fix muddy bass track

I have a track with just electric bass that sounds muddy (not an original recording). Is there any effect or combination of effects that would make it sound more crisp?

Try experimenting with the [u]Graphinc Equalizer[/u]. Mostly, you’ll just have to experiment ( with the “preview”). But maybe start by cutting the frequencies below 40Hz as much as possible. The lowest note on a standard electric bass is about 40Hz and anything lower is noise/garbage.

You may also need to reduce some other low frequencies maybe between 40 & 100Hz but you probably don’t want to kill them completely.

Then, try boosting around 2kHz. You’ll probably have to boost a rather wide band (a few sliders or more), and you probably don’t want to boost my more than 6-10 dB.

If that doesn’t get what you want, try the optional [u]Harmonic Enhancer Plug-in[/u].

You could also try some [u]Hard Clipping[/u] (distortion). That will give some “edge” or “bite” to the sound. …Normally you want to avoid distortion with vocals and most instruments but it’s super-common on electric guitar. Or, the Limiter effect can give you some dynamic compression without distortion. (There is also a Compressor effect but the limiter is easier to use and probably better in this application.)

Speaking of clipping… After doing anything that can boost the signal (like EQ) it’s a good idea to run the Amplify or Normalize effect before exporting to prevent any unwanted/unexpected clipping. These effects will adjust the level up or down as needed to “maximize” the level or to prevent (additional/unwanted) clipping/distortion.

There’s a (free) app for that …

Thanks for the suggestions!
Equalization etc may have helped a bit but I was hoping for something dramatic, perhaps that is unrealistic.
I also tried boosting the 200-400 range, need to listen a bit more & see if an improvement
I can’t find anything about that TSE BOD plugin? like where to get it

That’s usually the range that causes the bass range to sound muddy. Reducing that range usually helps a muddy mix to sound less muddy. If you cut too much it will start to sound “thin”.

I assume that the recording is already mixed down to a single stereo track? (There’s a lot more options if you have access to the pre-mixed multi-track).

Yes this is a multi track recording with the bass on its own track alone

If you can’t find/install TSE BOD plugin, try Audacity’s built-in distortion effect …

Distortion had an interesting effect, will have to play with that

This link is working for me: TSE Audio - Software

I hope this helps. :smiley:

TSE BOD looks like something for playing or recording bass live, not an audacity effect?
There is no documentation

The overdrive options in Audcaity are very similar to the TSE BOD plugin* …

[ * [u]Some[/u] plug-ins can be installed in Audacity,
Such plugins are then added to the list of native Audacity effects & used in the same way ].