Effect Chains in 2024

Hi, just wanted to know if there was a way to create effect chains for Audacity 3.5.1? I do commercials and audiobooks and would like to see if I can process much faster with effect chains.

Jury’s out on 3.5.1, but it’s certainly possible to create Macros (chains) in 3.4.2.

That’s how I created Audacity Audiobook Mastering Macro. Mastering applies a rumble filter, RMS Loudness Processing, and then gentle peak limiting. All in one step. If you recorded in a quiet, echo-free room that may dump you into a finished chapter—at least for ACX.

Fair Warning. Last check, macros will not make decisions. There is no If This, Then Do That. It’s just a list of simple commands.



Missed a step. It’s Tools > Macro Manager and Tools > Apply Macro.


Thanks, Koz!

I was able to replicate this on 3.5.1 following your steps. Makes it so much easier. I splurged on an Isovox 2 last year for myself because I’d been recording in the closet for 10 years, and in a custom-made padded wooden box that housed only my mic for 5 years. So I said, “Heck, why not?” And it’s been an absolute dream to record in.

Writing that down.

I created a Home Store version of that with plastic pipes and furniture moving pads. When you’re done, knock it apart and slide it under the bed.

I have a theatrical question. Are you just flat reading a book, or are you trying to fancy it up with different voices?

Is your goal ACX Publication?


Ah, nice! I like that it’s portable and easy to store. (I’ve done the moving blanket thing too, hanging it on rods and grip stands. Also hung green cloth in front of the blankets to create a green screen background for virtual event hosting during the pandemic.

Yes, the goal is to be ACX-approved. I’m producing an audiobook for a British author, and as it is a Ukraine war mystery piece, she wants me to get into the characters’ personas and overall add more drama to my voice. So far with using the Filter Curve EQ, Loudness Normalization, and Limiter, I’ve passed the Nyquist ACX check plugin.

A recent poster was determine to change voices to follow the people in the book. That’s not a book any more. That’s a script. You can’t have different people announce that they’re going to talk…and then talk. You also can’t have the narrator flip back and forth, either. That’s impossible to follow.

You can totally do theatrical reading in your own voice. We hope that’s what the author wants.

You’re actually using The Mastering Macro, right, with all three of those tools built in and automatic? Mastering guarantees Loudness (RMS) and Peak. If you read well in a quiet, echo-free studio, the noise will pass, too.

Have you read through the ACX instructions?


You have to be published by Amazon. There is no AudioBook first then the paper.

Mono, one blue wave is recommended but it’s not a law. Whatever you use, has to be that way for the whole book.

Please note that you can pass ACX-Check and the on-line ACX Audio Lab and still fail the book evaluation like I did. They didn’t like my tongue ticks, lip smacks, glottal stops, and other mouth noises.

I didn’t give up the day job.


I can’t tell if I posted this already.

I have a question about that. We are accustomed to the slippery tense of forum poster questions:

"I read commercial voice performances and audiobooks…and I’ll get to the first one any minute now.

Once you get the swing of Audiobook Mastering Macro to do the processing—which I know works—I’d be interested in your experience with other commercial voice work. We’ve been telling people that if you can pass ACX, you can submit work almost anywhere else.

It would be good if you actually did that.


Or of it didn’t work, what changes do you recommend?


Yes, fortunately the author doesn’t want me to completely morph into the characters complete with pitch changes, but only channel them so the listener is able to differentiate which is which.

And yup, I’m using The Mastering Micro and read the instructions in that post. Yes, the book has launched on Amazon last week so we are into the production of the audiobook. I agree with mono, one blue wave for the whole book. Crossing my fingers that I pass the ACX book evaluation. I’ve been doing VO on the side since 2005, was laid off from work in 2009, and after that I decided to go for it and become a full-time voice over. This is my day job. :face_holding_back_tears:

This is my first audiobook for commercial release. I had several ones that I personally wrote and recorded a few years back, but haven’t published. I need to write a few more and finally muster the courage to publish.

The bulk of my VO experience was in the Philippines. Here’s my website: mamasvoicestudio.com. Built it myself with WordPress when I was bored to death during the pandemic. I moved to Canada 2 years ago and was lucky to get an agent last year. I’ve been getting regular auditions from them weekly but haven’t landed any projects here yet. Hoping to get one soon. I also currently still do voice work for Philippine clients.

Or of it didn’t work, what changes do you recommend?
The Mastering Micro works!

Since you already have a history of doing actual voice work, you probably won’t need the test submissions, posts, and forum evaluation for noise and tonal damage.

Back when I did it, ACX had a test submission policy where you could post a short test voice file and a human would evaluate it. Not any more. Your choices now are submit the whole book (or the 15-minute checkpoint of the finished book) or not submit anything.

Thanks, Covid.


Yup. I’m not an expert by any means, but I know about the basics in Audacity, and the forum still helps me a lot.

Oh, wow. You gotta love the post-covid world. Is there an option not to submit anything??