Bass reduction on recordings

Can some one advise me the best method of reducing the amount of bass within a recording which i have completed from a music tape. The recording is over powered by the bass levels and i can not find a suitable effect option on the tool bar to reduce it.

If anyone can advise as well as leading me through how it is done using that tool i would be grateful. Thanks.

Try Effect > Equalization.

– Bill


These are all the magic words of someone who took a camcorder to a music festival or concert where the powerful bass in the live performance destroyed the microphone and the recording.

Did I hit it?


Bill thanks I will look at trying that, as a novice it appears quite complicated but will have a go. If the is a simpler way that people have I would be interested. Kos you are off the mark, this is a tape recording of frankie goes to Hollywood which I had from college that I am transfering to mp3.

Are you sure the problem is not too much bass but instead not enough treble? This is from a cassette, right? What settings did you use on the cassette deck when you played it back? Was Dolby on? Do you know what settings were used when the tape was made? Is it a commercial cassette? What kind of shape is the playback cassette deck in? Have you tried cleaning the heads?

You’re always better off getting the best capture you can rather than trying to fix a poor capture later on.


– Bill

Thanks for the reply again.

The tape is quite old and it may be down to the deteriation of the tape. I know that the tape was not recorded with Dolby function, plus it is a home recorded tape from a record or CD. I am using a new ION Tape2PC unit which is connected straight to the PC.

Using the audacity software i thought i would be able to work on the recording to enhance the quality. I have tried utilising the different effects but the issue remains that there is distortion. When i look at the audio track the sound waves reach to the edges so +1 and -1 with the core area (the light blue) which i am taking as being the bass area spreading between +0.5 and -0.5.

I am quite a novice when it comes to this and tend to work on trial and error, with frequencies, Dbs etc a bit beyond me, hence the request for a simple version or method of sorting.

It may just be a lost cause but i am transfering my tape collection onto MP3 and it would be useful to be able to transfer the bulk of the tapes over, enhancing the recordings where possible.



If the light blue area is reaching +1 and -1 then you have clipping. The dark blue area should not reach +/- 1. The dark blue area is the “peak” level and the light blue area is the “average” level. With digital recording, the peaks must never exceed +/- 1.
If you are using Audacity version 1.3.x, try View > Show Clipping. If you get any red lines then you need to turn down the recording level.

Get this part of it right and you may not have to concern yourself with Equalization.

As for getting your USB tape deck working well with Audacity, it would help if you told us which version of Audacity you have, what computer and what operating system. If you are using the version of Audacity that came with the cassette deck you may want to consider upgrading to version 1.3.11 from the nightly builds here:

– Bill

From looking at the image of your machine on t’interweb (ION’s site) I can see various settings for type of tape - and a “noise reduction” thingy - but I don’t see any functionality to control Dolby processing. My guess is that it is most likely the ION is assuming that your tapes are recorded with Dolby-B processing and is thus applying Dolby-B (reverse) onto the signal. This may be affecting the quality of your signal. Have a look in the ION manual to see if there is any control over the Dolby setting.


This plug-in may be of interest to you: