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Old June 5th, 2015, 10:12 AM   #1
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Audio improvement help

Hi all,

Something went wacky during the recording and I ended up with noise in my recording. I removed the noise with Izotope RX4 but I think the audio needs more improvement. Can anyone listen to these 3 recordings and help me figure out what other steps I can or should take to improve it?

The first recording is the original, the second is one level of noise removal and the third is two levels of noise removal. Thanks a lot.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gotzwvrxu...H6d2h_MZa?dl=0

Kathy
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Old June 5th, 2015, 11:26 AM   #2
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Re: Audio improvement help

Regarding the original, I don't think noise is a huge problem (around -43dBFS), the tonal quality is.. sounds telephone like and sibilant with no body. Possible broken or wet mic, impedance issue and/or improperly wired connector(s)?
BTW, A mono file would suffice in this case and would be half the size and download duration... If this is for video, why is the file 44.1kHz. (not that it would make any difference in the quality). I'll check the other files later on when I have more time to DL.
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Old June 5th, 2015, 11:40 AM   #3
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Re: Audio improvement help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
Regarding the original, I don't think noise is a huge problem (around -43dBFS), the tonal quality is.. sounds telephone like and sibilant with no body. Possible broken or wet mic, impedance issue and/or improperly wired connector(s)?
BTW, A mono file would suffice in this case and would be half the size and download duration... If this is for video, why is the file 44.1kHz. (not that it would make any difference in the quality). I'll check the other files later on when I have more time to DL.
Thanks Rick. I extracted the audio from the video without paying much attention to what the export settings were so probably that's why you are seeing 44.1kHz
The other two files have noise removed but I did nothing to improve the quality of the voice.
Thanks for looking into it.
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Old June 5th, 2015, 12:05 PM   #4
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Re: Audio improvement help

Broad-band "white noise" is the very worst kind of noise to attempt to remove. Because it completely overlaps the "band of interest", the speech recording. However, Izotope RX4 did an amazing job of removing it.

Since we know nothing about the equipment or setup you used, it isn't really possible to attempt to analyze the CAUSE. The poor signal-to-noise ratio may have been from recording at a level that was too low. The tonal quality of the speech is a different matter. It could have been caused by a dozen different things including poor technique poor mic selection, and even defective equipment.

Since Izotope did such a remarkable job of removing the hiss, perhaps simply applying some judicious EQ would improve the tonal quality. I would think that a parametric "dip" at the offending frequency would do wonders for removing that "tinny" or "nasaly" quality.
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Old June 5th, 2015, 12:39 PM   #5
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Re: Audio improvement help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Broad-band "white noise" is the very worst kind of noise to attempt to remove. Because it completely overlaps the "band of interest", the speech recording. However, Izotope RX4 did an amazing job of removing it.

Since we know nothing about the equipment or setup you used, it isn't really possible to attempt to analyze the CAUSE. The poor signal-to-noise ratio may have been from recording at a level that was too low. The tonal quality of the speech is a different matter. It could have been caused by a dozen different things including poor technique poor mic selection, and even defective equipment.

Since Izotope did such a remarkable job of removing the hiss, perhaps simply applying some judicious EQ would improve the tonal quality. I would think that a parametric "dip" at the offending frequency would do wonders for removing that "tinny" or "nasaly" quality.
Thanks Richard. I don't really care to find out what happened. This is not the equipment I normally use and everything was a last minute, I'm sure given time I would have figure it out on the spot.
Do you think I should try to improve the first processed file or the second one?
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Old June 5th, 2015, 12:58 PM   #6
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Re: Audio improvement help

The final (double-processed) recording sounded good enough (except for the "tonal balance")
I would simply play with EQ on your final track.

It is true that in some cases certain types of processing should be done in a particular sequence.
But I don't believe that is the case in this particular situation because the result from the Izotope processing is so good.
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Old June 8th, 2015, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: Audio improvement help

Thanks everyone. I tried to improve this audio but I'm not sure I succeeded. Can someone give it a listen and let me know what they think?
Thanks a lot. I really appreciate all the help here.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qkjcp9zybj...ssed4.wav?dl=0
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Old June 8th, 2015, 02:28 PM   #8
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Re: Audio improvement help

Better. It still sounds overly sibilant to my ear, but that could be an artifact of my listening environment (Sony MDR-7506 headphones in my office cubicle). Fixing that would be simply a matter of rolling off the excessive high-frequency response.

Did you try "sweeping" a notch filter through the speech frequency band? (300 Hz ~ 3KHz) It might be very instructive even if you don't end up using it.

I don't remember whether you mentioned what editing software you are using (or have access to). I use Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit Pro) and it has a nice parametric EQ feature that lets you experiment with the peak/notch in real-time. You can control the position (frequqncy), the height/depth (boost or cut dB), and the sharpness ("Q") of the peak or notch.

I would try for a bit more of a notch around the resonant frequency band. I will try it when I get back to my edit system after our concert this evening.

PS: Please note that you don't need to provide such a loooooooooooooooong sample!!! 30 seconds would be more than adequate in most cases. Much better a short and uncompressed sample than a long, compressed sample.
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Old June 8th, 2015, 03:23 PM   #9
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Re: Audio improvement help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Better. It still sounds overly sibilant to my ear, but that could be an artifact of my listening environment (Sony MDR-7506 headphones in my office cubicle). Fixing that would be simply a matter of rolling off the excessive high-frequency response.

Did you try "sweeping" a notch filter through the speech frequency band? (300 Hz ~ 3KHz) It might be very instructive even if you don't end up using it.

I don't remember whether you mentioned what editing software you are using (or have access to). I use Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit Pro) and it has a nice parametric EQ feature that lets you experiment with the peak/notch in real-time. You can control the position (frequqncy), the height/depth (boost or cut dB), and the sharpness ("Q") of the peak or notch.

I would try for a bit more of a notch around the resonant frequency band. I will try it when I get back to my edit system after our concert this evening.

PS: Please note that you don't need to provide such a loooooooooooooooong sample!!! 30 seconds would be more than adequate in most cases. Much better a short and uncompressed sample than a long, compressed sample.
Thanks Richard. I have Adobe Audition as well as Izotope Ozone 5. But I have to admit I don't know how to really use them. I'm not really sure how to apply "sweeping" a notch filter or how to use parametric EQ. If you can let me know how to do it that would be great.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 04:29 AM   #10
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Re: Audio improvement help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Better. It still sounds overly sibilant to my ear, but that could be an artifact of my listening environment (Sony MDR-7506 headphones in my office cubicle). Fixing that would be simply a matter of rolling off the excessive high-frequency response.

Did you try "sweeping" a notch filter through the speech frequency band? (300 Hz ~ 3KHz) It might be very instructive even if you don't end up using it.

I don't remember whether you mentioned what editing software you are using (or have access to). I use Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit Pro) and it has a nice parametric EQ feature that lets you experiment with the peak/notch in real-time. You can control the position (frequqncy), the height/depth (boost or cut dB), and the sharpness ("Q") of the peak or notch.

I would try for a bit more of a notch around the resonant frequency band. I will try it when I get back to my edit system after our concert this evening.

PS: Please note that you don't need to provide such a loooooooooooooooong sample!!! 30 seconds would be more than adequate in most cases. Much better a short and uncompressed sample than a long, compressed sample.
Hi Richard

I wonder if you had a chance to play with my file. I don't seem to be able to make it any better. I'm getting kind of desperate here, haha.

Kathy
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Old June 10th, 2015, 08:19 AM   #11
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Re: Audio improvement help

Hi, Kathy.
I experimented a bit with the parametric EQ in Adobe Audition, and this is my first-pass attempt at equalizing the dialog.

First, I selected a part of the timeline that had something approaching a complete paragraph(!) I picked the section from 1:00:01 to 1:00:46. You can't EQ the on-mic subject and the off-mic interviewer together, IMHO.

Then I clicked "Effects" in the menu, and then selected "Filter and EQ", and picked "Parametric Equalizer", to bring up the window shown here.

First, I rolled off the high-end which seemed quite excessive even to my old, tired ears. I dragged down the high-frequency control to -22.4 dB as shown.

Then I turned on the #4 filter and dragged it to around 3590 Hz, and down to -13.3 dB to try to tame what I heard as an annoying resonance.

Of course, you use the "play button" in the lower left corner so you can hear the track while you are playing with the EQ. And you can turn the EQ on and off using the green button next to the "play button".

Now this is only what I heard with my ears and my JBL LSR305 speakers. Feel free to turn on other frequency bands and drag the nodes around to "season to taste" for yourself.

I sometimes drag the EQ points UP above the center line to emphasize the frequency just to try to make it "worse" so that I can "tune" it to the offending frequency/band. Then I drag it DOWN to filter it out of the track to whatever degree seems appropriate.

Certainly this is all VERY SUBJECTIVE. I tried to demonstrate HOW I did it rather than declaring "this is how it should be done" because that is ultimately your decision (and your client's).
Attached Thumbnails
Audio improvement help-lp4eq.png  
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Old June 10th, 2015, 01:49 PM   #12
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Re: Audio improvement help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Hi, Kathy.
I experimented a bit with the parametric EQ in Adobe Audition, and this is my first-pass attempt at equalizing the dialog.

First, I selected a part of the timeline that had something approaching a complete paragraph(!) I picked the section from 1:00:01 to 1:00:46. You can't EQ the on-mic subject and the off-mic interviewer together, IMHO.

Then I clicked "Effects" in the menu, and then selected "Filter and EQ", and picked "Parametric Equalizer", to bring up the window shown here.

First, I rolled off the high-end which seemed quite excessive even to my old, tired ears. I dragged down the high-frequency control to -22.4 dB as shown.

Then I turned on the #4 filter and dragged it to around 3590 Hz, and down to -13.3 dB to try to tame what I heard as an annoying resonance.

Of course, you use the "play button" in the lower left corner so you can hear the track while you are playing with the EQ. And you can turn the EQ on and off using the green button next to the "play button".

Now this is only what I heard with my ears and my JBL LSR305 speakers. Feel free to turn on other frequency bands and drag the nodes around to "season to taste" for yourself.

I sometimes drag the EQ points UP above the center line to emphasize the frequency just to try to make it "worse" so that I can "tune" it to the offending frequency/band. Then I drag it DOWN to filter it out of the track to whatever degree seems appropriate.

Certainly this is all VERY SUBJECTIVE. I tried to demonstrate HOW I did it rather than declaring "this is how it should be done" because that is ultimately your decision (and your client's).
Thanks Richard. I will listen to it when I get home. I forgot to mention that I do not care for the interviewer's voice. It will not be used.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 03:08 PM   #13
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Re: Audio improvement help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Hi, Kathy.
I experimented a bit with the parametric EQ in Adobe Audition, and this is my first-pass attempt at equalizing the dialog.

First, I selected a part of the timeline that had something approaching a complete paragraph(!) I picked the section from 1:00:01 to 1:00:46. You can't EQ the on-mic subject and the off-mic interviewer together, IMHO.

Then I clicked "Effects" in the menu, and then selected "Filter and EQ", and picked "Parametric Equalizer", to bring up the window shown here.

First, I rolled off the high-end which seemed quite excessive even to my old, tired ears. I dragged down the high-frequency control to -22.4 dB as shown.

Then I turned on the #4 filter and dragged it to around 3590 Hz, and down to -13.3 dB to try to tame what I heard as an annoying resonance.

Of course, you use the "play button" in the lower left corner so you can hear the track while you are playing with the EQ. And you can turn the EQ on and off using the green button next to the "play button".

Now this is only what I heard with my ears and my JBL LSR305 speakers. Feel free to turn on other frequency bands and drag the nodes around to "season to taste" for yourself.

I sometimes drag the EQ points UP above the center line to emphasize the frequency just to try to make it "worse" so that I can "tune" it to the offending frequency/band. Then I drag it DOWN to filter it out of the track to whatever degree seems appropriate.

Certainly this is all VERY SUBJECTIVE. I tried to demonstrate HOW I did it rather than declaring "this is how it should be done" because that is ultimately your decision (and your client's).
Hi Richard
My Parametric Equalizer in Adobe Audition doesn't look like that. Is this some kind of plugin?
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Old June 11th, 2015, 07:22 PM   #14
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Re: Audio improvement help

It is the one that came with Audition. I have not installed any extra plug-ins.
What does yours look like? Doesn't it have the same basic functions?
The window may not look identical, but the basic function has been the same through almost all of the versions.
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Old June 12th, 2015, 03:14 PM   #15
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Re: Audio improvement help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
It is the one that came with Audition. I have not installed any extra plug-ins.
What does yours look like? Doesn't it have the same basic functions?
The window may not look identical, but the basic function has been the same through almost all of the versions.
Hi Richard,

My Parametric EQ looks like this and it doesn't say VST plugin like yours does.
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