Muffled sound means the tool thinks everything is a click.
Can you reduce the clicks manually? I don’t mean do you think it’s desirable, I mean can you do it at all? Is this your mouth making noise, or something the computer is doing?
so I can get through 33 chapters before Wednesday.
Do you have a firm contractual commitment to do that, or is this a personal goal? Ever work with a professional, commercial studio? You may be doing that if your commitments collide with your production successes.
Where are you in the process? Have you been rejected once? Do you pass ACX-Check?
Lots of questions to answer–hope this makes sense:
Yes, I can reduce the clicks manually, I just thought it would be easier to use the de-clicker tool throughout. “Everybody’s doing it” they say. Lol
They are mostly mouth noises, which I did my best to control. Some are random clicks–assuming background noise and moving chair or whatnot.
The book is firm and contractual. I have worked in professional studios but not for audiobooks.
I have done basic edits throughout the book and am now doing final edits, pick-ups and proofing. I was just testing out the mastering side this morning to make sure everything is going smoothly. I am trying to set up my “system” so things move along efficiently.
I have not been rejected because I have not submitted the book to ACX yet—that is Wednesday.
My first pass would be to change the Sensitivity Threshold. My impression is it’s too sensitive and it thinks everything you do is clicks to be suppressed. That gives you the muddy sound.
Some are random clicks–assuming background noise and moving chair or whatnot.
It’s nice to think there’s software to remove “everything that’s not supposed to be there,” but “clicks” appear as a relatively narrowly defined personality and that’s what the software looks for. You may get to remove the chair yourself.
I have not submitted the book to ACX yet—that is Wednesday.
It’s too late, but there is a process for submitting a short test to ACX, rather than taking a chance on the whole book. It helps avoid messy surprises.
Even though ACX demands submission as MP3, it is recommended that you export final mastered work as WAV for archive. Then make the MP3. You can’t change an MP3 in post production without causing sound distortion.
Also, It’s very highly recommended you export raw readings as WAV—before you edit or change them. We can’t take effects, filters or corrections out of a show or Project. It’s possible to “over master” your work and without the perfect quality raw readings, you’re stuck with reading it all again.
ACX Check only inspects technical specifications. Is it loud enough, etc. It doesn’t do a thing for the second test, the theatrical one. That’s the one you can fail for “wet mouth noises” or too much noise reduction, echoes, etc.
The Audacity de-clicker is threshold-dependent, so you need to normalize first …
Step #1. RMS normalize to -18dB.
Step #2. (Soft) limit to -3dB, 10ms hold, no make-up gain.
Step #3. Use the de-clicker settings below …
Optional: an expander plugin, like couture, to attenuate the faint hiss between phrases.
BTW I think you’re a bit too close to the mic: it’s rattling in places from the loudness of your voice.
We should note that ACX Check needs at least 3/4 second of “clean” background noise (room tone) to perform a good measurement. The inter-word noise in that test clip comes in somewhere in the -70s (normally good) but ACX Check reports -60.3dB. The limit is -60dB. The first test at ACX is The Robot which does an automatic test similar to ACX Check.
You should have a terrifically good idea the requirements of chapter leading and trailing room tone as well as all the other technical requirements. There have been several bounced performances from simply getting the number of seconds of silence after a chapter reading wrong. These errors are recursive because remember, you can’t “patch up” the submitted MP3. The MP3 compression quality goes down if you try. You should go back to your Master WAV archive to fix that kind of error, and then make a new MP3.