Reducing booming

Here is an excerpt with Couture first (using Trebor’s preset) and then Desibilator, then the opposite order Desibilator and then Couture.

I can tell a very very slight difference, but am not sure there is a quality preference. What do you think?

Anything else you would recommend to improve this?

IMO you’ve overdone the de-essing a little : “once” sounds like oneth.
& you could remove more bass, (<200Hz), as most of the room-reverb lives there.

Dare I mention the mic clicking ?

IMO you’ve overdone the de-essing a little : “once” sounds like oneth.

I hear that. I am using your (Trebor’s) DeSibilator at

with Koz’z direction to “Select your performance and find the RMS (loudness) value. Analyze > Contrast > Measure Selection (write it down) > Close. Plug that into the DeSibilator “Threshold” setting. > OK.”

What should I do to dial this back?

you could remove more bass, (<200Hz), as most of the room-reverb lives there.

I’ve already applied Koz’s “de-boomy” equalization from To take out more from below 200Hz, do I instead just make the graph fall off for everything from 200 Hz down? Or is there a preset that will do this?

Dare I mention the mic clicking ?

Oh yes, please dare. These videos will hopefully last on Udemy for decades, and this is my one chance to get them right. What do you recommend?

Have we ever experienced your raw voice without the basket of corrections? If you apply enough filters, effects, and corrections, you start putting out self-generated fires. I like DeSibilator because it doesn’t turn SS sibilance into FF damage. I have no idea how you got that problem to come back.

How about you post a ten second voice test with no corrections at all.


Many thanks - here you go, with raw voice from the NTG3 through a Scarlett Studio 2i2:

The sample we were working with then had the following processing:

  • noise reduction
  • equalization 100 Hz rumble
  • equalization de-boomy setting shown in original post
  • change pitch -5%
  • RMS normalize -18
  • soft limit -3 dB


  • couture with Trebor’s preset
  • desibilator with a threshold from the analyze measurement of -18.79 (both foreground and background were giving me the same measurement).

Does this cast light?

RMS is a first-approximation for the desibilator threshold,
if there is lisping with the threshold at RMS value,
try raising the threshold from the RMS value in 1dB steps until the lisping goes away.
e.g. if the RMS is -20dB, but preview sounds lispy, try -19dB, -18dB, etc

I would use a real-time equalizer plugin, e.g.
so I could hear the effect of adjusting the bass as the track played.
IMO attenuate everything below 200Hz, (not just a dip between 100-200),
as some people will be able to hear <100Hz, depending on the device they are listening on.

It sounds like clicking is occurring in the mic, (rather than in your mouth).
Paul-L’s is the only free de-clicker plugin I know of.

raw voice.wav


It’s too “live,” room noisy, and echoey. Can you tell your computer is on just by listening? I can almost tell how big your room is by analyzing the echoes. You can force the computer noise lower with effects, but each of those effects can damage the voice. You will never get rid of the echos.

Are you using a deadening solution such as the Kitchen Table Studio?

That’s the affordable, do-it-yourself solution.

It’s based on a commercial product.

There are others.

– But –

Your microphone is 10 inches long not counting the connector on the end. The XLR and cable will add about another 4 inches giving a total microphone size of 14 inches. Add a Hawaiian Shaka spacing to your face, say 7 inches…

…and you have a grand total of 21 inches which won’t fit in either of the tiny studio solutions.

I can design a double-deep studio, that’s the nice thing about cheap plastic pipes, but 40 inches may not fit on your table.

Turn the volume up on the first two seconds of your sample. That is your computer noise, right? The tones in the noise suggest a computer fan and not a refrigerator or room fan. You can’t separate the 2i2 from the computer more than about five feet or so (one USB cable), but you can separate the microphone from the 2i2 as far as you want. Commercial XLR cables can come in 20 foot lengths and you can plug them into each other. So that’s 40 feet. If you’re still in the same room as your microphone, you can make a little studio for the computer. More moving blankets. You need to pay attention because you can’t block the air flow. The computer needs to breathe.

That robust bathroom sound just kills home performers right after background noise.


My favorite bad example is YouTube “Colby Explains.” He has very nice color key backgrounds and good theatrical lighting.

Screen Shot 2021-05-10 at 2.56.53 AM.png
He sounds exactly like a kid recording in a kitchen.

I know there is YouTube Wisdom that says you don’t have to worry about that, but legacy theatrical production doesn’t agree.


Are you using a deadening solution such as the Kitchen Table Studio?

When will we ever use all those moving blankets again, I wondered? Now we have an answer. I’ve put six of them everywhere I can around the room out of shot. And I put a large cardboard box over top of the computer, as far away as I can.

Here’s the result, raw voice with no processing. Better starting point?

Shotgun microphones are good at rejecting sounds from the rear and sides, but they record you perfectly and everything behind you.

If you have a polished, rich-looking wood background, then what you really need is a choma-key blue, cyan, or lime-green soundproof background, good lighting, and key in the wood panels you shot last week.

That’s very Hollywood. It looks like you’re standing in front of a rich, polished wood wall.

If you can’t find fuzzy, thick chromakey panels (I know you can buy the paint), make the green background on a sheet or some other thin material and mount it an inch or so in front of a moving blanket. So it’s wall, moving blanket, thin chroma-key sheet, space, and the back of your head. The moving blanket works best if it, too is spaced an inch or two from the wall. That’s the square-law math thing if you’re counting.

Chroma-Key does come with some rules. You can’t wear anything the same color as the wall, and you can’t easily do motion shots. You can move a little in the frame, but you will always look like you’re performing in front of a fixed background.

You can shoot the show multiple times at different spacing and composition. That’s very common for home performers to make it look like an expensive, multi-camera show. Again, very Hollywood.

Edit your brains out later.

One caution about multi-camera. Look into the camera, or look away from the camera, do not mix them.

See: Colby is always addressing you/the camera and the people in the Royal Society videos are always addressing the audience off camera.


raw voice2.wav

That is better. Closer and more intimate and less like speaking to me down a long tunnel.

Noise is better, too. Less machine shop.

I mastered the last clip and applied very gentle Noise Reduction of the Beast (6, 6, 6) and it passes audiobook standards.

Screen Shot 2021-05-10 at 9.41.41 AM.png

You could go with that. There’s a fuzzy rule that if you can do that, you should be able to submit anywhere else. Their standards match broadcast.


Note there is a rumble and boom filter built into Audiobook Mastering. That’s why you sound human now. If you’re in Audacity 3.0.2, Mastering comes as a one-step Macro and not as a collection of individual tools. Post back if you want to go that route.


If you’re in Audacity 3.0.2, Mastering comes as a one-step Macro and not as a collection of individual tools. Post back if you want to go that route.

Hmmm, yes, I’d be interested in that, it is always best to be on the latest. However, in this case, I’m worried about losing investment I’ve put into V2.2.2. For example, it is my understanding that Equalization with my current presets would no longer work, and the current settings for my other plugins would not copy over?

Can they be run at the same time?

The macro is a shortcut to automatically running the three tools in Audiobook Mastering. It’s only unconditionally stable in Audacity 3.0.2, but you can run the three tools manually.

I’ll need to remember the version variations. Loudness Normalization wasn’t always called that, and Filter Curve used to have another name.

This is also the magic place you have to remember which parts of the investment were disaster rescue and which parts were theatrical treatments. I don’t notice any Essing or other tonal distortions and you don’t have serious echoes any more. So all those emergency tools fall away.

You may be oozing back to the original goal. Do you remember what that was?

I need to do a little historical research.


I got pieces. 2.2.2 is a bit old. I have a question posted about the missing tools. This must have been before I designed the ACX Mastering Suite.

Setting the RMS of a voice track is a trick. Almost all of the effects tools work on waveform tips and peaks, not show loudness. There is no convenient method of converting between measurements.


I need a step I can’t generate here.

Open Audacity on any sound. Effect > Limiter. Do a screen capture and post it here.

Windows has the Snipping Tool that allows you to capture the whole screen or a selected portion. I only need the Limiter control panel like this.

Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 06.49.10.png
I’m pretty sure yours won’t look like that.


It’s pretty close…

Cool. As soon as I get rolling, I’ll post the complete process.


Mastering is a three-step process. You are urged to take the steps in order, don’t add any in the middle, and don’t leave any out. It is a Suite, a harmonious grouping. They clean up after each other.

After you set all this up, the tools and settings stick and it should be possible to rip through them quickly for each chapter or video.

– The first step is the Low Rolloff or High Pass Filter depending on which direction you start from. It suppresses rumble and some bass notes. This is important because many home systems have rumble (thunder) and bass distortion that has nothing to do with the voice or the show. Further, rumble messes up the other two tools.

– Set the RMS (loudness). This is straight out of the audiobook publication. RMS (loudness) should be between -23dB (quiet) and -18dB (louder). The tools are normally adjusted for -20dB (in the middle).

– Tame the Peaks. It’s not unusual for the tips and peaks of the blue waves to get too high after you set loudness. The Limiter gently and gracefully pushes the peaks back down without it being obvious what it’s doing.

That’s it. If everything goes well, the result conforms to the audiobook standards, is usually louder, and sounds exactly like you.

Note that noise isn’t listed anywhere in there. Noise is the college level course and is the reason we urge, strongly, that you record in a quiet, echo-free room. If you don’t, you can spend a very long time trying to “clean up” the damage.

In this particular case, I used one of the segments of background sound as Effect > Noise Reduction > Profile. Then apply the small noise correction. Select the whole show, Effect > Noise Reduction > 6, 6, 6 > OK.


You will probably have Effect > Equalization.

Steve wrote a bass curve which is cousin to the one that broadcasters and podcasters use in the field with their microphones to get rid of traffic, jets, thunder, and other low rumbly noises.

LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml (299 Bytes)
Effect > Equalization > Save/Manage Curves > Import > LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml.

If everything goes well, you should get a picture that looks like this.

Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 12.48.48.png
I need to drop for a while.

rms-normalize.ny (809 Bytes)

In the last message, there was an attachment called rms-normalize.ny. Download that and install it in your Audacity. This is where it could get sticky. Have you ever installed a plugin to your Audacity? I know exactly how to do it…on a Mac. Your built-in instructions should help.

The target for the plugin is -20dB, not the default -18dB.

Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 14.41.41.png

The last step is setting up Effect > Limiter.

That should look like this.

Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 14.45.47.png
As I posted earlier, you pace through these three the first time and make sure the settings are right. After that, the settings stick (unless you change them) and it should be:

Effect >Equlization > OK,
Effect > RMS-Normalize > OK,
Effect > Limiter > OK.

These tools were designed at the early days of the audiobook crush. They got a lot easier over time. The last version in Audacity 3.0.2 is automated.

Tools > Apply Macro > Audiobook-Mastering-Macro

That’s it. That’s the whole thing. A Macro is a tool that runs other tools—but it does depend on the latest Audacity.

Let me know if you get stuck and where. Since you got your noise and echo problems licked, it pretty much doesn’t make any difference which Audacity you use. Whole worlds open up. This is why people use studios.