Audacity is an amazing free open source audio recording software program. I’ve used it to record more than twenty audiobooks and I have no intention of switching any time soon.
However, if you’re just getting into audiobook recording and have decided to give Audacity a try, there are two essential plugins that you are going to need to download in order to get the most out of Audacity.
The two plugins you’ll need are:
LAME MP3 Encoder Plugin
This plugin lets you export your Audacity recordings in MP3 format which is necessary for submitting audio files to places like ACX. When you record in Audacity, you are creating a .AUP file by default. This type of file can only be opened and edited in Audacity. So if you want an audio file that you can upload and share anywhere on the web, you’re going to need to convert it to MP3 format.
Unfortunately, Audacity doesn’t come with this capability right out of the box, so to speak, but can be done easily once you install the LAME MP3 Encoder plugin.
ACX Check Plugin
Want to know if your recording is going to pass the ACX quality check before you submit your audio files? If so, you’ll want to download the ACX Check Plugin and use it to analyze your audio files. The plugin will tell you if your sound levels are within the -18dB to 23dB range required by ACX. It will also let you know if your track has any clipping that reaches above -3dB (not allowed by ACX).