Recording my podcast in Audacity

Hi all, so I am trying to get a consistent level whilst recording in Audacity on my laptop.

My mic is attached via the USB port but I always seem to be up and down with my audio. I sadly cannot have a dedicated place in my small house to record as my wife is not well so I am either in the bedroom or living room. Ideally I would like to have it so I have minimal voice editing afterwards. So I would like to reduce “essing” and just not have it sound tinny. I have seen people say be right up to the mic and other say stand away! As my technical skills are not too great I would love some pointers. I have recorded all my latest podcast (and read all the poems on it - oh yeah it’s a poetry one!) but just am irritated with the up and down-ness of it! Thanks if you can guide me!

P.S. Here is a link to an example of recording - I amplified it a little after recording in audacity:

P.P.S. I attach photos of the mic and the connections.

I’m looking for the voice processors.

Since you have a pop and blast filter, you should be about a power fist away from it.

Further and you could get weak voice problems such as hiss noise in the background and room echo and noises. Closer and you could get P Popping and other mouth noises.

As we go.


Level Speech is a plugin for evening out voice performances.


I can give you a quick quality push. Put a heavy blanket or towel on the table under the microphone. That will help prevent noises from coming up from the floor or table and it suppresses slap noises and reflections from your voice.

That’s a higher-end setup, but please note everything is sitting on a powder blue furniture moving blanket. That’s not just for looks.


I didn’t hear anything wrong with what you have. It’s not unusual for new users to keep improving their system and performance until it stops working.

That’s the DiQuithitt Phenomena or Effect


Thanks Koz. Interesting stuff! So a blanket will help!

The clip probably sounded fine. But my current podcast all the links are of differing sound and quality!

Hopefully I can sort it eventually! I think I just need to edit Audacity so I get the right recording settings, whatever they may be!

Cheers, MJ

They should be your voice peaking between -6dB and -10dB on the Audacity bouncing light sound meter. That’s roughly where the meter starts turning yellow. The blue wave tops should settle somewhere around 0.5 or a little less.

Roughly here:

all the links are of differing sound and quality!

And the more of that kind of thing you do, the longer it takes to produce the final show—if you can fix them. There are productions that ran into difficulties—and never finished! Nobody likes to talk about them.

There is a fuzzy rule of thumb about an edited show taking five times the length of the final. That’s running top speed through the editing and cutting process. If you have to stop and rescue the clips and segments from quality problems, it will take a lot longer.

This is where the Producer decides the course of the show. That would normally be the person signing checks, but in your case, it’s the person who decides the quality/time trade-off.


[Windows 10, Sony Vaio laptop and latest Audacity version]
After recording my podcast (told stories, no special effects, a short music stripe in the beginning and in the end, so quite classic), is there a preferred sequence in equalizing, normalizing, compression, noise reduction, ampiflying (- or +)? My starting recording volume now is set 0,84; is that okay?
[I’m not a 100% newbee, but I want to improve the quality of my recordings, and I’m not technically talented.]

Probably the one thing you’re not going to be able to fix is constantly moving the recording room. I know senior recording engineers who can do that, but even they would have trouble and they wouldn’t be using home equipment.

One bookkeeping note. When you get finished recording a set, Export it as WAV (Microsoft). That’s your performance archive against the time Audacity goes into the mud in the middle of editing and you would otherwise have to record it all again.

There was a broadcast radio show that I listened to for years, but always on the radio. The first time they offered it as a podcast, it was almost unlistenable because of volume variations. One of the two mumbled in his beer and the other had a thermonuclear laugh. The podcast didn’t have to go through the broadcast sound processors.

I used Chris’s Compressor on them all and it worked a treat. I changed the first setting Compress ratio from the default 0.5 to 0.77 and it sounded exactly like the broadcast. All the other settings stayed the same.

You can try that on a raw performance. You have to install it.

There is only one oddity. Chris will occasionally damage the end of a show, so I would leave trash at the end, or leave out the last edit, compress and then cut off the extra later. This bug will not be fixed. Chris reached end-of-life.

I don’t have a good feel for how you would integrate Chris into all your other tools. You have to experiment.


My starting recording volume now is set 0,84; is that okay?

None of the grownups pay any attention to where the knobs are unless they’re way too low or way too high. In the comfortable middle, you do what you need to do to make the Audacity bouncing sound meter occasionally hit -6dB to -10dB (start of the yellow region). If you consistently speak too low, noise will be a problem, if you push the sound meters loudly into the red, you can get unrecoverable crunchy sound distortion.

Yes, it is good to watch the meters and your performance at the same time. You are the recording engineer. One thing that can help a lot is listening to yourself on headphones while you record. Your voice tends to be self-correcting if you do that and you may not need the compression step. Unfortunately, you can’t plug headphones into the computer. They have to go into your microphone or interface.

I can’t see what’s going on in your pictures. They’re way too dark. Is this your video camera?