Help Cleaning Up Recording of Choir

I’m a total newb.

I’ve got a recording of a choir that I sang in. It was recorded in an auditorium with an audience. The problem is that the overall sounds of the choir is muddy. I’d like to clean it up. Does anyone have any suggestions? I thought I would try to do it with some EQ, but I have no idea where to start to try to figure out which frequencies to subtract to get rid of some of the muddiness.

I was wondering if there was anybody here who had more experience with this sort of thing who could point me in the right direction.


Depends on what you mean by “muddy”. Is it lacking in high frequencies? Is there too much room reverb?

– Bill

It’s not too much room reverb. The overall eq of the sound I’d say that the high frequencies are too low, but I know they are there (and they are clear) because I applied a high pass filter to the track so I could hear just the high freqs. They are there and they are clear. It just seems that somewhere in the mids / lower mids range the sounds is really unclear and it seems to dominate the recording.

The equalizer tool can help. Launch the tool and the blue line in the middle is a rubber band. Move up to get louder frequencies (read from the bottom) and down to suppress them.

Here’s a filter I made to suppress room rumble in a recording. Each of those little points on the curve were placed by hand, but that’s the idea.

There is a commercial version of this called the High Pass Filter.

You should be on Audacity 1.3.12 and not 1.2. Audacity 1.2 is no longer supported and updated. On certain machines it won’t run at all.


I’ve denoised it already. Can anyone offer me any tips on how to identify the muddy frequencies in the choir though?

I suspect that’s due to the resonant frequency of the performance venue.
If you attach a 5-10 second sound file to your next post we may be able to suggest equalization settings and /or effects.

[If the muddyness problem is due to reverberation then it’s not correctable by equalisation].

Do you know about Audacity’s frequency analysis feature ? : see “Analyze” menu, select “Plot spectrum”.
example of Audacity 'frequency Analysis' graph.jpg
If you see a high peak on the spectrum in the “mids / lower mids range” flatten it with the equalizer.