So am relative newbie and SO GRATEFUL for all this help! ( I have Mac OSX 10.8.4 Audacity 2.0.3)

I am creating recordings of me reading from my novel to be made available via subscription. I recorded first couple of chapters in Audacity, using a Yeti Mic and trying to implement suggestions I got on this forum and Youtube videos about distance from Mic, etc.

The volume on files exported as mp3’s is too low. I turned up the gain before exporting as an mp3, but am getting feedback that people want to be able to turn it up more ( at maximum volume level it isn’t quite satisfactory).

I have a soft voice and am noticing how my voice drops in places. In those spots, I did amplify, but was reluctant to amplify the whole recording because it sounds kind of like being in a subway station in places when I do that. I also have problem with how clearly I enunciate my p’s and s’s, so maybe I overcompensated in distancing myself from mic.

I will try to speak up a bit, but that may not be so easy to sustain as it doesn’t come so naturally to me. Is there any way while recording to compensate for my quiet-ish voice, perhaps including settings on the Yeti mic? For what I did so far, I used cardiod with no gain.

Would really appreciate any suggestions!


Don’t move away from the microphone - it will make things worse.
Use a “pop shield” (Pop filter - Wikipedia), keep close to the microphone and practice your diction. There is nothing wrong with having a “distinctive” voice, but for reading it is worth practising good, clear enunciation.

Which is why you need to practice. :wink:

Imagine you are talking to someone in the next room, or imagine that your audience are hard of hearing. Don’t expect to be brilliant straight away, developing new skills takes a lot of practice and improvement can seem painfully slow at times - expect that to be the case, then in a years time, compare your new recordings with those that you are making now to see how much your skills have developed (and if you keep doing it, your skills will develop).

Thanks, Steve. Am going to order the pop filter. I had improvised with a sock, having read about that, but just googled around a bit and found one for $30 for the Blue Yeti.

Also, I will practice.

In the meantime, what do you think of amplifying a whole track? I needed to get out one of the recordings and am away from home without my mic and unable to re-record where I am. So I tried amplifying and so far, it’s sort of okay. There were a fee particularly quiet spots I had amplified before and those are too inconsistently now with the rest of the spoken track. Can I select those and somehow do the equivalent of “unamplifying” them?

Any comments about the use of the amplify effect in general?

Thanks! I am so impressed and grateful for the support available through the audacity forum!!!


“Amplification” is usually thought of as “making something louder”, but you can actually “amplify” by a negative amount so as to make the audio quieter. In the Amplify effect, enter a negative number in the “Amplification (dB)” control to make the selection quieter.

Perhaps a better way would be to use the Envelope Tool: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/envelope_tool.html
It’s a bit fiddly, but it works well and it can be adjusted as necessary without having to “undo” and re-apply.

You could also try Chris’s Compressor.


Chris makes the whole presentation louder and denser and tries to even out volume variations. I use it on a radio talk show that I get from download. It was fine when I was getting it from the local radio station, because the station compressors and processors would even things out, but when I started to get the podcast, the voices were all over the map. One of the performers has a loud laugh and when he explodes, it scares the cats and upsets the seismometers at Cal Tech.

Not any more. I change the first value, Compress Ratio, from 0.5 to 0.77 and it works wonders.


Is there an existing posting we can listen to to see how you’re doing? Can you make a really high quality MP3 and post it here?