• AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
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AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
on: April 17, 2019, 21:39:03
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 10:24:38 by MrBouzouki »
Hi kitcheneers and @Kellyanneg  - this is opening a new thread on Audacity.
Just a few reading tips
https://flossmanuals.net/pub/audacity-en-2018.02.pdf

and a place to ask & give audacity related tips & tweaks.
Audacity is very easy to use freeware audio editor software, ideal for songwriters who like to do a sketch or an agile edit.
recommending https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Music_Works "How music works", book by David Byrne.


Re: Audacity
Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 21:43:46
@oorlab Excellent!!! Thank you so kindly.  :thumbsup:
Do what makes your heart sing :)


Re: Audacity
Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 18:56:44
@oorlab (or anyone!) hello! Well eventually I will be studying a different DAW, but in the meantime I'm still working on a song, and kind of feel like I'll have the same problems with a different DAW being that I don't know the purpose of each effect, and how to recognize what effect is needed. So, I need to break this down. Would you mind if I asked, with a lead vocal track in front of you, what would you listen for? What's the first thing you do? This is one of a million, I just needed to start somewhere!


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Re: Audacity
Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 23:26:39
@Kellyanneg  - first I would mute the parts in the track where there is no signal, or delete those parts alltogether. Then you might try a little bit reverb, a touch of EQ (typically for vocals lower the lower frequencies) and may be add some  compression. In most DAW's you can do that on the fly and hear immediately what is the effect on what you hear. IN Audacity you apply the effect and then listen if you like it.



Re: Audacity
Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 12:12:44
@oorlab thank you  :D


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Re: AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
Reply #5 on: June 21, 2019, 10:26:41
Thanks for starting this thread @oorlab ... I've changed the initial title slightly and made it sticky so feel free to put all your Audacity specific posts in here.

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Re: Audacity
Reply #6 on: July 05, 2019, 06:51:01
@Kellyanneg  - first I would mute the parts in the track where there is no signal, or delete those parts alltogether. Then you might try a little bit reverb, a touch of EQ (typically for vocals lower the lower frequencies) and may be add some  compression. In most DAW's you can do that on the fly and hear immediately what is the effect on what you hear. IN Audacity you apply the effect and then listen if you like it.

All good suggestions... you might also try a Hass Effect. Duplicate the the vocal track and shift one track ever so slightly in time. Try for a shift that is so slight that you hear the difference, but itís not obvious that itís time shifted.

Also... although it is a good idea to delete the ambient room sound in the big gaps between lines, try adding gain to accentuate that breath taken just before the next line... and fade at the end of the line... not just a hard delete. This cleans up the vocals but also adds a bit of life.


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Re: Audacity
Reply #7 on: July 05, 2019, 15:45:14
All good suggestions... you might also try a Hass Effect. Duplicate the the vocal track and shift one track ever so slightly in time. Try for a shift that is so slight that you hear the difference, but itís not obvious that itís time shifted.

Also... although it is a good idea to delete the ambient room sound in the big gaps between lines, try adding gain to accentuate that breath taken just before the next line... and fade at the end of the line... not just a hard delete. This cleans up the vocals but also adds a bit of life.

Those are great tips no matter which DAW you are using.

I use a version of the Haas effect on all of my lead vocals. My main vocal track is always a stereo mix of three mono tracks

Left - 5 ms delay at 15% wet, panned at around 35 left.
Right - 9 ms delay at 15 % wet, panned at around 35 right.
Center - no delay

I usually do the same thing with my acoustic guitar but with full wide panning.

How we edit our breaths can make a big difference in how natural our vocals sound.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

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Re: AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
Reply #8 on: July 06, 2019, 13:54:04
Ok so here's another question...
When singing the vocals, it sounds fine, but when I play it back is when it sounds as "tinny" and dry as you can imagine. Horrible. I also feel like I'm overcompensating, being that I'm not used to singing dry, and it feels so unnatural, it really takes away that feeling of the song for me. The instrumental parts are fine. I think it's my voice. I constantly clip. I've tried compression, clip fix etc. And that book I told you about a while ago is useless! Much more info on line. And equalization is talked about quite a bit, but I just don't understand what I'm doing.  :no:


Re: AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
Reply #9 on: July 06, 2019, 16:42:34
Ok so here's another question...
When singing the vocals, it sounds fine, but when I play it back is when it sounds as "tinny" and dry as you can imagine. Horrible. I also feel like I'm overcompensating, being that I'm not used to singing dry, and it feels so unnatural, it really takes away that feeling of the song for me. The instrumental parts are fine. I think it's my voice. I constantly clip. I've tried compression, clip fix etc. And that book I told you about a while ago is useless! Much more info on line. And equalization is talked about quite a bit, but I just don't understand what I'm doing.  :no:
I wish I could be more help with us @Kellyanneg  .... but I know with my wife as my lead vocalist getting the vocals right is a big deal so I feel your pain.  ;)
You've probably posted this somewhere but I can't seem to recall. What are you using for a vocal mic and what are you using for an interface?
When I listen back to old recordings we got serious "tin" in our sound. I know for Melissa now that we have the mic that "sounds like her"  (that's a big deal if it actually sounds like you as a singer!!!) she doesn't even want to try anything else. That's her sound. At this stage finding the interface and mic combination will be the main search I'd say.
Point being - the sound is more likely happening in the recording not in audacity.
- Bill
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


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Re: AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
Reply #10 on: July 06, 2019, 20:46:31
Ok so here's another question...
When singing the vocals, it sounds fine, but when I play it back is when it sounds as "tinny" and dry as you can imagine.

I'm listening right now to "Cryin' For You". What a great song! You have a fantastic voice.....strong...powerful, really. If you are clipping...and I can see how that could happen.....track much softer. You don't need a lot of gain when tracking in this wonderful DAW universe.  You could be going in at -25 RMS (average) and then bring it up carefully.

Point being - the sound is more likely happening in the recording not in audacity.

Bill's got that right. With a voice like yours you want to capture all of it and then trim a few transients carefully before you even start compressing.

Does Audacity offer clip gain automation?


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Re: AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
Reply #11 on: July 07, 2019, 13:08:12
@Leonard Scaper  "Does Audacity offer clip gain automation?" you can draw enevlopes, but it is not realy an automated clipping or limiting of the gain. That could be a function of the audiointerface.

@Kellyanneg  If you look at at the spectrum you can see where it is tinny or not. May be this clip is helpful :



Re: AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
Reply #12 on: July 07, 2019, 17:38:35
@Bill from November Sound yes I know what your wife means! My son gave me a shur58 for christmas and I love it. As of now, my husband hooked up my mixer to my computer. @Layerson gave me some great suggestions a while back for interface packages and such, and also explained my mixer isn't meant for that, so yes it's rigged. We just can't purchase in this department right now. So I think you're right saying it's not Audacity that's the problem. My keyboard records great. The vocals sound horrible. Is it a combination of me/my voice and my set up?Thank you for your response...very much appreciated! @Leonard Scaper thank you for the listen and your kind words about my song! Yes I get loud! Lol. I can't help it. Ive backed away from the mic, sang to the side of it (sounds better) and red red red. When you say "track softly", what do you mean? @oorlab I will definitely watch that video today. I didnt know you can visually see where it is tinny. Thank you so much! The audacity I have downloaded is free, and I believe it's the original version. So, yes I think Bill is right...it's the recording, not the software.  Should I just give this up until I get the appropriate set up? You guys are great, as always, and I am grateful for the support.


Re: AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
Reply #13 on: July 07, 2019, 17:45:31
Also, the recordings on my soundcloud page are done with my phone sitting on top of my keyboard, not audacity. I like the way the mic sounds. It just plays back completely different when I try using Audacity. I have tried recording dry, and also with reverb, no change in the tinny sound. It's bad! Ear- piercing bad in the loud parts.


Re: AUDACITY - Tips and Tricks
Reply #14 on: July 07, 2019, 18:17:35
Hi @Kellyanneg  .... you shouldn't give up anything just realize that you don't really sound like that. Consider this part of your learning and it can be what it is. I used to plug the mixer into the computer too ... it made tinny recordings but I learned a lot.

Look for a deal on a scarlet interface or an m-track or something ... right now for less than 200 they come with a better microphone and recording software like protools or something. ( You're in the USA right?) This equipment really will make a difference and if you can can use audacity ( which I find quite difficult to use) you'll be able to rock it with a better DAW! :)

So, yeah, while you're saving up some money for this keep recording and messing with audacity, playing with mic positioning and try learning how to do some EQ work. You might be able to find where that "tinny" frequency is with the EQ and improve what you are currently making.

However - What you're describing as ear piercing is probably due to the limitations of your computer's sound card ( likely comb filtering - but don't worry about the terminology - yet) when you plug in an interface such as an M-track or Scarlett it becomes your sound card. This new soundcard is specifically designed to record music and play music simultaneously. 

A work around while you're saving up could be to:
1. record keys directly into audacity.
2. play back on headphones while singing directly into your phone
3. send the recorded voice audio file to yourself and import it into audacity
4. mix the two together and make it awesome

----   I've never tried this .... but it seems like it could work.   :)



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