I got a note from the lovely and talented Marlon Braccia about what I do to manipulate my audio with Audacity before submitting – you know, compression, noise reduction etc.
She was talking about all those options on the Effects menu in Audacity.
The truth is, I suggest you keep it really simple.
Here’s what she wrote:
Questions for ya, if you please:
What audacity effects do you utilize most often to polish an audio file before sending it off?
Knock the highs and lows off with “Compressor” effect?
“Noise removal” to eliminate superflous background sounds?
Do both these just about every time? Neither? Just one?
Other pet effects you have??
(Marlon’s an awesome foodie as well as a VO talent and actor – check out her YouTube channel here)
I don’t use anything, except normalization, and only when I do auditions.
I leave the raw WAV audio I record for audiobooks alone, and let Levelator do its magic without any help from an Audacity plug in. Then, I bring that Levelated audio back in to Audacity, and normalize to -3.0 before exporting to MP3.
But that’s it.
And I suggest you resist the urge to play with these things, unless all you’re doing is playing.
Noise removal can severely damage your performance with just the slightest slip of the mouse – instead, work to make your recording space quieter.
And the other plugins are mostly for music.
So, keep it simple – just normalize if you need to, but not for audiobooks, until you’ve used Levelator.
Hope this helps.