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How to Fatten Up Your Vocals With Audacity

Updated April 17, 2017

Mixing engineers apply dynamics compression, equalisation and other effects in the post-production stage to improve the punchiness and clarity of vocal performances. Audacity is a free digital audio workstation for Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems that contains built-in compression and equalisation effects that can be used to improve vocal quality. In addition, Audacity allows users to duplicate and offset a single vocal performance to give the sound more body.

Open the audio file containing the vocal performance in Audacity.

Click "Effect" and select "Compressor." Adjust the settings on the "Compressor" control panel to bring the waveform's peaks and troughs closer together. This will create more consistent-sounding audio.

Click "Effect" and select "Equalization." Apply a high-pass filter to the track and set the frequency cut-off at 150Hz. This will enhance clarity by eliminating unusable low frequency rumble from the vocal track.

Click the track to highlight the audio, click "Edit" and select "Duplicate." Click and drag the duplicated audio to offset it from the original track. This will create the illusion of a layered or multitracked vocal performance and will give the vocals extra body.

Press "Play" on the transport bar to listen to the vocal performance.

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About the Author

Ryan Heiser began writing promotional materials for touring musicians in 2005. He is currently a live audio engineer and freelance technical writer specializing in digital audio applications and consumer electronics. Heiser graduated from West Virginia University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.