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Audio editing nemboe needs help

Discussion in 'Recording' started by topdog, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. topdog

    topdog Guest

    I have an audio file (a lecture) that needs to be edited and filtered for noise distortions. It was recorded with a clip-on mic and an Olympus digital voice recorder. Thing is, I have done what editing my newbie skills will allow, but I want to know if it can be done better (I'm sure it can.) Particularly there's this humming/buzzing/static type sound that is constant almost throughout the lecture.

    Thing is I need to be able to learn how to properly edit such recordings as professionally as possible, and as soon as possible, as I will be doing quite a lot of this editing regularly. And while I've started my learning curve -reading a lot of forum posts, and trying some hands on practical editing, I'm very desperate to shorten my learning curve, and I also learn faster when I learn from some1 else, than when I have to do it on my own.

    Is there any1 here who'd be willing to gimme some basic school on editing, starting with taking a look at my audio file and telling how best it coulda been edited.

    PS** If necessary, I'd be willing to make a (financial) contribution to whoever will take up my offer.

  2. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    What software are you using?
  3. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I have the vn 4100pc and I can tell you that mine has all those noises seemingly built in! But for me, it's just a vocal notebook, so no big deal.

    Maybe one of the smart folks will recommend a better recorder, if one is required.
  4. topdog

    topdog Guest

    I'm using Audacity
  5. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    If you have a constant buzz/noise in the recording, you'll need to try noise reduction, but I don't think Audacity does that. Remember, it's noise REDUCTION, not noise elimination - so if you find a tool, use it carefully.

    If the recording is distorted only in the loud sections, a clip restoration tool might help clean it up some. It depends on how clean the clipping is. Consumer grade recorders often have AGC or something similar (automatic level setting - automatic gain control) - which can make a mess out of a recording by pushing the record level all over the place. That can make post processing a real headache.

    For clean up and restoration work, I use Adobe Audition, but you'll need to spend a few hundred to get there. If you post a clip of your audio (a minute or so of a WAV file) I can take a look at it and see what can be done. It's possible there's not much hope for improvement.

    If you want a professional end product, you need to start with good, clean recording gear. If you have a laptop with Audacity, you'd be better recording directly into the laptop rather than putting some digital voice recording in the middle of the process. That is likely recording to MP3 (or similar compressed format) and giving you crap to work with right from the start.
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'm with Zemlin all the way on this; and you may indeed be SOL if you're dealing with cheesy, clipped audio from the pocket recorder.

    I had a client bring me a similar recording from one of those very same Hand-held boxes, using a built-in mic, low res. recording rates (I think it was 11k?) and in MONO, with auto level. It was a jazz combo playing in a small room, and she wanted me to "clean it up" to put on a CD. Yeah, riiiiiiight.

    You may indeed be able to remove the noise, and it might sound OK if evrything else is OK. But remember: GIGO. (Garbage in, Garbage out.)

    Learning to use the softare and fix problems is a great thing for you in the long run for this client, but you may also want to spend some time on the front end, and work with thes folks to use a higher sample rate, better mics & pre's, and make your life a little easier in the long run.

    I too would like to hear a sample of what you've got so far... :cool:
  7. topdog

    topdog Guest

    Hi Joe and Zemlin, thanks a bunch for your input. I hear you loud and clear. I've looked around for how to post a clip of the audio, but I can't find how. Can you please tell me, or do I send it to you in an email?

  8. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Most electric buzzes and hums center around specific frequencies. A quick fix is to use a notch filter and zero in on the offensive frequencies. The problem is that they are often in the same frequency range as the human voice, so notch filters must be used judiciously.

    The SoundSoap noise reduction plug-in is inexpensive, about $99, and though no cure-all by any means, may help a little bit.

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