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Old November 2nd, 2010, 09:59 PM   #1
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What to Use for Filtering Software?

I run a Mac Mini with FCE, Sony HDR-HC1 and occasionally a GoPro for B roll.

I need a good basic audio filtering program for the usual stuff:

Wind and highway noise.

Enclosed environment echo

The occasional unwanted background dog bark, siren, etc.

Bonus if it could punch up recorded dialog that was a little too soft.

Simpler to run the better, I'm not a software junkie. There's a few free ones available, if they handle the above items they'd cover what I need. Under $100 would be good, free would be great.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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The excellent freeware audio editor Audacity has a noise reduction feature, which in combination with other tools can help, depending on the severity of the problem. Paremetric EQ plugins are particularly useful in this regard. Audacity supports VST so you can add plugins; they even have links to third party plugins, many of which are free.

In your price range, you might want to look at Bias SoundSoap, the basic version of which is about $100 list time I checked. I have used this with some success -- removing background hum and mermering voices, for example --- and it has (imho) a paricularly well thought-out interface.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 11:04 PM   #3
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Maybe I should clarify; I am willing to pay more than the stated $100 if it's necessary to get an effective program, but I did want to suggest a price point for reference. I don't want to buy the cheap program that sort of works when I could have spent a little more to get one that actually works.

My experience with free software is Open Office, which I am completely satisfied with and leaves me wondering why anyone would pay for the basic commonly used programs. I will give Audacity a look.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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Noise removal is effective when the noise print is consistent like wind noise or industrial noise.

BIAS SoundSoap is such a product. It works well, simple to use interface that is intuitive even if you are not a sound engineer. There is a "pro" version of SoundSoap but I would stick to the regular version. Last time I checked it was under $100 and it works as an Audio Units plugin, VST, etc, etc.

Dog barks and such you might want to try a compressor limiter to notch it out or reduce it down. All of this stuff you would want to do in an audio editing app and not inside a video editing app that gives you more control and allows the use of plugins as mentioned above. Do you have Soundtrack Pro or Garageband (I don't use Garageband - I assume it has a plugin architecture built in) or another audio editing app at your disposal that allows plugins?
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Old November 5th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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The audio editing program that I use is called Amadeus Pro. It's not free (although there's a free, fully functional demo, limited I think to the number of large files that can be saved), but it's cheap. I think it's like $30. It doesn't come with any special plug-ins, though.

If you're looking at multi-channel sound editing, you might look at a program called Reaper. It's a cheap multi-track audio editor that looks pretty good.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #6
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On the PC (will run under boot camp), there is a version of Samplitude that comes with the restoration suite (can't remember the version- it is hard to keep track of all the levels of that program). It is a good sounding program that can deal with just about any aspects of audio you'll come across.

For straight-out restoration, I'd probably also look into something like the Izotope RX software. It isn't going to "punch up" your audio, but it will help a lot with your various issues of bad sound.

In the end, however, there is no substitute for good mic technique.

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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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The best thing going for restoration is iZotope RXII. I think it's going for 250.00. I use it all the time.

iZotope RX - Complete Audio Restoration: Declipping, Declicker, Hum Removal, Denoiser, Spectral Repair, Restore, Remaster, Download
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Johnson View Post
The best thing going for restoration is iZotope RXII. I think it's going for 250.00. I use it all the time.

iZotope RX - Complete Audio Restoration: Declipping, Declicker, Hum Removal, Denoiser, Spectral Repair, Restore, Remaster, Download
Another very happy iZotopes Rx user here. Indeed V2 is on special at the moment between that and the current exchange rate buying it was a no brainer. You do need to be careful using it as one should with any of these tools. There is a point beyond which the magic can turn into horrors with the extremely high Q filters Rx gives you.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #9
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I just upgraded to II and love it! It has programmable key commands, and now fade in/out, which is big for me. Not sure 100.00, but I think you can have everything be non destructive, but if not just make a copy before you go hacking away.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chad Johnson View Post
The best thing going for restoration is iZotope RXII. I think it's going for 250.00. I use it all the time.
Now that just looks too cool.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 10:26 PM   #11
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What's cool is that you can see the whole spectrum of sound, as well as the typical blobs you see on a wave file. You can see an offending sound, select it, and remove it. It's not magic, but sometimes it feels like it. If the sound you want to lose is in the same range of the sound you want to keep there's not a lot you can do, but there is a lot this can handle. Any sound person should have this, but it's especially great for field recordings.
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