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I have a raw recording of a classical trio (piano, violin, and clarinet), with each instrument having its own track. The sound quality of the piano and violin are quite good even before editing, but the clarinet is very airy and the sound of e.g. tonguing comes through much more than I'd prefer.

What techniques could I use on this track to bring out a strong clarinet tone and dampen the airiness?

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Without hearing the recording, I'd say EQing is your best bet. The airiness is in the high-end. You'd want to boost the mid-range as well to bring out the tone.

Tip: Work with opposites...

If there is a sound you want to get rid of, increase that frequency so that it annoys you. Then turn it down. If there is a sound you want to boost, reduce that frequency till it disappears. Then turn it up.

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  • The EQing was key - what also helped was adding some light reverb, not enough to really notice, but just a bit on short delay to warm up the sound.
    – Greg
    Feb 5 '11 at 20:53
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    Good point. Some reverbs also allow you to adjust what frequency it responds to. With this, you can adjust it so that the high-end has no reverb but the mid-range does, possibly bringing out the tone even more.
    – d-_-b
    Feb 6 '11 at 1:17

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