Although I’m still an Audacity “newbie,” as the kiddies say, I’ve been rather obsessed with recording my latest originals in 2.0.3, as it’s so much better (in general) than anything digital that I’ve used in the past. I’ve been experimenting quite a bit with the best sequence of processing events – which is quite different, if my ears are being as truthful as usual, from Nero Wave Editor, which I’m used to.
To be honest, I’m finding it difficult to amplify everything so that it’s reasonably loud, while still avoiding the constant “combination clipping” from all four or five tracks playing together.
They’re fine on their own, of course (amplified to the software’s suggested max, in each case). But when played simultaneously, the overall output exceeds the maximum decibels. So there have been hours of manual tinkering to try and combine everything while still coming just up to the threshold when they’re all playing together.
Any suggestions on how to handle “Amplify” and get everything adequately loud without simultaneous-play clipping/distortion? I haven’t messed with the defaults, DB-wise or meter-wise. As far as the sequence of processes goes, I think I’ve arrived at the best. Correct any glaring mistakes you might notice, if you would! Thanks!
Noise Reduction – I love Audacity’s Sonic Solutions-type “sampling the noise” method. It hardly leaves any artifacts. Of course, I’m not coming in terribly hissy to begin with, but it’s still a USB mic without any outboard processing, so there’s going to be some gray noise in there. Audacity has no problem handling it.
Compression – on the vocals only. It’s around 3:1 and definitely helps with my quite varied singing levels. When they’re too extreme to be handled by compression without unpleasant brick-walling, I change the volumes of particular stanzas by exporting to WAV, altering the volumes in Nero Wave Editor, and then importing back in.
This is because it’s practically impossible to change the volume of just a few seconds in Audacity without hearing a pop, even if the difference is only, say, 2.5. One can certainly try using Repair, but as Audacity doesn’t keep track of the points in time that have been altered, like NWE does, how does one even find the microseconds in question? The highlighted section certainly returns to being un-highlighted – for good – if anything else is done to the track, including merely clicking the cursor in another spot.
Reverb and/or delay (I hate the unnatural sound of dry vocals)
Combine and export as a WAV, and then import it back in as a single track and normalize the whole thing to -1?
Thanks very much for any suggestions regarding the above sequence. While I’m at it, I might as well add this little bonus question: If anyone can recommend a brand of headphones that offers trustworthy top AND bottom, I’d appreciate it. The only ones I’ve found that get good reviews from audiophiles run at about half my monthly rent…does anything somewhat affordable exist that anyone here likes?
Thanks for any input! As always, I really appreciate your time, guys.