New to recording music.


I have used audacity before but really noob-ishly via laptop mic and it sounded really bad.

I am a hobbyist that finally put some money behind what I love doing and that is recording music. I just bought a Behringer Podcastudio USB kit thing and it’s pretty nice for only $99 ha.

Anyways my question is because I don’t know much about how to get clean sound is, how do I improve my vocals or clean them up rather using effects? I noticed on Youtube a lot of people do it… but I don’t know what settings to play with or what effects. Any general tips I am more than grateful for.

Thank you in advance.

One of the most useful bits of kit is a “pop filter”
It allows you to get close to the microphone without blowing on it.

The next thing is to find a nice quiet place to record - with lots of soft furnishings and cuddly toys to soak up any echoes. Bedrooms are often good - bathrooms bad (unless you want it to sound like it’s recorded in a bathroom).

Also, I don’t know what kind of signal-noise ratio you have with the Behringer, but I have been using a PreSonus Tube PreAmp and a vocal mic to record books on tape. It isn’t perfect, but the results are satisfactory. Of course, you have to have a quiet room. It will pick up everything, like the refrigerator, the computer itself, and any vibrations from where the mic is sitting (unless your mic is suspended).

I have heard mixed comments about direct to USB systems. If you have a good computer, you should be in luck either way. My sound card has an almost non-existent S/N, so the analog Pre Amp works well. I have experienced digital distortion from USB units, which is a pain in the neck if you only have one shot to record. Give me a little background hiss anyday!

Another thing is, try to set your volume properly. Ideally, you want to record as loud as possible without ever clipping. You may have to fiddle with the independent mic volume and amp volumes to get this right. You may not clip on the computer, but the sound will still be clipped if you overdrive the amp. I have had problems with my laptop where the mic volume is either way too loud, or way too soft. Probably just my cruddy sound card, but who knows. You might luck out with a USB system there.

Good luck!

<<<Of course, you have to have a quiet room.>>>

Note we all keep piling on this one idea. It’s not trivial. Most people ignore all the trash they’re listening to all the time. They tune it out – until it becomes part of the show. Suddenly, you become aware of all the sound you listen to all day long. The MetroBus outside the window, the refrigerator, the laundry. The TV in the next house, the kid rehearsing guitar.

The jet flying over. The fan noise the computer is making…

Then the room echoes. It doesn’t have to be a bathroom to sound like a hollow box. Most rooms sound like that. If you have a carpeted bedroom, that’s many times the most well behaved room in the house.

The other common mistake is to try to get as close to maximum recorded volume as possible while you’re recording. That’s a recipe for problems. Voices and instruments have a very wide range of loudness and the microphone doesn’t. Leave room to get loud during the live performance and you can mess with it later. If you overload something or “clip” the sound during the performance, that can be fatal.

“Why does my song sound crunchy here and there and how do I fix it in Audacity?”

You apply the “reshoot filter” (sing it again) and this time turn the recording volume down.


Thanks for clarifying that. I agree 100%. For speech recording, I set mine so that I can practically yell into the mic without it clipping. I guess I was coming at Neilbaby’s problem from the end of amplifying noise from the soundcard if the volume is too low. Of course, he has an external deal, so it might not be an issue.