I think I've messed it up again - please help!

Hello Folks!

I’m currently trying to create an audio version of a novel wot I wrote, but I appear to have screwed up the last six hours of recording.

Basically, I am trying to put it down as raw track, to be edited later, once the whole shebang is recorded.

However, I seem to have done something wrong…

I just tried to playback what I recorded today, and it has an obscenely offensive (and unlistenable,) echo effect throughout.

I don’t know what I did wrong. What I would like to know is - is there any way to remove this effect - or do I have to read the whole thing again?

Any advice deeply appreciated! :smiley:

I appear to have screwed up the last six hours of recording.

But the first six are OK?

is there any way to remove this effect - or do I have to read the whole thing again?

Neither one.

Did you read somewhere to do this, or are you doing what seems a good way?

You should read a short segment of the work and make sure you can reach audiobook technical conformance before you read for hours and hours. It’s easy to burn permanent errors into a long reading and have wasted tons of work.

You also have a Good Practices violation. When you get to the end of a segment or chapter, roll it back to several different places, play it briefly and see if it came out OK. You should never have gotten past the first chapter or segment with that error.

Echoes or bathroom sound are usually permanent. There is no filter for that.

If the performance is mono (one blue wave), drag-select about 20-seconds of the bad performance, File > Export > Export Selected > WAV and post it on the forum. Scroll down from a forum text window > Attachments > Add Files.

Is this your first audiobook?


Cheese Dude.

I think I’ve worked out what I did wrong - total newbie FUBAR!

I actually saved and edited after every single paragraph - but I must have actually saved an edit that I didn’t intend to at the last minute!

I tried to see what effect click removal/reduction would have, but I couldn’t hear any difference in the brief sample, so I cancelled it.
I suspect that I actually clicked on ‘echo’ by mistake - and it hadn’t taken effect during the preview. It does seem a bit strange - I thought that by clicking on cancel, the effect would not have been applied…

Still, I have now learned to save multiple backups of the raw recording in various locations so, although fairly expensive in time, it was a lesson that I will not forget!

Stay Frosty!

save multiple backups of the raw recording in various locations

The Party Line is Export raw recordings as perfect quality WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit and be able to point to two different physical places that contain your work. Audacity Projects are not recommended for this.

USB thumb drives, external hard drives and cloud storage all count. As you predicted, three or more backups is lovely, but nobody will keep that up and many of us will just lose track and start dropping copies by accident.

If you’re forced to use a backup, the first step is make a copy using a different computer, if possible to maintain two perfect copies.

Most of my stuff is recorded live and then posted immediately to the client system or to the production offices system. I still have WAV copies for very old productions. “Say, Koz, do you still have that shoot we did last week?”

Yes, I do.


Many thanks for the advice!

I shall do that - not the posting right away - that sounds scary. (To be honest, just setting out on this project is pretty daunting.
It took me 8 months to write my story - a Doctor Who fanfic - and I’m pretty sure that it will take me a LOT longer to record! :laughing: )

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

not the posting right away - that sounds scary.

Maybe not so much. This is the panel that explains how to record and post a forum sound clip.


We may identify sound problems before you go through house and hours of stumbling in the darkness.

It’s not unusual for us to make simple corrections and produce an ACX corrected sound clip straight away. And then post the method.

It’s also possible to have unusual sound damage for which we have pre-baked solutions, also saving you hours and hours.


That sounds very helpful!

Just to verify - should I pop it in a new Windows specific post, or would it
be okay here?

Here is good. We are still helping you produce an audiobook.

The problem comes when somebody starts a completely different idea in one thread and nobody later will ever find it because it’s buried. It is a forum, with users helping each other and everybody has to be able to find everything.

Another thing that doesn’t work, or very rarely, is somebody having the exact same problem as you. It’s never the exact same problem and we have to juggle two or more different responses to two different people in one message thread.

So this is good. The instruction panel isn’t fooling. You can’t post tons of work on the forum. It’s 2MB tops and that works out to be about 20 seconds of mono voice in WAV format. WAV is good because it doesn’t contribute distortion of its own unlike MP3.


Cheese Dude,

That is very reassuring (and sensible,)

I’ll post something shortly. (I’m in the UK, so even though we speak the same language -
sort of - I’m on a oifferent clock! :laughing:

Ridgt now - I have to hit the sack!

Don’t let the bedbugs bite! :sunglasses:

Righty ho! I think I got this saved correctly!

Hopefully it will be enough to work with, Thanks!

The clip has several problems, most, hopefully easily corrected.

With the clip open in Audacity > View > Show Clipping.

Do you see the two places with red marks over the blue waves? Those are overload points where the voice is too loud. The digital system has stopped following your voice. There is no easy recovery for that and a simple solution is record the work again a bit softer.

You can get a good idea of your recording volume by looking at the Audacity bouncing sound meters. They should occasionally bounce up to about -10dB to -6dB. The blue waves should fit in about 50% measured on the left. My recorder naturally produces two blue waves. One or two doesn’t matter.

What kind of microphone do you have? The sound has a muffled quality like you’re speaking under a duvet. It sounds a lot like 1962 BBC1.

The background noise is too loud. Do you have a fan, air conditioner or other motor in the room with you? The room needs to be very quiet when you stop talking. The audiobook standard for background noise is -60dB. In English, the room has to be a thousand times quieter than your speaking voice.

Let us know.


It sounds a lot like 1962 BBC1.

Write down how you did that before you change anything. The old time radio effect is pretty remarkable.


Thanks Koz, I shall certainly try to sort this out!

I don’t know how to post a quote, so please bear with me:

‘It sounds a lot like 1962 BBC1.’

I actually want my story to sound - as much as possible - as if it happened in the Troughton
era of Doctor Who. That’s actually how the story is written - but I have no idea how I have managed (if I have,)
to get that sound. (Apart from being a Brit! I was planning to add in a bit of echo as well - but early days…)

‘What kind of microphone do you have?’

It’s a Tonor, if you’ve ever heard of them. Got it fot 12.95 on ebay. (All the way from China in a week!
Takes 3 weeks for the UK Post Office to deliver anything from 100 yards down the road!)

Anyway - it’s a stand alone mic, not headphones.

‘Do you have a fan, air conditioner or other motor in the room with you?’

No. I have my PC! Yes, believe it or not - that is how loud my computer is! I have the mic as far away from the pc as the lead will allow,
but unfortunately it doesn’t run as silently as I would like! (I could post a photo of my ‘studio’ if you like - mught give everyone a giggle! :smiley: )

Anyways, thanks for taking a look, (listen?) Most appreciated!

(PS: Here is the link to the story I’m trying to sort out - just in case anyone may be interested.


Please feel free to delete this bit if the content is site inappropriate.)

I don’t know how to post a quote, so please bear with me:

You can do it the way you did it. We’re pretty resilient. You can type something, drag-select it and then tick the quote mark icon above the text, you can tick the quote mark icon and then start typing. Or you can actually type those bracket characters manually around your text.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 12.52.13.png
That’s called marking up your text. There’s different markups for italics and bold.

Apart from being a Brit!

That’s what sold it. I pictured your voice coming from a large wooden cabinet in front room. It was one of those (!!) moments.

I was planning to add in a bit of echo as well - but early days…)

That’s dangerous. Nobody wants to hear a whole presentation in echo. Maybe as a theatrical emphasis.

This may be a good time to introduce Computer Hygiene. When you complete a chapter or logical stopping place, Export your reading as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file and copy it somewhere safe. New Users do things like start applying corrections and effects to a reading immediately without saving anything. The first time Audacity freezes or crashes, they’re straight back to reading it all again.

that is how loud my computer is!

There’s a question: “can you tell if you’re computer is on just by listening?” If yes; kiss of death. You may never pass the audiobook noise test. It gets worse. You can’t easily extend a USB cable used for sound. I may need to leave in a bit.

Please feel free to delete this bit if the content is site inappropriate.)

We’re pretty resilient about that, too. Past the obvious naughty words, never try to sell us anything unless a forum elf says it’s OK.


Hello Kos.

Could you clarify “I may need to leave in a bit.” Please?

Do you mean that you don’t think there is any way to help me, 'cos of the noise my
computer makes being the “kiss of death,” - or something else?

I’m going to start off again from scratch - following the Audiobook mastering guideline that you have posted.
(I’m only a few chapters in - I think everything I’ve put down so far needs re-doing anyway. It’s all practise anyway - and it’s not as if
I have a deadline!)

If I manage to do any better following the guidelines, I’ll let you know.
(But don’t hold your breath! :smiley: )

Thanks again!

PS: Having read some of the ACX stuff on their site, I get the impression that this is a standard for projects that you want to make money from.
Is this correct?

If so, I should point out that, as nice as it would be, I don’t expect to make any money from this - unfortunately it would be illegal. (What with the Beeb owning the copyright to Doctor Who and all that.)

Still, it seems sensible to use this as a benchmark for acceptable sound quality - would this be the correct approach do you think?

PPS: This is embarassing!

Okay, I installed ACX check and RMS normalise as per instructions. However, not only are they unavailable, (greyed out,)
but the vast majority of the other effects went the same way. I have disabled them again, but I still can’t use any of the effects
that were available previously.

Do you think I should just uninstall Audacity completely and start again? (I mean is there a step-by-step ‘guide for dummies’ anywhere?)

I need to leave…

The forum is staffed by volunteers and we all need to leave now and again for Real Life. I try to warn people I’m coming back. If there is no warning, then I may be leaving the messages up to a different forum elf.

I’m only a few chapters in

One of the warnings is not to read the whole book and only then figure out the patching and correction process. There may not be a correction pathway and you’ll be left with days worth of trash.

I don’t expect to make any money from this

Then I missed the goal. If you’re reading to make yourself happy, then you can do anything you want. Conforming to ACX guidelines is purely voluntary. The guidelines are conventional and they translate closely into other services and customers.

Fair warning, though, if you plan on reading for hire at a future date, failure to conform is going to come up immediately. Nobody is going to want a theatrical reading with a cement mixer running in the background. Also warning, it’s not unusual for people to build little studios in their rooms to get rid of noise.

So it’s up to you. How would you like to suppress the rumble/hum in the background?

I do have advice absolutely nobody wants to hear. Stop using the computer.


I see… I’m assuming that these people actually have MONEY?

(FYI: I don’t. I am physically incapabal of earning a living these days - due to various medical conditions that I will not bore you
with - nobody likes a whiner!)

No, all I am trying to do is fill my days with something slightly more productive than staring at the ceiling.

Sorry to dissappoint. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

PS: Hate to harp on, but that lovely little tent is about the size of my bedroom - perhaps just a little shorter - I would have to fit my bed in, obviously! :smiley: )

If your suggestion is that I buy another pc, well, I’m afraid that won’t happen anytime soon, so I’ll just have to go back to staring at the ceiling. (I could only afford this one when my benefit was increased after my cerebral haemorage. I was fortunate enough to receive a 3 month backdated payment - an absolute fortune - after 3 months of harrassment from the Job Centre after I was discharged from hospital. Although, to be fair, they didn’t actually realise that I was incapable of walking at that time - let alone doing a 12 hour shift in a factory! :slight_smile:

Ah well, I don’t intend to give up - I’ll find a workaround somehow - and I truly appreciate the advice.

Thank you! :wink: