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Old February 17th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #1
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Removing distortion in post

I have vocals from an MC that is not really well-acquainted with using a micropohone. The levels are OK, but the MC practically shouts into the microphone at times w/out backing off. This creates audio that sounds distorted, or over-driven. The microphone is a wireless cardioid Shure handheld.

I can't really monitor because the sound is captured separately close to the stage and my camera is in the middle/back of the audience (DJ working the sound). I do mix and sync a little bit in post with the camera sound which helps some, but I'm a perfectionist...as I said, the levels are OK from the recorder, but the MC just sounds crappy when swallowing the mic and raising her voice.
Is there a way using Adobe Audition (what I have) to un-over-drive the MC, or am I pretty stuck (mic usage training is definitely in the works for the MC...)?

Thanks,
Matt
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Old February 17th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #2
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In short, no.

You can minimize the annoying effects of distortion with careful EQ and compression, but in the end, it will still be the same crap, just slightly less annoying to listen to.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #3
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I don't think you can fault the DJ. If it is a Shure microphone like the SM 58 or Beta 58, they are designed to be swallowed and yelled at. The distortion is probably coming from somewhere else in the signal path.

I just completed a 3 camera shoot with a stand up comic, using a Shure Beta 58 wireless system. I did a sound check with him yelling. I then made sure the audio was clean and then lowered the levels for safety. I have found that levels always go up during a show.

I agree wih Nate, that fixing distorted audio in post is only going to make a slight difference.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #4
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Audition has a 'Clip Restoration' tool in its Noise Reduction effects. It won't fix medium/heavy distortion but it can round out distorted highs and mids a bit, especially when you drop the input control to 12dB and below. Try using it in combination with EQ.
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