Need help reducing snare drum


I am a fairly new Audacity user. I am running version 2.0.6 on Windows XP SP3.

I have a band jam recording that was captured using just a couple microphones hanging in the jam room. Apparently the mics were too close to the drums because the drums overpower the recording - especially the snare hits. I am trying to figure out if there is a way to reduce the drums a bit without reducing the rest of the mix. I tired using the Hard Limiter but did not notice a difference.

I am hoping that there might be other approaches. Perhaps zeroing in on the frequency of the snare and using EQ, but I don’t know how to figure that out. Or maybe something to do with attack/decay.

I have attached a short clip that exhibits the issue.

Anyway, I appreciate any assistance that can be provided.


As a fuzzy rule we can’t remix a mixed performance. If you do a spectrum analysis of the instruments individually, you’ll find they have a lot of the same tones and harmonics, just rearranged and some louder than others.

This is one single piano note. It has tonal energy over the whole left-hand 2/3 of the keyboard.

There are very fancy software packages that claim to be able to split instruments and some of the other elves may know about them. But they’re not cheap.

And this is why people multi-track record. You don’t have to blow tons of bucks to do it, either. Two laptops, two USB interfaces and four microphones will give you a four track recorder. Make sure each microphone is fully panned either left or right if you have the option.

Import one laptop stereo show to the other, mount everything in one Audacity and mix your brains out. Yes, it’s possible the show timing could be a little off, but that’s a trivial problem for Effect > Change Speed.

Oh, and don’t double post. One of the elves has to look at your posting before it becomes visible.


Thanks Koz
I kind of figured there wasn’t much to do given the drums are in the same track as everything else. I do have 4 mics for recording now and try to get good trmmseparation. This is an older recording that I hoped to clean up a bit.

P.s. sorry about the double post. I didn’t see the message about the post having to be reviewed and thought maybe i hadn’t submitted it correctly. I realized as soon as i posted the 2nd time and saw the message about not reposting but it was too late.


I apologize for my phone’s auto-incotrect spell check.
I see that same track got replaced with racetrack and 4 mics got replaced with 4 kids. Lol

I’ve corrected those for you.

A bit of reduction of the loudest hits:

You may get better results if you tweak these settings - this is just a quick demonstration of the general idea:

  1. Duplicate the track (Ctrl + D)
  2. Select the duplicate track and apply Equalization like this:
  3. Select the first track and apply Auto Duck with these settings:
    window-Auto Duck-000.png
  4. Delete the second track.

Can’t do much about the song being played at near double speed :wink:

Alright: I reduced the snares using Hit’n’Mix. Is this what you wanted?