Improving Voice

Hi all.
Got a song here:

Called Hold on inside

A friend of my daughter’s was nice enough to record the vocals yesterday.
Her voice lacks a bit of presence (somewhat tinny).

Have used the equalizer insert and clicked “e” for “equalizer” and selected “Female voice”, but still, no real improvement.

Any ideas?



First off you should probably avoid using EQ presets. When fixing problems using EQ it will be very specific to the audio you have not some generic settings in a preset. You should qoogle “how to use EQ” to get a better handle on how this works.

But for this specific issue you will want to determine what frequency is causing it to sound tinny and then reduce that frequency (FYI for fixing stuff with EQ you almost always want to cut the bad instead of trying to boosting the good).

To find the offending frequency enable one of the parametric EQ bands (they have a bell shaped curve) and set the Q to a high number like 8 or more. Q tells the EQ how far away from the center freq. (the one you set) other nearby frequencies will also be effected. For example if you set the center to 5k and have Q set high then frequencies like 4.9k and 5.1k will be effected but not say 4k. But as you lower the value of Q it will eventually start effecting 4k.

Now with the high-Q set, boost the gain for the EQ band by about 5-8dB. This will sound ugly. Now sweep the frequency around until you find the frequency that makes the tinny vocal sound the most tinny. This will be the offending frequency. While you do this you might find it useful to toggle the EQ band on & off to compare.

Now set the gain to cut that frequency (instead of boosting) starting at maybe -1dB. Finally you should fine tune how much gain to cut and how narrow or wide you want to set Q. This is a bit of an art so it can take awhile, especially if you haven’t done it much. But use your ears and A/B frequently with the EQ in and out. Also it is a good idea once you are done to set it aside and listen to it again after a few hours or the next day. What might sound good after working on it for 45 minutes might not sound so good when you hear it fresh the next day.

This is a rough cut and you’re going to retrack it?

Or it’s something you’re trying to restore?

I like her voice, she’s monitoring herself during tracking?

You could probably fix the pitch problems with melodyne type of program.

I would try different mic/preamp combinations to get the sound you’re looking for at the start.

You need to share more about how it was recorded - what mic, distance, environment? To me it sounds there’s too much room (reflections) in the recording, or the mic is too far away. Hard to fix, this one.

HI David,

It sounds like there is bits of feedback on the highs, were you using headphones to monitor or speakers?
Arjan is right, You’ll really need to re-record this, get her right up close on the mic, get your levels right and give her a cue mix in headphones.

Afterwards compress and eq to taste.