How to tune audacity for voice and guitare recording in the same time ?

Hi everyone,

I’m new on the forum and I just start to buy a “Nomad Home Studio” with the idea to develop slowly slowly my music project.
I am now recording with a Blue Yeti, using Audacity on an Asus ROG G752. Right now I’m not in the best environment for recording with a really good quality, just for you to know in case that i will have to shear audio with you later.

So, my “problem” is that I’m quiet lost in all the settings and configurations of Audacity for get a really nice recording.

All the tuto that I fund in youtube are more maid for the Podcasting. Hard to find deeper explanation, or at least on what i’m looking for, so i follow them and I setup my Audacity tools (effects) for “voice recording on youtube”. It’s nice and really useful but that settings are generating some problem with my use of Audacity and I would like to go deeper with your help.

My idea is to manage to record voice and guitar at the same time, on the same track. I know that is possible to do it separately, or to buy an other microphone and sound card for the guitar, but is not what I’m looking for, at least for the moment. (I think that this as something to see with mony :unamused: ). You are of course welcome to shear on the subject, but I’m really looking to record voice and guitar in the same track, at the same time.

I just start to discover my “Nomad Home Studio” and I’m still new with it, I try different positions with the mic, more or less fare away from my mouth, and recently I manage to fund out something that look quiet equal between my voice and the sound of the guitar.
Maybe someone have a tip concerning the good mic distance that should be respecting for recording ??

Then I would like to try to understand better and more simply how to set up the “noise reduction”.
For exemple: In a youtube tuto they put the “Frequency Smoothing” at 150, who work really good if you just have the voice but make a kind of OUUUUouuuuOUUUUUouuuuuOUUUU if the guitar is on the track. It’s sound like it’s record close of the mic, back of the mic, close of the mic… ect.
If I put the “Frequency Smoothing” at 0 that effect stop, but what is the exact use of it ? and more important !
Did anyone as some corresponding preset in order to setup the “noise reduction” for voice/guitar at the same time ?

Then, still following the youtube tuto, i “Compress” my file. Same question then up.
Did any one as a corresponding preset for the compression ?

After this I “normalize” the file. If i understand well, that just make it louder by removing some stuff that i do not understand :laughing:
In a youtube tuto they setup at -7.5 but i put it actually at -5 because if not it turn out that is to much for the “amplification” and it start to saturate the track.

At the end, I “amplify” everything, in order to make it louder without removing the stuff that i do not understand in the “normalization”. :smiley:

I still try to get to understand the “equalizing” option. this one look highly complex. Some people on youtube just tell to ctr+c/v them setting because is to hard to understand.
Same question then the other, did anyone as a corresponding preset for voice/guitar recording ?

Ok, so, that it’s for the moment. I do not know yet any other use of the effects to improve the sound quality of the track. From what I understand all that basics are there ?

Well, I hope that I manage to be as clear as I could with my amazing English, if not just ask me.

Waiting to read you soon !

How to tune audacity for voice and guitare recording in the same time ?

You don’t. Audacity does not apply effect and filters or other corrections during recording.

Windows can have many automatic corrections and you should turn all of them off.

Go down this list even if you don’t have these exact problems.

Also, make sure nothing else is running on your machine. Skype and Chat can apply effects in the background and you can’t remove them. Turn off Skype.

I’m not in the best environment for recording

Fix that. As you’re finding from your effects and corrections trouble, it’s almost impossible to correct a noisy room or a room that has echoes. Effects > Noise Reduction can make your music sound like a bad cellphone if you use too much.


If you have a good performance and a good recording you don’t need any effects or processing. :wink:

You can use equalization to correct minor microphone frequency-response variations. It’s very common to record in a “dead” studio and then add artificial reverb to (somewhat) simulate the sound of a music hall. It’s also very common to use compression and limiting to make the recording “louder” without clipping/distorting.

You can also use “special effects” like echo, or you can use greater amounts of compression or reverb, etc. for something that’s not necessarily natural sounding but to “enhance” the sound.

Almost every commercial has lots of compression and your home recordings generally won’t be as loud as a commercial recording. Most of us are amateurs and we can’t get as much loudness as the pros without excessively damaging the sound.

My idea is to manage to record voice and guitar at the same time, on the same track.

That can be done… It’s similar to what you hear if you sing and play live with no amplification. You’ll have to experiment with microphone positioning to get a good balance of vocal, guitar, and “room sound”. Typically, the ideal microphone position is closer than the ideal listening position. The amount of reverb and other room sound that sounds great “live” usually sounds “distant” on a recording.

Set you Yeti to the cardioid (directional) mode and sing & play into the front side. You’ll might need a boom-type microphone stand.

In a youtube tuto they setup at -7.5 but i put it actually at -5 because if not it turn out that is to much for the “amplification” and it start to saturate the track.

As long as you don’t push the peaks over 0dB, normalization and amplification are simply volume adjustments and they don’t affect the quality or character of the sound. With acoustic guitar & vocal, you’ll want the peaks normalized to 0dB (or maybe -1dB or so). If you set the volume lower it will generally be too quiet.

You should record at lower levels, leaving 'headroom" to avoid clipping, and then normalize as the last step before exporting.

Note that Audacity can go over 0dB “internally” without clipping (without distorting). So, if you do something like boost the bass you can end-up with peaks over 0dB, and those peaks are not clipped (yet). If you normalize or Amplify and accept the default, the peaks levels will be brought down to prevent clipping. Make sure you do that before you export because the file can be permanently clipped if it’s going over 0dB when you export.


Thank for your information.

Yes i fund out that the “Gain” button was also to loud, it was actually the main problem of the “echo” aspect. I also buy a small microphone isolation that i can had to the support of the mic in order to reduce this annoying “echo”.

For the place where I am right now to record i have unfortunately no other choose Koz. Also what do you mean by “Windows can have many automatic corrections and you should turn all of them off.” ? I’m not sure to understand this point. it’s about the noise of the computer and the noise of the applications ? or something else that as to see with the sound card in order to improve the quality it self ?

Yes, i agree with you dvddoug for the recording it’s self. actually I’m looking to keep the song as natural as i can. The modification are not looking the voice or the playing aspect but more the sound result it self. In order to improve it for the extraction. Better quality and harmony between voice and guitar. Not to have one to loud from the other, most specially with the bass.

Also I’m not sure to understand well the clipping part in relation with the DB of the microphone. If i understand well, you said that is better to record lower and then to amplify the sound on Audacity in order to not catch parasite noise ?

thx !