How To Make Your Audio Sound Better

If you record your voice or use a microphone, there are polishing tasks needed to make it better. In this tutorial, we'll explore how to use make your audio sound better using Adobe Audition.

You will learn how to remove background noise, compress the audio, applying favorite and optimizing extreme peaks.

Preparing Your Audio File

Please load up an audio file of your choice and selects a few seconds of background noise to reduce.

Steps To Follow

Light noise reduction initially 

  1. Normalize the audio to boost the levels
  2. Light noise reduction again (if needed)
  3. Compress the audio to flatten out peaks and control the quiet bits
  4. Equalize
  5. Normalize again (if needed)
  6. Apply a hard limiter to control overall levels

Recording a Favorite

Before applying effects to the audio clip. First create a favorite. A favorite is a saved set of effects that you can apply to audio clips with a single keyboard shortcut. Time saving!

Reducing Background Noise

Inside Adobe Audition

Effects > Noise Reduction > Capture Noise Print

  1. Please select the background noise
  2. Captures a noise print
  3. Selects all the audio
  4. Applies noise reduction. 
  5. Please set the noise reduction to 50% for a subtle effect and reduces by 10 dBs. 

Note: Be careful not to destroy the audio when reducing noise.

Normalizing the Audio

Now, let's normalize the audio to boost the levels.

Effects > Amplitude and Compression > Normalize

For Online web content - Set the audio levels to -6 decibels (dBs)

For broadcast TV - between -6 and -12 dBs

Compressing the Audio

Compress the audio using the single-band compressor in Adobe Audition.

Go to Effects > Amplitude and Compression > Single Band Compressor

Targets all the audio above the -12 dB mark and sets a ratio of 4:1

This means that any audio above the negative 12 dB mark will end up being 1/4 or a quarter of its original volume.

The main point of audio compression is to flatten out the peaks and makes the quieter stuff sound like it's boosted a little.

Equalizing the Audio

Now, let's equalize the audio using the parametric equalizer. 

Go to Effects > Filter and EQ > Parametric Equalizer

  1. Pick the loudness maximizer preset and boosts the deeper tones and treble.
  2. Reduces the mid-levels a little and creates a little bit of a flat v-shape

Beware of adding any painful snapping, crispy, crackling sound

Applying the Favorite

After applying the effects to the audio clip. Now use the favorite that we just created at the start of the tutorial.

Simply just apply the effects to the clip with a single keyboard shortcut.

Optimize Extreme Peaks

Extreme peaks can prevent the first normalizer from boosting everything as much as you would like.

If extreme peaks exist, try applying some dynamics processing and limit the audio using something like the broadcast limiter.

This will trim off the massive peak and allow you to normalize everything in a way that will actually boost audio levels uniformly