Edit Features of Audacity


So I’m home-recording my own music. I use a Ribbon mic, a TASCAM interface and of course - Audacity. I’m doing okay. Audacity seems like a pretty user-friendly editor.

My question is: how can I sweeten this music file I created:


I have loaded the mp3 music file directly into Audacity and then I recorded my solo track while I monitored the background through headphones. After my solo track was recorded, I then adjusted the volume levels until it all sounded nicely balanced to me.

But is there any other easy edit process I can use to make my solo track sound more “professional”.

Obviously, the onus is on me to create a sweeter sound through my horn as the ultimate “edit”.



Well, I’m not sure why this thread has minimal views and no responses. Maybe the question was too dumb?

I have since been coached on another forum, to split my input stereo tracks so that I have more editing control over them. Also, if I have a clean run on my solo track, copy and save it to another file so I can go back to it as I uncover ways to further process it.

Now the discussion on another forum is how to save the “finished” file. Some say that a 320 bit-rate file is overkill. Others say I should save it as a wave file. Any Audacity thoughts on this would be most welcome.


Actually it’s probably cos its too complex :nerd:

You’ve already answered a bit of your own question - capturing the best performance you can is critical - later poishing with editing rarely helps (that’s why so many takes are made in recording studios). I’t’s not just your performance either - a lot is down to mic placement and the sound characteristics of the room you are recording in (I’m no expert in this - there are several threads on the forum about this worth searching for).

You’re absolutely right to keep your solo on it’s own tack until the very final mix.

WAV will give you a high quality uncompressed audio file - but they do take up a lot of disc space. Good for archiving though so you can go back later and re-edit (you may want to save your solos as seperate WAV files.

For playback high bitrate compressed files are seen as ok these days (except for audiophiles). Personally I use 256 - in careful listening tests I can’t tell the difference between these and the same WAV file - and I’m listening on high-end kit, albeit with ageing ears. My son is a purist and insists on using 320 - but he has overfilled his iPod :slight_smile:

Since your original source backing material is imported MP3 be aware that this will never give you the highest quality output to the mix as thi sbacking track has already been compressed and will be compressed further when you re-export. Can you get the backing as a WAV or AIFF file?


The solo horn is possibly a little too “forward” in the mix. That’s not only a matter of volume (though I’d probably drop the horn level in the mix a little), but also that it is noticeably “dryer” (less room ambiance / less reverb) than the backing.

If you are recording in an acoustically nice room that is not too small, I’d try recording with the microphone a little further away - ideally with an omnidirectional microphone, so as to pick up a bit more room echo. If recording in a small, noisy, or otherwise not very conducive room, you could try adding a bit of artificial reverb to pull the horn sound back a little to that it blends better with the mix. See here for some tips using the GVerb effect: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/GVerb
There is also a very good free VST reverb effect (better than GVerb and a lot easier to use) called ANWIDA Soft DX Reverb Light http://www.anwida.com/product.asp?pid=7
Instructions for installing VST effects here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#vst_install

I’d also suggest pulling down the frequencies around 250 Hz using the Equalization effect. This will tend to make the horn sound a bit “thinner”, but it will probably sound clearer and blend better with the backing.

So I presume that your recorded horn track has only the horn and not a mix of the horn and the backing?
If so, you could post a short extract of the horn and backing before they are mixed together, then we can probably make more suggestions of how to improve the mix.

Just a quick note here. Thanks for the responses, guys! I appreciate them. I will comb through them, look at the suggested material, tinker and get back to you with what I have found and learned.

Thanks again,
Geezer (T-boner)