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Old June 24th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #1
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Is Ambient audio rescueable/correctable?

Last Sat Night I shot a program in a partially open air pavilion up front & fairly close to the platform/stage.

Unfortunately I had no direct hook-up to the audio mixer as I was stationed a considerable distance away.

So, the onboard mic it was.

The direct/engineered audio recording of that event by others failed which I had counted on being able to obtain in order to AV sync.

So now, I have ambient audio which needs help.

Are there any options for taking the ambience out to a certain extent and try to recover towards having a more direct sound from the presenter?

Hopefully, any solution would not butcher the audio quality in the course of processing.

Looking for helpful replies and thank you.

Ever happen to you?
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Old June 24th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #2
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Ambient on-camera audio can certainly be improved- sometimes dramatically- with proper application of filters, tweaks, compression, etc. in Audition (and probably Soundbooth as well).
Someone knowledgable can analyse the problems with the ambient sound and make corrections with the audio software.
Needless to say, it will likely never be as good as professional direct recording from the sound board, but could end up good enough to get by with. I've done it often enough.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 03:29 AM   #3
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Sadly, nobody has invented a gadget that removes ambience or reverb. As mentioned above, filtering and processing can improve intelligibility, but at the expense of audio quality. SO the result often ends up sounding like a phone - no LF, no HF, just a narrow bit in the middle.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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I am just finishing a documentaryin which I had HUGE problems with extraneous noises, such as AC, traffic, elevators, etc etc . . . I purchased IZOTOPE software for $350, and it virtually eliminated all unwanted noise. My audio track is now crystal clear, and without unwanted noises. I highly receommend it.
iZotope RX - Complete Audio Restoration: Declipping, Declicker, Hum Removal, Denoiser, Spectral Repair, Restore, Remaster, Download
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Old June 27th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Sadly, nobody has invented a gadget that removes ambience or reverb. As mentioned above, filtering and processing can improve intelligibility, but at the expense of audio quality. SO the result often ends up sounding like a phone - no LF, no HF, just a narrow bit in the middle.
Very true.
However, it's not clear to me if Bruce is objecting to true "ambience"-i.e. room/hall ambience, or simply the poor quality of "ambient" sound captured on camera.
If it's the latter, it probably can be improved with audio editing software.
I've also had good results with noise removal (fans, cellphones, etc) with the Adobe audio products.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 07:36 PM   #6
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Gents,

I've appreciated your response and thoughtful input thus far.

My goal was to especially take out the reverb, room ambience, audience noises and the like.

Since I was shooting someone giving a major speech, the audio track should be clear, intelligeable, understandable and distinctly heard.

Right now the words are kinda receding into the background.. an ambient wash.

I was looking for a natural dry direct sound with no enhancements or efx.

Regards,
Bruce
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Old June 29th, 2010, 08:07 AM   #7
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as Paul pointed out above there is no real cure for it. My recent experience with an outdoor concert (singer, guitar, 100 noisy people in front of me) where I massaged the files with Audition and Izotope showed only marginal improvements. In other situations like removing a hum, caugh, crackle, etc. both worked perfect.
Bottom line: No substition for a perfect sound recording via mixer or professional micro !
HB
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #8
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IZOTOPE intrigues me, but Sony Noise Reduction is probably the best available solution (requiring only an old, cheap version of Vegas to run). Your willingness to essentially "flatten" (not compress, as that will likely only serve to work against a good solution) the sound allows for significant improvement, as all these plugins generate something unwanted in the "fix," mostly inperceptible to the average ear. But processing out unwanted sounds, as you've described them, would definately introduce a more "digital" signature to your final audio track. If you've ever listened to a new vinyl record through a high-end tube amp, you understand the extreme opposite of the "digital" signature (very full and robust, like an unamplified orchestra concert).
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Old July 1st, 2010, 05:55 AM   #9
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I found this (rather high end) solution, used also for a remake of a FALCO live concert DVD, i.e. extracting his voice and rerecord the instruments.

Algorithmix reNOVAtor -- time-saving, high-resolution audio repair processor freeing problematic live recordings from unwanted tenacious audio disturbances

HB
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Old July 1st, 2010, 11:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for the software reccomendations.

Algorithmix reNOVAtor was indeed very high end and astronomical in price at just under 2,500 Euro's!

I took my chances by shooting not hooked up to a live audio feed so I will have to live with the consequences.

Lesson hopefully learnt.

Cheers!
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