Making a live acoustic sound professional

Hello, I’m trying to edit Could’ve Been, by The Veronicas.

This is a new song, and it’s only been released as a YouTube video of them singing it.

I want to edit it to make it sound more like a studio recording, but I can’t seem to get it to.

Thank you,


By the time the performance makes YouTube, it’s been through at least two different file compression systems each one taking a bite out of the quality of the work. That and in spite of it being a musical performance, YouTube compression tends to favor pictures over sound.

If you had access to the original studio capture WAV files, then there’s hope. For example, Audacity 1.3 noise removal and vocal removal tools which work pretty well on a live performance, suffer and sometimes don’t work at all on highly compressed work like YouTube. Is the work available as a purchased CD? iTunes download doesn’t count. That’s highly compressed again.

When you post a question like this, it’s sometimes good to post a direct link to the work.


Darn, then I suppose there’s not much more I can do with it.

I believe that it was just a direct webcam capture, here is the video::




I’m going back to listen to the whole thing again from the beginning. Their capture problem is uncorrectable. They’re recording in a bathroom. I know it’s their living room or maybe the dining room, but it has terrific room echoes and that’s killing the quality of the work. It’s fatal. You can’t get rid of echoes.

Finding a quiet, echo-free place to record is a career move. Our entire corporation only has one or two places quiet enough to record quality sound, and they’re not anything to write about.

Head for the bedroom. The larger the bed, the better. Throw blankets on the chairs and over the door. Anything to deaden the echoes. I have been known to record on my bed. The room has thick carpeting and a California Cottage Cheese ceiling. Good, but not great for sound.

Record outdoors. If you can get far enough away from civilization, outside is not a bad way to record sound – given a windless day.

I think there were one or two cracks or sound overloads in there, but that’s easy compared to the room reverb.


There is one thing you can do that’s relatively independent of the compression. If you have a capture of the work, apply Chris’s Compressor.

Chris’s Compressor

That will even out the extreme volume variations. That’s it. Everything else is more or less burned into the show.


Ditto: the compression artifacts and overload distortion are unfixable.

Adding some “Freeverb” can give a pseudostereo effect to your mono Youtube recording , (see attached mp3 in zip file)
The Veronicas ‘Could’ve Been’ extract (mp3).zip (722 KB)

Someone terminally cynical could argue they performed it this way on purpose – so it’s not fixable. You have to go buy The Real Thing.


They’ve been around for a few years now, and it’s not like they don’t have the facilities/cash to make a professionally produced video - this is supposed to look and sound like an informal two girls sitting at home amateur video.