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Audacity users

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by adam precision, Apr 22, 2009.


  1. adam precision

    adam precision

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ireland
    Hi TBers,
    I use a hand held recorder to record gigs and practices. I then edit the wav files using audacity.
    I use effects such as compressor, amplify and normalize on tracks but it seems to lose something when i do this.
    What order generally speaking should I use these effects to get the best results?

    Any general tips to help my recordings would be appreciated, I'm quite new to this.

    Cheers
     
  2. Sounds pretty much like my setup. I use my trusty old M-Audio Microtrack 24/96, recording to 24-bit 96-kHz .wav files. I use Audacity to edit for sharing over the web. I rarely use the compressor tool, but I amplify just about every track (my recorder, like many of the same generation, will clip if the levels are set too high, so I generally keep them low and then crank 'em up with software). I'll crop and fade in/out, and then usually export to .mp3. If I'm sharing a number of tracks, I will normalize them to prevent huge peaks and valleys from one to another.

    When I first started experimentation was the key to learning a bit. Save your raw files, and just make copies of them for editing within Audacity. From there you can play around and see what works best for you in editing. Good luck!
     
  3. Geberally speaking:

    First things first: a compressor will generally make quiet things louder, and louder things quieter in a mix, bringing them more in balance. So depending on how you use the ratios of a compressor will determine the outcome of the final sound source. To much compression will squash and flatten out any recording you make if not used correctly rendering it flat and lifeless.

    Second: you've listed amplify as your second option. Why? You'll be guessing at what level the audio signal is likely to peak, so you aren't necessarily getting the maximum output you can. You can also likely include clipping if you're not carefully. This is something I would do before trimming but after normalising. See below.

    Normalise: this is usually your safest bet. This will bring all audio up to a predetermined loudest point without clipping. This is determined by the loudest points within the audio. So if you compress first and even out your sound, your likely to have louder normalisation than you would without.

    What I would do:

    I would first run a gentle compression to iron out any peaks and troughs, to help acheive a more even keel and balance. I would then normalise. If at that point you feel it needs to be louder, run any amplification, be mind full of clipping. Then do your trimming such as fades as you see fit last. (There's no point doing fades and then running any amplify is there, as you'll introduce unnecessary noise etc?)
     
  4. FYI for clarification...within Audacity, the 'normalize' function is basically an automated 'amplify' process. However, the 'amplify' function itself will, by default, prevent any clipping, although you do have the ability to override. This is why I only normalize multiple tracks...or has been more aptly stated in the specific Audacity forums: normalize = absolute; amplify = relative.
     
  5. adam precision

    adam precision

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ireland
    So maybe i should try:
    slight compression, normalize then amplify.

    Feren, audacity can automatically amplify (to the highest level) without clipping.

    Anybody eq tracks or use other effects in audacity?
     

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