Recording High Volume or Yelling Sequences

Hi Audiciteam, I am recording high volume yelling sequences and can’t quite get the range figured out so that it doesn’t rattle at the loud portions. I got the red playback color to go down with the amplify effect but it does not take the rattling out of the recording.

Any ideas? I’m still a noobie here so it won’t let me upload a sample

if you get clipping (overload distortion) during recording, lowering the volume later will not remove the distortion.

If you’re using a USB microphone it’s the analog-to-digital converter inside the mic that clips. If your USB mic doesn’t have a built-in recording level knob you’ll need to back-away from the mic to get a lower level.

There’s two performance solutions, as above, back away from the microphone during loud segments, or there’s an actor solution, too. There’s a way to “act” stressed and loud without actually getting loud. Higher pitch, strained, squeezed-sounding voice.

You can also get your recording engineer to turn down the mixer during those sequences.

If the sound damage didn’t go away when you reduced the volume in Audacity, then it was damaged before Audacity got to it.

You can also record the yelling later in a separate performance with the recording system turned down. You’d be shocked how much successful shows are created in post-production editing. You know that scene showing the Youtuber in their car/truck/SUV riding off into the sunset? What they don’t show you is the Youtuber driving back to pick up the camera, turn it off, and then go home for real.

This is where listening on good quality headphones comes in handy.

You can hear the damage and automatically correct during the show.

Recording a full theatrical performance isn’t easy.


Thanks a bunch for the response. It is a USB mic so you are suggesting I move the knob from MIC to COM so as to have the recording focus away from the MIC audio.

That and standing further away, does that sound right?

I have played around with distance and levels but can keep beta testing

Thanks for the well thought out response and anecdotal experience. I hear you and I know it, most of the magic is happening after the fact and same goes for video editing.

Just to recap, you are suggesting:

  1. Sounding extremely loud and over the top without actually going full diaphram full yell. This is definitely something I can continue to mold as an actor.

  2. From a software technical standpoint you are simply suggesting the recording levels lower correct? I’ve tried this within Audacity without it making too great of a difference but maybe for that piece I was doing it the wrong way. Would you maybe supplement lowering the recording value with
    a. standing further away and
    b. maybe another layer of filter within audacity?

Clipping is voice recording public enemy #1 right now.

Thanks man

Which one? The more information you tell us, like part and model numbers, the more solutions we can offer.

I think the short answer if you are trying to do a pro job with a home microphone. When your voice gets converted to electricity, there’s not a lot of it. The conversion usually gives a sound signal roughly a thousand times quieter than it needs to be for production. I’m not making that up.

So there’s always a booster somewhere. In the case of USB microphones, it’s built-in. That’s what you’re changing if your microphone has a volume control on the front.

If you scream into the microphone, you may not need the booster any more, but you can’t get rid of it—and it doesn’t like being overloaded.

Your only options are reduce the performance volume or change the microphone.

I bet you’re wondering how rock bands get away with screaming into their microphones.

They’re using Dynamic (moving coil) microphones. They don’t have any electronics inside. They get plugged into a mixing desk with good control over the boost amount, including making the booster go away. If that fails, there are little thingies that plug in between the microphone and the mixing desk whose job is to lose volume.

So that’s how the pros do it. This combination lets you record jets going over, thunder, and steam locomotives. Or rock band performers.


Haha that info about the rock bands and heavy metal bands is epic. Yes here is more context on the setup: audio technica at2020 usb with Audacity.

Most times the voice acting role won’t require a full screaming session but rather spurts. And then sometimes there’s the pure military screaming gig so it’s good to plan and know what I can and can’t say yes to currently given my set up.

I know that there are better mics out there but this one had solid reviews and until I’ve earned my stripes I want to maximize this set up.

That makes it a difficult pro job.

You might be able to help a little by quickly facing away from the microphone during the loud words. But yes, that is going to give you a presence shift.

You can tune this effect by wearing the live headphones. That’s why they’re there. The AT2020 has provision for headphones. About five minutes rehearsal should give you the best performance technique for the show.

Fair warning the headphones need to be large, cover-the-ear types to prevent the headphone sound from escaping and leaking into the microphone.

I think you can still get the Behringer HPS3000 headphones. They’re OK for production, but not casual or movie listening. I like my Sennheiser eh150 headphones, but they’re not made any more.

We were moving an edit room between wings of the building and I saw the Sennheisers in the trash. I took them home and fixed the broken wire and they’ve been here ever since. I bought a second set while I still could.


To bring this around, the Hollywood movie people use the Sony MDR-7506.

If you ask the sound people for headphones on a set, that’s what they are going to hand you.


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