recording levels, cannot change

Desperate for assistance. I have been through every tutorial, video, etc. and checked all the Audacity recommended preferences, and still when I hit record, it starts at -60. Playback is fine. The gain is adjusted so that the input level passes. 23 files just returned for low volumes, I have to find a way to change this (I have soooo many hours already into these projects), so: 1) How can I fix the files without re-recording them, and 2) How can I change the floor so that it starts recording at 0? Help please please please…

Rather than guessing at it from multiple time zones away, record a simple 20 second voice test and post it here on the forum.

Don’t process anything. Just record, stop and export a WAV sound file. Follow the details in that instruction. Don’t make it too short, either. Talk the full 16 to 18 seconds. Which words aren’t important. Read the breakfast cereal box.


How can I change the floor so that it starts recording at 0?

Are you talking about the blue waves?
Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 18.24.22.png
You can have a broken microphone and have a flat line that settles somewhere other than zero.

I don’t have a very good picture of this.
Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 18.27.31.png
Is this what you have? I don’t understand the complaint.


Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 1.17.17 PM.png
This is the default I get when I press record

You are stuck in Scrub mode - just press the Stop button and then you should be able to record.

To avoid this happening again get rid of the Scrub Ruler (the gray horizontal bar under the Timeline). Just right click in the bar and uncheck “Scrub Ruler”

See this page in the Manual about Scrubbing:


Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 7.16.25 AM.png
That had no effect on the problem. any other suggestions?

this is the test you asked for

I may have found the problem, it is not Audacity at all, it’s my FRIGGIN’ iMAC DESKTOP!!! It appears I have to re-format my whole effing hard drive and reinstall the operating system!!! :imp:

Not the Mac after all, back to being stumped. Maybe the microphone?

One at a time.

I ran your submission through the AudioBook Mastering Suite and it passes. Top three values and sentence 2/3 down.
Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 17.43.22.png
There’s not a lot of room to be sloppy, but there’s nothing wrong with this clip.

Use the drop-down menu to the left of the blue waves and select Waveform. Not Waveform (dB).

That will give you the display the rest of us are seeing.
Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 17.46.59.png
If that’s typical of your presentation, your room has slightly too much background noise and I can’t tell why yet. If that’s just the way it is, I can talk you through gentle noise reduction and the work should be out the door safe.

As we go.


Oh, I corrected your fluff.


You have a hummmmm in your background sound. It’s 120Hz and I got rid of it with an extra processing step before Mastering. The show sounds the same and passes noise with a comfortable margin now.

So we’re done.

Ideally, we’ll find something in the room with you is creating this hum sound and you can turn it off during recording. Un-ideally, it will turn out to be the computer.

As we go.


This is your raw submission with the Room Tone segment at the front boosted. Nobody cares about the ffffffffff rain in the trees sound, but there’s a mmmmmmmm in there, too. That’s the one making it hard to hit audiobook noise. Is there a fridge in with you? Air Conditioning?

What’s the computer and how far away is it?