How do you improve sound quality in Audacity?

I require a backing Track for my VCE Music performance piece “Paranoid Android” for my end of year exam, with the acoustic rhythm part in the first third and the electric lead parts (solos) removed from the backing track. I’ve successfully attempted to remove the guitar using the “vocal remover” function, although the sound quality of the track is terrible.

How do you improve the sound quality of a track using Audacity? I’ve tried using the “normalize” function, although it doesn’t do anything to improve the track.

I’m currently using Audacity on Mac OS X 10.6.8. My guitar teacher and I have tried everywhere to look for another track, but can’t seem to find one with our specific requirements.

The track I’ve downloaded to edit in Audacity can be retrieved from the link below

Please help! I really need this backing track asap.


You cannot surgically remove components of the track that went into the mix unless you have the separate parts. I am shocked that your teachers should be so ill informed.


Okay, thanks Gale

So there’s no particular way to enhance the quality of the track? I’ve been able to silence the guitars in the track, it’s just the sound quality that’s problem at the moment


I assume you have removed more than you were intending to remove. You can perhaps control what you remove more tightly with Robert J.H.'s 2D Stereo Toolkit . Put the .ny file in your Audacity Plug-Ins folder and restart Audacity.

I can’t tell you how best to operate the plug-in for your material or if it will help much. You will have to wait for Robert to appear. But if you are aiming to make a demo CD for your exam, I think you will find your selectively-removed backing will always sound weird.


Quality of a file is made up of information. If that information is not there, it’s not there. You cannot create something from nothing, and a bad sounding file will always sound bad.

You CAN apply effects and filters to change how the file sounds, but you could never make it sound better.

The ONLY way to make a song sound better (if it doesn’t already) is to find the original recording tapes/recording channels that the musicians made, and recreate the track from that.

Filters can make it sound better. You can often remove steady low level noise with Noise Removal with few audible artifacts. You can remove aggressive mouth noise in a vocal with a high pass filter or de-esser.

If the OP is talking about quality reduction as a result of using Vocal Remover, you can’t easily “fix” that except by removing less or changing what you remove.


Noise can be removed, but quality cannot be added. Quality is information, and if it was not recorded the first time, then it is lost forever. That is what I meant.

but quality cannot be added.

I don’t know that I completely agree. Bette Midler’s live voice will strip paint, but her CDs are perfectly listenable. So somewhere after the live capture, desirable quality was added.

Remember, she’s a cult performer, not an operatic diva