Improving an old recording

This is an older song of mine. But I recently re-recorded all of it using Audacity 2.0.5. Everything on it is done by only me. You can get some very cool recordings with Audacity!!

What’s magic about listening? I get a loading circle animation forever. Koz

The Reverbnation link worked for me. Musically it’s very good, only problem is sounds like compressor-pumping : ( should apply compressor to each track individually rather than to the final mix ).

Koz if you have something in your browser that blocks Adobe Flashplayer or JavaScript then that stops the ReverbNation online player playing.

Sure, it works.
At least the voice should be without pumping. Reminds me of underwater audio where some words are swallowed by the waves.
Nice performance anyway.

Just noticed that it only contains frequencies below 10KHz , which partially explains the underwater quality.
Possibly a sample rate of 22KHz has been accidentally applied , maybe via a too low a bit-rate if it’s an mp3,
( using too low a mp3 bit-rate can force a lower sample-rate to be applied when the track is saved as mp3 ).

10 kHz frequency range is enough for my mediaeval ears. It is rather the fuzziness, that is disturbing for me.
I would separate the instruments/vocals in the spectrum as well as in the pan position.
Although the reverb enhances the stereo field, it is to vague and blured in my opinion. The drums should anyway be treated separately (like all tracks in fact).

There are some nice ballads in the playlist that do profit from the dreaminess of the (guitar) effects.

I appreciate all the feedback (no pun intended :smiley: ). I’ll readjust and see what I can do.

Trebar…what did you do to help the vocals in the .flac file?

And, just so you guys know, I did compress each track. But, I also edited the exported MP3 and compressed it again because the MP3 volume wasn’t where it should be as compared to the .AUP file. In the .AUP file it was just below clipping. Any suggestions?

I did it manually with the envelope tool : where the the vocal was suddenly too loud I made it quieter …
Envelope tool Demo.gif
( that manual process would take ages to apply to the entire track).

The frequency content on your track only goes up to 10KHz, 16KHz is typical on ReverbNation tracks, the default on Audacity is a sample-rate of 44.1KHz which equates to 22KHz. It looks like the sample-rate is being reduced somewhere , possibly when you make the mp3 if the bit-rate of the mp3 is set low , ( the mp3 bit-rate should be set at256kbps for stereo music at a sample rate of 44.1KHz).

Your track has very large amounts of infrasound, this low frequency sound is not audible but distorts the waveform and causes problems when processing the waveform, (e.g. applying compression). Before you process a track apply a high-pass filter like the one shown below to remove infrasound.
Equalization to remove infrasound.gif
No-infrasound-in-Audacity.xml (187 Bytes)

On the track I captured from the ReverbNation player looked like extreme values of compression were used : the envelope was horizontal. If you are going to use compression on the final mix try a lower compression ratio than you were using. Extreme settings for compression can be responsible for pumping the level of the vocal up and down

“Sticks and Stones” is my favorite so far. It has a real voice and relatively little processing.
Is one of those cuts s***-kickin’, line-dance music?

You need:

A. A producer.
B. Good speakers.

The tonal balances are so out of whack I’m goin’ with you can’t hear what you’re doin’. The bass line for “Sticks and Stones” is like somebody dumped a pint of maple syrup on it. Cal Tech gave it a 1.8.


OK, got it. I dusted off the tone controls [cough, cough]. Pump the treble to bring the brightness up and restore a little of the sting to the drums. Turn the bass 3/4 the way off.

OK. I can listen to that.

“But the words you said just tore my heart in two.”


Are you producing these songs using MP3 as mix clips? Stop that. MP3 screws up music and you shouldn’t use it at all until the very last thing before posting and never for masters. It’s making some of your instruments “honky” and cell-phony.

WAVs or Audacity Projects, although Projects without backup WAVs can be dangerous.


You’re all the voices on “When did you stop lovin’ me?” right? Koz

Why do the instruments on “Full Blood Country,” sound so much better? It’s like night and day. Did you mic them different? Koz

If the infrasound was not removed from the vocal-only track and compression was applied, that could account for the vocal volume abnormally fluctuating : the vocal waveform is superimposed on the inaudible low-frequency infrasound waveform. If dynamic-range-compression is applied to a track with high-amplitude infrasound there will be noticeably more attenuation of the vocal where the infrasound has a peak or a trough.

The first thing you should do to any of your recordings before processing them, (e.g. applying compression), is remove the infrasound with the equalization shown below …
Remove infrasound with equalizer demo #.gif
No-infrasound-in-Audacity.xml (187 Bytes)

Koz - “Sticks And Stones” was originally recorded 15 or so years ago on cassette then converted to digital.

Koz - No, I’m not using MP3 mix clips. I record directly into Audacity creating tracks as needed for each item. Then export to MP3.

Full Blood Country was recorded by me but “fixed” by a pro.

Koz - No I’m not all the voices, just the lead singing on “When Did You Stop Loving Me”. And this is another one that was recorded on a cassette and converted to digital.

Guys, obviously I’m not very good at recording and mixing but I’m trying to learn and do a much better job. I’ve always had somebody else (studios, etc) do this stuff. I just play and sing. So please be patient. And any help is greatly appreciated.

Trebor - So the workflow would be to add effects, etc then run the “no infrasound” then compress that particular track??