Can someone make this clip sound better?

I have a short clip from an upcoming commentary for youtube and I was wondering if someone here could take it put it in audacity and tweak it to make it sound a bit better and then let me know what settings you used? Cos I am having a hard time finding the sweet spot.

Here is the clip:

Any help would be greatly appreciated to make my commentaries have that little bit more quality

I would avoid bumping the microphone during the performance.

Download and start using Chris’s Compressor.

The quality is fine, but your volume levels are all over the place. This will fix that.

You don’t need to get louder, but Chris will even out “expressive” volume changes which make it hard to understand and pay attention to the game at the same time. It makes final mixing much easier.


This might also be a good place for Effect > Compressor for the same reasons. The illustration is the settings I used. Koz
Screen shot 2013-05-20 at 7.20.53 PM.png

Thanks man. I always had trouble knowing which compressor settings to use.

So no EQ or anything then?

It’s possible to substantially reduce the background hum noise if you paste the code below in Audacity’s “Nyquist Prompt” …

(notch2 (notch2 (notch2 (notch2 (notch2 (notch2 (notch2 s 120 8) 148 12) 227 12) 321 12) 791 20) 851 22) 1407 40 )

notch filters to remove hum from jack-sepic-eye.gif
Then [optionally] apply Audacity’s noise-reduction …

[ IMO apply the notch filters and noise-reduction before applying any dynamic-range-compression ]

I know where you got 120 from (in the US), where did you get the other numbers – or is this a custom series for that one clip…?

We’re all beating about the bush. The poster really wants the equalizer sequence so he can sound like Don LaFontaine.

We have that sequence, right?


They are the worst offenders on the spectrogram of “silence” on that clip …
septic-eye ''silence'' spectrum.gif
septic-eye ''silence'' spectrogram, horizontal lines are hum (mains or HDD or fan).gif

I don’t want a magic fix for my voice that will make it vastly better. I want slight improvements that make my audio sound more connected to me and not like it came from a mic. Less airy or washed out sounding.

Slightly tighter and deeper, so it sounds like a voice rather than a voice recorded with a mic. Hard explain but I think you know what I mean

Damn that tweaked version you linked sounds much nicer than regular noise removal. Noise removal always left a whiney sound afterwards, this sounds reduced but still kept the integrity

In my experience it is better to notch-out any hum/whine before applying noise-reduction.

Via a plug-in …

or via Nyquist Prompt …

[ It may be possible to improve on the list of notch filters I posted above ]

Less airy or washed out sounding.

What are you using for a microphone? “Airy and Washed out” is usually desirable for a voice, particularly if you have hum and room problems. See: 120Hz. That’s microphone buzz and distortion.

The reason we’ve been all over the map with this is you have two competing problems. You want to take your perfect, soundproof studio, broadcast voice recording and equalize it to sound like Don LaFontaine. The problem is you don’t have a studio recording, you have a thin, hummy, buzzy, whispy recording and anything we do to help the voice, is going to seriously boost the noises. This is why people still rent sound studios. The rental fees are far cheaper than the hours of post production needed to patch together a non-studio recording.

As you found, Noise Removal is not a gift from the angels and Trebor’s custom notch filter does a much better job. All you need is him to do one for each of your productions.

So what are you using for a microphone and what does your room sound like?

If you put an expensive microphone into a kitchen, you will usually get a very good quality recording with excellent quality kitchen echoes.

We sent an audio engineer to an actor’s house to get a voice track. The actor had a Post Modern house with all polished wood and no carpets. It was a nightmare. He came back looking like somebody laid a beatin’ on him vowing to get into a different line of work.


Bass-boost equalization ? …
big bass boost, (and wee bit treble boost), equalization.gif

[ If you want even more treble-boost you’ll need to de-ess , otherwise the sibilance will become too great ]

That should nicely boost the 60Hz hum which has to be in there given the other problems. You didn’t put a notch at 60 (that I can tell). Koz

No I didn’t notch 60Hz, but there wasn’t a big peak at 60Hz …

Nor after the bass-boost
after bass-boost still no big peak at 60Hz.gif
The bass-boost does increase rumble a bit, maybe +12dB boost @ 100Hz was a bit too much.