Make a recording sound like old vinyl record (for free) in Audacity

Audacity is truly an awesome tool for recording and sound editing. I have used it for a long time for recording video-voiceovers, mixing sound-bites etc. It is both quite advanced with editing capabilities and at the same time easy enough to use to give an end-user for recording.

Yesterday a friend asked me how to take a new recording and make it sound old. This was a bit of a challenge: there are plenty of tools that will let you record your vinyl-records and clean them with various filters, but easily adding the clicks and scratches noise of good old vinyl took some Google’ing.

I came upon a free vinyl simulation filter made by a company called Izotope. This filter is in the standard Virtual Studio Technology (VST) format, and can therefore be used in a number of audio applications.

Luckily Audacity has an extensible architecture, so it is possible to use filters in various formats, among them are VST which can be used via the Audacity VST enabler plugin.

So, here’s the shopping-list:

  1. register on the Izotope site
  2. download and install the Izotrope plugin
  3. get the registration code in the mail
  4. copy the “Izotrope Vinyl.DLL” file to the Audacity plugin-directory (you can also make path references, but this is the easy way)
  5. download the Audacity VST plugin as a zip file
  6. copy the vst-bridge.dll to the Audacity plugin-directory
  7. start up Audacity, enter the Izotrope registration details, and look in the “Effects” menu

You will have to play a bit with the various settings – to begin with try moving the “Dust” and “Wear” parameters all the way to the right.

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