Using Audacity for Tone Adjustment

 & Stereo Balancing


1. The original field recording has promise but you notice that the right side is much louder and has more bass than the left side:


Listen to Original Recording


Opening the file in Audacity you can see this too:





2. To adjust the tone on just the right channel, first, click on the down arrow nest to the file name and select “Split Stereo Tracks.”




3. Select just the bottom (right) track with the selector tool (darkened is selected):



4.  Under Effect, select, Equalization:




5. In the “Equalization” window that opens, click-draw a “curve” starting at 300Hz that “drops-off” towards the left. This causes the volume from 300 Hz down to become increasingly lower.  You can “preview” the results before you change the file. If a curve sounds wrong, click “Flat,” and try drawing another one. Click “OK” when you like the way it sounds.  [Note that you can also create tone changes like boosting the treble of a recording by drawing a curve the goes above the middle line at the right side of the frequency scale.]





After it is equalized, the right (lower) channel looks thinner because the louder, low frequencies have been lowerd by the EQ curve:





6. The tone between the channels is more closely matched, but the Right side is still a bit louder. To shift the balance to make the left channel louder, drag the button in the middle of the “L . . . . . .R” scale towards the left until the volume is matches on both channels. IN this case I used 20% Left (20% louder on the left).




7. To export the new version, selected both tracks and select File-> Export Selection as usual. 


8. Here’s what the changes sound like: 



Listen to Right Channel Equalized and Balanced Recording



Listen to Original Recording




R. Danielson 2007.07