Best Audacity settings for Blue Snowball Microphone.

This is a short Audacity tutorial on how to “clean up” recordings that you’ve made with the Blue Snowball microphone.

A while back, when I was Googling for information on this topic, all I could find were long-winded Youtube videos. If you’re impatient like me, then you probably don’t want to sit through 7 minutes of a video just to apply a few filters.

Step 1: Record 5+ seconds of silence.

First of all: Before you begin to speak or sing, you should always make sure that you record at least 5+ seconds of silence with your Blue Snowball microphone. This “silence” will allow you to generate a profile of the background noise around you.

Step 2. Noise reduction.

Because it is likely that microphone picked up some background noises, we will need to remove these noises by using the Noise Reduction effect:

  1. Highlight the silence at the beginning of your recording.
  2. Go to the Effect menu at the top of Audacity.
  3. In the Noise Reduction screen, select the Noise Removal / Noise Reduction option.
  4. Click on Get Noise Profile.
  5. Once again, you will need to highlight your entire track. You can do this by double-clicking the track.
  6. Go back to the Effect menu and click on the Noise Removal / Noise Reduction option again.
  7. In the Noise Reduction screen, click on OK.
  8. Finally, you can delete the silence at the beginning of your track.

Read more: Removing background noises in Audacity.

Step 3. Normalize.

After removing our background noises, we will use the Normalize effect:

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Normalize option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Normalize screen, set the dB value to -1.0 and make sure that the checkbox beside Remove DC offset is ticked.
  4. Leave the checkbox beside Normalize stereo channels independently unticked.
  5. Finally, press the OK button.

Step 4. Compressor.

Once you’ve normalized the track, you will need to use the Compressor effect:

  1. As always, make sure that your Audacity track is completely highlighted.
  2. Select the Compressor option in the Effect menu.
  3. Do not change any of Audacity’s default Compressor settings unless you know what you are doing.
  4. Press OK.

In the past, I have had success changing the Threshold value to -18dB, so you might want to test that out.

Step 5. Equalization.

Now, let’s add some bass boost and treble boost to our recording:

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Equalization option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Select Curve dropdown menu at the bottom, choose Bass Boost.
  4. Press OK.
  5. Make sure that you highlight your track again.
  6. Select the Equalization option in the Effect menu again.
  7. This time, in the Select Curve dropdown menu, choose Treble Boost.
  8. Finally, press OK.

I’m using Audacity 3 and I don’t have the Equalization effect?

On newer versions of Audacity, the Equalization effect no longer exists. As a result, you will need to follow these steps.

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. After that, select Filter Curve EQ in the Effect menu.
  3. Once the menu is open, click on the Manage button in the bottom left-hand corner.
  4. Then, go down to the Factory Presets option and select Bass Boost.
  5. Press OK.
  6. After that, highlight your track again and then go back into the Filter Curve EQ menu.
  7. Once again, click on the Manage button.
  8. This time, select the Treble Boost option under Factory Presets.
  9. Finally, press OK and proceed to Step 6.

Step 6. Normalize again.

After applying the bass boost and treble boost, you will need to Normalize your track again. In order to do this, simply follow the exact same directions in Step 3.

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. After that, select the Normalize option in the Effect menu.
  3. In the Normalize screen, set the dB value to -1.0 and make sure that the checkbox beside Remove DC offset is ticked.
  4. Leave the checkbox beside Normalize stereo channels independently unticked.
  5. Finally, press OK.

Step 7. Limiter.

Finally, you can use Audacity’s Limiter effect to reduce limits that exceeds a certain threshold.

  1. Highlight your track.
  2. Select the Limiter option in the Effect menu. On some versions of Audacity, this effect may be called Hard Limit.
  3. Choose Hard Limit in the Type dropdown menu at the top.
  4. Set Input Gain (dB) mono / Left to 0.00
  5. Likewise, we set Input Gain (dB) Right channel to 0.00 as well.
  6. Limit to (dB) should be set to -4.00
  7. Hold (ms) should be set to 10.00
  8. Make sure that the dropdown menu for Apply Make-up Gain is set to No.
  9. Press OK.

After following the steps above, you should be left with a voice recording that sounds a lot more professional! Hopefully, you find this guide useful!