ACX requires finished retail-ready audio—rough, unedited narration won't cut it. Whether you’re new to audiobook performance or are a seasoned narrator hoping to become a more proficient producer, study up on our ACX Audio Submission Requirements, and then watch these helpful video tutorials to see exactly how to get that high-quality result. Then, visit the ACX blog for even more video instruction.
Mastering is, to many, the most mystifying part of audiobook production. Getting a good result requires a bit of trial and error—but, fear not. What you do in mastering can be undone, and you can try again. Plus, if you're consistently recording in the same space using the same recording settings, you’ll be able to save your mastering settings and use them over and over again for every audiobook you produce.
As a reminder, files submitted to ACX should measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS, with peaks hovering around -3dB. Your noise floor should fall between -60dB and -50dB.
Listening to reference audio is a great way to learn how an audiobook should (and more importantly) should not sound. To help you measure your work against our standards, we’ve prepared a selection of samples and accompanying guide that cover a range of scenarios from initial recording, to final master. A few examples of common mistakes are also included. Download the zip file below, import the samples into your DAW, read the guide, and listen with your most critical ear. Compare them to your own recordings to see how they stack up. If you don’t use headphones when working with audio, they are strongly recommended for this exercise!
The samples, originally recorded for ACX University, feature Sarah Mollo-Christensen’s performance of “The Sound of Silence” by Barbara Constant. We’ve processed, and in some cases distorted, the same raw file for each example. Want to see how your own narration stacks up? The script is available in the guide that is provided in the zip file.