Audacity Podcast mastering tutorials

i know that there are already posts on here, but i’m getting very frustrated and hoping for at least some pointers in the right direction.

we’ve been trying to learn to master our podcast that we record in audacity, and i feel like we keep making lateral moves and not making it sound any better. before it was that the lows are too low, now the lows are better but you can hear us breathing too much. every video i watch or tweak i try to make just makes me feel so dumb because they all say editing a podcast is simple but i can’t seem to get it right.

we’re working with a behringer uphoria interface, audacity [obviously] and audio-technica mics. we record in a room in my garage that has been fairly deadened, sound-wise, with foam panels on the walls.

any help would greatly be appreciated. or even just reliable tutorials that don’t already talk to me as though i have a degree in sound engineering. thanks!

I have a Behringer UM2. Which one do you have?

A garage with no formal walls and a lot of trash works pretty well as a studio. That’s one of the recommendations if you can’t do it any other way.

I believe the two microphone Behringers insist on putting one microphone on the Left and one on the Right. So right there, you need to convert it from a stereo show to a two microphone radio show before you do anything else.

You can do pretty well with P-Popping and breath noises by using Oblique Microphone Positioning (B). Most breath noises go straight in front of the mouth.

Besides the mouth noise, can you give us an idea of the sound qualities you don’t like?


Audacity is probably giving you a stereo show. Two blue waves in one timeline like this.

Use the drop-down menu on the left to Split Stereo to Mono.

That should give you two performers talking to each other like a radio show, instead of pingponging back and forth left to right.

Screen Shot 2023-10-21 at 17.08.19

You can do corrections and volume changes to one without affecting the other.

You can do a pretty simple podcast by yourself, but the instant you have two people, it’s a lot more complicated. Three or more, or involve an internet voice and you’re into a full-on radio production.


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thank you for your time, first off.

we are doing that, splitting to mono and adjusting from there. I think my biggest complaint is it sounding distorted. and the low end sounding too low. and now that we’ve got new mics, the problem is you can hear us breathing too much.

You can cut the bass in realtime using Audacity’s native “Bass & treble” control …

bass & treble works in realtime

A realtime equalizer plugin would permit more precise control,
e.g. Graphic Equalizer Plugin, 16-Band, Lin-Phase [VST, AU, AAX] - Marvel GEQ - Voxengo

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File > Export about ten seconds of active dialog as WAV and post it on the forum. That’s the thick bar with the up arrow.

What were your old and new microphones?

How are you setting the volume? Riding volume on a two-person podcast is not for the easily frightened.

You may have scootched out of my area of expertise. I’ve always been the engineer riding the volumes in a show.

I gotta think about the best way to do it without me. One of my stand-alone sound recorders has a built-in sound limiter.


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okay let me go export something real quick.

our old microphones were XLRs like you’d use on stage, i don’t know the brand unfortunately. the new ones are audio-technica AT2035s.

when we recorded with the new ones, i padded the mics on the uphoria, so that my co-host and i wouldn’t show up on each other’s tracks, because that makes it more difficult to edit things out, like us talking over each other, because even though we get rid of the audio on my mic, it’ll still show up on theirs, and vice versa.

my beef with the clip i’ve uploaded is it sounds… distorted a bit? like it’s been over-worked almost. it’s not clipping, i know how to make sure it’s not doing that but it does sound… yeah, i guess distorted is my issue.

here’s a clip with the new microphones but… i’m still not thrilled with the way it sounds. it’s almost like it’s being played through blown-out speakers, if that makes sense.

There’s mains-hum on that: mostly the bassy end 60Hz, 120Hz, 180Hz.
Can remove 60Hz & 120Hz easily in Audacity …

most mains-hum removal

Attempting to remove 180Hz with a notch does more harm than good.

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ooh okay i will try that and pass that on to my co-host as well. they just sent me a clip for our headliner video and i thought it sounded great and they said “well it was before i mastered it” so now i’m thinking we’re doing too much? like maybe the amplifying or compressing or something that we’re doing is what’s making it sound so harsh.

i need to mess around with the new mics more, for sure, but i’m wondering what’s better: having it turned up when we record and trying to make it quieter or recording on the quieter end and turning it up with loudness normalization.

I bet you can’t clip the voices. Or if you do, it’s hard work. I think your voices are going through limiters. In this case, something is rapidly turning the voice volume down and then back up again, but only if the volume gets past a certain point. Then, the louder, the more the volume gets turned down.

Yes, that prevents crazy clipping and annoying distortion, but it also makes the voices sound “dense.” Ring a bell?

The microphones are cardioid (heart-shaped) directional…

…which means they have almost no sound from directly behind. Place the two microphone butts facing each other.

You should be announcing into the side grill just up from the company name.

The two performers should be facing each other. No fair putting the two performers side by side.

This also demands a quiet, echo-free room.

Are the performers wearing large gushy headphones listening to the show mix?

After you get used to that, it’s a terrific way to keep one performer from overpowering the other. If one gets too loud, their own voice will blow their ears out.

If you do this exactly right, they (and you) will listen to the show mix but still get two independent (as much as possible) sound tracks.

This may be the place you discover that a non-pro sound mixer may not do it. If you’re counting, you’ll need three headphone connections.


If you use compressor which covers the whole audio frequency range, with make-up gain, (i.e. amplification), that’s going to exaggerate sibilance, which makes it sound harsssher.

The cure is a de-esser plugin, to reduce (not remove), sibilance.

Stuff about vampireS

There are free De-esser plugins which work in Audcaity.

ahh okay fantastic i will definitely all this to our mastering process. i know it’s a learning curve but sometimes there’s so much information out there it’s hard to wade through it all. i really appreciate your time and guidance.

yah, we’re currently sitting across from each other but the interface, as far as i can tell, only has the one headphones input so i’ll have to figure out something for that.

y’all have been so helpful and i really appreciate it!

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