Compression and Leveling?

One of the technical issues with recording karaoke is that everyone sings different and the levels need to be adjusted for every song/singer. Karaoke singers also tend to push the dynamic range of the recording so compression is often key to reducing potential clipping which results in distortion. Compression rounds off the clipping while also reducing the dynamic range to within the limits of the recording and adding some warmth to the lower end.

I also assume that many of you are listening to the recordings on your laptops, so I further boost the lower volumes a bit using leveling.

The combination of compression and leveling makes the overall volume of the track considerably louder, while reducing the peak volumes, so the tracks sound noticeably louder, but the quality differences are more subtle. Both processes reduce the actual quality of the sound a bit, but add to it as well. The trick is to add just enough to make it sound feel better without noticeably distorting it.

Here are 3 versions of the same recording where I added first compression and then leveling. This recording did not have a lot of clipping to start so it can be listened to with or without the effects. The question is what sounds better? Try opening all 3 in separate browser tabs and pausing them at the same spot in the recordings and comparing them. Let me know what you think of the differances on my Facebook fan page.

You Don’t Bring Flowers by Lambchop and Dwayne:
Raw recording
With Compression
With Leveling and Compression

Which version do you like better? Please tell me on my KJPaul Facebook Fan Page.

Hear more recordings at and

Recordings temporary location

I am currently putting all the new recordings is a directory called: (…/new/{yearmonth})

I am now trying to put the singer name and song title in the file name so people can identify them. Let me know if I put the wrong name of on the files.

Here is the back story:

The day I was leaving for Burning Man I got an urgent call from Scott, my sub, because he was having software issues. He was not able to pull up songs and there was a crowd waiting to sing! I could not help him over the phone so I rushed down to Deco.

It turned out that Just Karaoke failed in a major way. I could not fix the issue, so I had to download a new version of the software and reinstall it while everyone was waiting! In the heat of the moment I wound up corrupting the local backup of the database so I installed Just Karaoke fresh, without its history or any of my custom edits!

F#$%! All the data that was suppose to be there for the search functionality on was now gone and I have to retrieve it from my backup hard drive! To make matters worse, Scott needed to use the software in the mean while and I have to merge the two if I want to keep the old history!

That really puts a monkey wrench in my plans to create the search feature for my site, so for the time being your will need to retrieve your songs from the temporary directory structure:{yearmonth}

I will leave the songs I upload so people can link to them.

This also means that I can’t post any playlists until this is fixed.