Editing and attempting to clean up a field recording

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Lipsmack, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Lipsmack

    Lipsmack Guest

    Not really sure if this is the right forum, although i do use Ableton and CoolEdit Pro as my primary editing and recording tools My current challenge is this. I have been trying to edit a field recording of a loved one that was recorded in a moving car. I have experimented with graphic EQ, compression, noise reduction to get rid of some of the hiss and rumble and bring out the speaker's voice more clearly. Was wondering if anyone has some guidance on how to go about doing this, What frequencies noise and hiss occupy, just a basic "get started", or details on how they accomplish this. Thanks!
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Welcome to RO!

    Do you have sample of just the car noise? it would be helpful to hear what your trying to do.

    You could try Waves x-noise and set your learning curve to it.
  3. Lipsmack

    Lipsmack Guest

    wow, thanks, I actually have Waves Z-Noise, but I had'nt tried using it for this. Between this and some EQ I think I am a lot closer to accomplishing what I am trying to do, thanks again!
  4. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    I know that in Cool Edit, you can take a sample of the background noise (which shall be called an "FFT" file), and apply that to the noise reduction program. Best bet is to do it lightly a couple times, instead of one heavy reduction. You may even have to take a few different samples if there are different noises.

    If the voice is fading in and out, you could even do a slight bit of compression beforehand to even things out. That will possibly bring up more noise though, but some noise reduction should clear out some of that.

    Then, after you get it fairly cleaned up, you may even try a BIT of expansion. Depends on where the noise is.

    May even want to do some LIGHT EQ at various points. If it's that noisy, anything you do to it will be destructive to a point, but it's possible you can be constructively destructive, if that makes sense.

    Just make sure you rename the file after your first change, so you'll always have the original in case you need to start over. Then, experiment. A little this, a little that.

    I saved a friend's 40-year old R-R tape of her Dad recorded in a bar by doing a lot of that. It was virtually unlistenable at first, but I managed to smooth things out, eq and get rid of the worst noise to make it at least presentable on CD.

    Experiment. Just don't write over the original.

  5. Lipsmack

    Lipsmack Guest

    Good advice Kapt., thanks! I have developed a habit of always saving edits and such as new files. That is after learning the hard way a few times!
  6. Here is a link to a warbeats tutorial I watched not so long ago:


    It's a tutorial based on preparing an acapella for the mix but i'm sure it may be of help to you as the guy shows you how to remove background noise from the acapella.

    It's a well put together tutorial form this guy (NFX) and easily understood.

    Hope this helps;)

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