lower the background score

I work on sundays with an NGO for poor children in India. One of our major contributor is turning 75 later this month. Since, the man in his position has every materialistic things he needs, we have come up with an idea of presenting him with a audio CD of 1950 era songs which he immensely likes. I have attached the link to one of the song, about 310 KB in size.

Problem is that the music is bit louder and the vocal get suppressed.
I need to make the vocal more prominent than the background music. Can you help?

I have read various tips / tutorials here on the forum as well as on wiki. I have tried changing the pitch, amplify, sliding time scale, equaliser and even low / high pass filter. Excuse my ignorance if i should have not tried some thing in particular.


Many thanks if you could suggest something… i have about 60 odd songs and 10 days in hand…

not usually feasible

lots of cds with 50s songs already done right
why not just buy him a cd that is already correct ?

You can’t generally take a mixed music selection apart into instruments, voice being one. Everybody gazes longingly at the Vocal Removal tools, but they fail many more times than they succeed. If the music is old enough, it’s in mono and there are no tools for that.

I suspect if he already speaks, Hindi, is it? He won’t be all that bothered with the quality of the voice anyway. In America, we have contests where friends guess what that some rock group’s words actually were because nobody can understand them.


The sample rate of 16000Hz is too low for music, and from the copious digital artifacts (computery noises) the bit-rate is also way too low …
The bitrate is only 16 Kbps (Kilo bits per second)#.gif
only 16Kbps ! .

If you re-recorded the vinyl record using a sample rate of 44100Hz (rather than 16000Hz) there would be more high-frequency content and consequently speech (and singing) would be more comprehensible to an elderly person … https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/hearing-impared-friend/14829/10

I’d suggest the mp3 bit-rate for a mono recording of 44100Hz should be 128Kbps, (minimum 64Kbps), then you won’t get the computery noises.

I don’t remember seeing the word “vinyl” anywhere. Did I miss a clue?


From “1950” I assumed the source was vinyl.

Possibly shellac 78s

maybe wax cylinders ? :mrgreen:

Vinyl was first tried out as a 78 rpm material in 1939, as a cigarette radio commercial mailed to stations, as vinyl was less breakable in the mail. On the record, mention is made of the Lucky Strike exhibit at the 1939 NY World’s Fair. Decca introduced vinyl “Deccalite” 78s after the Second World War. During the war, the US Armed Forces produced thousands of V-Discs for the soldiers to play overseas, as well as giant 16-inch War Department radio transcriptions, all of which were made of vinyl

If you don’t have the record you may be able to download high quality versions of these 50s tunes,
(if they are free downloads they may be illegal and/or come with malware).

Anything that old would certainly have been in mono, thus killing most of the tools likely to help. But, yes, certainly if you’re capturing the work yourself, do it in a very much higher quality. Music CD format 44100, 16-bit, Stereo at minimum (even if you don’t need the stereo part).


OFF TOPIC: I’m sufficiently old to remember the BBC experimenting with broadcast stereo. My father moved the television to one corner of the room apart from the radiogram (as instructed by the Beeb) - the BBC broadcast one channel on the radio and the other on the TV and if I remember correctly it was a Sherlock Holmes story and I do distinctly remember the horse-drawn carriage moving from one side of the rudimentary sound-stage to the other. :slight_smile:


colonies did that for stereo
am for left channel
fm for right channel

I remember one of the US television tests. Unfortunately I lived so far into the farming country Fringe Area that it was a lost cause.


50s tellies left a lot to want
we lived in the burbs and barely got decent reception

Thank you very much every one for taking the trouble to answer my query.

@ Whomper - Have downloaded all songs from internet. CD is not available. Songs are in one of the indian language and not done yet.

@ Koz - Well it is gujarati (another indian dialect) but you were very close… at 75, he is sort of hard of hearing and the lyrics are a really fantastic… can sacrifice on quality of background score but was hopeful of getting the vocal prominent as i mentioned… tnx anyways…

@ trebor - i am not in a possesion of the vinyls… the songs date back from 1940 to 1950 and were sung by different artists and produced by different companies… these are availble only on net for download… i will try them again with chris dynamic compressor as mentioned in the thread…

once again, many thanks guys, really appreciate it…

when i try to post a message, i get "Your IP 59...*** has been blocked because it is blacklisted. For details please see http://www.spamhaus.org/query/bl?ip=59.***.***.***. I had no problem while registering or while posting this query. Also, i have used my home pc for this which is never used for e-mails…

One of the problems with shared IP addresses is that if anyone that uses the same IP address gets blocked by Spamhaus, everyone on that IP address gets blocked.
If your Internet access is with a dynamic IP address, completely shutting down your connection and then making a new connection may give you a different IP address.
If that does not work, try contacting your Internet Service Provider (ISP), explain the problem and ask them how you can get a different IP address.

Regarding your original question, I would think that a combination of dynamic compression and equalization will produce the best results. For the Equalizer settings, pull down all frequencies below about 300 Hz and all frequencies above 3000 Hz and gently raise the sliders toward 1000 - 2000 Hz. Experiment with short samples to find the optimum settings.

thank you Steve, tried that (dynamic compression + equalizer) and vocal does sound quite better. But have one more question. The overall volume has gone down. Any suggestion?

If you apply the “Amplify” effect with the default settings it will amplify the track as much as possible without creating distortion.

“Tari aankh no Afini sung by Dilip Dholakia” is on Youtube … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW-DzA_Inhc
It looks like a modern album cover on the video, possibly a re-issue which includes the 1950’s tracks ?.