keeping room noise when exporting to MP3

despite inserting the room noise of 0.5 - 1.0 second at the beginning and 3 seconds at the end, when i export to mp3 it seems to strip it out and when i play the mp3 file it starts from the first words hence it fails the ACX audit on that fault, does anyone have a fix for this please ?


How about the three seconds at the end?


That wasn’t a fuzzy question. The analysis can turn depending on what happens to the sound at the end.


it seems to have left the 3 sec room noise at the end, its just that all the files have lost the lead in ?

I have looked a little closer by open files in a mp3 editer and the room noise is there, 0.8 secs to be precise alhough thats not much when you press play, however, i have found a file with the end 3 secs missing which is the opening credits, its a little annoying that the ACX folk dont really communicate, i have submitted my book in 107 files but so far i can only find the one fault perhaps they just send the lot back and let you figure it out ?

Back when I did it, they offered human analysis of an extended sound sample and detailed suggestions if they found problems.

“Your sound file is perfect, you can’t announce, don’t give up the day job.”

Words to live by.

Then the pandemic happened, everybody on the surface of the planet decided to read for audiobooks, and half the staff called in sick. They now offer ACX AudioLab which produces automatic, human-free analysis and a close cousin to Audacity’s own ACX-Check except we check noise and they don’t—or didn’t last I checked.

Noise is notable because home performers never pass noise. “Studio quiet” is right out of normal people’s experience. Right this second I can hear my computer fan, the fridge, two birds, one dog, and the traffic outside. Not a studio.

Nowhere in the new automated testing does anybody listen to the work until the final submission, so there is no theatrical testing ahead of time—unless you wish to submit samples to the forum. We can catch some of the obvious mistakes. Also note the theatrical test is what I failed.

Yes, you are expected to produce and submit perfect sound files. Depending on what they find wrong, you may hit the automated tester first which may or may not offer suggestions or hints what it found wrong. I suspect Room Tone Management is automated. It wouldn’t be that hard. There may be other things wrong, too.

There is a New User problem that may pop up here. What form are your Edit Master chapters? Audacity Projects or WAV (Microsoft) sound files? You can’t “fix” an MP3 file. If you open a 192 quality MP3 file to correct it, you won’t have 192 quality any more when you export the new file. You can’t submit that, sorry. You have to go back to your perfect quality edit masters and make a whole new MP3.

Since you got far enough down the path, can we assume your book is for sale on Amazon and it’s not a cookbook?

Is this your first book?


it fails the ACX audit

What does that mean? You failed ACX Audiolab or an actual book submission? What was the exact error report?


Thanks, Koz, I appreciate your help, yes this is my first book

This is the reply

Issue: The production files do not meet ACX spacing requirements. All files must be revised to ensure they contain the proper amount of space at the start (0.5-1 seconds before narration begins) and at the end (1-5 seconds after the last spoken word).

Requirement: room tone at the beginning and end

Solution: Please edit your files so they have the required room tone spacing. Each uploaded file must have between 0.5 and 1 second of at the beginning, and between 1 and 5 seconds of room tone at the end. Learn Editing and Spacing with Alex the Audio Scientist.

I have 107 files submitted and have checked them all now and found that the opening credits were missing the 3 seconds at the end, so i have corrected those and tried again so i will let you know how it goes, yes my book, an Autobiography is already published and is available on Amazon, its been accepted by ACX as per below.

Great news!

You have approved the audiobook production of Taking the Tide Where it Serves.
What happens now

Your audiobook will pass through both ACX and Audible quality assurance (QA) checks.
Once it passes, we will let you know and begin distributing it on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. The whole process is completed within 10 business days, as long as there are no problems or errors with your audio files, cover art, or retail data.
If your audiobook does not pass QA for any reason, you and your producer will be contacted right away with instructions for how to remedy this.
Meanwhile, please confirm your bank information is up to date so you can start receiving your royalty payments.

We can’t wait to hear your audiobook.

The ACX Team

found that the opening credits were missing the 3 seconds at the end

Right. So that’s what they were complaining about, not beginning room tones as in your original post.

both ACX and Audible quality assurance (QA) checks.

Before you get all excited and spill your latte, Human Quality Control is the one I failed. The machines can’t detect gasping, tongue ticking, and other annoying mouth noises.

Congratulations. You’re well on your way to making a fortune and retiring to that beach house on the California coast.


Did you ever get yours through, or did you just give up ?

Did you ever get yours through, or did you just give up ?

Neither. There wasn’t the massive gold rush when I did it. The goal was to see how far I could get and to acquire hands-on experience with the process. I don’t have a book, but that wasn’t the show-stopper it is now.

I failed the noisy mouth tests (I actually wasn’t expecting that) and I found out that they are not interesting in chatting with me as to the best processes and techniques to improve my voice—even then.

The studio, presentation, and recording is my job; publication, publicity, and management is theirs.

It’s scary that had I written and announced a book now, I would have made it all the way up to submitting my 700 chapters before they rejected me.

Suzy Sunshine says that could still happen to you.


This is really frustrating as you have to sort of work out what’s happening and there doesn’t really seem to be anyone you can ask, obviously lots of narraters and producers have it all sorted but as a first-timer you have to be a detective.

so i have had it bounced back again and i notice a subtle difference in the message

Solution: Please edit your files so they have the required room tone spacing. Each uploaded file must have between 0.5 and 1 second of at the beginning, and between 1 and 5 seconds of room tone at the end, and contain no large gaps of silence. Learn Editing and Spacing with Alex the Audio Scientist.

so it occurs to me that if the end room tone needs to be 1-5 seconds then if i have pauses in the spoken text that are more than 1 second does the Algorithm see those as end of file ? I have naturally paused for effect but perhaps this is the issue and i need to make sure the maximum pause is less than 1 second ?

ACX publish detailed specifications here:
You need to carefully check that your submissions meet all of the requirements.

obviously lots of narraters and producers have it all sorted

Do you have any audiobooks?

Did you buy an audiobook or two from an author you like and listen to it? I have several books from Sarah Vowell. I really like her work and I even like that her announcing style is odd and quirky.

Nobody would hire her to promote orange juice, but she pulls off long narrations just fine.

and contain no large gaps of silence.

I can think of three or four different ways to trigger that kind of error. Being overly theatrical for one and having an unnaturally slow metre or rhythm for another.

Since we’re flying blind (or deaf), this may be a good time to post a forum voice sample. The forum won’t support a book chapter or other large presentation, but you can announce and post a ten second sample.

This posting is most valuable if it’s raw. Don’t apply mastering or any other filters, effects, or corrections. Just announce it, cut it to time if needed, export it, and post it.

This may also reveal the possibility of getting stuck in Human Quality Control, (QA) which you apparently haven’t experienced yet. You’re still in the human-free automated testing phase.

Don’t put a down payment on that beach house yet. Doesn’t have to be the California Coast. It can be the Mediterranean Coq au Vin or Mal de Mer.


One thing i can be sure of is nobody who self publishes is exactly expecting to make a profit :smiley: So far its cost me a fair bit to be the author and publisher of my book, but as my mate says I have left proof that i existed :smiley: the Audible was a sort of accident as i narrated it for a friend who is partially sighted and can’t read and foolishly thought it might be simple to then publish it as a talking book, I have attached a sample of how i sound unedited and it doesn’t need much processing to hit the ACX targets, i am pretty convinced i am failing the Automated checks on some long pauses which i am slowly editing out, I might well get rejected again after that but as i have got this far i will give it another go. I have made notes on all my fails and remedies so far, when i eventually either pass or give up i will publish all my issues to hopefully help anyone else going down this route :wink:

i am failing the Automated checks on some long pauses

First I’ve heard of that failing, but I guess it’s possible if you left really long holes in there.

That’s a good story-telling voice. There was one poster who was clinically asthmatic (gasp, wheeze). That went as well as you would expect. I don’t think anybody told him to give up, but I’d be shocked if he made it past the QA phase.

There is a marketing note, too. If the rest of the book goes like that, you’re going to kiss off all the customers who don’t like blue language. Up to you.

But there is a technical issue. You have frying mosquitoes. Bump the volume up a bit in the first 3/4 second of that clip. Hear the eeeeeeeee back there? That’s a USB connection error. Your computer and microphone hate each other. After months of battle we found the only sure cure was change the computer.

But we do have a software sound correction plugin.

Mosquito-Killer4.ny (363 Bytes)
This voice sample is uncorrected for the first 3/4 second (eeeee) and I applied the plugin for the rest.

It also gives you very slightly quieter background noise, although you pass Noise OK without it.


Thanks for that Koz, now you have pointed out the mossies its really annoying :smiley: I have used the plugin but its still audible, now i am listening for it. yes, i was reasonably confident that my voice is ok, As for the language those words are infrequent but in context, Divers are a certain type of Human and to censor them would be a bit unnatural. I still think the long pauses might be an issue and reading it back some of them are very long. As they use the long break at the end to bookmark i could see how having pauses in the text might confuse it so have kept them below 1 sec. I should have it all edited again by the weekend so i will let you know how it goes. :smiley:

Divers are a certain type of Human and to censor them would be a bit unnatural.

Maybe, but standing in Hollywood, I can tell you not everything in real life makes it into a movie. Yes, the production is perfectly true to life, but it earned an “R” rating, lower audience, and fewer purchases.

I have used the plugin but its still audible

The plugin doesn’t affect that hissy, white noise, escaping air sound. It’s specifically designed to get rid of mosquito whine. That’s the annoying one. I call the other sound “spring rain in the trees” sound. You can ignore that and yours is quiet enough to pass the ACX (and the ACX Check) noise measurement.

I can make this worse. That mosquito whine sound is the result of poor electronics in an ‘affordable’ home computer. The computer can be so poor that Mosquito Killer doesn’t always work…


A quick update, i have finally got my audible book approved and published, i have kept a log of the stuff that happened and the changes i made during the production and i will shortly post a story of what’s required to get through the ACX process first time using a basic setup,