Audacity is fantastic free recording software that can solve problems and improve your recordings’ quality. But it also takes some skills and knows how to use it well.
Low audio quality is one of the most disappointing things to expose your video to. Not everyone has access to studio-quality equipment, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have excellent audio.
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU / Linux, and other operating systems.
In this post, we will show you how to create high-quality audio using a free audio program.
Speaking in a clear, bright voice is an essential part of producing high-quality audio. Try to memorize each word thoroughly, but uproot it to make you sound like a robot. You may also want to try smiling while recording, as this will make your voice a little softer. Again, watch your pace. Keep things stable without running or crawling at a snail’s speed.
There are many different audio editing tools available to you. One of the most popular is free to use. Audacity is the perfect introduction to the world of audio editing. It’s open-source software that was created by volunteers. Audacity lets you crop files to reduce their length, remove background noise, edit the silence, adjust the volume, and much more. Download Audacity here to get started.
Let’s take a walk through three critical tasks – how to remove immediate background noise, remove background noise, remove silence, and adjust the volume of a recording.
Don’t rush to the vocal booth before you’re ready. Standing in a studio to record vocals can be very intimidating for new singers. So practice a lot before recording.
Before going to the studio, try to record yourself and listen to what you like and correct what you don’t like. Install the correct key and smooth out any edge troubles. Your vocal technique should be good enough not to waste time in the studio with many techs and auto-tuning. It also means that it is better to remember your song and tune it, so you don’t wander around.
Next, you’ll need a decent microphone. We wrote a great post on choosing a good microphone.
If possible, try not to record your voice with your laptop microphone. While built-in microphones are fine for Skype meetings and the like, a cheaper external microphone will give you much better results.
Even your Smartphone’s earbuds sound better than your computer’s built-in microphone.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars. You can buy a perfect USB microphone for anywhere from $ 50 to $ 100. If you speak too much language at work, the investment is worth it.
We must remove the noise. Noise removal or reduction removes some noise such as background noise and swing when you tap the recording. To do this, you must first get the profile of the sound you want to delete.
To do this, select a part of the recording that shows what you want to delete and then click on Effect -> Noise Reduction … -> Get Noise Profile. Once the profile is created, select the entire track and click Effect -> Noise Reduction … -> OK.
For women, the frequency range is between 165 Hz and 255 Hz. For men, it’s a bit lower, typically 85 Hz to 155 Hz. This gives you a more specific category so that you don’t limit your time and effort with tinkering, which the quality of the voice doesn’t affect.
Click the Effects Bar at the top of the interface. Select Graphic EQ from the drop-down menu, and this is what you will see:
Regardless of what the program defines as the standard curve, it would be best to adapt it to the requirements. The upward curve is conducive to a female singing voice.
There is a preview function for each effect. Click on it and adjust the curve accordingly. You always want a gradual curve as opposed to a straight, block-like shift.
Depending on the type of instrument you’re using, the bass may be rasterized. Therefore, also pay attention to the volume.
With the equation implemented, we need to normalize the audio. Looking at Wikipedia, the generalization is:
In short, the main reason for this is to try to ensure that the entire track stays at approximately the same volume level. Everyone has natural differences in how they speak, and for some reason, some segments are louder or softer than others.
This fact is compounded when you record audio at different times, without a separate controlled environment and recording process. So if you want the last bit to be consecutive, use normalization.
Click Effect -> Normalize to apply normalization in Audacity while the entire track is still selected. Then set “Normalize maximum amplitude” to -6.0 dB. Then click on, OK.
Unlike your brain, your recording device doesn’t know how to interpret wild fluctuations in a tape. Hence, you want to use what is called the “compressor” to use them. A compressor can prevent clipping of the samples and increase the level of soft sounds for your voice recording. This is achieved by reducing the dynamic range of the track so that the quality is not (severely) compromised as always, record at the highest possible bit depth.
If they get too high, they will exceed the levels assigned to thrust in your lane. When this happens, the playback will get louder, and there will be a lot of noise: it will suck.
To avoid this, use a compressor (or sometimes called a “speech volume level”) to bring your speech peaks below the clipping point and quieter parts to an audible level.
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The threshold is the point at which the compressor should bring its peaks under control. Only sounds above this level will be compressed. You want to play around with it a bit, but generally, I use -6dB to have more freedom to laugh over the mic. There is no right or wrong answer here, but you have to listen to your voice to see what is important to you.
This setting tells the DAW how quickly to apply it and how long it should take for the compressor effect to stop. It can be a bit sticky, but ultimately we’re talking milliseconds here. Play with it, but remember that you can shorten your speech track a little if you want to use different measures. If the attack time is slower, there is a risk of clipping, but instruments such as the snare drum get more impact. When you were expecting a loud signal and the timing of a quick attack may be bothering you. As a rule, the system standards are corrected.
Compressing your audio doesn’t mean it’s a hard limit. Instead, the compressor implements signal reduction ratios to maintain some dynamics. The ratio you selected only applies to signals above the range described above. The higher the ratio you choose, the more aggressively the compressor will reduce the peak values. The ratio you select has less of an impact on your audio. When you have very strong peaks, you want a more aggressive ratio to normalize your levels.
By increasing the bass of your voice, you make it sound darker / more masculine. So if you are a girl, I recommend that you skip this step. However, this step is essential as it improves the audio quality. This step can also be used to add bass to music. By exaggerating your voice, you’ll make it stand out better. Girls can still do this step. If you want, I suggest that you don’t bother promoting the bass unless you want a more resonant / more masculine voice.
Go to Effects: Equalization, select ‘Bass Boost’ from the drop-down menu, and press OK. Leave the setting at 9db. Repeat this step, but this time select “Treble Boost” from the drop-down menu.
No, not at all. This shortens the file length and makes it easier to add background material for game videos, commentary, and more. If you are removing blank audio, I would recommend not removing everything. It’s just that you don’t risk accidentally removing audio.
The recording is definitely the most important step in avoiding annoying background noise during recording. The ideal place is a separate room with carpeting and upholstered furniture, as these absorb the echo. If you cannot find such a home, you can always hang the floor on the walls or windows with carpets or curtains.
Avoid areas where you can hear traffic, heating and cooling systems, or noises from another room. While these may not sound loud to your ears, they can wreak havoc when recording.
Ultimately, recording high-quality audio is not a challenge. It is enough to make sure that the recording of an interview or meeting is clear. Just invest in the right equipment, speak clearly and into the microphone, and record in a place that is not noisy.
Remember that while our professionals will work with the audio you provide, it is effortless to produce an accurate transcription with high-quality audio. For the best results, try the suggestions above to make your voice recording usable and essential every time.
And how you can use Audacity to make an average recording more professional if you want to do it even better, make sure you are using a decent microphone.
Just a reminder, if you’re not a man, maybe step up the bass. But you already knew that, didn’t you? If you are an audiophile or you are recording a voice, how do you go about making your voice the best it can be? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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