RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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tessiegrace33
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RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by tessiegrace33 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:11 pm

Hello,

I'm recording my first audio book for ACX, and I'm having trouble with the RMS levels, when I uploaded my first 15 minute checkpoint to ACX the RMS level was at 34.24 dB. I need to find a way to raise the RMS level in Audacity to meet ACX standards.

I've read a lot of the other posts on this forum and it seems like most of the people who are running into this issue are using a different operating system and interface than I am so I'm not having much luck figuring it out on my own.

I have a Windows 10 laptop, I'm using a Scarlett Solo interface, and a Rode NT1-A microphone with a pop filter attached. Recording in a quiet space with no background noise, keeping mouth within 5 inches of the mic. I tried using the "Normalize" and then, "Compress" tool on Audacity to raise the RMS, and it raised it a little, but not to ACX standards, and doing that brought static into the recording in some places.

Happy to provide any pictures needed, and thank you in advance for your support.

DVDdoug
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Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by DVDdoug » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:09 pm

See the Recommended Audiobook Mastering Process.

Note that you'll be using "RMS Normalization", not regular peak-normalization. The will put your RMS levels right-on target, but this usually puts the peaks out of spec. The next step (limiting) will "push down" the peaks (if necessary).

tessiegrace33
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Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by tessiegrace33 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:28 pm

Hi, thank you for providing that link. I've downloaded the ACX-check as well as rms normalize, (the new version) and they don't open. I've tried deleting them, re-downloading them and re-opening them and nothing happens.

kozikowski
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Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:54 pm

They're not apps. They're tools that extend the Audacity abilities.

I gotta look up the Windows process (I'm not a Windows elf).

Koz

tessiegrace33
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:48 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by tessiegrace33 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:55 pm

Okay, I've gotten the RMS normalizer and the ACX-check downloaded. I did apply the RMS normalizer at 20.00dB, then added a filter curve for low roll off for speech, as well as the Limiter, and this is what I got.

However, even though it passes more of the ACX check than it did before, when I press play on these new settings it's wildly loud and fuzzy. I attached a screenshot of it.
Attachments
Audacity screenshot-ACX check fail.PNG
Audacity screenshot-ACX check fail.PNG (335.54 KiB) Viewed 762 times

kozikowski
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Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:03 pm

Your recording has one good voice and one noise track.

Start with the raw recording. Use the drop-down menu on the left and Split Stereo to Mono. Delete the bottom noise track.

Which Audacity do you have? Help > About?

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:09 pm

Different Audacity versions have slightly different Audiobook Mastering and we're trying to play catch-up with the instructions.

Koz

tessiegrace33
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:48 pm
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Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by tessiegrace33 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:20 pm

Audacity 2.3.3

I split stereo to mono and deleted the bottom track. It plays perfectly now, no fuzziness, but I'm still getting the message that the noise floor is still too high from the ACX Check
Attachments
2nd Audacity screenshot-ACX check.PNG
2nd Audacity screenshot-ACX check.PNG (251.02 KiB) Viewed 763 times

kozikowski
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Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:28 pm

Do you have the raw recording? The recording before you did anything to it? I think you're Mastering it wrong and you can create serious damage if you're not careful.

Image

Do Not leave out any steps, add steps, or get them in the wrong order. They clean up after each other.

Koz

tessiegrace33
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:48 pm
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Re: RMS Levels too low for Audacity

Post by tessiegrace33 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:42 pm

I do have the raw copy. When I go to normalize RMS level, theres an option as well for, "Normalize stereo channels" and it's set at a default at "independently" but the other option is, "linked stereo" which is correct?

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