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Improving extracted audio from video.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ThirdBird, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    My friend was videotaped playing at a local radio station, and I am charged with the task of making the audio sound like it was not recorded from a video camera.

    The performance included a singer/acoustic guitar, acoustic guitar, and djembe/shakers.


    I extracted the audio just fine, and here is what I did:

    I cloned the track twice, for a total of three. I put one far left, one center, and one far right. I tried to find the singer's eq range in the center, the low djembe eq range in the left, and the guitar eq range in the right. Obviously the instruments overlap, but I tried to separate them as best as possible. I did this because in the original track, the drum was too loud and the voice was too soft. I balanced them as well as possible, and brought the outer two tracks closer to the center so it didn't sound as weird. The last thing I did was added a touch of reverb to the center track to add a little ambience.

    Is there anything else you guys would recommend based on what I've said so far, or is there anything inherently wrong without you guys listening?

    Thanks!
     
  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I would say you did what you had to do, rather creatively at that, and hopefully it'll be an improvement from what was on there originally.

    You didn't mention any peak limiting or compression, etc. Sometimes there are rogue peaks that can create false limits in the dynamic range, and sometimes (with camcorder auto-levels) there are squashed dynamics. (which is usually the case with camera audio). If you look at the waveforms of each track in your DAW, you may see some places that can be tamed a bit - either lower the worst of the peaks, or expand the dynamic range (if it's too squashed.)

    You may also find peak-distortion from the auto-levelling that went on. If your software has it, try to de-clip some of the bad stuff. (It may or may not respond to treatment, but certainly worth a try.)

    Essentially (and I mean no disrepect here) you're polishing a turd with this kind of audio. That's ok, because you're learning a lot as you go. (I've had to fix stuff like this more times than I care to tell you...)

    You'll probably find that you really hate this sound; it's a compromise no matter what you do, and that NEXT TIME, you'll want to plan ahead and take a line feed off the studio board somewhere. (Ask around, there's always an extra feed from an aux bus, or a feed going somewhere; to a facility-wide monitor, an air-check cassette or CD recorder, etc. etc. ) If your camcorder has a line in, run in there, if at all possible (remember to check levels with a headset, and turn off any auto-level feature.)

    Better yet, if you have one, use a portable 2-track mini-recorder to capture the "Good" audio from the studio board, and use the on-board camcorder mics to get some ambience and "live/room" sound. Again, always remember to turn off the auto-level function on the camcorder (assuming you can get to it with a menu and do so).

    This way, you'll record the line-out console material separately, and then import it in your software in post. Line up the two, mix to taste, add some effects (reverb, fades, etc.) and you'll be smokin'.
     
  3. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    I used the final mix compression/limiter from DigitalFishphones.com called "Endorphin" It brings up the overall level, while adding 'tape saturation' (digitally, I know) to replace the harmonics of what was compressed I believe. I made it overall more loud and punchy.

    Thank you for your comments, and it will definitely be a good idea to attach something to the line out in the future.
     
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    What I want to know is, where is the recording of the radio broadcast?? This is the sound track you should marry to the video. Not the crappy sound from the camcorder. Or did everybody forget to record it? That's sound track was made with a far better signal chain that little $.98 toy Taiwanese microphones with automatic volume control. This can be accomplished in the most rudimentary of video editing programs. You slip & slide the audio track to match the video utilizing the video sound as your synchronizer reference. Then you switch it off in the timeline if it does not add anything to the performance. That is, unless the ambience works?

    You did what you had to based on a lack of knowledge. Now you know. So fix it.

    Dumbfounded
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  5. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Thank you ma'am may I have another?

    I suppose I wasn't clear on how it was initially recorded. The video was recorded by the radio station, and they turned it into a video clip file, in addition to being played on air. I could tell it wasn't the cheapest video recorder on the market, but the microphone didn't seem very professional.
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Yeah, so you're telling me the radio broadcasts sound was strictly picked up by the camcorder?? The station didn't have a studio with more than a single microphone in it? And so they want to post a clip with a really bad audio on it? So you are in an area where there are no ratings. No Arbitron. New Guinea or Guam?? It sounds like they want to put their best foot forward even if they are supposed to be focusing on the band. I don't want to look at their feet nor listen to their feet unless they are LITTLE FEAT. WHICH SOUNDS LIKE WHAT YOU DID? A little feat. Thanks for not posting the clip as I didn't want to barf.

    Bigfoot but not hairy
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  7. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    The radio program is a small segment by one of their dj's to promote local music (which isn't usually the best, and that's why the bands are still local). I believe it gets maybe one half-hour a week, so I am pretty sure the full weight of the station isn't behind this dinky little program.

    Here is the link if you so desire to enjoy original clip.
    http://grockradio.com/GROCK-Rising/2835074
    It is the third page in, click on either Jeta Grove song. Sorry that I couldn't find a direct link.
     

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