How to make vocals of a live performance more clear.

I found a video of a live performance and converted into an mp3. I would like to make the vocals sound alot more clearer, would there be anyway to do that?
This is the video I am working with.

If anyone can help, please feel free to place it on this thread.

There’s no actual words there to rescue. If you told someone to listen and they didn’t already know what the lyrics were (like me) you would never pick them out of the performance. If they’re that far gone, Audacity isn’t going to help you. We don’t do well splitting a performance into individual voice and instruments, and we don’t do forensics—clearing up voices.


Oh and strike three. Never do production in MP3. MP3 is a compressed medium and it creates its own sound damage on top of the ratty performance.


What would you consider a higher quality audio file?

I can’t watch (or listen to your video) 'cause I’m at work.

[EDIT] - I see Koz beat me to it while I was doing some “real work”. :smiley: (I “multitask” and I play-around on the Internet while I run some short automated tests on some electronic equipment.)

Try using the Equalization effect to boost the “vocal frequencies” between about 300Hz and 3000Hz (or reduce the frequencies above & below that range). Boosting the higher frequencies between about 5000Hz and 10,000Hz can sometimes improve intelligibility by boosting the “T” and “S” sounds.

Since I can’t listen right now, I assume this is a band. In that case there are lots of other sounds covering the same “vocal range” so you can’t really isolate the vocals. And, you can’t remove room reverb. …There is only so much that can be done if you are starting-out with a bad recording.

When you boost with EQ (or any other effect) you may introduce clipping (distortion). To prevent that, run the Amplify effect before exporting to bring the peaks down to 0dB (if necessary).

I found a video of a live performance and converted into an mp3.

Different subject… MP3 is a lossy format and there’s a good chance your video was MP4 which is also lossy. When you open a compressed file in Audacity (or any “normal” audio editor) it gets decompressed. So if you open a lossy file and re-export it in a lossy format, you are going through a 2nd lossy compression step.

If you want MP3 (or another lossy format), try to minimize the number of times it’s lossy-compressed. i.e. Don’t open the MP3 to go back and edit it… Always start with the original video or save intermediate files as WAV.

can sometimes improve intelligibility by boosting the “T” and “S” sounds.

There are no S and T sounds. That’s the problem.

What would you consider a higher quality audio file?

Something where the recordist got a feed from the house mixer. Nobody ever goes away from a club or a concert with a clear camcorder sound recording. You got lucky. The camcorder microphone usually overloads and you get a crunchy mess.

I do wonder why the vocals aren’t at least louder. My guess is the camcorder was in front of one of the guitar amps and the vocal amp was on the other side of the stage. The camcorder dipped the volume so as not to overload and put your vocal straight into the trash.

The MP3 thing is a general rule. People regularly shoot themselves in the foot by involving MP3 early on the production and burn in the sound damage from that point on. It can get worse, too, When you make the final MP3 for posting, the sound damage is a combination of the two.

That’s when we get the post “How can I clean up my mix?” You probably don’t.


Compression damage is sneaky. The camcorder probably had DV or MP4 compression and you converted it to MP3 compression. If you convert back to either of those, that’s three. Koz