After recording FX (NEED ADVICE - audio sample attached)

Hello everyone, new to this forum.

I have a podcast I’m working on with 4 other friends. We’re using the Blue Yeti Microphone on stereo mode to record the 4 of us. We’re very excited about it and the sound quality is definitely leaps and bounds above what it was before. I still feel however, that we could garner a richer sound by doing some playing around in audacity (running 1.3 beta on MAC OSX).

I’ve attached a sample below, I like that we are in stereo and can be heard from different points in the room in either ear. I’m less thrilled about sibilance issues (I naturally have a very sibilant “S”). I’ve tried a VST de-esser and while it helped it totally ruined the stereo effect we’ve come to enjoy. I’d also like general tips on making the audio sound better overall. Any suggestions would be more than welcomed!

(please note, I’ve already applied some basic noise reduction, low pass filter and AppleAUDynamics Processor)

Oh and if you like what you hear check us out/subscribe to us at: Thank you!


The de-esser may have a mono-stereo control …
the de-esser may have a ''stereo'' switch.jpg
If on mono rather than stereo it will produce a de-essed, but mono result: killing any stereo effects.

If your de-esser is mono only you could try temporarily splitting* the stereo recording into two mono tracks, applying the de-esser individually to each track, then rejoining the the two mono tracks back into a stereo pair, (probably best to keep the the de-esser settings the same on each track).

Unfortunately can’t use spit fish cause I have an INTEL MAC, tried your method with the VST de-esser and it seemed to work. I still feel the sibilance is too harsh tho. Anyone have any other suggestions? Also totally down to hear any other general comments on improving audio. Thanks!

I just used Spitfish as an example to show de-esser plugins can have an mono-stereo control.

I though the recording was technically good, the most noticeable problem was that the volume of the different people varied too widely, e.g. of the two men speaking one is much louder.

This wide variation in volume can be reduced by “dynamic range compression”: which makes the loud bits quieter and the quiet bits louder. Audacity comes with a compressor, (which is in the “Effect” drop down menu) , but plugins like “Chris‘s compressor ” produce a better result.

Thanks for this… did you do anything to the BEFORE part? It sounds better than ever! I like it even better than the effects you placed on for the AFTER. Am I just going crazy?

I did change the sample rate to 32000Hz, from your 44100Hz podcast original, to make the file smaller so I could attach it to a post in this forum (1Mb limit). This downsampling would remove all frequencies above 16KHz so could reduce sibilance. (I am too old to hear above 16KHz so can’t detect any difference).

If this is the improvement you are hearing (but I’m not) you can achieve it without changing the sample rate by using Audacity’s equaliser with this type of “curve” …
roll-off (aka reduce) frequencies above 10KHz with 16KHz cut-off upper limit #.png
Changing the steepness of the slope above 10kHz, (encircled red), will change how much high frequencies are removed, which will reduce sibilance, however if the slope is too steep the recording will sound muffled.

BTW The “after” was created using “Chris’s Compressor” with quite hard compression settings to make the volume of all the persons more equal, you could use less hard settings.