Pro Ears - Is My Raw File Fixable?

Hi all - this is a great forum. I’m very new to this, but learning a lot.

I’m producing my first audiobook with new talent. I’m concerned that what she’s sending to me is problematic.

I was able to get it to pass ACX check but the resulting file doesn’t sound quite as “intimate” as other samples I’ve heard if that makes sense. I’m not sure what to tell her. (if anything…maybe it’s my ears :laughing: )

Too much reverberation in the space? Not close enough to her mic?

Do you think this stands a chance to pass with ACX? I’d be very appreciative for other ears.


Too much reverb in the room IMO .
I tried a de-reverb plugin, but the post-production cure is almost as bad as the disease …

Thanks Trebor. That’s what I feared but it helps to have someone else confirm it.

Yes. Too much room echo. Depending on how handy you/they are, this would be a perfect application for the kitchen table studio.

It’s terrific with echoes because the voice has to get to the microphone only once, but the echo has to go through the blankets twice. It tightens up the sound.


It’s the quick, cheap home version of this.


Wow Koz - thank you! That looks amazing. I will definitely build one for myself. That’s just what I needed.

BTW - is there an Audacity plug-in that checks if there is too much reverb? The person I’m working with records remotely so I can’t see her set-up. She resubmitted the attached sample.

I’ve mastered it so that it passes the ACX check - if you’d be so kind - does it sound “dead enough” to you?

That’s better. So now it’s between you and ACX.

Let me predict the past. She recorded the first one out on the kitchen table because it was so much more comfortable than the soundproof cloak closet she had been using. When you complained, she went back in the closet (so to speak).

Audacity plug-in that checks if there is too much reverb?

Nope. They’re magic. Echo and reverb together make up one of the four horsemen—guaranteed ways to kill your show.


That sounds like you’ve removed a lot to treble in an attempt to treat the excessive sibilance, (e.g. the “t” in accident).
You’d be better off using a de-esser plugin rather than equalization to treat that problem, (it sounds like she’s on the phone).

That sounds like you’ve removed a lot to treble in an attempt to treat the excessive sibilance, (e.g. the “t” in accident).

True, but I think it got that way by changing the microphone and studio.


Isn’t being a Producer fun? Do you have the sour stomach yet? Have you figured out which coin you’re going to flip to get between two contradictory recommendations? Stay away from dimes. They can get lost in heavy carpeting. I use quarters.


Koz - Thanks - Breaking out the rolaids as we speak!

Trebor - I didn’t reduce the treble. I used RMS reduction, noise reduction and limiter (soft limit, -3.5, 10). Either she didn’t send me a raw master and did some equalization on her own (I’m finding out) or it had something to do with the set-up changes she made.

Hmmm… I just might flip a coin yet. Or hope that a third person weighs in…:laughing:

I didn’t reduce the treble.

I don’t think he meant you. He meant the artist or supplier of the track. Audiobook Mastering was aggressively designed to have minimum affect on the voice quality.

I know this is the wrong time and place, but I wouldn’t mind knowing how she created those tracks.


Hi Koz - a very good question! I’m trying to find out. I may ask for her to send a photo of her set-up if she’s willing.

send a photo of her set-up

Both. Remember, she produced two very different sound tracks on your request to help the echo problem. Also remember my comment that she gave up the kitchen studio and went back in the closet.