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I've cleaned up hundreds of hours of tape recordings, admittedly the easy stuff like humm, clicks, airplanes overhead, etc. So I'm still a totally nube, but I don't even know exactly what it's called when it's like the microphone is too close to their mouth and there is a reverb harshness to each word.

Here is a little

DeReverb (in iZotope) does clean it up a good little bit. but I've been playing around with settings all around but could use some direction, if possible.


audiokid Sun, 06/15/2014 - 18:29

Welcome. I like this picture of you and the young guy! Very warm. (y)

ooooh , its what you call, bursting with distorting and crazy proximity issues lol! Its well cooked from a few issues.. Not much you can do in regards to removing the distortion but you can EQ out more lower mid freq so its clearer to the ear. It will never sound great but you can get it better. Maybe put a compressor on it as well, to control the bursts.
I uses Samplitudes Restoration suite which has spectral cleaning and other restoration tools. Izotope is supposed to be good to, and you have that so... But deverb isn't what I would be trying first.

Reverb is the least of your problems. Did it sound like this before "deverb"?

Samplitude Pro X : The Spectral Cleaning Offline Editor






paulears Mon, 06/16/2014 - 04:43

The snag here is that there really isn't actually anything to repair - the problem is that the original recording is very band limited and compressed. The frequency response is 200Hz to just under 3KHz - so typical of old fashioned analog phone systems, that were severely cropped to allow multiplexing. The dynamic range is also very compressed. If you look at the waveform, there is no classic flat-topping - perhaps because the savage frequency upper limit didn't record the harmonics and the re-recording has resulted in nice curved waveforms. All the usual distortion removing tools have no distortion to work on, and while they might clean up a bit of the fuzz, what you seem to have is a good recording of a very poor source. Do you still have the original recording, because modern software might be able to recover more of it.

anonymous Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:37

Other than forensic-style EQ sculpting, I'm afraid you're very limited in what you can do here. As noted by Chris, you have some serious proximity effect issues happening, and at the same time, you also have bursts of particular frequencies that are indicative of the bandwidth of phone recordings, as Paul mentioned. I like to refer to those frequencies as "squok" frequencies... similar to the sound a duck would make. The problem is that those are also fundamental frequencies, which fall smack-dab in the middle of what the human ear has grown used to in terms of conversational tone... so if you filter out too much of it, you're left with "mud". You are dealing with the problems of the source of the recording's inherent limited bandwidth characteristics.

As Paul said, I'm not sure that any distortion removal tools would work, because you have an analog copy that has smoothed-over the classic flat-topping peaks that would indicate digital distortion, so even though you are hearing distortion, a digital restoration tool might not recognize it as such.

Off-hand, and I'm not saying this will work, I think you're probably down to EQ as your main tool. Look to the 600hz to 1k region (roughly)... run it through a parametric and sweep through that range to see what you can clear up using attenuative notching. You might need to do this several times, working on one particular phrase at a time. Keep a log of what you've already worked on and what you already did, so that you don't do it twice.

Good Luck...

pcrecord Wed, 06/18/2014 - 03:33

audiokid, post: 415947, member: 1 wrote: I'm thinking the OP used Dereverb and actually made it worse ? I'd like to hear something without any Ozotope processing?
He seems to have vanished? Its disappointing when you get people involved and don't return.

Any audio manipulation can make audio better or worst. There's so many options, you gotta be carefull and master them all...

If only people were force to participate to a few threads before they could start one, we might have less runners ;)