How to avoid clipping but keep details


First of all, many thanks for all the forum and for this amazing open source software.

I am verry new in recording and try to find myself some informations but i do not want to fail in recording 30 hours :laughing:

I bought a Yeti Blue Microphone to record recitation. But the reciter as a verry deep voice and recite very strong. :open_mouth:

The manuel advise to put the mic at 6 inchs of the mouths but i have to put it at 24 inchs to minimize the clipping and i loose details and he seems to be very far. I want to keep a lot of details (how the air is flowing, how he grips his lips …).

Here is a recording :

Have you got some advise please ?

best regards,

Does this help?

Are you saying that with both the volume knob on the yeti and the software record volume set to their minimum you are still clipping? That seem hard to believe but if true then yes your only choice is to move the microphone further from the performer. If that’s not true then turn the gain down some more.

Also setting the mic that close you will likely want to set the microphone up a bit higher and off to one side of the performer, you may also want a pop screen.

There is a fair amount of background noise in your recording, likely the air-conditioner or similar equipment. That might be hindering your ability to “hear the details” as well.

That seem hard to believe

What he said.

Yeti complaints tend to favor “I can’t get it loud enough.” If you’re on Windows, you might check with the sound control panels and make sure you don’t have a “20dB Boost” or other recording effects selected somewhere.

I have other notes when I get back in the house, but right at the top is going to be not to overload the sound channel. Once you get the show loudness into the clipping region, you’re dead. View > Show Clipping. You should not have any red bars in your recording.

As we go.

If you produce a sound clip for testing, please use this recipe.

It has the features we need for good testing.


I think we’re going to get you to produce that special test clip. We can’t tell where the background noise is because the performer has breath and mouth noises (all normal) through the piece. There needs to be a second or so of total natural silence somewhere in the performance.

If you post to Google Drive, you won’t need to worry about the clip length restriction. That’s just if you post to the forum which only allows short clips.

DO NOT read for months and then depend on us to “clean it up” in post production. That is a normal and damaging newbie mistake.

Unless somebody stops me, I’m going to use the ACX AudioBook quality standards. That can be messy if you’re recording in a noisy room, because the ACX Quality Control Robot is tuned to catch background noise problems — and reject the work right away.

Making the work appear louder and maybe slightly crisper once you have a clean recording is not that difficult. I am going to ask you embarrassing questions like how much did your speaker system cost? If you can hold it in one hand, it’s probably not suitable to judge sound quality. I didn’t find anything wrong with the vocal quality of your posting on my full-range entertainment music system.



First of all many thanks for all your advices and sorry for my bad english, i am french and try to improve my english.

Then, i am very sorry to have been late. I was sick.

Here are what it seems i should do :

Then produce the special test clip

DO NOT read for months and then depend on us to “clean it up” in post production

It will be my guideline ! Thanks !

how much did your speaker system cost?

Just 140 euros … You are right. I will add 300 euros in building my one cabine speak.

**Should i add or remove something in my list please ? **

If you are going to go to the effort of building a small “cabine speak” (“recording booth” in English) then I wouldn’t bother with “little audio box”, instead concentrate on adding suitable damping material to the walls of your booth. I don’t know how available they are in Europe, but here in US “moving blankets” or “packing blankets” are good sound dampening for the dollar.

Likewise if you decide to record in an existing space you can build simple wooden stands to hold up the blankets.

Warning: building a recording booth is not easy. Sound dampening – suppressing undesirable echos is relatively easy. But sound proofing – keeping outside noises out can be very difficult. It requires multiple layers of dense material (typically drywall or fiberboard) spaced with lighter weigh material (typically fiberglass or foam). And every thing must be sealed tight. But your performer has to breathe, so you have to devise a means to pump air into the space that is still quiet.

I suspect that your existing space can be made to work. The only background noise I could hear in your test recording sounded like a fan.

  1. Adjust the volume of the recording until the Audacity sound meters flutter around -6dB, the Yellow Zone. Yes, that means you need to watch them out the corner of your eye while you’re recording. That usually conflicts with the computer noise in the show. That’s probably where that fan noise is coming from.

  2. Both of these performances have pop screens. The second is a little hard to see.

  1. [push the microphone off center] Even better if you can hang it. If you need to read pages or do something in front of you, the microphone is going to be in the way, but you can’t push it too far away because it will not pick up your voice as well. The second picture shows my microphone stand suspending the microphone in front of the performer.

    1. [little box] One of the two. You probably don’t need both. You are making a recording studio. Ideally, the whole room is soundproofed and you can walk in and start talking. That’s how it is in the second illustration. Main Conference Room was soundproofed. I have made announce booths from furniture moving pads and wood sticks.

What you’re doing is making a recording studio on your desk just large enough for your microphone. Remember, you also need to put your hands in there to hold the papers and it will still receive noise from behind you.

  1. [20dB Boost] I’m guessing it’s there. I’m not a Windows elf, but your show is too loud and something is wrong.

  2. You should not have any red bars in your recording. View > Show Clipping. If the show is a forrest of red bars, your recording is too loud. Adjust the microphone, performer spacing, computer and Audacity so the recording meters flutter mainly around -6tdB when you speak.


Many thanks for all your advices. I was sure that i had put a answer but i just see that i did not.

I’am verry sorry for that.

Thanks for all.

Best regards,


Just a little message to show you the end of my work (with your very good advices) :

I hope it will be good enough …

Il will send you a little simple if you are OK :slight_smile:

Best regards,

3/4" (20mm) pressed fiberboard is a good idea. Place it so that there are no parallel walls or perfect corners.

Throw something fuzzy on the floor.

Don’t forget a directional microphone is aimed at your head…and the wall behind you.

Put a towel or blanket on the desk.

That wide blue sheet is a furniture moving blanket. I know that looks like a Stephen King novel, but it’s actually floor vibration isolation. Either the book or the orange towel by itself doesn’t work right, but together they’re terrific. So no, bolting a microphone stand to the floor is not a good idea if you have a noisy house.

That’s another moving blanket on the conference room table. The rest of the room is soundproofed and I didn’t want any reflection or slap sound from the table. That was a broadcast radio show.

Now I’m just being obsessive. You should record a sample and see what’s there.