Help Me Solve this ACX Analyze Plugin Mystery

I use Mac 10.15.7 Catalina and have Audacity 3.1.3; I have the ACX plugins:

ACX Check Analyze

Normalize PEAK LEVEL
Noise Reduction RMS LEVEL
Question One:
How do I adjust the NOISE FLOOR?
Question Two:
I recorded my audiobook demo through source connect, edited it in garage band, and am now trying to level it correctly to upload it to AXC but I can’t get all 3 to pass, I’ll adjust one and it throws all of them off.

I’ve managed to get 30-sec clips to pass but 2-5 min clips haven’t been successful. I don’t want to start submitting for auditions until I can do this easily or it’ll just cause problems.

I’ve watched youtube videos and like I said I understand it all in theory or my shorter clips wouldn’t be successful. What am I missing here? I didn’t upload the clip yet because it’s a problem I’m running across in most projects.

All help is appreciated!

I assume the noise floor is too high? (not negative enough?) This is a VERY common problem if you don’t have a soundproof studio. It can also be too-low if it’s “overprocessed” with too much noise reduction or noise gating.

The [u]Recommended Audiobook Mastering Procedure[/u] has a few suggestions.

but I can’t get all 3 to pass, I’ll adjust one and it throws all of them off.

Regular level adjustments are linear so if you reduce the volume by 3dB, they all go down by 3dB. The recommended procedure sets the RMS level (which represents the “loudness”). Then limiting is used to push-down the peaks with almost no effect on the RMS, and no effect on the noise.

In most cases you’ll have to boost to hit the RMS target and that usually puts your peaks out-of-spec and that’s easily fixed by limiting. But it also boosts the noise floor.

Lets step back and do a test.

Record this simple 10 second voice test.

Record it, Stop. Cut the end down to 10 seconds if you need to. We’re not after Academy Awards here.

Export the WAV sound file and post it on the forum. Do Not help it or apply any effects, filters, or corrections.

It’s not unusual for a New Reader to find a computer applying effects to their voice even though nobody told it to. It’s also possible for other software packages to “help you” whether you want it or not. Zoom comes to mind. Do Not leave Zoom napping in the background while you’re performing.

An easy first pass to find the problem is a simple sound test. If you don’t sound like you, we analyze our brains out to find out why.


Home microphones can record very low volume by design. This can cause noise problems. DO NOT boost the test voice volume before you post it.