Y Axis in lame terms

Can someone assist please? Using my new dynamic podcast usb mic, I noticed that I get more negative values on the Y axis. I have no idea what it means (tried to google but all technical terms only) and IF it affects my sound in any way? When I add compression to it, it looks even more ‘negative’. Example (raw file)



Thank you for the thorough information about your problem.

I can recognize several broadcast announcers without listening because their blue waves aren’t even. You are one of those people.

On the up side, their voices tend to sound distinctive and interesting because of the peculiar way their mouth forms sounds.

Count your blessings.

The down side is their voices don’t compress well. They exhibit damaged waves slightly before you expect them to and start to sound funny. So unless you’re intent on producing the loudest possible podcast (bad idea in my opinion), you should be good to go.

The microphone could be broken and actually producing spoken work will reveal that, but this effect is probably normal.


As Koz said, it could be due to a fault in the microphone, but more likely to just be a characteristic of your voice. Brass instruments often produce waveforms that look “uneven” in this way. I’d suggest that you try recording some other things (other voices, your dog, the TV, …). If the unevenness occurs with all recordings, then it is due to your microphone, or if not, then it is just a characteristic of your voice. Even if it is due to the microphone, it may not be a problem. The important thing is what it sounds like.

I have Rode NT and Blue Yeti - it is the same, I tried on two different PCs. I used to use Samson C01u which did not produced this every time but in my last recordings it is like this when I was very close the the mic.

OK guys - my question is - if it sounds OK, can I just ignore it please?


The waveform looks a little “unusual” to me, but waveforms often do.

When speaking very close to a microphone, there can be strong sub-sonic (very low frequency) peaks in one direction due to the initial blast of air. Listening to this through small speakers may sound OK because small speakers cannot reproduce very low frequencies, but on large speakers it can sound terrible (loud thumps each time there is a “P” or a “B” sound). We cannot see from the pictures if that is happening. Using a “pop shield” should largely avoid such problems, but sometimes applying a low cut filter can also be necessary.

If you could post a short sample in WAV format, we will be able to advise better. Short WAV files (4 or 5 seconds) may be inserted into forum posts. See here for details: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-post-an-audio-sample/29851/1

Thanks Steve!

Two files attached:
a source file, no effects

a file after noise removal, compression and +4 bass

Appreciate your help!

Short answer, yes I think you can ignore it.

Longer answer:

Generally for voice recording I would record in mono. There is only one of you talking, so there is little benefit to record in stereo.

There is a bit of “rumble” in the original recording. That can be easily removed by filtering, which then makes the job easier for both Noise Reduction and clickless editing. There is a suitable “curve” for the Equalization effect here: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/low-frequency-roll-off-for-speech/39209/1
Koz wrote some brief instructions here: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/can-you-give-me-some-direction-on-this-raw-audio-file/37088/14
Note that filtering may introduce a little click at the start of the track. That can easily be removed later by either trimming the start or applying a short fade-in to the track (generally I prefer a short fade-in).

Take care not to over-do noise reduction, Dead silence between words can sound kind of creepy :wink:

I’d have probably gone for just a little less bass boost than you used, but that is much a matter of personal taste. It definitely sounds better with some additional bass.

Thx Steve. Will leave for this project as I think it is good enough and come back to this forum of experts to make it perfect later on. I need to learn a little more about filters as well.

Thank you Steve for your help