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Hello everyone,

I'm working with a voice actor in Japan. We send her scripts and she sends us back raw takes of her performances, which we then edit on our side. We really like her performances, but there's something weird about the sound files we get back from her. I'm not sure how to describe it. It's almost like an "JPEG-iness" in the audio.

Here's a short clip that illustrates the problem:

https://brakrandomstandard.blob.core.windows.net/downloads/weird-audio-example.wav

Can anyone offer any ideas on what could be wrong here? And is there anything we could do in post-production to fix this?

Any thoughts would be very sincerely appreciated.

Kind regards,
Brian

DonnyThompson Thu, 08/03/2017 - 04:02

It sounds okay to me... maybe a little too "bright", but I don't know if that's maybe what you are looking for...But it was a pretty short clip, tough to discern.
Is there any way you could post a longer sample?

In What format and resolution is she sending you these files, and how is she sending them?
Is she emailing them, drop boxing them, or using a service like SoundCloud?
It's also possible she's down-sampling them herself on her end....

The reason I'm asking, is because you might be hearing "lossy" artifacts, which generally presents itself as a phasey/swirling type of effect of the upper frequency ranges.
Not that it doesn't effect all frequency ranges, because it does, but it's most commonly heard in the Upper Mids and Highs.
(Souncloud is notorious for compressing audio data to a lower resolution (128kbps) and it very often does this in an inaccurate way. )
These downward sampling rate and bit resolution conversions are done to make files smaller and more manageable for distribution and storage, but it can greatly effect the quality of the file - and not in a good way. ;)

Lossy compression can effect any file that is downward converted - video, pictures, ...and audio.
For audio, It's explained about halfway down this page:
http://www.musicthinktank.com/mtt-open/lossy-audio-file-formats-explained-data-compressed-formats.html

-d.

NorthwestAudio Fri, 08/11/2017 - 15:30

Hello, Donny. Thank you for the reply. I'm glad to hear it doesn't sound terrible to you. Maybe I'm too close to this.

She's sending us the files as 44,100 Hz, 16-bit WAV files. She's not compressing or down-sampling, but I kind of suspect she might be running some kind of noise cancellation, though she says she is not.

Thanks again for the input!

Brian