Meeting ACX Requirements w/ Audacity

Hey forum, I read and followed all directions I could after reading this forum ,to meet the standard requirements for ACX/Audible.

I’m well within the requirements range crosses fingers, but when I give my recordings a listen, it sounds like there’s “white noise” or “static.” Even with noise removal it’s still constant, yet I’m not sure if I’m just being too critical.

Could you give it a listen to and tell me if you hear it too? I can post a longer clip if necessary…

[Using 2.0.4 on Windows 7]

Many thanks in advance! :smiley:

Noise Removal isn’t the angelic gift it seems to be. In order to keep it from destroying your voice, it actually turns off during words. If your background hiss is bad enough, it will make you sound like a snake.

You have a pronounced sharp, piercing quality to your words. Did you equalize after your performance? You have to be really careful how you listen while you’re correcting.

Try this. Don’t apply noise removal and instead apply Effect > Low Pass Filter: 8000, 24dB. It takes the edge off the words and reduces the background hiss evenly.

We need to find out where the hiss is coming from. Hiss is very difficult to remove.


And no, I don’t think they will pass it the way it is. Record a short clip and don’t speak. Effect > Amplify (Don’t OK) and just look at that first number. That’s your noise floor and I think it’s much too high. Quiet is larger numbers.



Thank you so much for your quick reply. I’ve seen you help A LOT of people on the forums, so excuse me while I fan girl for a minute.

You’re right, I did equalize, and I just did the low pass and found out my floor was at 50 :frowning:

Albeit, after doing the low pass, it seems like the hiss is gone, but now I’m back to square one with the whole “manipulating” the sound gig. What settings would my reverb be at? Right now I have it set to

Room size: 30
Pre-delay: 10
Reverb: 0
Damp: 50
Tone Low: 100
Tone High: 0
Wet Gain: -20
Dry: -20
Stereo: 100

Here’s the clip of your post with the low pass, with no other bells or sparkles added.

I now realize I know nothing… :open_mouth:

I want you to narrate my postings.

Please see attached. That thin blue streak left to right is supposed to look more like these:

Your voice, while perfectly pleasant to listen to, is so wimpy low volume that it almost doesn’t appear on the blue waves at all and it’s coming out too close to the natural noises from your microphone. All microphones have quiet noise and they will all overload when they get too loud. It’s your job to make your voice and the settings comfortable for both you and the microphone.

So you get to describe your studio. Something is going wrong. Part numbers and maker names are good. We can’t see what you’re doing and we have to build your studio in our heads.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 7.25.57 PM.png


I’m the female version of Ian if only I’d been here to help him out with the female parts.

My setup is completely identical to his, blue snowball, homemade mini-booth (though I didn’t use it recording those samples posted), the only thing I lack is the noise he gets outside his place. For me noise is not a problem, but the empty room I’m doing this in is. I’d rather not move my whole desktop into my closet, but hey if I have to, I’ll look at investing in a laptop and a different mic.


If I can work with what I have now and do it successfully, and by successfully I mean tricking everyone into thinking I have some high quality studio and watching their jaws drop with knowing it’s not, then I can sleep better at night. :wink: [ I’m honestly looking into getting new equipment as we speak though :neutral_face: ]

P.S- I will gladly narrate anything for you anytime. Seriously, I will… no matter what… so let’s have a go, I’ll start by reading part of your next post to see how the progress with the recording is. :smiley:

I think the recording isn’t that bad.
First of all, there are no booming sounds like those Ian’s recordings suffer from.
The whole sample is even noise reduced if I take all as the noise profile, call noise removal again, reduce by 10 dB and set the sensivity to -20. That’s not the way it is meant to be done though, but there’s simply no silence to take the profile from.
Narration needs no reverb effect, on the contrary, it will make the sharp s-sounds more pronounced.
You can reduce the strong “-ATION” sound with the equalizer. Set the 4 kHz to about -4 or 8 dB.
Eight kHz can be cut too in order to soften the “here’s”.
I’m looking forward to a longer sample clip.

Hey Robert! I’ve seen you help on the forums as well, so thanks for your reply! :smiley:

I recorded your comment, for a “longer clip.”

Here’s the funny thing, I do a podcast from time to time (I don’t edit it though), and when I record (it’s been a couple of weeks) there used to be the peaks and levels showing like on koz’s comment.

Now there’s nothing, well close to nothing. What did I do? Did I touch something to make my mic not catch much noise?

I agree with Robert. There’s a lot of good things about your sample so we’re looking to refine your recording technique rather than starting from scratch.
If you don’t already have one, I’d suggest that you get a free dropbox or Google Drive account (or similar) to make it easier to post audio samples.

Gah, here’s the clip!

Sorry I forgot to include it, but in light of that, STEVE! I’ve recorded your comment too, and I’m attaching both :smiley:

Glad to have your help too! Thanks so much!



Thanks for the clips, but they are not public.
I’ve pressed the request button, however, that was not your intention, was it?

I’ve fixed them, and made whoever has the link able to view it!

Another straight blue line.

It’s not that the microphone has such a high noise level. It’s that you put your voice volume down there to match.

What do you do differently between the podcast with lumpy wavy blue lines and these postings which have almost no heartbeat at all.

Post a podcast clip.

It’s possible you’re standing in front of, and announcing into your snowball, but recording on your laptop built-in microphone over there on the chair. Check the Audacity device toolbar and see what it says.

You should start Audacity after you connect the microphone. Audacity checks for new devices when it starts.

It’s also possible you have the snowball set to directional (cardioid, position one I believe) and you’re announcing into the back instead of the front. That might give you the symptoms you have. You could also be using position two by accident. That’s the one that intentionally produces a quiet performance.

You should stop applying effects and filters until we resolve this. It’s possible to mis-manage Noise Removal and create some very serious damage.

One other thing that could cause problems like this is a broken microphone.


Koz, unfortunately I don’t have a RAW file of one of the old podcasts I have done. All the samples I can give you have already been edited by the host.

When I was podcasting and recording, all of my settings were default and I haven’t touched them at all since. I don’t know why it’s not catching my voice as it used to before, I have not been near my mic in almost 2 months :frowning:

I am sitting in front of my mic, the tool bar reads the same as the link you gave me, aside from the mic which says blue snowball, and 1 Mono Input Channel.

You’re right about being set on 2. I’ve now recorded a clip for you with it being in position 1. Raw, no bells and whistles!

That’s better, but it is still rather low.
How far from the mic are you?

Did you notice the fffffffff is gone? Now we’re hearing normal room noises behind you. We’re also hearing popping PP sounds which means you’re too close or you’re not using a black tennis racket-shaped pop and blast filter like Wynonna.

But your volume level is still too low.

Much better, but still something wrong. You should be speaking into the Blue Logo and not the switch. The switch is on the rear of the microphone, in the dead, reduced volume zone.

You’re clear, right, by the time we get done you may need few if any filters or effects.

It just occurred to me that Windows has the ability to change the volume in Windows control panels. Macs don’t as a rule do that. You’re oozing out of my area of expertise. Oozing. Oozing.


Yes! The ffff is gone, and I do hear the popping, I’m getting my filter back today (I loaned it to my brother)

I figured out why I was so low, it’s because my input volume was set to … .10 I believe, I’ve raised it to .40, how does this sound?

“Can you hear me now?” :wink:

Past that I can’t listen to you here in the restaurant, sipping my McCafé, you should tell me. Are your red sound meters bouncing up toward -6? Do the blue wave tips hover around 50% and never all the way up? That’s a normal vocal recording.

The sound meters are terrifically important. You can make them bigger like I did by clicking on the right-hand edge and dragging larger. The accuracy goes up when you do that. Highly recommended.

So once you get it that far, then we get to actually evaluate the performance. I expect it to be fine given most of us thought so even through all the technical problems.



As for not hearing me in a restaurant, I might just make my input louder, although this is a screen shot of what I see.

I’ve put the input volume on .30 and got these results. Am I getting there? :confused:

Yes, and you should make the meters bigger.

The reason you are setting your peaks at 50% or -6 on the flashing meters is to allow for presentation, artistic expression… and accidents. Please understand that nobody is going to come out with a stick if you hover around those values instead of hitting them spot on. They’re graceful goals, not commandments.

Any sound that hits 100% or 0dB (all the way up) gets damaged. If you don’t do it badly or often, sometimes you can ignore it or it can be recovered, but don’t count it. It’s called clipping for clipping pieces of the waveform off. It can kill a show.

If you consistently record way under those values, you risk what you had before. ffffffffff.

You can set levels by positioning your head relative to the microphone or changing your speaking volume. In your case, you can also use the Audacity and Windows settings. And no, you can’t put metaphorical sticky tape on each of the knobs to set them. “If this knob isn’t at 4, the world will end.”

No. probably not. Use the meters and graphics that have been provided for you.

That leaves us with the refrigerator and traffic noises in the background. I’m guessing. That’s what usually happens at this step.

Oh, wait. I stand corrected. What usually happens at this step is we point out the echoes in the room you’re recording in. I don’t remember a prominent echo in your voice. I can’t wait to go home and listen to it for real.

One note on the relationship between the meters and the blue waves. They read the same thing but display it in different ways. The meters display (generally) everything you can hear. -60dB is very quiet; about where your ffffff lives. 0dB is where the digital system runs out of numbers and you can’t go any louder.

You might cock your head quizzically and say, "If 100% is 0dB and 50% is -6dB. Where are the rest of the numbers? The blue waves only show you the loudest third or so of the sound. It can make cutting, magnifying and editing easier by doing that. You can use the little drop-down menu to the left of your track and select Waveform dB. Now they match and you can see what that does.