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Old May 16th, 2005, 10:19 PM   #1
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Sweetening an intermittent hum

I'm don't do much serious audio post, but right now at work I'm re-editing a video shot over a year ago (meaning there is zero chance to re-shoot), and most of the dialog has a horrible hum that increases and decreases in intensity as the audio level goes up and down. Every time someone speaks, the hum gets louder. The people who recorded this don't have strong technical skills, and I'm 100% sure this was a problem with their recording setup (most likely an Audio Technica wireless lav running through an XLR-to-1/8" converter box to a Canon GL1). My problem now is that I can't seem to even attenuate the hum, much less eliminate it. It sounds like a low-frequency noise to me, but I can't isolate it or even affect it with a high-pass filter or EQ. I don't have any editing software except for FCP (like I said, I don't do much audio post), but I thought I would be able to make a dent in the thing even with the Apple filters.

Does anyone have experience fixing an intermittent hum like this? If FCP's filters can't handle it, I'm not opposed to getting some new software because I'm sure I'll run into this problem again soon as I'm cleaning up our stable of near-complete projects. I would appreciate any advice.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:20 PM   #2
 
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You might try Sound Soap, or Sound Soap Pro. Both work as an Audio Unit plugin for FCP. If it's a consistent hum, Soap will likely get rid of most of it.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 12:39 AM   #3
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Thanks Douglas. I had no idea those worked in FCP. Should SoundSoap2 be fine for light work like this or is the Pro version necessary to get quality results? There's quite a difference in price, but I wouldn't want to pick up a piece of software that's not going to give me good results.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 07:02 AM   #4
 
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The "lite" version of Sound Soap is pretty good, but it's less capable than it's big brother, obviously. However, if your sound is consistent, it will likely kill it. For the 99.00 or so, I'd surely give it a shot.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 09:30 AM   #5
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Hi !

No PC version??
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Old May 17th, 2005, 09:39 AM   #6
 
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Yes, there is a PC version too. On the PC, I personally prefer the Sony tools, but the WAVES and Bias/Sound Soap products are great as well.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 10:29 AM   #7
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Thanks Douglas!

I use audition, what do you think about that tool suite?

I imagine that SOAP would be a considerably smaller investment than Sound Forge or other full editing solutions.

Do you have an opinion as to the pros and cons of Audition verses the others.

Thanks Again !!
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Old May 17th, 2005, 11:12 AM   #8
 
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Audition is a good tool, I tech edited the CMP book on Audition. It's not as good/fast as Sound Forge, but that's a personal view, not a quantifiable statement.

Audition does come with a reasonably good noise reduction tool, have you tried it yet?
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Old May 17th, 2005, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Audition is a good tool, I tech edited the CMP book on Audition. It's not as good/fast as Sound Forge, but that's a personal view, not a quantifiable statement.

Audition does come with a reasonably good noise reduction tool, have you tried it yet?
Hello Again !

Yes I use it for all of my sound editing. I used it when it was CoolEdit 2000. I am not an audio technician, and if my editing jobs need better talent, I hire it.

I find that if you manage to get the noise out of your mix, it (Auditions tool set) adds in a waveform sound. You might not hear it on a TV monitor, but for sure with headphones... unacceptable. So you have to use less reduction, which leaves some noise, but it is a trade-off.

I think that if I spent more time I could perfect some better techniques, but not monumental. The trick is to get good sound when you are suppose to... on location. I only do narratives, so that is easier for me than those who must run-and-gun... so I really have no escuse............. (embarrassed)

But as they say "Stuff" happens :-)

Because budgets are usually tight, I would like a better set of tools, if it would net a better result in less time. With tight budgets, I can only put X amount of time into each process, so a time saver (if it actually gave better results) would be a benefit.

Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate your knowledge and experience!
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