newbie seeks recommendations

I think you already have ACX-Check, right? A quick and easy way to tell if you’re close to ACX conformance.

This is what I think is the current RMS-Normalize. That’s one of the tools you need to add to Audacity for Mastering 4.
rms-normalize.ny (810 Bytes)
This is the write-up for Audiobook Mastering 4.

I don’t think I can get it any simpler than the post up the thread one or two chapters. It’s only three effects plus one analysis tool.

Select your reading by clicking just right of the up arrow.

Effect > Equalization That’s your rumble filter. That gets rid of most of the environment fan and traffic noise (whether you can hear it or not). Hollywood loves these things for outside recording.

Effect > Notch Filter: 120Hz, Q of 3 > Enter. That’s your Special Florida Filter. It specifically attacks that one hum tone you have from all the Air Conditioning motors.

Effect > RMS Normalize. This is fancy electronics-speak for loudness. It sets your loudness in the middle of the required audiobook range. Use the one I sent. It’s a fixed version for long postings.

Effect > Limiter. This one cleans up any errors left by RMS Normalize and sets the ACX overload value.

That’s it. The tools are a “suite” — a harmonious grouping. It doesn’t do to scramble them or leave tools out.

Do it to the raw clip you posted for us. See if you get similar results.

Post back if you get lost. Do the shortcuts in the mastering posting make sense? In general it’s the numbers you put in the boxes to make the tools and effects do what you want. I tried to write it in plain English as much as possible.