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Old September 22nd, 2015, 11:29 PM   #1
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Audio EQ

Hi all,

I'm working with a voice over at the moment that was recorded in a small custom-made recording box (so probably not well tuned). I'm not totally happy with the audio. It's nice and clear but I think there is excessive bass, and the high-end (S sounds - treble?) seem quite harsh.

I know nothing about EQ and the likes. Does anyone have any advice on how to make it sound as good as possible?

Here's a short sample:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tdt8rofjh6...audio.wav?dl=0

Thanks in advance
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 02:50 AM   #2
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Re: Audio EQ

Hi Jody and I had a quick play around in my pro tools with this.

The box is adding a lot of resonance to the voice and as the mic is also quite close there is a lot of bass lift due to the proximity of the mic.

To clean it up I had to add a high pass filter at around 150hz with a 24db roll off.

That improved it and made it better but started to reduce some of the frequency content for the voice so around 125hz may be better.

This removed the background rumble and a lot of the boxiness and depending how the voice over will bed in with other effects may be OK for a corporate video etc.

This sounds like an electret mic ala the rode NTG 1/2 shotgun so it has a strange high end so I would try and reduce the frequencies at around 1.5 - 2.5khz but be careful as a female voice has limited frequency content and it is all too easy to make it sound indistinct and muddy. It may be that you can reduce some of those frequencies but add some high end definition or sparkle back in.

So to summarise try -24db high pass at 50hz
-4db at around 2.15khz
+2db at around 6khz

Here is a pic of what I did:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...pskvyflk6s.png
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Last edited by Gary Nattrass; September 23rd, 2015 at 03:23 AM.
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: Audio EQ

Thanks Gary, appreciate the info. The mic is a Rode NT2A. I'm not sure what distance from the mic is best for voice overs - I really should do a bit of reading and brush up on my audio skills.

Anyway - I'll have a look at those settings you mentioned and see if I can make any improvements myself. That pic is extremely helpful, I use Avid Media Composer so the 7-band EQ looks exactly the same :)

Thanks again.
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 08:44 AM   #4
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Re: Audio EQ

Additionally you could roll off the high frequencies starting around 10k or 11kHz. The human voice has little to know content up there and it also reduces hiss as a bonus. If it's still sibilant, a de-esser would be the tool most pros would reach for.
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: Audio EQ

I use the NT2000 which is a similar mic and looking at the pics of the NT2a I would be switching on the -80 high pass filter and possibly the -5 or -10 attenuator so you can get the mic close without overloading it.

Also try the OMNI O setting as it will cut down the proximity effect but it may be that you have it set to that already so try the cardioid setting too.

The best way to do voice over for me is to have the mic to one side and slightly above the speaker facing down towards their chest so they talk across the diaphragm rather than straight into it.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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Re: Audio EQ

You could perhaps take it one stage further and try a multiband compressor to both EQ and compress the track. Sort of kill two birds with one stone...

Just using simple presets from the Izotope multiband VST in my (rather old!) version of Audition can make quite difference..

A couple of samples of processed versions of your original clip here:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/roger.s...dio%20comp.wav

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/roger.s...io%20comp2.wav

to give you an idea.

I'm sure that any multi-band compressor can give similar results, but if you don't have access to one, then I understand the latest versions of Audition are available from Adobe on a monthly rental basis.

Alternatively, the older versions (like the version 3 I used) can be found for download - without requiring activation - from Adobe themselves.

See here:

https://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/...ml?PID=5628473
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Old September 25th, 2015, 12:58 AM   #7
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Re: Audio EQ

I would agree with Roger and a multi band compressor is the best option if you have access to one, this will allow you to choose which frequencies are compressed and it will have an effect similar to a de-esser.

It all depends how much you are able to understand but I have to admit that for music etc I use Logic on my apple mac and some of the pre sets for voice are a good starting point. Pro tools also has pre sets for it's plug ins but not sure about edit packages as their audio capabilities are usually quite limited.
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Old September 25th, 2015, 10:27 AM   #8
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Re: Audio EQ

I've seen free mutiband compressor plug-ins, but I don't have time to specifically search or know how well they work (usually the operators expertise). Try kvraudio.com and audiopluginsforfree.com to start.
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