Is this too much clipping?

I’m new to recording myself with a mic. After recording about 30 minutes worth (untouched/no effects) I noticed there is quite a bit of clipping here and there throughout the track. I’m also often getting into that -6dB to -1dB range often.

The following screenshot is pretty characteristic of what the entire track looks like:

What I’m wondering if this looks inherently bad or if it’s salvageable? As I’d hope to not have to record this all over again. For context, this is for a YouTube commentary/analysis kind of video.

I was also wondering how I could best avoid this in the future? I’m using a Blue Yeti and pop-filter. About 5-10cm from my face and have the gain at about 10 o’clock. If the Windows settings matter for the microphone, they are at the default values of 100 volume and “microphone boost” of +20.0dB.

Is it best to just reduce the gain on the microphone itself? Or the distance from my mouth, or the windows settings? I had figured the gain was the safest bet, but was unsure.


If it sounds OK, if you’re not hearing distortion when it’s clipping, I wouldn’t worry about it. :wink:

You should try to avoid clipping but it doesn’t look that bad to me.

Lower levels are OK. And you SHOULD record lower if you are getting clipping. Generally, you want a good strong acoustic level into the microphone (and if you are using an interface with a separate microphone it’s good to have a strong electrical signal). But then you can turn-down the knob for a lower level into the analog-to-digital converter so the digital doesn’t clip.

You should adjust the microphone itself. The knob on the mic adjusts/attenuates the analog signal and that’s what you want. You are lowering the analog level, only to boost it digitally. “Microphone Boost” is no different from recording lower and boosting later with Audacity, except if you do it in Audacity it’s easier to avoid clipping. :wink:

View > Show Clipping will put thin red bars in the performance everywhere that the waves get too close to clipping damage. Clipping represents places where the sound system stopped following the performance, so any clipping is to be avoided.

A rough gauge of spacing is one Hawaiian Shaka…

Microphone spacing will give you theatrical changes, not just volume. I once played two different people by darting in and out of the microphone.

You can tune these affects by listening to yourself on your live headphones. You are listening on headphones, right?


When you get to the end of your live performance, File > Export the whole thing, errors and all, as a WAV sound file.

This is the safety backup for when Audacity or the computer crashes during the edit session. You won’t have to read it all again. Just open a copy of the backup.