I’m new to audacity and i’m running v1.4.3-beta in GNU/Linux
I made a recording from a workshop i attended recently. It contains piano playing, harmonica playing and chatter. The overall quality is fine, however there are a few clicks and pops. The piano is mostly pretty lound, the chatter compared to it a little weak, especially when recorded from the workshop audience.
I’d like to have everything much more compressed, the piano less loud compared to talk, and talk at a level that won’t require me to turn volume way up when listening to it.
I figure that this will require some declicking, normalizing and compressing, but my results were not really satisfieing. Can anybody give me some kind of recipie to start from?
Possibly 1.3.4? 1.4 is the latest Audacity version not quite out the door yet.
I’m not going to tell you how to do this because I had to do a similar job while on vacation a bit ago and I couldn’t do it, either. There’s some trick to it I haven’t found yet. I needed to cut down a long performance, normalize it and then apply the compressor.
It didn’t work and I don’t know why. Everything worked famously but the compressor step. After messing with it a while, I tried to apply a compressor configuration which should have damaged the show greatly, and nothing at all happened.
If the recording is in sections (a few minutes of piano, then a few minutes of taking, then a few minutes of harmonica …) you will probably be best splitting it into separate chunks. You could do this by setting labels to mark each section, then Export Multiple (as you would for splitting tracks for making an audio CD from a vinyl or tape recording).
Although this takes more time and effort that zapping the whole thing with a compressor, the results are likely to be far better, and the relative volume levels can probably be brought closer together without using any compression.
Compression is rarely the “cure all” that people hope it will be. If the sections are very different in volume then you would need to use quite severe compression, and we must remember that compression is a kind of audio distortion.
Splitting the recording into sections will also allow a methodical approach to de-clicking and cleaning up, and it is generally easier to work on short to medium sized files than working on huge ones.