Testing ACX

I haven’t managed to install ACX plug-ins yet. I would love feedback on this test:

I should wait until I get back to a computer. Is this a raw reading? Did you do anything to it?

Do you eventually want to read for audiobooks?


Hi. Yes, raw recording. I have a contract for an ACX audiobook. I also posted here (can’t understand how to install ACX checker):


That came out well.

Your natural microphone has very low pitch “earthquake” sounds but they respond very well to to Equalize > Low Rolloff for Speech, which is the first step in the Audiobook Mastering Suite 4 collection of tools. That sounds a lot grander than it really is. It’s three audio tools and if you have a reasonably quiet microphone, you’re done.

Rumble filter, Set Loudness (RMS) and set peak volume. That’s all I did to your sample.
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So what’s next? Have you ever installed tools, plugins or filters into Audacity?


Dueling posts.

If you made it through all that Go > Go To Folder business, you should also know the plugin appears under Analyze, not Effects.
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Thanks a lot, Koz.

I’ve never installed a plugin. I keep downloading the ACX checker, the text window comes up. I don’t have that option under analyse.

I think the problem is, I don’t know how to get the downloaded file into the audacity library as the wiki page doesn’t explain that.
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Oh. OK. We can’t always tell how far along you are. Let’s see. I don’t use the same download everybody else does.

Click on the desktop. Go > Download. You should see the file from the download.


It’s a Nyquist file. That’s where the .ny in the name comes from. While that’s open. Go > Go To Folder > ~/Library/Application Support/audacity. Don’t forget the squiggly character at the beginning.
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Drag that file from Downloads to the Plugins folder. OK/Close everything.

In Audacity, open up Analyze and Add Remove Plugins.

That should give you ACX-Check in the Analyze menu.

Flynwill consolidated multiple tools from other programmers/developers into one one-shot tool.

You can fake it out. Room Tone is the noise your room makes when you stop talking and hold your breath. If ACX-Check doesn’t see at least a half-second of clean Room Tone in your production, it can’t give you good, accurate noise measurements.

The first step in the mastering suite is a rumble filter (Low Rolloff). Your microphone creates earthquake/thunder noises by itself and if you measure your performance before Low Rolloff for Speech, the measurement will include that rumble sound and you will appear to have far worse noise than you can hear or that you will present to ACX.

And a production note. Pay attention to the ACX published submission rules. One announcer got rejected because she failed to include the right number of seconds of quiet Room Tone.


Thanks a lot for that. (Sorry for delay in replying to this help -project was very delayed!).

I’ve tried several times to install the plug-in, with your clear instructions but it still doesn’t show up in audacity although it is in the folder:
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Im not sure what I’m doing wrong!

Where can I find the mastering suite? I can’t bring up a clear link from a search - or is it part of ACX check?


Mine doesn’t do this, but on occasion, the Mac will download a file and not recognize the extension, the part after the dot. Rather than leave well enough alone, it tags on .txt because it realizes, correctly as it turns out, that most of the content of the file is, in fact, text. However, the original extension was correct. Your job is to delete the .txt from that file name.

Slow click the filename, highlight .txt and DEL. The mac may complain at you because you can get into trouble by changing a filename extension.

If none of that works you can use Acx-check.ny that I appended to the bottom of this post.

Note only the top three values in the display panel are ACX AudioBook values. That and the acceptance sentence 2/3 down. You can force this all to work in stereo (two sound waves on the timeline), but it’s so much easier in Mono (one wave).

Audiobook Mastering Suite is a collection of tools. It’s not one thing. ‘Suite’ from the French “Harmonious Group.” It’s version 4 because it took that many revisions before I got it to work right.

The latest Audacity comes with Low Rolloff for Speech built into the Equalization tool, and Effect > Limiter is a normal audio processing tool. It’s only RMS Normalize that you have to download and install. That one is an odd duck because it’s not a “normal” audio processing tool. That one is more or less married to audio book production.

Rather than write it all again, go through that document and tell us where you get lost. Your Mac may still insist on sticking .txt onto the end of your Nyquist (.ny) files. Delete it.


Acx-check.ny (9.01 KB)

There is one thing you might inspect.

Desktop > Finder > Preferences > Advanced.

You can force a Mac to cover up filename extensions. I wouldn’t.
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Thank-you Koz. Finally that worked and I managed to download ACX check and RMS Normalize.

So those are the two custom tools. Did you get them all to work? Did you get the same results I did?