Skype?

You’re on a Mac, right? That’s what it says in your INFO, but we need to be sure.

And finally, at no time do I hear the clipping, rasping or crunchy damage you describe in the first post.

I did get your last test clip to pass ACX Check, but just barely.

Does this clip sound relatively clean to you?

Are you really on a Mac?
Do you use Skype or other conferencing?
Describe your microphone and system.
Describe your headphones or speakers.

There is a semi-silly joke that sometimes the easiest way to produce good quality voice recordings is stop using your computer.


I have a really quiet, small, third bedroom. That’s a stand-alone sound recorder and a roll of paper towels. With gentle Noise Reduction, it passed ACX Check first time out and it even sounds like me.

They stopped making that recorder but there are others which can do that.


I do have a mac. It’s kinda old, it’s 2012 MacbookPro, and uses the OS X El Capitan 10.11.5 operating system.
I have Skype installed on my computer, but it’s not in use when I’m recording.
I was recording using the Blue Yeti microphone. After the whole Yeti Pro debacle, I switched to recording on the standard Yeti. It’s got a pop filter on it, and I’m recording in a walk-in closet (clothes on two walls, and the third wall is half blank, half filled with shelving for shoes. I was standing next to the shoes so I’d be surrounded on all sides). But if the Yeti isn’t what I need, I’m happy to send it back and buy a different mic. Is that type of recorder you have a better option for me?
The headphones are over-ear Bose noise cancelling headphones that are corded, not wireless.

Would it be helpful if I recorded a new raw clip for diagnosis? I didn’t realize I breathed in the room tone. But whatever you did to the sample made it sound so much better! I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but would you mind telling me what the honk filter is (or how to get it) and what you would recommend moving forward?

You are a saint for giving me so much help! Thank you so much!

I have Skype installed on my computer, but it’s not in use when I’m recording.

Are you sure you actually stopped it? Skype likes to stay napping but on-guard for incoming calls. Is there a little light under the app icon in the doc?

I’m recording in a walk-in closet

All is revealed. I’m tuning out your room boom.

clothes on two walls, and the third wall is half blank, half filled with shelving for shoes.

That may not be enough. That room “likes” certain musical tones and they happen to be tones you use in your voice. Those tones get louder. That’s room boom. I figured out what most of the tones are and reduced their volume artificially. So. We can just keep doing that. It’s one extra mastering step you have to perform each and every chapter. But, wait. There’s more. You can’t change things in the closet. There is no taking two or three suits out or putting them on a different wall. The tones will change.

Or, we can try to reduce the tones by soundproofing. The ideal is to kill sound reflecting from all the walls. That’s what I have. Home Store sound tiles on all four walls and ceiling. Carpet on the floor (plus trash and boxes). Terrific room. I can make almost any microphone sound wonderful.

Absolute Minimum is get a heavy carpet remnant for the floor and furniture moving pads, or something equally heavy for two odd walls. Hang one on the wall behind you and one on a wall either left or right. The idea is to cover all or most of the wall you picked. I think moving pads are just the best thing.

Being obsessive I designed those sticks to make a wall and collapse in the garage when I wasn’t using it. You can use Home Store plastic pipes.

That’s what this presenter did.

There’s no glue. They just push together.

What we’re doing is killing opposing walls. Sound can’t reflect between ceiling and floor because the floor has the heavy carpeting on it. Sound can’t reflect between the wall behind you and the one in front because the one behind you has that moving blanket. One of the two left-right walls has a moving blanket, so no left-right reflections there.

Either solution. Most recommended is the blankets. The extra Audacity boom filter is a bookkeeping headache.

But if the Yeti isn’t what I need…

Let’s fix everything else first. Right now, the whine sound is so low that most people will not be able to hear it and there are other things to try to suppress it.

2012 MacbookPro,

I have one of those. Terrific machine. How long is the cable between the Mac and the Yeti? Did the Yeti come with a cable?


Oh wow. I’m not sure if the room being the problem instead of my audio settings makes things simpler or more complex to fix haha. I’m a bit limited on space, but I’ll look and see what I can set up in terms of extra soundproofing. Can I ask another newbie question and ask how you compensate for room boom in the editing process? I’m not sure where I would even start. Acting I have a lot of experience with, it’s the technical side that intimidates me haha. Would one of those Porta-Booths help to eliminate my problems? Or is that just another needless piece of equipment that newbies like myself fall for?

I have one of those. Terrific machine. How long is the cable between the Mac and the Yeti? Did the Yeti come with a cable?


My standard Yeti is actually second hand so I’m not 100% sure, I’m fairly certain that the cable is the one that came with the Yeti. It looks identical to the cable that came with my brand new Yeti Pro, and I can always swap cords to be 100% certain in the future. The cord is fairly long, probably 4-5 feet.

The cord is fairly long, probably 4-5 feet

That may be where your whine sound is coming from. Do you have a shorter cable available for testing? Cable problems become worse as you increase the length. But before you mess with that, lets get everything else resolved.

makes things simpler or more complex to fix haha.

Soundproofing is more complicated initially, but since you only have to do it once, it greatly simplifies things from that point forward. My patch is only an estimate. I’m covering the problem over, not solving it.

I used Analyze > Plot Spectrum to see which voice tones seem higher than they should be. Then I used Effect > Equalization and hand drew a tone control to reduce those tones what I estimated was the right amount. It’s all SWAG. Scientific, Wild-Ass Guess.

To really scare you, you may not be able to easily change microphones without analyzing the boom again and making a new tone-control.

A sister forum posting to yours has just completed his towels and blankets, soundproofing, etc. His stuff passes ACX immediately and his next step is submit for publication.

Would one of those Porta-Booths help to eliminate my problems?

The kind you unlock with a key and walk into for presenting and close the door behind you, or those tiny half-round things you put around the microphone? The room with the locked door is recommended by ACX and their original instructional videos featured one.

Porta-Booth Plus®

That one is somewhere in the middle. We should keep in mind a lot of the bounce and echoes are coming from the wall behind you. The sensitive parts of the microphone point to you and everything around you.

Are you going to print your script?


The only two shortcomings I can think of is where to put the script and how to mount the microphone. They address the mount problem in the photos in the promo. Be sure you can do that with yours. I like the hanging microphone idea.

A lot of people read from a tablet. Is that what your’e going to do?

A quick read from Acoustics-R-Us: Make sure there’s a room behind you and not a hard wall. Or a wall with a moving blanket on it. That’s where the evil sound is going to come from.


If you do try it, post back with your experiences.


Yeah, I was planning on reading from my phone or tablet. It seemed like it was going to be too complex to try to negotiate a paper setup.

I’ve been experimenting and I think I’ve got something that’s going to work, my only problem left is having harsh Ts and Ss. I tried the De-Essing tool, but it didn’t really do much and just made my voice kinda distorted. Is the only way to combat that issue to go in and adjust the levels on each of those sounds manually? Or is there are secret I don’t know about?

Also, I tried re-recorded the sample just to make sure that there was absolutely no filters causing the spike in volume on the first word, and that just seems to be something my voice is doing. Is that again something I go in and adjust manually? Or is there a setting I don’t know about?

I also ordered a powered USB hub to try to get rid of the last little bit of background static so I don’t have to combat that through Noise Reduction.

Thank you again for all of your help!