Author Resources: Creating Audiobooks With Audacity

Disclaimer, April 2023: I’ve learned a LOT about mastering and editing since doing this video series. I do it very differently now (even using different software). Some of the stuff here is still solid, but I’ve changed a lot of things. I suggest you take my advice with a grain of salt.

Specific suggestions to improve your process. (Most of these apply to the later videos in the 5-part series.):

–iZotope RX has a MUCH more effective noise reduction module than Audacity. It’s called Voice DeNoise. I also use their Mouth DeClick (only in Standard and worth the price 100%) & sometimes use their DeEss, though I prefer the Sibilance plug-in from Waves.

–I no longer do much EQing. I do use a high-pass filter (cutting out lower, rumbly tones). But I don’t try to fix my voice with EQ. My voice is great as it is!

–I no longer use the Waves DeBreath plug-in. I’ve gotten better at breathing quieter instead. DeBreath can be decent when needed, but my overall sound is better without it. (I don’t think I have DeBreath in this video series, but I used it for a long time.)

–I no longer gate the heck out of my files, then add room noise back in. I use a “gentle gate”/downward expander to reduce sound between paragraphs, but I keep it really gentle. It even still preserves some room noise. My overall sound is much better now.

–Because I’m not doing as much extreme stuff to my audio, I no longer need to have 3 or 4 tracks stacked atop one another. I do all my mastering and editing on one track. I’m doing less to the audio, and the results are far better.

I’m sorry I don’t have updated Audacity videos; I’m not even using Audacity anymore. I do hope to at some point create a video with my Adobe Audition/iZotope RX process.

Again, there’s some good stuff in here, especially the info on how to actually set up Audacity. But a lot of the mastering is overdone, and the editing could be way simpler too.


Audacity is free, open-source software used for recording, mastering, and editing sound files. It can be used to create audiobooks. I’m nearly done with my fifth audiobook, all made with Audacity.

Now, folks…I’m not a sound engineer! I’m self-taught. I’ve read books, watched YouTube videos, read online tutorials, and experimented to figure out what works for me.

This series will take you through my process, assuming you know nothing about Audacity or about mastering and editing sound. I’d like to make your self-taught process smoother than mine was!

In this series, I’m not talking much about setting up a studio space and purchasing equipment. There’s plenty of advice online about those topics. I’m focusing specifically on using this software.

Follow along with the document that covers the details in the videos by clicking here.

Here’s the 5-part video series:

1. Installing and setting up Audacity (31 minutes)

2. Recording (8 minutes)

3. Mastering (33 minutes)

4. Editing (part 1) (40 minutes)

5. Editing (part 2) and finishing (48 minutes)

Please let me know if you have any questions!

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