Voice Over Quality Settings

What are the best settings to use in Audacity for voiceover work to ensure the best quality? Thanks

Record in a dead quiet, echo-free room. Space the microphone at about a shaka if you’re not using a pop and blast filter.


A power fist if you are.


Make sure you’re announcing into the correct side of the microphone.

Don’t overload anything and try to hit a good recording volume.


After that it doesn’t make any difference what you do. The room kills more performances than anything else.

You may get the Mono/Stereo struggle. That can affect the quality of the work. What’s the microphone and/or interface?

Koz

The Audacity “settings” are not important as long as you are not recording “too loud” and “trying” to go over 0dB.

The critical parts are your “studio environment” your “performance” and your microphone & interface.

The acoustic & analog side is the most important. If you have a decent microphone & interface (or a good “studio style” USB mic) the limiting factor is usually background noise. The main difference between good home recordings and pro recordings is the lack of a soundproof studio at home.

After recording you can adjust your levels and optionally apply other effects. There is a Recommended Audiobook Mastering Process. Most of that can be applied to general voice over, but you can skip the -3dB peak requirement. Normal digital recordings can go up to 0dB so you can set the limiting to 0dB.

Missed an important one. Make sure your computer isn’t doing anything else (Skype, Zoom, Meetings, games) and turn off the machine’s internal sound processing settings.

If you’re in Windows, do a clean shutdown. Hold SHIFT while you shut down. Not regular Shutdown and not Restart.

Many machines default to Zoom voice processing and that can really screw up your sound.

Koz

See, we’re not making this up. I read a sound test in my quiet office with my old iPhone.

I used ordinary Lossless Voice Memo. I transferred the sound file over to Audacity, cut it down to size, mastered it, and applied very gentle noise reduction.

It passes Audacity ACX-Check…

Screen Shot 2024-04-27 at 10.55.35 AM

…and the on-line ACX Audio Lab.

None of these tests check for theatrical errors. if the track doesn’t sound very good, it’s not going to pass the ACX Final Inspection before publication.

This is from ACX:

…remember to conduct your own thorough review of your files before submitting finished audiobooks to ACX.

Koz

It’s our note that if you can pass ACX Audiobook, you can submit to anywhere else.

Koz