Recommondation for a Chorus Live Concert in a Church

Hi forum,

I have a Live Concert of our Chorus, recorded with a ZOOM H2, Low Mic Gain and Rec Level at 120, to WAV 48kHz/16bit.
What I would like to do is cut the Recording to into the different Tracks and burn an Audio CD.
There’s no problem of cutting and fading in/out using AudaCity. I also searched the forum and figured out that I most likeley will use the Compressor from Chris / in order to amplify the whole concert.

Now my (maybe) silly Question:
Should I first cut the tracks and then apply the compressor or should first apply the compressor and then cut it down ?



P.S. Running Audacity Vers. 1.3.9 on Ubuntu 9.10

I would compress the whole performance first. Chris works on “Look Ahead” processing and uses relationships of each part of the performance to each other. It very occasionally has troubles with beginnings and endings. If your whole performance is a series of beginnings and endings, then that’s asking for trouble.

By cutting it up, I assume you mean song by song in order to create a clickable Music CD. Good idea, but please note that Music CDs do not carry song titles. People go through painstaking effort to write down each song only to have the Music CD play Track 01, Track 02, Track 03, etc.

Commercial Music CDs work by having the computer go on-line and look up the song titles as the music plays. If you have a highly custom list of songs, the computer is never going to find it. I have a personal Music CD that the computer thinks was sung by somebody else.


Hi Koz,

thanks for your reply.
In that recording we have 25 Songs + some speaking between the songs of our Chorusleader to the audience.

What do you mean with “if your whole performance is a series of beginnings and endings, then that’s asking for trouble.” ?

I’ll gonna make a Cover with all the different Song Titles and their length so that people will be able to find the song they would
like to listen :slight_smile:
I know that Computer Music player connect for example to CDDB or freedb etc. and that they won’t have any succes with my CD :frowning:

So I’ll try your approach and compress the whole performance first. Is there anything else I could do with audacity in order
to enhance the recording ?

Thanks again,

Rainer, with a smile on his face since the summer is finally (I hope) coming to north germany :smiley:

been there done that with my H2

first take out the memory card and put the files on the pc
then back them up
keep a separate backup off the pc

then you do want to amplify or normalise each song separately
so yes cut them apart and label them
(the labels will help you even if they dont show on the cd player)
then amplify each to about -1.0 dBFS
then you can usually compress the entire track safely
although in some rare cases you may want to do each song/talk separately depending on its characteristics.

if you compress first and then amplify
they may not be consistent when played back
if any of them are softer or have wider range than the others

if you use nero or similar it should tell you the final lengths
dont try to figure them out yourself
then make the cover with titles and lengths

with nero (my version anyway) i have to put numbers in front of the labels so i can force nero to burn them in my sequence not what it thinks it should be. start with 11 not 1 or 01 or the sort wont work right.


since audacity crashes when I compress the whole recording (1 hour, 40 minutes),
I’ll go the other way and separate the tracks first.

Any specific amplifier I should use ? or is the builtin amplifier sufficient ?



He’s talking about Effect > Amplify. Built-in effect.


We will now experience the problem of posting in a generic forum. Which Audacity are you using and on what kind of computer?

I don’t know that I agree with Whomper’s workflow. If you decide to not use the automatic 2 second separation between the CD segments, then you can make a Music CD that goes through the whole performance beginning to end, or, on the same CD, you can skip forward or backward to specific segments as you wish. Some Live Concert albums are constructed this way. That only works if you compressed the whole show at once and not song at a time. Chris takes into account transition volumes – if allowed to.

Music CDs are limited to 78 minutes and 30 seconds and 99 “songs.” Compression and tricks don’t work. Music CDs always use the same good quality music format. It says 80 minutes, but you can never actually get that. Only the better quality Music CD authoring programs let you adjust the gap between songs.


Audacity Vers. 1.3.9 on Ubuntu 9.10 running on AMD Athlon™ 64 Processor 4000+ with 1 GB RAM.

Yupp, I know. One of my first attempts was to put everything on 1 CD, but I had to cut too much.
I decided to split it onto 2 CD’s.

Here is my goal:

  1. Split the recording ( 1 hour, 40 Minutes) into 2 parts.
  2. Enhance the recording, using for example the compressor form Chris and maybe other tools
  3. Split the different tracks and burn them on CD
  4. Create a CD-Cover with Songname and length



depends if you want the same inaudible out of balance original that the performers provided or if you want a single enjoyable cd to play.

problem i had was that the clapping was so loud at the end of each section that the compression and amplify left the program content way too low.

i had to separate each performance and clapping and gaps and fix them separately.

compressing etc on the entire track left an unusable cd

now if you taped from the line out of the FOH mixer and the guy rode the gain and had a limiter on the clapping then you might not need to do it the way i suggested

but from a church recording done with an H2 it is highly recommended to do it all separately not the whole track

I thought this topic was about Rainer’s recording.

and i suspect he may run into the same conditions that i did
so mentioned why i processed the way i suggested to him

is that so bad?
help him decide whether he wants to use my approach or not
if he has the same situation he should
otehrwise he may be better off doing it another way


That’s what Chris does. For a time, some of the NPR shows were posted online “raw” from the production mixer with no compression or leveling at all. They were almost unlistenable because of the wide range of volumes during the show – you found yourself constantly reaching for the volume control. Chris gently pushed all the segments of the show into one harmoneous package – as if you were listening to the shows through the local FM station compression. The FM channel has fairly strict limits on volume variation.

From there, it’s a simple matter to break up the show into segments because they already match each other.

You’re posting as if you never tried to use Chris with slightly aggressive compression. Highly recommended and it may be a lot less work than what you’re doing. One word of warning. Chris does not do DC filtering, so you need to do that before application.


as i said before
the applause in church was so much louder than the program content
no amount of compression would fix it in an acceptable way

now i guess tht i could limit it all off the top and then compress normally but that would totally destroy the sound of teh applause

i chose to separate program pauses and applause
and fix each piece separately

since I’m an absolute beginner in audio processing I have to depend on your experience.
My main concern is to create a CD which runs on every CD-Player and which plays our
recording as close as the Original Concert was.

@whomper :
When I go your way it looks like there will be a lot of work for me.
Since every track will be compressed separateley I guess that also each track will
have a different loudness.
Your approach will save me a lot of time and I think that all the tracks have the same loudness.
What do you mean with DC filtering ?

How about giving you both about 10 Minutes or so of the recording, incl. singing, claps and speaking.
Based on that you may be able to give recommendations on what way I should go.



P.S. Has anybody an idea on how to remove the clicks of a camera ? Somebody from the audience was standing
very close to the mikrophone and made a lot of pictures and you can hear that click from the camera.

no - no problem that way
compress each separately
then amplify them all to -2dB eg
and they will all be exactly the same loudness

if you had a little girl singing softly
and a rock band making your ears bleed
they will both be the same loudness after the compress/amplify
if you amplify/compress_all_at_once you will get a lot of variation

one performer also kept moving away from the mike
so the volume level changed a lot lower during those pieces

been there done that suffered same
if the applause is a lot louder as happened in our church
you will not get uniform loudness
the clapping will dominate
followed by the loudest performers
and the lowest volume content will still be lower
now that might be closer to the original performance
but it is not the way i would want to hear it on a cd

you have to decide what you want

why not just try one track
all at once
then cut up and done separately

ten minutes max time to test it
and you can know how it will be

i would say cut out a minute of content , silence, applause, and let us hear it. better yet pick the highest level content and the softest and give us a minute of each.

That would be a good idea - you may get contributions from other users as well.
Since you mention camera clicks, perhaps you could include a few of them as well.

Unfortunately you cannot upload more than a few seconds of audio directly to the forum, but if you can upload them somewhere else, then you could post a link.
FLAC format would be better than MP3 as it does not suffer from the sound quality loss that MP3 does.

Hi there,

here are my samples:

  1. Camera Clicks :
  2. Loud Part:
  3. Soft Part:
  4. Medium:

If there is anything else you need, let me know.

I’ll leave these samples on my server until I got my little problem solved, after that I delete them.

Thanks for being so helpful

Regards, Rainer

The camera noise is going to be impossible to remove completely,
I’ve tried by chopping the worst bits out …

I will be suing for RSI :slight_smile:

If the phrase where the camera clicks occurs is repeated you could could try pasting it in to replace the clicky bit.

Hi Trebor,

at least it is not that annoying than it was before.
Thanks a lot, how did you do that ?
I’ll assume it is a lot of work, did you use any filter or what ?

And thanks to wikipedia now I know what RSI is :smiley:



I manually chopped out many tiny bits (deleted) then used the "Repair"effect after each click-ectomy to heal the join where the click was removed.

Very time consuming and the defect is not fully removed.

Like I mentioned previously if the sung phrase is repeated elsewhere in the recording, without camera noise, you could try transplanting a copy.


that sounds like a lot of work.
Appreciate your help.