Besides that, I’m at a loss about what I should do next concerning the vocal and acoustic guitar track, normalizing, editing, etc.
Normalizing is simply a volume adjustment that sets the peaks at (or near) the “digital maximum” of 0dB. That’s almost always a good final step. In Audacity, you can use the Normalize effect, or you can normalize with the Amplify effect. If you’re making an album, normalize the whole album at once to keep the relative volume between the songs (assuming you’ve already adjusted the relative volumes as you want).
My basic philosophy is that a good recording doesn’t need any effects or processing. However, that’s an unrealistic ideal and most recordings are processed. Since you are the producer, you get to decide what effects you want, and the type/character/amount of each effect.
There are 3 very common effects -
1. Equalization. (Adjusting the frequency balance, such as you did with the bass).
2. Dynamic Compression. Compression is normally used to bring-up the overall loudness without boosting/clipping the peaks. Modern recordings have a LOT of compression to make them “constantly loud”. It’s difficult to get your home recordings as loud as modern commercial recordings because it takes good compressors and the skill to get the most from them. And, you might not want to remove ALL of the dynamic contrast from your music anyway.
3. Reverb. Simulation of the sound reflections you get in a good-sounding space.
In a home studio environment, some noise reduction may also be helpful. (But, you have to be careful because noise reduction can sometimes damage the quality of the sound.)
and “Bass” (although using the acoustic guitar).
You might want to try the Change Pitch effect to kick it down an octave. …That’s just something to try to see if you like the way it sounds.
Note that mixing is done by summation. Mixed levels will be higher than each track alone so you may have to reduce the levels to prevent clipping (distortion). Audacity itself can go over 0dB without clipping but you can end-up with a clipped track when you render (export). EQ (such as boosting the bass) or other effects can also boost the levels into clipping.
Since it’s hard to predict the final mixed level, one solution is to export as 32-bit floating point (which can go over 0dB), then re-import your mix and Normalize to bring the volume up or down as needed before re-exporting to your final format.
It’s a great bargain considering what it comes with and the inherent, base level quality of it:
How are you connecting that to your computer? If you’re getting good results, I guess it’s OK but the mic input on a laptop or regular soundcard is not correct for a stage or studio mic with a low-impedance, balanced, connection. The mic input on a laptop/soundcard is only for a “cheap” high-impedance, unbalanced, computer mic
Typically you’d use a [u]podcast mic[/u] with a built-in USB interface, or an audio interface with the proper low-impedance XLR mic connection ([u]example[/u]) Or, you can use a preamp or mixer and plug it’s line-out to the line-input on a desktop/tower computer.
Most audio interfaces (and preamps/mixers) with XLR mic inputs have phantom power for condenser mics, so you wouldn’t need the phantom power box. You can also get a small mixer with a USB output.