Weird changes in Audio

Hi, I started recording an audiobook and everything was working great and sounding great using audacity 2.4.2 But then I went to work today and recorded in the same room with all the exact same settings and effects on and the quality is worse on the second clip. I don’t understand what could be wrong. I have already downloaded the updated driver for the mic. I’ve attached a sample. The first 3 seconds is from a few days ago and sounds clearer and the last four seconds sound more echo-y but again I did not change rooms or mics or setups in between the two. Any ideas on what could be causing this or how to fix it?

That’s voice processing typical of Skype or Zoom. Did you have a conference, class, or chat between the two performances?

It could be something else, but that is the poster child of chat processing. Slightly wine glass or milk jug. If that’s it, you should know that’s how you sound to everybody else. Wear headphones or earphones while you’re on-line to avoid that. You should do that while you’re voice recording, too, if you can. It helps avoid volume problems.

We could spend days tracking it down. I suppose a good beginning would be restart the computer before you start performing. You might try a “clean” start. Shift+Shutdown rather than plain Shutdown. It takes longer but it resets more things.

Are you planning on reading bible passages, or that just happened to be handy for this test?

That may not fit in the ACX recommended book list. Scroll down.

Is this passages plus sermon or explanation? I’ve seen those.

Also, is your book available for me to buy on Amazon? That’s another requirement. You have to be able to prove rights and ownership.


Oh, and the other half of the question. You don’t fix noise reduction or compression distortion. You record it over.


I see you posted an MP3 sound file as an example. If you make an MP3 wrong—at too low a quality—it can sound like that, too.

Never do production in MP3. When you get done reading a chapter, File > Export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file as a safety backup. Mistakes and all. Copy it to a thumb drive, external drive, or cloud storage. Park it anywhere you’re not likely to damage it by accident. Then go through the rest of your cleaning, processing, and mastering. When you’re happy with the chapter, Export another WAV file as Edit Master. Only then produce the 192 quality mono MP3 file for ACX.

You should never need to record something over because of system damage or other problems.

Once you make the MP3, you can’t edit it or change it without causing sound damage. If you have to change something, change the Edit Master WAV and then burn a new MP3.