This doesn't look right... help!

I think you’re just now noticing stuff that’s been there all along. My voice is non-symmetrical like that.

The sample is too loud. The waves should not go all the way to either of the 1.0 marks. That will create distortion.

If you turn on View > Show Clipping, Audacity will put red lines in the waves that are too big.

What kind of microphone is it? Dynamic (moving coil) microphones such as the Shure SM58 rock band microphone will put up with a lot of physical abuse and still work right.


Thanks for your response Koz!

The mic is a Rode NT1-A. I called their support line and they said that because it landed on a rug that was on top of concrete, and it was also in a shock mount, that it should not be damaged. As I said, I have not done any editing to the recording and I was aware of the loudness of the recording.

I was only concerned about the shape of the wave, as I have never noticed it being that way before. I was wondering, would I be able to send you a recording of my voice for your option of how it sounds. We have spoke in the past (2017). I am trying to start in voice over, but had a family medical situation that kind of grounded everything to a halt, so I am trying to get it started again. I just can’t afford to pay professionals to help me.

I have created a vocal booth from a wood cabinet lined with shipping blankets and foam. It deals with the reflection of sound but is not soundproof. I just don’t know if it’s good enough for voice over. Any help you can offer would be very much appreciated.

Thank you,

It’s possible to attach audio to posts, see …

The positive side seems to be clipping slightly below 0dB (100%). (Audacity won’t show that as clipping.) The waveform seems to be more symmetrical at lower levels.

That’s probably your interface rather than the microphone. I’ve seen clipping below 0dB with computer mic-inputs or regular “cheap” consumer soundcards. You don’t have a DC offset, which would show-up during as an offset during silence. (DC offset also comes from the soundcard/interface).

Since it sounds OK I wouldn’t worry too much about it, but you should leave yourself some extra headroom to avoid clipping.

A high-pass filter at around 20Hz or higher should even-out the waveform,. Or you can try Normalizing with the Remove DC Offset option but you don’t really have a DC offset, so check to make sure that cause a DC offset and shift silence off the zero-line. (I’ve forgotten how DC offset removal works, and I don’t know if that can happen.)

To Trebor or Koz or DVDdoug:

Would love your feedback on the quality of my vocal recording. This is an untouched sample (no editing).

I would like to try and get into a career of Voice Over. My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this past July. She was the major bread winner in the household, but has lost most of her income. I need to find a way to make money and be able to stay home with her. I have picked up everything I need, but need help with this software to make great recordings. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. If I do good, I promise to donate to Audacity ASAP.

Thank you,

Your voice is good.

The #1 technical problem is clicking.
There is a free de-clicker plugin for Audacity. It’s capable of very good results, but it’s very complicated to use, (and slow).

BTW there are spurious sounds …
A (chair ?) squeak on the word “work”, and a motor/fan-noise on “station”.

I don’t hear most of that, so that’s between you and Trebor. All I got was a nice voice.

Can you post another one according to this recipe?

I do hear some of the odd background noises and they’re messing up the measurement tools.

We had one poster who had a squeaky chair and he rocked back and forth nervously as he spoke. We allowed maybe he should stop doing that.


The click on “hello” is in the 6kHz -10kHz range.
So if your speakers / headphones / ears don’t operate well in that region you’ll have difficulty hearing it.
It sticks out like a sore-thumb on the spectrogram

Yeah, sorry, I wasn’t actually trying to keep everything quiet (wasn’t thinking). I was just looking for opinions on my voice and whether I had the sound reflection in control. Trevor, my god you must have sensitive ears! Honestly, I don’t hear any of that, that worries me. I’m not sure what clicking is. Is that a sound description or a technical term? I plan on using a solid chair that won’t make any sounds and will make sure everything is quite for my next recording that I will send to you this weekend.

I’m having to start out on the cheap. I am hoping that if all goes well, I will get better equipment and eventually build a soundproof booth in my man cave. I’ll attach a couple of pictures of what I’m working with now. I will also study up this weekend to learn some of this technology that you guys talk about. If you get to technical I’ll be lost lol.

Thank you sooooo much for your help!

This is me going for a hearing test.

The images are flipped.

Screen Shot 2019-01-19 at 02.42.34.jpg

Screen Shot 2019-01-19 at 02.43.03.jpg

I expect that to work. Still interested in that longer test.


Do something theatrical or narrative. 'This is me talking into my Rode microphone," is nice but the next step is a short story.

“‘No I can’t find her either,’ I said to my wife. ‘She’ll turn up when you start the can opener.’

Who would have thought the cat was sleeping on the warm engine? When I started the car she took off for the next county not touching the ground more than twice the whole trip.”

Copyright me. That should take about 12-13 seconds, roughly 15 counting the two or three seconds of silence at the top.


Some clicks come under the category of wet-mouth-noises : lip-smacking & inadvertent tongue-clicks.
They tend to be brief : less than 5 milliseconds, and higher-frequency : above 2kHz.
(Most people can hear up to 14kHz, but that cut-off frequency drops off with age).
Those are fixable with De-clicking software, like Audacity’s free plugin.

(Most people can hear up to 14kHz, but that cut-off frequency drops off with age).

WHAT? I can’t hear you. My cutoff frequency’s been dropping with age.


Not necessarily hearing, it could be headphones or speakers.

Hey guys!

This is that reading you gave me to do. I’m sorry, it’s about 18 seconds long with silence at the start.

Again, thanks for your help[.


Forgot to mention, As requested, no effects or alterations were done to this recording. I did cut out about half a second after can opener to shorten the time between words

It was always down to your delivery speed. The text was an approximation.

So a little audiobook mastering and boop. Good to go.

Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 07.43.56.png

So now it’s up to theatrical patching for any clicking or popping in your delivery.

I need to play real life for a while.


Mastering is a wiki post now.


I did a bit of tidying up and reformatting on that page today.

And formerly it was an unlinked orphan page so I:

  1. added a link to it from thge usewr Tips section on the Wiki front page

  2. added {{CategoryTips}} to the page so that it gets listed when you click on “Tips” in the left menu bar


I’m not sure if it should be AudioBook or Audiobook - Our Wording consistency page has the second form right now