Make "Sound Recorder" sound like studio?

Hello! I am new to the forums, been playing around with Audacity for a couple of years, but am really pretty ignorant when it comes to the plugins and Effects.

I am using Audacity 2.0.6 on Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 and Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1.

I have started a gamer podcast, which is already up on iTunes, but I’m really wanting to improve upon the quality as I go. I’ve been recording it off of Skype chats using a program as a backup, then each person records themselves using the default Windows Sound Recorder. Thing is, the last few episodes there’s always been an issue with people’s recordings; one person didn’t have their mic plugged all the way in, one time there was so much static it was unbearable, another person had a horrible echo. So I’ve been using the backup recording off of the Skype chat.

The Skype chat sound has a great studio quality to it, in comparison to what I can produce with the Sound Recorder recordings. I’m not sure what filters and such they’ve got on there, but I like it! I want to make my Sound Recorder recordings sound like the Skype chat recordings sound, which has a rich, studio sound to it.

I’m not really sure what else I can add here. I’m using noise removal, then normalizing, then compression, and I’m not even sure I’m doing that right. Sometimes I wind up with mechanical sounding garbage that after hours of messing around with it would result in me once more defaulting to the backup recording of the Skype chat. We all have different mics, and I’ll need to do “the treatment” on each separate track. Each co-host uploads their tracks and I download them. Tonight we recorded an episode, and I won’t be able to use the backup, because after a really long story made short I failed to hit the record button until we were halfway through. Fortunately I have everyone’s separate tracks, but there are some pretty major issues with each. One track is really quiet, one has massive static and garbage. The other two are pretty ok.

Hopefully I can get some guidance. I realize this isn’t a specific issue, but I’ve spent a number of hours looking for tutorials specific to this kind of stuff and haven’t found it.

Yes, that’s a problem.

Skype sound quality moves around depending on the connection that’s available and whether or not it thinks it needs to do echo cancellation. If everything goes in the toilet, Skype sound is no better than a bad cellphone and there are no filters to improve it (as you found).

I’ve done a little research on this and you got a good way along with your local recording at each location. Your process got lost in making the performers do too much work. I bet it sounds OK if everybody does their job and nothing goes wrong.

My idea was to send stand-alone sound recorders to each performer and have them clipped to each shirt or shirt collar. The sound should be OK and afterward, they can either copy the soundfile and send it to you, or drop the whole recorder in the mail.

This is the one I’m testing.

It’s been insanely handy to have running in my pocket when someone gives me rapid-fire instructions and I don’t remember all of them. It doesn’t have a shirt clip and I think it’s a little too noisy for this use. As we go.

This piece looks like a fancy-pants Skype session, but was actually local recording and shipping files around.

That’s another way to do it. Set up your camcorder to record. Obviously, the video doesn’t matter.


Isn’t there game recording software that’s supposed to do this like FRAPS?


Didn’t you have trouble getting Skype Chat to work as the same time as a game? That’s usually poison.

There are programs that can record Skype just dandy, but I’ll put money they don’t work along along side a game.

Scroll down in this post.


Hi, Koz, and thank you so much for your quick response.

I will try to be more clear on what exactly I am doing:

  • I’m doing voice podcast only, and we are not gaming during the podcast, we are only discussing gaming.
  • I am not trying to work with a recording of a Skype call, I am trying to work with recordings of Windows’ default Sound Recorder.
  • I want my Sound Recorder files to sound like they were recorded in a studio.

Sound Recorder is a very basic software that doesn’t appear to have any kinds of filters or anything to make people’s voices sound good. Skype on the other hand does. The Skype calls sound like they were recorded in a studio in comparison. I want my Sound Recorder recordings to sound like Skype, or at least sound richer and similar to a studio environment.

Are there effects or other tricks that people are doing that will make the voices richer, smoother, more “studio” sounding?

If you love the way Skype sounds, use one of the Skype recording packages and get everybody to wear headphones.

The Pro version is Pamela Business or Pamela Professional. They will both produce a high quality WAV file, split if you want. You on one channel and the guests on the other. That can help with balancing volumes and effects.

Others are available if money-based software makes you break out.

There are other free Skype recorders:

Please note that production in MP3 is a really bad idea. You need to stay high quality WAV or equivalent until the final posting of the show. MP3 sound damage increases as you do your production editing and it can kill your show if you’re not careful. Number 3.

The Four Horsemen of Audio Recording (reliable, time-tested ways to kill your show)
– 1. Echoes and room reverberation (Don’t record the show in your mum’s kitchen.)
– 2. Overload and Clipping (Sound that’s recorded too loud is permanently trashed.)
– 3. Compression Damage (Never do production in MP3.)
– 4. Background Sound (Don’t leave the TV on in the next room.)

The only way to get studio quality on a podcast like yours is to install a studio at each location. The room has a lot to do with the quality of the sound.

I have made a perfectly fine podcast test by “doing everything right” with a Skype connection across the US. I didn’t use a software package. I used two computers and a sound mixer. That is the other way to do it.


The long lost podcast clip test. This is a lashup test between Los Angeles and New Jersey. It’s not going well.

I’ve been browsing around the site the last few days, and I’ve actually got Audacity set up to record Skype now. Then all I had to do was enable my mic to Listen to device, and I’m recording on it simultaneously with the Skype conversation. It will all be on one track, but I can do a sound check first.

No idea what you are referring to here, I’d sure be interested to hear the details on that.

Denise First Pass sound clip, two messages back, was recorded with two different computers.

You find out quickly that I’m in no danger of taking over anybody’s announcing job.

The machine on the left played back music, themes, bumpers, interstitials, stingers, etc into the show. I’m remembering I used the machine’s native sound player, iTunes. The Record side of that computer ran Audacity and just recorded the composite show from the mixer. In a “real” radio station, that would be the feed to the transmitter on the hill.

The machine on the right just managed Skype. I never had to mess with the sound pathways because Skype had its own comfortable computer to play in. You can hear we both sounded like we were in the same room talking to each other.

I never had to juggle multiple convoluted sound pathways and if it was needed, I could expand the number of local microphones to four, the maximum that mixer will manage.

That’s considered the perfect podcast. With almost no effort, I can live produce a podcast with local guests, Skype, music and all, and have it sound like a natural radio show. That’s extraordinarily hard to do with one computer… but not impossible. This podcast does it.

He just set everything up, pushed the button and it all worked. He’s looking at us like we’re crazy and we’re looking at him like a celebrity. Usually, when somebody gets it working, they drop the Audacity forum immediately and start producing their show, so we never find out how they did it, and for most people, it just doesn’t work.

“How can I record my voice and the Skype voice at the same time? I’ve tried everything…”


It will all be on one track, but I can do a sound check first.

What I expect your system to do is not send your voice to the Skype far end correctly. Skype is a balancing act and it’s really easy to get a good podcast and have Skype fail.

“How come my voice comes back to me with an echo in it? It’s really annoying. Make it stop.”

Send a link to the finished show when you get it working.


It is sometimes possible to record Skype with Audacity if you find a method to play the mic through the audio output then record computer playback in Audacity.

It is not first choice to do that. As well as both parties being on one recorded track, the other party may hear feedback. It may be hard to get each party recorded at the same volume. You may get audio dropouts. You may get volume level changes if both parties speak together.


Thanks for all your input, guys. I got my computer to record the Skype call by following these directions:

But back on track, when I’m still looking for is to add filters to my guests’ and my voices that will make them sound richer, like what a radio show will sound like. Any ideas?

Audacity doesn’t apply filters and effects in real time like some money-based programs, and if everybody’s voice is jammed onto one track, you can’t pick and choose which voices get work done later in post production.

Did you ever post what one of those remote voices sounds like? Use high quality MP3 rather than WAV to get more in.

I thought you loved the Skype voices. Where’s the love?


These are all patch jobs because the original show is in such terrible shape. Yes, you can get rid of hum and buzz by slicing out the exact frequencies, pitches and tones that make up the buzz (notch filters). But those tones are gone forever, and if one of the performer’s voices happens to land on that tone, it’s instantly going to sound like talking in a wine glass. Worse, it’s going to come and go with vocal expression.


Here’s a sound test and picture of the USB microphone in lavalier configuration by way of a wooden clothespin. I need to resolve the rustling handling noises. They never seem to go away.

But still, I bet it sounds better than your tracks. All I did was turn it on, wait for the blue light, jam it onto my shirt and start talking.


You know, just a thought: you could solve the clothes rustling problem by clothes-pinning that USB mic to a headset mic boom, lol.

To answer your questions, yes I am attempting to use Skype, but I will still continue to have my co-hosts record separate, single tracks for backups, just in case. Also, I really want to learn how to do this!

Do you know what I mean when I say “studio sound”? I can get my tracks really clean when everything is done right, they can sound like someone sitting next to me speaking, but I like the quality that a lot of radio shows have, that sound a little “bass-y”? I would almost say it sounds muffled, but it’s crisp as can be. I just don’t know how to describe it. But I’m sure those studios must be using filters and such to get their voices sounding that way. Their voices are softer, richer. More soothing, I guess you could say. Expansive. I just don’t know audio terminology, that’s the best I can do, lol. Does anybody know what I mean?

I would post a small clip, but that’s not going to describe what I am looking for.

You know, just a thought: you could solve the clothes rustling problem by clothes-pinning that USB mic to a headset mic boom

That’s the slippery slope. Since I have a boom anyway, I might just as well use the boom microphone. Once I have that I might just as well use a separate recorder, and etc. etc, etc.

The goal is to send one of these things to someone in the post, clip it onto their clothing, press go and start talking. I’m speaking with someone from a sound supplier and they, too, keep oozing toward a more “normal” sound setup. “Any way to use a lavalier with a belt-pack…?”

I’m more than sure I know where the amazing amount of noise is coming from. This thing is doing noise removal to the track. Handling noises make Noise Removal crazy. So at the instant of rustle noise, the Noise Removal stops working and makes it sound like you’re dragging the microphone along the floor with a rope.

And speaking of sounds. Post a sample of your work, and then a sample of something you like. Trying to describe “warm and professional” is all well and good, but a nice sound clip would be terrific.

If they’re large files, it may take two messages to get it all in.


Oh, and you’re getting dangerously close to the impossible “Make My Voice Sound Like XX”. XX can be a child, a woman (assuming you’re not already one), a particular person… or an announcer.

Yes we can sometimes make up for lack of crispness or no bass tones, but we can’t help echoes or interpretive speaking. If you sound like you’re from Upper Derby, you’ll probably always sound like that.