Beginner Needs Feedback and Help

Howdy y’all,

I’m a beginner with Audacity and I wanted some feedback and pointers on some changes I should make to my first audio edit. I have already used Noise Reduction to get rid of any background noise, the Equalizer (Filter Curve) on “Low Rolloff for Speech” and “Treble Boost” at 6dB, the Compressor, the Normalization effect, and various amplifications to remove unwanted microphone banging and level the overall audio. If there are any other changes I should make to the audio to make it sound better, please let me know.

I have attached URLs to the original audio file and the updated file to this forum.

Modified Audio: []
Original Audio: []

OS: Windows 10

changes I should make to my first audio edit.

How did you record that? Details. Part numbers. “Original Audio” has a laundry list of problems and already has noise gating and effects applied.

Audacity can’t take effects out. It’s really important to start with clean sound.

Is this a recording of Skype, Zoom, or Meetings? Those are notoriously difficult to record if for no other reason than the app takes over your computer and you don’t have anything to say about it.

You may be the poster child for sitting your phone on the desk and recording using the built-in app. Like this.


I recorded the audio and video through Zoom, and with a cheap microphone from Best Buy.

Found it.

This is the sound clip I created in that scene.

Note the sound clip matches the notepad. Not only does it sound exactly like me, but the technical quality passes audiobook publishing standards.

I’m using Pressure Zone Configuration (fancy-speak for “I put the phone on the desk”) and aimed the microphone (on the bottom) to my face. I can’t bump the desk and I’m recording in a very quiet room.

When I buy a phone I max out the memory and this is one reason why.

Because I’m not recording on the editing computer, I have an automatic backup sound file and neatly work around the New User problem of accidentally destroying the original recording.


I recorded the audio and video through Zoom, and with a cheap microphone from Best Buy.

Thank you. Let me read that back to you. You performed and got Zoom to record the work on their servers?

Under some conditions that’s a pay-to-play service. Is that what you did?

There are a couple of tricks to that. For a reasonable recording, you need to be in a quiet, echo-free room and be wearing headphones, earphones, or earbuds. That’s not so you can hear the other end, that’s so Zoom doesn’t have to do echo cancellation, conversation processing, and directional management to your voice

Does your room have polished wooden floors? Kiss of death. There are ways to work around that.

The microphone has power line hum. That could be a number of things, but note I haven’t condemned the cheap, Best Buy microphone yet. Maker? Model number?

And then because I’m obsessive, double record your voice with the phone on your desk.

It’s not the worst idea to make a recording at home and work the kinks out before you dive into a production presentation.

Pretend I want to buy your microphone at the Best Buy two miles away.


Since I am a student, I am able to use the full version for free, hence why I used it. Probably should have used different recording software, but that’s hindsight and can’t do anything about it right now. Could you recommend some good screen recording and audio recording software that I could use in the future instead?

The room I was in was an enclosed room within my school’s library. Decent size but a little echo-y. Just think about a normal high school or college lecture room, and that was what it looked like on the inside.

The microphone I have is a unidirectional Insignia mic. The model number is NS-PAUM50. I want to say it cost me about $20.


I am able to use the full version for free, hence why I used it.

There is a full version of Zoom and a full version of Zoom recording. Which? Both?

Probably should have used different recording software

I don’t know of any good Zoom recording software. Zoom got to be the world’s best communications software by taking over your computer while it’s running and not letting go. Recording is so hard (how hard is it?), it’s so hard they designed their server recording product to work around it.

If you were running Audacity to record on your machine, it’s possible you were recording the Zoom rejection trash and not the actual voice.

Decent size but a little echo-y.

I would send you out to your car, except you were producing a video. Ummmmmmmm.

I have the Logitech cousin to that one.

I’m beating this up because I think you have an excellent presenting style and voice. We just have to record it.

Do you have a sample of the video posted anywhere? Are you pointing at graphics and moving around? Is there someone shooting you? Are you using the laptop camera? Do you have video recording software? Windows?


I need to go play Real Life for a while.


I’m beating this up because I think you have an excellent presenting style and voice. We just have to record it.

I respect that you are doing that. There are just certain limitations on where and how I can record. I’ll have to see if there are better places on campus to record a video.

Do you have a sample of the video posted anywhere? Are you pointing at graphics and moving around? Is there someone shooting you? Are you using the laptop camera? Do you have video recording software? Windows?

I’m currently doing some basic edits to the video, and I can send it to you after I complete it. The video is just a screen recording of some slides that we need to present for our engineering project showcase. Bear in mind this is the first of two semesters of my team’s Capstone project, and the purpose of the showcase is to describe our project and explain some of our work that we have done. We were just following a model similar to a previous video that we recorded earlier in the year and what winning teams did in previous years. There will be future videos next semester that showcase our completed project and will incorporate physical recordings.

Like I said, we just used Zoom on my Windows 10 Laptop to screen record the video.

– I corrected your forum text formatting - Koz –

I can send it to you after I complete it.

You don’t have to go nuts. I just need a general idea what you’re doing so I don’t recommend techniques or processes you can’t do. Between the screen capture stills is your head shot, right?

Do you have a car or can borrow one? That’s not the world’s worst sound studio in a pinch.

You can’t get very far without editing software.


There are two wacko, complex techniques you can do to rescue your current video assuming the pictures are OK. Neither is fun.

Hollywood uses looping where you sit in a studio and watch the video in chunks and speak new, fresh sound to the lips moving on the screen. Edit in the fresh, new voice in the editor (over days).

There is simulspeak which appears more crazy than it is. Play the ratty voice into your headphones and speak the same words a beat or two behind into a good recorder. You get the hang of it after a pass or two and find that you can drop the fresh, new voice into the video with a time shift so the lips match up.

This is a remote cousin to that thing they do at the UN to produce simultaneous translation. I used to know someone who did that and he described two languages where the action words were at the beginning of the sentence in one and the end of the sentence in the other. Drove everyone nuts.


Then there’s the combo pack where you record the pictures using Zoom and your voice on the phone laying on your desk. Meld them together later.


Finding a studio is fun. In one company, I found that the Main Conference Room was completely soundproofed. I mean padded air conditioning ducts and the whole thing. Given I could get the room, I sent several good shows through that place.

Find out if you can get access to the library after hours. Record in the stacks.

Screen Shot 2021-12-09 at 11.59.23.png
That’s a cousin to the idea of recording in a messy garage. Cardboard boxes are great echo killers.

I recorded voice tracks in a file storage closet until they had the bad idea to turn it into somebody’s office. Etc.


The microphone has power line hum.

Remember that? That could be the fan in the laptop.


I’m actually using Lightworks to edit my video and just finished a preliminary version. Might throw in some effects if I have the time, but I do need to study for finals.

Video URL: FGS Engineering Project Showcase V1.mp4 - Google Drive

I will probably do that in the future. Record on my phone as a backup or just have Zoom record the slides on my friend’s computer.

Based on the current video and audio. Do you have any tips to make it sound a bit better? Or is the audio as good as it is going to get?


I think I left the house before I posted the last message.

Your sound track is low volume, and only coming out of stereo Left speaker.

Pictures are great.

Let me beat this up a little and I’ll post a summary.


Correct the stereo.

Drop-down on the left > Split Stereo to Mono. > [x] delete the dead track.

I’m not sure where to go from here. The tools start stepping on each other.

Let’s do volume.

Effect > Loudness Normalization > RMS > -20dB > OK.
Effect > Limiter

Screen Shot 2021-12-09 at 2.48.25 PM.png
Note you have to use Soft Limiter after Loudness Normalization. It will turn into a ball of distortion if you don’t.

That’s where I lose it. If I correct the harsh Essing, the volume goes away. I can’t get rid of the pulsing hum without screwing up the tonal balance.

Etc, Etc, Etc.

Most tools affect the clarity of the voice. This is a lot like trying to correct Airport Control Tower voice into a studio presentation.

“Roger United 264. Clear For Departure Two Four Right.”

I’m done.

I found your microphone.


Mains hum “remover” plugin
mains hum 'remover' suggested settings.png

If you’re just doing voice-over on slides, without the narrator appearing in video,
then I’d be tempted to redo the audio on a battery-powered recording-device in a closet full of clothes, or maybe in the back of a car.

I know one problem. Did you save your receipts? Apparently, the Insignia microphone is wired wrong. It has massive hum problems. Attach.

The second sample is my Logitech. Same computer, same connection. That’s what’s supposed to happen.

The Insignia is going back tomorrow.