ACX audiobook submission requirements 60dbRMS, -3db & -23db -18db RMS

New Here ,
Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018

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Question Adobe Audition CC

ACX Audiobook Submission Requirements:

I’m looking to begin recording an Audiobook using Adobe Audition CC. Before I purchase the rights to use the software I need to find how to set (60dB RMS,

-3dB & between -23dB and -18dB RMS.)

I’ve searched the Web and have seen these questions but no answers for Adobe Audition CC.

Can you help? Here is what I have so far.

  1. 1.    Each file must have a noise floor no higher than -60dB RMS.

I found this -60db noise level option under the levels panelunderneath and to the left of the Spectral Display.

Is this correct?

  1. 2.    Each file must have peak values no higher than -3dB.

I found this under Effects Menu-> Amplitude and Compression->

Normalize Compression-> Normalize screen with normalize option to: -3.00 %db.

Is this correct?

  1. 3.    Each file must measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS.

This one I cannot find the answer to in Adobe Audition CC.

How and where do I set this RMS level to -18db RMS?

Thanks

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018
This is all fairly straightforward; Audition can manage this easily, but your first requirement isn't actually an Audition issue at all - this is determined by your recording environment, and to get a -60dB noise floor, you're going to have to have to create or use a quiet environment to record in, or you have to resort to a bit of trickery with Noise Reduction, which quite frankly is best avoided.Once you've got your recording, with its nice low noise floor, in the can the rest is pretty straig...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018

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This is all fairly straightforward; Audition can manage this easily, but your first requirement isn't actually an Audition issue at all - this is determined by your recording environment, and to get a -60dB noise floor, you're going to have to have to create or use a quiet environment to record in, or you have to resort to a bit of trickery with Noise Reduction, which quite frankly is best avoided.

Once you've got your recording, with its nice low noise floor, in the can the rest is pretty straightforward, except that there are several possible ways to get at it. The easy bit, as you've figured out, is getting the peak level correct - you normalize to -3dB. At this point, you need to look at the Amplitude Statistics, and scan your file. You'll end up with something like this:

Total RMS.JPG

I've highlighted and pointed out the line you need to look at. You'll see that for this file (which is a speech file) it's almost where you'd want yours to be. The trick for getting it right is to note that you can't increase the amplitude of the file without going over -3dB, and that you have to achieve your goal by altering something about the peak to RMS value. The easiest way is to limit the peaks. Don't do this until you've made an initial measurement; when you have, you'll have a reasonable idea of how much peak compression to apply. In the case of my file, I'd have to squash the peaks by about 4-5dB using either the Dynamics Processor, or one of the other compressors available (there are two more) to get to your desired figure. Once you've done this, then you re-normalize to -3dB, and the level of the entire file will be raised, as will your RMS figure when you re-measure it.

I should point out that this is the sort of job that Audition is ideal for - you won't find any better software for it, wherever you look. (okay, plug over!)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018

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I do have a question for you, though. What equipment will you be using to make the recording? Some systems will manage this a lot more easily than others will, especially in terms of your noise floor requirement...

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New Here ,
Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018

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Steve,

I will be using the following equipment:

I-MAC 4 years old

MAC OS High Sierra Version 10.13.5

Mic - Share SM7b Dynamic Vocal Mic

Also using CL1 Cloudlifter (1 channel Mic Activator)

Interface - Mic to Computer - Apogee Maestro 2 Duet

Thanks for the help - great information

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018

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Well obviously the Apogee is fine. The SM7b is an 'interesting' choice of mic, though. It gets used a lot as a close-talking mic by radio jocks, etc and for some types of book content it would work fine. If you work it close it sounds better, and you'll get a better SNR (improving the noise floor figure), but you'd have to be careful with breath noise, etc.

Whether or not you need to use the Cloudlifter is debatable. If there's enough gain in the Apogee, all you are doing is adding a bit more front-end electronic noise, so potentially you could be making things worse with it, not better. If you sit at the mic, and adjust the level so that it's giving a reasonable signal (let's say around -10dB so you have some headroom) and the Apogee gain control is set at around the 60dB mark, then you're good to go without it. If you find though that you have to crank all the gain in (75dB) and you still aren't getting to -10dB then go ahead and use it - but it really will be better without it if you can!

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New Here ,
Nov 19, 2018 Nov 19, 2018

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This is great info, but for an Audition noob, I need actual instructions, as concept is already understood!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 19, 2018 Nov 19, 2018

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I gave as many generalised process instructions as I could in the post above. Since all audio is different, it's not possible to provide a step-by-step guide, because it would be different for everybody.

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New Here ,
Nov 22, 2018 Nov 22, 2018

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I guess the objective is to know how to compress I can’t find a video on that

Lydia

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 22, 2018 Nov 22, 2018

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LydiaMAC  wrote

I guess the objective is to know how to compress I can’t find a video on that

That's because compression is only a part of what the Dynamics Processor does!

Try this video - it uses Audition 3, but everything's pretty much the same in the current version, and anyway, we like Craig...

Dynamics processing - YouTube

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2018 Nov 23, 2018

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Thanks will check this out!! I didn’t know its name in your software. Coming from Audacity, and am sure there will be some translation needed, just need to know how to complete the process so it will be ACX compliant!

Lydia

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 24, 2018 Nov 24, 2018

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LydiaMAC  wrote

Thanks will check this out!! I didn’t know its name in your software.

Actually, we're talking generic terms here. Dynamics is the word used for the range of sounds from soft to loud, Compression is the act of reducing the extent of that range, and Limiting is leaving most of the range alone, but flattening out completely the very top parts of it. Audition's Dynamics Processor is capable of doing all of this - hence the name. It's not the only tool you can use, but generally you can get the results you want from it without too much difficulty once you've understood how it works and what it can do.

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New Here ,
Nov 26, 2018 Nov 26, 2018

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Excellent to know. In my past experience with other software the compression i experience is quite a tight band. I have been unable to get that effect with settings u anticipate using. Would you please direct me to any kind of tutorial on how to accomplish this with Audition. Am on last day of trial and know this is a critical piece of the steps I need to take to finalize my audio files for publication! Thank you!

Lydia

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New Here ,
Jul 10, 2018 Jul 10, 2018

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I’m using Adobe Audition cc 2018. I’m truly perplexed about how to reach these levels. I’m new to recording andam looking for step by step instruction but all the tutorials seem to assume i am beginning with a higher level of skills.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

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New Here ,
Nov 19, 2019 Nov 19, 2019

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Quite frankly, I run my final audio through Audacity. There is a Nyquist prompt that someone developed that puts your audio in compliance with ACX. It's not quite perfect, I need to limit it. There is also an add-on that then runs an ACX check on your audio and tells you if it's all set to go.

I don't see that there is anything similar for the Adobe products.

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Engaged ,
Dec 16, 2019 Dec 16, 2019

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    To add a bit of experience from learning the hard way:  I went through an awful learning curve trying to do an audiobook last year and found that my problems all started with that recording environment.  We THOUGHT we had a very quiet home booth built, but it was not -- and I compounded the problems by trying noise reduction and other processors that I really did not understand.  Visualize a kindergartner driving a Mac Truck.

This year we recorded in a professional booth, and that has made a lot of difference.  I strongly advise against the home booth.  The pro recordings are excellent.  I run each of these initial recordings immediately through Match Loudness, with three steps: 

First, with the ITU-R BS.1770-3 Loudness setting, with Target Loudness at -20, tolerance 0 LU, and Max True Peak Level at -3 dBTP, and check True Peak Limiting.   I do NOT check Export;  these are WAV files for editing.

The peaks usually come out a bit too loud, around -2.3, so I then run Match Loudness again in Peak Amplitude mode set at -5.    Then one last time at the ITU-R settings with Peak set at -3, and it hits the ACX requirements precisely, usually around -20 to -21 Total RMS.  I save and edit that file and save a copy on an external drive.  Don't touch that;  you may need it!

I do this again after editing and finally set export to .MP3, run through the same procedure as above, until I have my final ACX file.   

 

I am currently struggling with the noise floor.  If the initial recording was too quiet, then you have to get your noise floor adjusted to under -60.  Steve is steering me on that.  At the moment I'm manually replacing noise with pre-recorded room tone, which is cumbersome and time-consuming.  Looking for guidance on that.


Rob . 

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Participant ,
Sep 10, 2021 Sep 10, 2021

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Hi Rob. Just found this thread. I was just trying to do an ACX file and had to do almost exactly what you just described. I was hoping that 3 years later, AA would have done more to help with this pretty popular (and gaining in demand) thing.

 

I'll start a separate thread using "2021" in the title to see what - if anything - has gotten better about this. Thanks for your reply here!

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