editing and fx order

Hi all,

I am about to start editing my first book and am trying to make sure I know enough about the process and have enough of the tools to make it as painless as possible. Can I get feedback on what I think the process should be? I’ve read a lot in the forums and appreciate all and can’t quite seem to find the answer as to how to best go about some of this.

Should I:

apply a low end roll off
set a limiter to catch my peaks
lightly compress… 2:1
set a noise gate at about the level of my breathes to drop them by 10 decibels or so

and then
listen through and individually de-click clicks, bass cut plosives and de-ess sibilance
adjust any timing issues
punch/paste over mouth noise between sentences when necessary
use automation to address any weirdly loud breathes


normalize to -20
set a limiter at -3.5

… and then listen through the whole thing again

What do y’all think? I am able to follow the mastering steps to (so far) consistently produce audio that passes the ACX checker plug-in, but now that I’m about to embark on the journey of editing and mastering an 8 hour book for the first time that will then go out into the world for all to hear, I’m just trying to make sure I’m setting myself up to be reasonably efficient for a beginner.

It seems like you are doing some steps multiple times.

I found the flow in this: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/audiobook-mastering-version-4/45908/1
“The KOZ Super Gude to Expert Mastering in 3 easy Steps” has been tremendously helpful.
Roll-Off EQ - RMS Normalize, Limiter

Then run the ACXCheck.ny and you should pass.

How are you listening? It’s possible you have a normal announcing style or presentation and your speakers or headphones are boosting your breathing and mouth noises. That’s happened on the forum.

It appears to me a whole bunch of that processing is compensating for bad recording technique—too close to the microphone or the microphone right in front of your lips. It doesn’t matter if you have a pop and blast filter if the whole thing is too close to you for it to do its job.

Or both.

It’s also possible (I’m extrapolating) that you have a noisy or echoy room and the only way you can pass noise is to announce that close. Home readers never pass noise. I do really well, but I still have to wait for the Metrobus to go by.

Record a voice test and post it on the forum. Read down the blue links. They’re very short. Do Not Process Anything. Record it, cut it if needed and post it.