This emindsca teaches you how to use Audacity to improve the audio quality of a song. Start with a high-quality recording, reduce background noise during mastering in Audacity, and set the final track’s audio quality when saving the track to ensure a high-quality product.
Part 1 General Tips
1. Begin by making high-quality recordings. As obvious as it may sound, making sure your recording is as high-quality as possible means you won’t have to edit it as much in Audacity. If you’re going to edit music, make sure it’s in MP3 format from a CD; if you’re going to record music, follow these guidelines:
Use high-quality recording equipment – A pop filter and a good microphone will help to ensure good recording quality.
Record in a good acoustic environment – Try to record in a small, insulated space. You can even convert a closet into a recording studio by removing the contents and lining the walls with acoustic foam.
Remove background noise by recording when air conditioners or other appliances are not in use. A good microphone will pick up any sound, so limit the number of sounds it can pick up.
2. Make sure to save your recordings in high quality. If you record with another programme or device before using Audacity, make sure to export or extract the audio track in the highest quality possible.
3. Stop converting audio until you’ve saved it in Audacity. You will lose some quality if you convert a WAV file to an MP3 file and then import it into Audacity; instead, wait until the final saving process to convert the file.
4. When listening to the track, wear headphones. Even good speakers can deceive you, so use headphones to pick up minor flaws or background noise.
5. Change Audacity’s default quality settings. To do so:
Click Edit (Windows) or Audacity (Mac)
Click Preferences… in the drop-down menu.
Click the Quality tab.
Click the “Default Sample Rate” drop-down box, then click 48000 Hz
Click the “Sample Rate Converter” drop-down box, then click Best Quality (Slowest)
Click OK (Windows only).
Part 2 Removing Background Noise
1. Open Audacity. It’s an icon resembling an orange sound wave in the middle of a blue pair of headphones.
2. Import a track. Click File, click Open…, select your audio track, and click Open to import it into Audacity.
It may take several seconds to several minutes to import your track.
3. Choose a segment of the track. Drag your mouse across some background noise for a few seconds. If possible, find sections with only background noise.
4. The Click Effect. This tab is located at the top of the Audacity window (Windows) or the screen (Mac). This brings up a drop-down menu.
5. Click Noise Reduction…. It’s near the middle of the Effect drop-down menu.
6. Click Get Noise Profile. This button is at the top of the window. This will help Audacity determine what is background noise and what isn’t.
7. Select the section of track that you want to clean up. You can also click the track and then press either Ctrl+A (Windows) or ⌘ Command+A (Mac) to select the whole track.
8. Re-open the Noise Reduction menu. Click Effect and then click Noise Reduction….
9. Click OK. It’s at the bottom of the window. This will remove the background noise from the selected section of track.
10. If the background noise persists, repeat the process. If there is still significant background noise, repeat the noise removal process. You may have to repeat this process several times.
By swiping the “Noise reduction” slider to the right, you can increase the amount of background noise removed.
Part 3 Removing Clipping
1. Listen for clipping. Clipping is typically characterized by rough, grating, and/or distorted playback.
2. Find an example of clipping. Clipping appears to be higher-than-normal peaks of sound activity in the Audacity window. If you notice a section that is noticeably louder than the rest of the track, it is most likely clipping.
3. Select the peak. Click and drag your mouse across the peak to select it.
4. Click Effect. A drop-down menu will appear.
5. Click Amplify…. This is near the top of the Effect drop-down menu.
6. Drag the slider to the left by clicking and dragging it. The “Amplify” slider is in the centre of the window; dragging it to the left lowers the volume of the selected section, which lowers the clipping.
Don’t overdo it with this step. You should only need to move the slider a few decibels to the left.
7. Click Preview. It’s on the left side of the Amplify window. This will allow you to listen to the selected section with your settings applied.
8. Keep an ear out for a lack of clipping. You’re good to go if the section no longer clips; however, make sure it’s not too quiet in comparison to the rest of the track.
If there is still clipping, lower the volume even more.
9. Click OK. It’s at the bottom of the window. Doing so saves the changes and applies them to the track.
You can repeat this process for other instances of clipping throughout the track.
Part 4 Saving in High Quality
1. Click File. It’s in the top-left corner of the Audacity window (Windows) or the upper-left side of the screen (Mac). A drop-down menu will appear.
2. Click Export Audio…. This option is about halfway down the drop-down menu. Doing so will open a new window. If you receive an error about the “LAME encoder”, first do the following:
- Windows – Go to https://lame.buanzo.org/#lamewindl and click the Lame v3.99.3 for Windows.exe link. Double-click the setup file, click Yes when prompted, and follow the on-screen steps.
- Mac – Go to https://lame.buanzo.org/#lameosxdl and click the Lame Library v3.99.5 for Audacity on macOS.dmg link. Double-click the DMG file, then verify and install LAME.
3. Enter a file name. Type a name for your finished file into the “Name” field.
4. Click the “Save as type” drop-down box. This is in the middle of the page. A drop-down menu will appear.
5. Click MP3. Selecting the MP3 option makes your song playable on nearly any platform.
6. Click the “Quality” drop-down box. You’ll find this near the bottom of the window. A drop-down menu will appear.
7. Select a quality level. Click either Extreme or Insane in the drop-down menu. This will make the track’s quality much higher than average.
8. Choose a save location. On the far left side of the window, select one of the folders. On a Mac, you may need to first select the folder by clicking the “Where” drop-down box.
9. Save the file. It’s in the lower-right corner of the window. This will save your project as an MP3 file and export it in the highest quality possible.
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