Mic sounds like a tin can with a bit of bass

One more point. Mastering doesn’t produce a statistically perfect file. It produces an operationally perfect file. For one example, the ACX specifiation for peaks is no louder than -3dB. Mastering produces your work at -3.5dB to account for slight errors in file conversions.

Also, your background noise may be no louder than -60dB. But at least -65dB or quieter is recommended.

Are you comfortable with dB?

I need to go.


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Starbucks has taken hold.

These are my Noise Reduction Notes.

– Audacity Classic Noise Reduction –

Find a small segment of the performance with just background sounds (Room Tone). Drag-Select it. Make sure it’s “clean” background sound and doesn’t include your voice.

Generate > Silence is not Room Tone. It has to be the sound of your actual room.

Effect > Noise Reduction > Get Noise Profile.

Select the performance. Effect > Noise Reduction: 6, 6, 6 Reduce > OK.

Done. Noise Reduction of the Beast (6, 6, 6), besides being adorable and easy to remember, puts a significant dent in background noises without affecting the voice. It is not intended to reduce Room Tone to zero.

Another Note: Mosquito Whine USB damage is special and takes different tools.


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Waiting on two answers: What’s your microphone and do you wear headphones to listen to yourself while you perform?

This is about what your blue waves should look like while you speak. 0.5 works out to be -6dB. So slightly less than that is good. I know you can convert from percent to dB in your head, right?

You’ll find that listening to yourself in real time makes it a lot easier to maintain consistent performance volume without watching the blue waves all the time.


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I got the microphone name by skimming the graphic information from the forum.

I might have bad news.

Monitor your mic input with the built-in headphone jack, and QuadCast is certified by Discord and TeamSpeak™ so you can ensure that your microphone is broadcasting loud and clear for all your followers and listeners.

That’s from the Quadcast web page. I note that the microphone has no way to control the headphone volume. That and the fuzzy notes in the web page leads me to think you can never listen to your own voice with this microphone. You can listen to the other side of conversations (“Mic Input”), perfect for Skype, Zoom, etc.

No problem, you might say. You can get Audacity to feed your voice back to you during recording. No, you can’t. That gives you machine latency. Delay in the voice you can’t tune out.

So you’re going to be stuck with constantly watching the Audacity blue waves (or bouncing sound meter) while you read.

Good luck.


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You are playing three people. Announcer/Performer, Recording Engineer, and Producer. The announcer part is pretty easy. You have a terrific voice. You now have to be the recording engineer, the person watching the instruments, at the same time.

The Producer decides what to do and signs the checks.


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Apologies I wasn’t able to respond sooner. I appreciate your help!
Thank you for the information on the text file, I got it downloaded and working. Significantly easier!

I do use noise reduction, and also use the reduction of the beast (6,6,6).
I am also comfortable with dB for the most part, and feel comfortable adjusting things and making it pass ACX.

I currently don’t plug my headphones in for that reason (I use Sennheiser if that matters) or use the monitoring on Audacity. People said I should be monitoring, but the latency was killing brain. Thank you for the note on how to monitor without that though! Especially since I’ve turned the gain all the way down at this point, and it is still recording loudly.
Before this most recent issue most of my recording were naturally coming in between -8 and -16dB.
Definitely looking into upgrading to xlr, just have to work with what I’ve got at this point.

Thank you for the feedback on my voice. Much appreciated. But yes, I need to get the rest of the engineer bits down other than just editing and fixing at the end. So much easier if the recording is on point from the get go.


Again, if you have Izotope it does a better job than Audacity at noise-reduction.

I would replace Audacity’s compressor, (which is too slow for speech),
with a real-time compressor plugin. These are free …
Klanghelm DC1A3, Bertom Audio - Vocal Compressor , TDR Kotelnikov | Tokyo Dawn Records

bertom whiskers

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Okay, great, I will try switching it to Izotope instead.
I do have the Universal Audio compressor, as I got it for free during a promotion. However, I have not used it yet. I initially dropped it from my chain, but I will try and throw that in there and see what happens/ try those you’ve listed. Thank you for the video.

Do you have a recommendation for order of editing? Would you apply the macro and then use the noise reduction, de-ess/de-click (only when necessary), and compression? Or would you do those before applying the macro?

I would do noise-reduction before any process that changes the dynamic-range, like compressing and limiting. De-click should come before processes which are threshold-dependent , like compressor, limiter, gate.

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Thank you! Noted:)

What he said.

Also, ACX really likes your chapters to match. So maybe settle on an effects basket and apply it to all the chapters as you go.

They hate “distractions.” My metaphor is listening to somebody tell you a story at the kitchen table.

A personal quality test is whether I can forget the production and enjoy the story.


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We should not lose the goal. Noise quieter than -60dB, loudness between -18 and -23dB and and peaks quieter than -3dB. Given a quiet recording, Mastering does all that in one pass and it’s gentle so you can’t hear it running.

Also note that ACX uses RMS for loudness, not LUFS. That’s automatic in Mastering and Mastering also applies a rumble and thump filter such as the one used in professional field recordings.

It may seem simple, but there’s a lot going on in there. ACX accepted my Audiobook Sample Submission as practically perfect in every way, but they did take issue with my annoying mouth noises. No production career for me.

When you get settled and accepted for publication, post back how you did it.


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My main focus is definitely to make it sound as seamless as possible and provide the best listening quality (in accordance with ACX requirements, of course).
And yes, soo much more going on there than it looks on the surface. I have had all my profile samples accepted, no problem. But I haven’t landed a contract yet, so no idea on what ACX actually thinks of my production abilities.

Will do! When I get that contract and pass the 15 min sample, I will be back here.

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