cleaning up voice from vinyl

Hello everyone, new here. I have the latest Audacity 2.0.6 and using windows 7. I have a mp3 file of a relative that has been taken from an old vinyl. I do not have the original only the mp3. I can clean up the back ground noise no problem. Now I am not expecting much but I am hoping to hear the voice better. using amplify only gets his voice so loud without clipping. My question, is there a good youtube video or two that goes into what else I can play around with to make is voice clearer? You really have to strain to hear him.

Audacity does not make YouTube videos. It is usually better not to look at YouTube. Videos are very likely to be about an older version of Audacity or may even be factually incorrect.

If you removed the background noise, why isn’t the voice loud enough when you amplify it to 0 dB? Is it because it has a lot of difference between loud and soft? If so the few peaks are preventing you making the soft parts louder. To correct it, you could try Effect > Compressor… to reduce the dynamic range.


You can also try the Equalization effect. The fundamental voice frequencies are in the range of 200Hz to 500Hz, so you can try boosting those frequencies. Boosting the high frequencies above 5000 Hz will bring out the “T” and “S” sounds to help with intelligibility. Of course, with music there are other instruments sharing the same frequency bands (sometimes playing the exact same notes that are being sung) and you can’t completely isolate the vocals.

It’s generally easier to “play around” with the equalizer in the Graphic EQ mode than in the Draw Curves mode.

After equalization (or almost any effect that can affect the volume) it’s a good idea to use the Amplify to keep the level below “clipping”. Audacity itself can go over 0dB and won’t clip internally, but if you export a file that goes over 0dB the file can be clipped.

thanks, a few days off. Gonna try those out. There is no music, this is a recording made back in the late 50s early 60s. A message sent from my grandfather to his wife and kids when he was away for Christmas one year. Just cleaning it up. Voice is faint and in a tunnel kind of sound and then the noise from the vinyl itself is really bad.

Please post an audio sample if you need more help.

However if the voice is too reverberant, it is very hard to fix that.


I think this is gonna be the best I am gonna get without spending a lot of time with the recording unless there are more suggestions. I tried the suggestions here but very little changed. Just a bad combination of low voice, lots of static/noise?

I would say that whatever you did has made a big improvement - almost the best that you will be able to get.

A couple of tips that may make it a little better.

Apply the “Click Removal” effect as the first step. Suggested settings: Threshold 200, Max spike width 30.

Amplify the final audio a bit louder than your “new.wav” sample.