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hi folks,

in windows sound recorder in xp, there was some echo you could add to the recording. they took away that feature in windows 7.

can you recommend some settings on audacity to give my recordings just a little effect?

i.e. a touch of echo, or whatever?

appreciated. bob

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personally, I think all the effects, including echo, suck in audacity. I duplicate the track and move it a few pixels and lower the volume until Im satisified, seems to distort less than the audacity effect and also gives me easier and faster control of the effect.

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I do not use Audacity personally (I stick with Cubase SX), but if it works similar then you can probably install plugins. There are free reverb plugins out there, I've been using a plug called Glaceverb occasionally, and there are tons of other effect plugins you can check out.

http://www.kvraudio.com/get/1566.html (I think this is where I downloaded Glaceverb, was a few years ago though so I don't really remember)

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I use audacity and you can get plug-ins for it. The freeware version I have has echo in it. What I have been using, Bob, is .5 and .15, respectively on time and factor. This is a slight echo. I slightly longer factor gives a little more prominence on the repeated sound. But, bear in mind that I am a recording idiot and I just fumble around and sometimes get something good, often, not. That is why some of my recent recordings were mixed by Mike, i.e., someone who knows what he is doing. Another thing I have heard from Mike and read about else where is notching the the eq on the backing track. For example, if the predominance of the vocal melody is around 3k (approx middle of the tenor range), then you want to lower the eq values around that freq for the backing track. On the vocal track, you could either leave it be or slightly raise the values at and around that freq.

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One drawback in Audacity is that the effects are not adjustable in real time. Many of the premium mixing softwares allow you to adjust values on effects while the track is playing, i.e., in real time. With Audacity, you have to set your parameters and then click on ok and hope for the best. If it's not right, you have to go to edit and click on "undo (effect)".

But patching vocals is relatively easy. Let's say that you started out great and botched things on the second stanza of lyrics. That's fine. Pick a good spot before the bad spot and using the selection tool, highlight from that point on and then delete.

Go back and highlight that edit point and then press record and Audacity automatically starts a new track at that point and you can pick up where you left off. To consolidate the vocals to one track, you can collapse the backing track. This leaves only the vocal tracks. Export to mp3 or whatever you wish and it will save as one track. Then, collapse the editor or start a new one, re-open the backing track and import the vocal track. Voila, backing track and a solid vocal track.

One thing I have learned while reading up and watching tutorials on home recording is that, and this is what Mike has said and I more fully appreciate it, the trick to eq is not in boosting wanted parts but in cutting unwanted parts. For example, for any track that is not a bass instrument, you can high pass filter at 150 hz. This rolls off anything below that freq. For human voices, especially ours, presence should be somewhere between 2 kHz and 4 kHz. Adjusting 5 to 8 kHz will adjust sylibance and sharpness. Too much makes it sound hissy.

Proper compression depends on the genre of music and controls dynamics, such as volume swells and dips. Lower ratio allows more range, higher ratio allows less range. Threshhold allows at what volume compression begins. In some sources, it is said that compression should happen before eq so that all freqs are present to be adjusted. And this gets into the processing chain. What effect is used and in what order. I have noticed that echo can affect the tonal quality. Pre-delay on reverb can actually affect timing on the playback, cause the vocals to sound horribly late. I kind of stay away from reverb. As Matt said, you can do it like he does, (which is essentially old school) and duplicate the track and adjust the duped track a few micro seconds later than the the original and lower the volume of the second track. I believe this is how studios 40 years ago created tape delay effects. They simply had two recorders going and in mixing, delayed the second playback to give the "echo" feeling, which is actually a nearly identical effect to natural echo in a space. So, it might help to do echo before eq so that you can adjust some freqs that got to shiny after echo.

The other thing is how to eq voice and this is a mistake I made with "Highway to Hell." I did the right thing, at first. Which is to notch down 2k to 4k on the backing track. I should have left the vocal levels at 2k to 4k where they were originally. Instead, I humped them (raised the values). This can induce clipping and lead to a can-like quality, level distortion, etc. As Mike said, in eq, less is more. It seems counterintuitive but a well mixed vocal doesn't need all the freq presence you think it does. What makes the vocals prominent, yet balanced, is what you take away from other tracks.

Which brings me to another point. Some of us are at a disadvantage in that we use backing tracks. It is a single stereo or mono track where the entire accompaniment has been adjusted and mastered. So, you can't just cut 2 to 4 k on the guitar. You are cutting it on the entire track. This is a bit like painting the Mona Lisa with a roller brush that you would use to paint a room. As opposed to Geno, who I think is recording separate instruments and adjusts each track for it's values and mix the whole thing together like a pro studio. The other option we could have, which would cost, is to get files for a song wherein the separate instruments are on separate tracks and then you could adjust everything individually to match the unique voice of any certain singer.

The other advantage of professional mixing software is that you can adjust levels for an instrument at different points in the same track. At time click 3:00, f. ex., you could dip the guitar during a vocal run and then bring the guitar back up for it's solo. Not so with Audacity, at least as much as I can make it work. Whatever level you set, that is it for the whole track, start to finish. So, for example, on HTH, I have the right presence on the stanzas and get mashed in during the chorus, even though I am singing at the same volume.

I know all this should have probably been in the recording section but I figured you would look here for replies to your question, and maybe other ones that you had.

And, again, I'm 1st grader when it comes to recording and mixing but "inch by inch, step by step, slowly I" learn.

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One drawback in Audacity is that the effects are not adjustable in real time. Many of the premium mixing softwares allow you to adjust values on effects while the track is playing, i.e., in real time. With Audacity, you have to set your parameters and then click on ok and hope for the best. If it's not right, you have to go to edit and click on "undo (effect)".

But patching vocals is relatively easy. Let's say that you started out great and botched things on the second stanza of lyrics. That's fine. Pick a good spot before the bad spot and using the selection tool, highlight from that point on and then delete.

Go back and highlight that edit point and then press record and Audacity automatically starts a new track at that point and you can pick up where you left off. To consolidate the vocals to one track, you can collapse the backing track. This leaves only the vocal tracks. Export to mp3 or whatever you wish and it will save as one track. Then, collapse the editor or start a new one, re-open the backing track and import the vocal track. Voila, backing track and a solid vocal track.

One thing I have learned while reading up and watching tutorials on home recording is that, and this is what Mike has said and I more fully appreciate it, the trick to eq is not in boosting wanted parts but in cutting unwanted parts. For example, for any track that is not a bass instrument, you can high pass filter at 150 hz. This rolls off anything below that freq. For human voices, especially ours, presence should be somewhere between 2 kHz and 4 kHz. Adjusting 5 to 8 kHz will adjust sylibance and sharpness. Too much makes it sound hissy.

Proper compression depends on the genre of music and controls dynamics, such as volume swells and dips. Lower ratio allows more range, higher ratio allows less range. Threshhold allows at what volume compression begins. In some sources, it is said that compression should happen before eq so that all freqs are present to be adjusted. And this gets into the processing chain. What effect is used and in what order. I have noticed that echo can affect the tonal quality. Pre-delay on reverb can actually affect timing on the playback, cause the vocals to sound horribly late. I kind of stay away from reverb. As Matt said, you can do it like he does, (which is essentially old school) and duplicate the track and adjust the duped track a few micro seconds later than the the original and lower the volume of the second track. I believe this is how studios 40 years ago created tape delay effects. They simply had two recorders going and in mixing, delayed the second playback to give the "echo" feeling, which is actually a nearly identical effect to natural echo in a space. So, it might help to do echo before eq so that you can adjust some freqs that got to shiny after echo.

The other thing is how to eq voice and this is a mistake I made with "Highway to Hell." I did the right thing, at first. Which is to notch down 2k to 4k on the backing track. I should have left the vocal levels at 2k to 4k where they were originally. Instead, I humped them (raised the values). This can induce clipping and lead to a can-like quality, level distortion, etc. As Mike said, in eq, less is more. It seems counterintuitive but a well mixed vocal doesn't need all the freq presence you think it does. What makes the vocals prominent, yet balanced, is what you take away from other tracks.

Which brings me to another point. Some of us are at a disadvantage in that we use backing tracks. It is a single stereo or mono track where the entire accompaniment has been adjusted and mastered. So, you can't just cut 2 to 4 k on the guitar. You are cutting it on the entire track. This is a bit like painting the Mona Lisa with a roller brush that you would use to paint a room. As opposed to Geno, who I think is recording separate instruments and adjusts each track for it's values and mix the whole thing together like a pro studio. The other option we could have, which would cost, is to get files for a song wherein the separate instruments are on separate tracks and then you could adjust everything individually to match the unique voice of any certain singer.

The other advantage of professional mixing software is that you can adjust levels for an instrument at different points in the same track. At time click 3:00, f. ex., you could dip the guitar during a vocal run and then bring the guitar back up for it's solo. Not so with Audacity, at least as much as I can make it work. Whatever level you set, that is it for the whole track, start to finish. So, for example, on HTH, I have the right presence on the stanzas and get mashed in during the chorus, even though I am singing at the same volume.

I know all this should have probably been in the recording section but I figured you would look here for replies to your question, and maybe other ones that you had.

And, again, I'm 1st grader when it comes to recording and mixing but "inch by inch, step by step, slowly I" learn.

much thanks ronnie, apprecaite it buddy.

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I feel we are sometimes in the same boat. We sing with our guts and are both in the process of learning so much. And I too appreciate the kernels of wisdom you find or reason for yourself and share with us. I think you are me in about 10 years.

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