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Old August 1st, 2017, 04:02 AM   #1
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Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

At a wedding i covered recently the grooms mic failed and the back up I positioned (on the little kneeling things) was moved and of course the priest didnít use the church micís either, he just projected. So everything that could go wrong (audio wise) did.

I had to resort to the two on baord micís that is on my DSLR cameras. I have worked on this audio in FCPX using all the tools that I know within that package to bring the audio along as best I can.

My question is; if I hired someone could they do much more to improve it?

The wav file won't upload

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1P...ew?usp=sharing
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Old August 1st, 2017, 09:02 AM   #2
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

"if I hired someone could they do much more to improve it?"
- Probably, depends how bad it is. It still would not be anywhere near as decent captured sound. Post a few medium resolution MP3 clips, there's plenty of Dropbox type file sharing sites around. Some of the members here and over at the DVX user audio group have iZotope RX Advanced, which can do some pretty amazing stuff.

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Old August 1st, 2017, 10:06 AM   #3
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

Sorry hear what happened. Weddings are fraught with all sorts of dangers.

I can't imagine an audio pro could improve it that much given the circumstances you describe. I would instead spend my money on a quality wireless mic kit where you can monitor your audio.

I assume you were using an audio recorder. Many people use them and get away with it but it's really a risky practice. Unfortunately it usually takes a catastrophe like this to convince someone the risk is real.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; August 1st, 2017 at 08:11 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2017, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

There are plug-ins such as Deverb to help combat the echo, but results can vary greatly in the best of circumstances (fixed location sound source and capture in a room with unchanging echo signature being a best-case scenario). Might be worth a try. There are also some advanced techniques using FFT filters to reduce the echo on certain frequencies. A YouTube search of "removing echo in audition" or whatever your audio program of choice is, will bring up some DIY options.

Start there, and if it's crucial to get it a few points better, then reach out to a professional.
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Old August 1st, 2017, 06:48 PM   #5
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

Yeah echo is pretty hard to resolve, also cutting out the audio between the responses only serve to amplify the problem, I've had some small success with Audition capturing the noise print sample and using that to reduce it somewhat, but it seems you've already done that. Cant see much to be done after that, as it's baked in.
I'd leave it all in noise and all rather than try to isolate the responses, it sort of brings attention to the audio.

good luck with it
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 04:23 AM   #6
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
.

I assume you were using an audio recorder. Many people use them and get away with it but it's really a risky practice. Unfortunately it usually takes a catastrophe like this to convince someone the risk is real.
Hi Pete,

My experience over many years of recording weddings is that the most reliable recordings are from a small recorder in the groom's inside pocket set to record then locked, with a lav mic on the groom's jacket. On the contrary to your recommendation of a wireless mic, I only use mine for backup on weddings due to occasional interference, drop out problems and conflicting with the venue/church systems. I have never had a problem using a pocket recorder and consider it the least risky option for a wedding.

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Old August 2nd, 2017, 06:57 AM   #7
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

There are plenty of things that can go wrong with an audio recorder. To name a few: the lav cable gets pulled out or shorts from a stress point, you forget to press record or to lock it, the mic falls off or is rubbing against something, the levels aren't right...

I bring both to a wedding. My first option is the wireless if and only if there's a problem I use the recorder. Just because you haven't had anything go wrong doesn't mean it's not a risky practice. There's a reason the pros monitor their audio.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; August 2nd, 2017 at 05:17 PM.
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 10:22 AM   #8
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

and the sidebar links when viewed on Youtube can give you some ideas on how to improve the sound, and what is possible.

De-verb is now updated to De-verb Plus, a demo version is available for D/L for a 14 day trial. It works as a VST plug-in in Audition and other programs. However, do not expect miracles, some of your sample audio has pretty bad reverb.

There is no substitute for getting the mic close to the speaker, especially in noisy and and highly reverberant locations.

If you have a couple recordings made from different locations at the event it might be possible to get some improvement by mixing them so the direct sound (what you want) is additive (in phase) while the indirect (echo) sound would typically be less than additive due to phase differences.
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 04:24 PM   #9
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

I don't think this one can be greatly improved at all.

The in-camera mics on your DSLR simply aren't all that flash to begin with and you don't have the necessary proximity to the source that you need to keep when removing the room reverb / echo. (There has to be a threshold between the audio to be kept and the audio to be removed.)

Worse, when working on the file it sounds like I am uncovering the audio "mud" that you get from .mp3 audio compression (where the bits you don't normally 'hear' are discarded). This in addition to what I suspect is an auto-level function on the camera mic that is also playing havoc.

I think everything is working against you when it comes to this audio sample.

I've had a quick try with the latest tech "dialogue isolation" which separates based on voice / non-voice audio. Better but not perfect. Zipped file is attached. (Then there is the accent these people must be speaking with. :-P LOL) See what you think.

Andrew
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File Type: zip final voew - tweaked.zip (404.2 KB, 7 views)
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 07:02 AM   #10
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

I played around a bit with this but I don't really know what I'm doing. I just like pushing buttons.

Gordon
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 07:26 AM   #11
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
There's a reason the pros monitor their audio.
The problem with weddings is that once a ceremony is in progress you can't just interrupt the vows if your hear your audio system fails, the only difference between being able to monitor the sound and not being able is that you can hear your audio fail but you can't do anything about it, so much for being a "professional" :)
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 08:34 AM   #12
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

Quote:
... I don't really know what I'm doing. I just like pushing buttons.
LOL. So true for many of us.

Andrew
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Old August 4th, 2017, 05:17 AM   #13
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

I didn't recognise that accent!!!

lol
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Old August 4th, 2017, 05:38 AM   #14
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

It sounded a bit Ayerish to me.

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Old August 4th, 2017, 12:00 PM   #15
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Re: Improving badly recorded audio can it be done?

I also take issue with the notion that a wireless lav is more reliable. True, if something goes wrong you will know about it sooner, but you are unlikely to be able to do anything about it anyway. Once the ceremony starts there is no way to adjust the grooms lav. That said, when we were doing weddings I preferred wireless when the venue allowed it, but mostly because of the time it saved synching everything. One more thing - always wire up the groom AND the officiant. That's a better backup than trying to plant something in the middle of the action which is likely to annoy the venue. You should also have a quality shotgun on the camera. Having nothing but the DSLRs onboard mics is a big fail.
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