Tips for recording spoken audio

Hi guys,
I’ve been using Audacity for several years, but I’m still a total noob. I record spoken audio for YouTube tutorials, and I have a decent mike (a Rode) and usually get good results. But for some reason lately, I’m getting a lot of background noise when I export the files. I’m using Noise Reduction before I export (and I record in a very quiet space) but when I export as a wav file I’ve sudden;y begun having issues. If I export at 8 bit, there is a huge amount of noise over the file, but if I export at 16 bit, it’s really good, but there’s still a tiny bit of noise in the silences.

So what I’m looking for really is a good tute over the technical sides of creating really quiet audio files. As I said I use a Rode NT1 and a Roland Duo-Capture Ex, so I think my gear is good enough.

Any help or links much appreciated. You can hear the recordings at our YouTube channel at

With 8-bits you can hear the quantization noise… It’s what “low resolution” sounds like. It’s sort-of a “fuzz” on top of the audio. Quantization is similar to regular analog noise in-that it’s most noticeable with a quiet sounds (worse signal-to-noise ratio), but unlike analog noise it goes-away completely with “digital silence”.

Dither is intentionally-added noise that’s supposed to sound better than quantization noise. The “rule” is, “dither whenever you down-sample the bit depth.” You can try with and without it. I don’t work with 8-bit files, but somebody here thought dither made it worse…

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Unless you want to sound like a 1980’s video game, don’t do that.

@djaef, Has anything in your room changed lately? Having a good, quiet, “dead” booth or similar area to record in, is IMHO the most important factor in getting really quiet audio files.

Like you, I use a Røde NT1, and until I built a “proper” booth from 25mm square steel tube and hung Producer’s Choice sound blankets from it (AND over the top of it!), my recordings were pretty noisy. You can check the samples on my Audible page if you want to hear how quiet they are now!
My Audible page

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