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How to improve sound quality?

By JC_SE ยท 11 replies
Oct 7, 2006
  1. How to improve the sound quality on mp3's and wave files the best way?
    I've been trying to fix some audio clips in Audacity and WavePad many
    times but it just get worse. I give up. I think there should be a quick
    solution with the best settings already :)

    Sorry but I cannot find a similar post. Please link to it if you know
    and I'll change the thread to something else that I cannot find. :unch:
  2. Spaltazar

    Spaltazar TS Rookie

    Buy a better soundcard? ;)
    There's a lot of sound-tweaking programs out there, but the true difference you hear when hw gets replaced. Been messing around a bit with the same thing and just gave up eventually.
  3. JC_SE

    JC_SE TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Audigy 2

    I've bought two Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS cards.
    It's 16 bit and of course there was a better version (24 bit I think)
    in the stores just a little while later. I'm not sure if the new version
    will improve the sound quality as they say but maybe I should try
    it someday.

    I still don't think a new soundcard will remove all kind of noices.

    Edited by Moderator: Removed quote. There`s no need to quote the post directly above your own. ;)
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    Your sound cards are fine. Its how you made the recording/sample in the first place that determines the outcome of the final audio file. And hardware including cables start to count especialy if you're recording from an extrnal source (tape deck, cd player, etc)

    What in particular are you trying to "fix"? the speed/tempo, cut/edits, noise etc?
  5. JC_SE

    JC_SE TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32


    It's personal recordings with microphone and I want to reduce the
    disturbance first of all, like DOLBY but still the treble should be good.
    I'm not an expert but I've tried many different plugins and settings
    in Audacity and WavePad without success.

    The new sound card I'm thinking about is Creative SB X-Fi XtremeMusic PCI, Retail

    Edited by Moderator: Removed quote. There`s no need to quote the post directly above your own. ;)
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    the X-Fi is a very good consumer/amature recording level card, and should fit your purpose nicely..

    so your original sound source is from a microphone.. recorded live or from another device? what type/brand/model microphone is it?

    Can you send a sample of the 'disturbance' (few seconds if you want..) onto a .zip and post it next?

    So many questions :D hehe
  7. JC_SE

    JC_SE TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32


    consumer/amature? OMG. I want the best even I'm not a pro!
    Is there any post about the best sound card?

    I don't remember which microphone since I have many old recordings made
    with different mics. It was some cheap mics. The sound is still quite good
    except there's noice from start to the end. I cannot send a sample but I
    think you know what I mean, it's a common noice in home recordings.
    The best "free" program for reducing the noice seems to be WavePad
    but it's still hard. I just get new strange disturbances and more noice
    on the original sound :eek: LOL Never mind. I thought there maybe was
    a better solution I didn't know about. ​

    Edited by Moderator: Removed quote. There`s no need to quote the post directly above your own. ;)
  8. JC_SE

    JC_SE TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    best sound card today?

    Which sound card is the best nowadays? :)

    Creative have different cards and some like X-Fi XtremeGamer
    and X-Fi Xtreme Audio is smaller :confused:

    Actually I don't use surround. Only stereo, 2 channels. But I still want very
    good sound quality and all different systems makes it harder to choose.
    I don't think I want a bigger sound card with console and remote control
    again because the ZS Platinium stuff I got the last time was expencive
    but it's still plastic, look cheap and are quite bad! Also it's 16-bit only...

    Also I need something that keeps the volume down because I've
    got a serious tinnitus! :dead:
  9. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    X-fi's have been reported to be much more better quality than the old audigy by most people, although i haven't been able to get my hands on one of them yet.. between the gamer and the normal one as linked, there is not much difference, but the gamer one has ASIO support, which is good if you wish to record using it.

    i refer to the x-fi and mainstream cards like that as 'consumer' because its not the normal card for people who are serious about recording uses (not that there's anything wrong with it, there's just better ones out there for the job), and likewise pro audio cards aren't usually associated for uses like, say, all day gaming and movies (and like before, not because it can't (think game studios, movie productions need to use them all day for their projects), just that you've probably busted your savings on it and rather make some use out of its designed potential) the best sound card.. is debatable and alot depends on how much you want to spend, while some are hard to acquire even by going to some music (instruments) shop... although i can recommend a few good brands..

    volume is determined mostly by you.. you have to remember to turn it down :D hehe..

    There is a couple of rules you should remember:
    - most soundcards are sufficient for playback, but what determines audio quality is four factors:
    the source, the medium (cables etc), conversion quality (digital<>analogue, etc), and the equipment used (ie speakers, headphones etc)
    - most soundcards are adequate for recording, and the same factors above applies, but in reverse, so therefore >
    - you can take quality away from the audio file, but you can't add more quality to it, only try and make it better.

    To answer your original question of this thread, you can't create good sounding audio from crap source by magic, there are too many factors to consider on the cause of the noise. There is however methods of reducing the noise or 'fixing' the audio, and most of them are by trail and error, and for those who have exceptionally good hearing still take from experience, others by knowing a bit about playing music and music theory.

    Try these:
    - If the noise is constant beat (like a tempo beat - *...*...*...*... etc) you can try using the noise sampler in audacity and sample one cycle and see if it takes it out.
    - try eq'ing it out by using the hi and low pass filters, eq graphs etc. If you can amplify what makes the noise worse, then the logical thing is to take it out by cutting it at that frequency.
  10. JC_SE

    JC_SE TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    too late

    Thanks for your tips! I think we already talked about the volume in another
    thread but it's what conserns me the most right now. I've got a serious
    tinnitus maybe thanks to bad audio and video files that is recorded all to
    loud and where it doesn't help to decrease the sound! Such files should be
    illegal!! All audio and video files should fade in because the volume is so
    very different on each file. One cannot always remember to decrease the
    sound and kids doesn't care... I'm 43 yr and I got tinnitus when I was 21.
    Last year it got much worse probably thanks to acoustic shock especially
    when using a headset while playing games, movies etc. (I haven't found
    a good webpage about acoustic shock however)

    First of all, a good sound card, or the software, should be able to remove the
    most dangerous parts of any sound while it's running! That would be great!
    Unfortunately it's too late in my case. I don't need any sound card anylonger
    because it's NEVER quiet anyway! The noice are "built-in" inside my head
    forever and I wish that I was deaf instead!! :dead:

    Also it have happend many times the volume is 100% even I know it was only
    5% just a while ago! Is it because of bad hardware or software? I still have
    to watch out, my tt might be worse even it's hard to believe it's possible...

    Please listen to my warning and be careful.

    Wikipedia - Tinnitus

    Famous People with Tinnitus


    This should be known all over the world!

  11. Senaro

    Senaro TS Rookie

    Try to improve or equalize the sound quality on mp3's and wave file with Mp3 editing software like FlexiMusic Wave Editor.
  12. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    yeh i know what tinnitus is... had to learn it as part of my course in music.. although better known late than never i say..

    Eq helps with sometimes, depending on the sort of noise it is, and whether you can find the sweetspot or trade off when boosting or cutting frequencies.

    If you're serious about not getting shocked by loud sudden noises, hook a compressor between your sound card (pre-amp stage) and the speakers.. something like these:


    After all, thats what they're mostly designed for...
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