Can you help me EQ/process my live MP3 recording?

Need a favor from an audio guru here.
I recorded my band’s live show on my 1-track Zoom H2 in 128kb mp3 mode.
(Yea, yea, not lossless. I’m just going for “good enough” here)

Quality and mix is ok, but I know it could be vastly improved.
Passing this MP3 through an EQ app to fatten up the sound may do wonders? (Compress? EQ? The standard bag of tricks?)
I am going to try some canned EQ presets by loading into my application data, and see if one of those can improve it…
Beyond that, I could find out some of the menu commands, but don’t really know the principles of how and why audio should be edited.

Short term, I just want a decent EQ/edit/clean-up of last night’s raw MP3. It might take someone here a few mins?
Long term, it would be nice to learn how to do it myself, for the future.
To hit 2 birds, can an experienced person actually do the edit on my mp3?
Please save your edited version into the Dropbox.
Maybe you can take a screenshot of the settings you use, so I can also try this on my own (teach a man to fish!)

If there are any takers, it would be much appreciated, so here is the file.
You can right-click → “Save As” to work with the file on your PC …Rock on!

First quick pass. Corrected and then a little original.

I applied the Anti-RoomBoom first to get rid of that sonic boom from the walls of the hall, then Effect > Leveler to punch up the presence and the Anti-Muffle (second curve) to punch up the drums and lead guitar.

If any of those filters or effects goes into clipping, Analyze > Find Clipping, View > Show Clipping. Effect > Amplify and bring down the overall level.

You can make it less bright by bringing down the overall Anti-Muffle curve. Remembering that your speakers have a lot to do with how you apply corrections. The bass guitar in the original clip is enough to give me a nosebleed here at home.


Hey, thanks!

Ok, so you can apply more than 1 curve to an audio file?
You just apply them one after the other?

How did you apply the anti-muffle?
You just dragged the graph manually?

Can you post the roomBoom XML file? I don’t have that one.

You don’t have either one. They were both custom drawn for your show.

Both of those curves are going to change if you move to a different club – or get a good audience.

What do think MP3 does to your sound?

room-boom.xml (388 Bytes)
anti-muffle.xml (290 Bytes)

I did Analyze > Plot Spectrum and saw that the bass guitar and probably the kick drum were “ringing” in the room. They were much too loud in comparison to the rest of the show. That happens in certain clubs and it makes it almost impossible to record a show from the audience. You can’t hear the band in real life, either, but that’s less of a problem when you’re spilling beer on yourself. One bass note in particular was pretty awful and that’s the single downward spike.

The rest of the spectrum told me that the overall room had a flannel sheet muffling effect on the show, so that’s the muffle filter to get rid of that.

You can apply as many filters as you like. I did it like that because sometimes you can’t even hear some of the problems because the worst ones are so bad. The leveler gives you a dense, harsh, forward, fuzz-guitar sound. Try the show without it, or try applying it at a higher setting.

You might benefit from the stereo filters, but I can’t find them.



Your settings made a huge improvement!
You’re awesome. Thanks for this.

I duplicated and applied your RoomBoom and Muffle settings in order.
(I also named them and saved them, as a starting point in the future.)

However, the 3rd effect, the leveller didn’t sound right.
I picked the same as you (moderate, -50db) The sound would muffle or something.
Like the speaker is going underwater for a 1/2 second at a time. Or someone holding a blanket over it. Or losing power/flickering briefly.
I undid that filter.

I posted version 2 into Dropbox.

I will now compare the before and after…
Load both into Audacity in parallel, and then just toggle back and forth between them to hear the immediate difference

Or someone holding a blanket over it.

That’s not what the leveler does. You got something serious wrong. Do you have Show Clipping turned on?

What do think MP3 does to your sound?

That wasn’t a fluffy question. It would be good to answer that.


Ok, here was the problem:
I did: 1) RoomBoom 2) Muffle 3) Leveller.
When I turned on “show clipping”, I was getting clipped all over the place,
even though it sounds fine, and the soundwave does not cross outside the boundaries.

I started from scratch and applied it like this:
I did: 1) RoomBoom 2) Leveller 3) Anti-Muffle
This resulted in no clipping.
I played them in parallel in Audacity, and the sound improvement is noticeable.

I have uploaded this as version 2 in Dropbox. What do you think?

Thanks again for taking the time to show me this…
Regarding mp3, since the H2 1-track source audio is pretty bad to begin with, I wasn’t overly concerned with more subtle lossless issues of mp3.
ie: The H2’s WAV output isn’t much better when the EQ is so muddy to begin with. Like trying to polish a turd.
That said, I should have done 256kb instead of 128kb, but forgot to change the setting.

Regarding mp3, since the H2 1-track source audio is pretty bad to begin with, I wasn’t overly concerned with more subtle lossless issues of mp3.

Audacity doesn’t edit MP3. Audacity imports the music in its own super-high quality sound format and then makes a new MP3 when it’s done. Each step in the process creates more compression damage. It’s not a one-time, set and forget thing; it’s cumulative and it’s not like editing WAV files.

Particularly in difficult situations, the last thing you want is the transmission medium contributing to the sound damage.

Remember this?

Short term, I just want a decent EQ/edit/clean-up of last night’s raw MP3.

“I intentionally damaged this show and now I want your help in making it as perfect as possible.”

What’s wrong with this picture?


Hey, so I loaded both the raw track and the EQ’ed track into Audacity so I could compare them side by side.
I synched them and played both simultaneously and would mute one or the other. I also listen to them together.
The EQ’ed version is much crisper, for sure, and less muffled. The EQ really brings out the treble.
However, Koz’s version is a bit light on bass. Maybe this is part of the RoomBoom effect?
I noticed it sounds even better when both tracks are combined and played together. (muffled raw track with bass & the EQ’ed track with crisper treble)
I exported this combination dual-track and think this is the final cut.

Can you listen to this version and tell me if you think it’s better than the sum of the parts, or if you think it’s got too much bass?

Attached before-after excerpt : equalised , compressed (using Steve’s limiter) and fattened (using chorus, 10ms delay) …

Your “before” doesn’t have the same honky, peaky bass boom that mine did. Did you get that from the same posting? Koz

I got it from the link in the first post in this thread … [ “01 unedited_raw_live_128kb.mp3” ]

Mine came down as:

I think I see. There are more files up there now, hence the 01.

My original clip shows the same frequency analysis as before, but boom is gone.

Twilight Zone Moment.

I don’t equalize anything in the speaker pathway. What the !@#$.

Maybe my bass cabinet is no more. I’ll look when the sun comes up and I can see what I’m doing. The main speakers are terrific, but they don’t have good action down where pipe organs live – or that thick, heavy string on a Bass. Koz

Past the bass oddity, your versions blows mine out of the water. Koz

Remember GR is going to ask you for specific curves, XMLs, settings and options of everything you did. Keep notes. Koz

Here’s the steps for GuitarRiff, (or just download the remix I prepared earlier form here).

  1. Equalization …
  2. Dynamic range Compression using Steve’s limiter
    Steve's limiter (extreme values).gif
  3. Adjust stereo image by mixing in mono duplicates of the stereo track, (by now EQed and compressed) …
    Adjust stereo image with mono duplicates.gif
  1. Apply chorus (10ms delay) to the stereo track only …
    Chorus (delay) settings.gif
  2. Final compression with Chris’s Compressor on default settings.

  3. Modify volume of start and finish to taste with Audacity’s envelope tool.

    Below a comparison of “raw” original and compressed remix
    before-after ROCK dynamic-range-compression.gif

You rule. Thank you for this!! Thank both of you for your time.
For the full lesson, I will now try to recreate your steps,
Thanks for also posting the full mp3, if I can’t get this working on my own.