Recorded my audiobook then ran the first mastering step (as I understood it), normalization, and the file sounded worse, not better. Someone at ACX’s quality control very kindly listened to a sample chapter and gave me the following feedback:
“The main issue with your audio file is that it was recorded at too low a level. ACX requires that all submitted files have an RMS level between -23dB and -18dB, and a maximum peak level of -3dB. The submitted file measures at -40dB RMS, and -15dB Peak. When an audio signal is recorded at too low a volume, it produces a poor signal-to-noise ratio. Thus, when you peak normalized the file, it brought out the level of the noise floor which was not previously audible.”
First question: How do I even know what level I am recording at? I am sure this is a dreadfully basic question, but I don’t know where this information hides. Where can I view the RMS level??
Second question: Must I redo the recording, or can I fix the volume level through the compressor, limiter, or other settings?
Third question: Is there an “Audacity audiobook cheat sheet” somewhere that will tell me what steps to take in which order, and settings to try? I am completely baffled. This, despite having successfully recorded a novella a few years back! Can’t find my notes and have no idea how I did it!!
Oh, the trials of being “talent” … I actually used to do voiceover work in Hollywood, but back in the days when all I had to do was show up and read!
Many thanks for any words of wisdom you can give me.
Diane the Distressed