How to equalize tinny vocals?

Hi, everyone! I’m making a video game and recorded all the dialogue in a recording booth. However, some of the sessions have a slightly tinny quality that I’m not sure how to fix…sort of like we recorded in a bathroom. I’m still new to audio processing, although I’ve been doing basic to intermediate stuff with Audacity for a while, so I was wondering if anyone could listen to the attached sound file (a totally out of context line from the game) and recommend some Audacity plugins or equalization tips I might be able to use.

I’ve tried increasing the bass levels and dropping the treble, but that doesn’t really fix the issue.

Thanks in advance!

Post a sample of normal dialog. It’s a little rough to work in a vacuum.


Sure! Here’s another example (it’s from another session, so this is a different actor, but the audio’s a lot crisper.)

The second sample I would think a normal, natural, very well done voice recording. The first one, damaged one, the speaking into a wineglass sound is typical of extreme noise reduction applied to the performance. I guess it’s possible the MP3 compression was mishandled on that clip. MP3 compression distortion can sound like that and for some of the same reasons.

Both of those recordings have background noise in the -80dB range. Without knowing what that is, it’s very good, very quiet background when the performer stops talking. It’s too good. Very few people can record a voice with those numbers right out of the studio, so my guess is some noise reduction was applied and that one clip has it applied badly or in a damaged way.

To bring this home, you will be reshooting it. There is no recovery for compression or reduction distortion. You should find out if the studio still has the original shoot. That’s the only hope. We recommend not doing production in MP3 but rather WAV (Microsoft) or other uncompressed format. All your MP3 clips will start to sound like that if you do enough editing, production, filtering and effects. WAV doesn’t do that.


The “bathroom” effect is primarily reverberation from the sound being reflected from the walls ,
that’s not correctable using an equalizer. There can also be a comb effect , which is usually unfixable too.

Personally I think your recording sounds very good : It doesn’t sound bathroomy or comby to me.
The SoundCard on your computer may be adding surround-sound pseudo-stereo enhancements , making playback sound roomy. Those effects can be switched off … [ see “padded cell” post ].

Personally I think your recording sounds very good : It doesn’t sound bathroomy or comby to me.

I think it started out a good recording, too. I think it was damaged in post production. Something Happened to it. That’s why I said there’s the remotest possible possibility that a good recording still exists somewhere.

I don’t think the playback computer is contributing to the problem, we assume the poster can switch back and forth between the two clips successfully and only one stays broken.