Setting RMS level


I’m trying to set the RMS level on my Audacity 2.3.3 with a Windows 10. My file is usually -49 to -46 db.

I am trying not to freak out with all the instructions and techy words. Please can I get some step-by-step help?

Thank you

My file is usually -49 to -46 db.

That’s super quiet.

If you record your voice very quiet, even using tools to boost the RMS (volume) aren’t going to work because if you’re trying to read for audiobooks, that boosting is going throw off the other submission measurements.

Describe your microphone, computer and how you’re performing. The blue waves on the timeline have to be visible. You can’t start with straight flat lines and use Audacity effects to rescue the work.

This is a sample of slightly quiet, but usable voice recording.

This one is too quiet. The volume boosting tools aren’t going to help.

This is a raw reading I recorded in my quiet bedroom with a sound recorder (not the computer). I applied Audacity Audiobook Mastering and it easily passes quality requirements.

Describe what you’re doing. You are reading for audiobooks, right? Let’s get the basics.


I am trying not to freak out with all the instructions and techy words.

You are replacing a professional announcer, recording engineer, and post production manager. So yes, that’s going to come up.

You can still use all those people. Forum posters arrive having done professional audiobooks and wanting to do all the work themselves. The makers of home microphones, of course, encourage this and tend to gloss over the complexity and difficulties.

But it is possible. We have a good track record for getting people published.


I’m so grateful for your amswer N kind words, didn’t even think someone would reply so fast!

Mic - USB Microphone 192KHz/24Bit Zero Latency Monitoring MAONO AU-PM401 USB Computer Condenser Cardioid Mic

Computer is a desktop, Windows 10, nothing special

I am trying to record for Audio books yes.

The mic is cos hubby is launching an online radio station, i may not have bought it myself.
I’m definitely not a professional, just trying to DIY cos no funds for studio and well, we are also in a lockdown.

I figured that recording after everyone is asleep would be super quiet. I’m doing it on the 2nd floor of our house, the room is moderately filled, normally used as a study.

What would you advise?

also, the mic has a pop breaker in front of it.

You are right, the blue lines are super tiny whenever I’m recording

didn’t even think someone would reply so fast!

The Audacity forum is a little odd that way. We actively cover 9 time zones.

I need to look up your microphone. Many home microphones have quiet volume for marketing reasons and that may not seem to be a big deal—you can make up the difference with the Audacity tools—it almost always dooms you to not meeting all three of the ACX Audiobook sound standards at the same time.

While I do that, it’s good to know some of the basics.

This is how those weird dB numbers work.

And this is what ACX needs.

As we go.


we are also in a lockdown

That is a side-fire microphone. You speak into the company name not the end.

It works like this.

Since you have a Windows machine, you should turn off all the Windows automatic enhancements and tools.

After that, make sure the audacity and Windows recording sliders are all the way up.

Screen Shot 2020-05-03 at 7.35.21.png
Then see if you can overload the sound channel. No, that’s not heresy. Microphones should be able to handle any sound that you can stand to listen to. Never, ever blow into a microphone.

See if you can get the Audacity bouncing sound meter to go all the way up and turn red.

Check with others in your household before you scream, but screaming is valid. Did you get the blue waves to go all the way tall and fill the space?

If you can’t overload the sound channel, then we should find if you still have the receipts for the microphone purchase.


Stop me anywhere. If you get lost, tell me where.


Is there a headphone volume control on the back of the microphone? I have the user manual, but nowhere does it show the rear and you need a volume control to make headphones work.


See, this is one of the negative reviews.

I don’t know if my unit which I returned was defective but this device was entirely too quiet. Even after using third party software to amplify it, the only way to sufficiently loud enough was to be directly on the microphone, close enough to stick out your tongue and reach the microphone and even then: it was still not what it should have been. Situating the microphone in front of your face but not directly on your face was insufficient in my use.

This is Manufacturer Promotion and Publicity Blame Assignment. If they ship a loud (or normal) microphone, somebody is going to overload it which causes immediate, obvious and permanent sound damage. This causes the buyer to return the microphone.

If they ship a quiet microphone, the buyers and performers all think it’s their fault and keep it.


Not yet. taking each message 1 by 1 to understand and reading the links you have attached.

I understand this perfectly now. moving on to the next. thank you