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How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?

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bigmike
How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 23, 2006 at 12:52:30 am

Hi there:

Shot a short film in a mobile home in a room with wood panel walls with a Sennheiser shotgun mic.

My client noticed an echo in the sound track. Now that it was brought to my attention, it is driving me nuts. ESPECIALLY after removing the room noise.

Do any of you pros have any suggestions as to how to remove that echo?

I can provide a short clip if it will help.

THank!


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Matte
Re: How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 23, 2006 at 3:25:10 am

While background hum and certain continuous-type noises are relatively easy to isolate and reduce with special digital filtering...

Reverb/Echo is one of the most IMPOSSIBLE-to-fix of audio problems, second only to severely CLIPPED (over-driven) levels.

"EQ" won't do it.
Its reverb (repetition) of the PRIMARY audio... the same frequency that you want to KEEP.

The "Noise Gate" is probably the best choice, but it will surely PUMP if its set high enough to have very much effect on the reverb. (So it could end up making many tracks sound worse.)

Whatever you try will adversely affect the overall QUALITY of the audio being "fixed" and be very noticeable to the listener (especially compared to any "good" audio in the same production).


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bigmike
Re: How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 23, 2006 at 3:45:15 am

Okay then, what about masking the noise?

An ambient loop of some sort?

Music? I've got Sonic fire pro and a bunch of music. It's a software training film that cuts to a computer monitor quite a bit to demo the steps.... More like a sales pitch, really.

How do you suppose a soundtrack would affect it?


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Matte
Re: How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 23, 2006 at 11:36:51 am

[bigmike] "Music? I've got Sonic fire pro and a bunch of music. It's a software training film that cuts to a computer monitor quite a bit to demo the steps.... More like a sales pitch, really."

Music has been used to help "mask" audio flaws for decades.

If you choose the music well, and mix it properly (depending on how "bad" your "flaws" are) you can make a big difference.


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David Jones
Re: How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 23, 2006 at 12:35:59 pm

Two tips...
#1: Don't use a shotgun mic for closed space interiors.
#2: Replace the actors lines with a little ADR session.

Good Luck!



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John Fishback
Re: How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 23, 2006 at 4:30:24 pm

You could also try a combination of Matte's idea of using a gate with adding music. Don't gate harshly and the music may cover any pumping effects.

John

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Ty Ford
Re: How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 24, 2006 at 9:24:41 pm

Find someone with a CEDAR noise reduction system. While not designed to remove echo, it will reduce it to some degree.

Ty Ford



Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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Nick Griffin
Re: How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 25, 2006 at 3:48:29 pm

I agree with ADR as the solution.

A few years ago I had incurably bad audio (on tapes shot by a still photographer) and a re-shoot was logistically and financially out of the question. When all was said and done the ADR session, done in a studio that was doing a lot of ADR for TV shows, ended up costing less than US$400 and saved the footage. If anything it sounded too good (Lou Mills short Schoeps mike I believe, Ty) and I had to roll off the top and add room sound to make it more real.

Can you do ADR yourself? Probably. I just found it much easier and faster to use a studio set up for ADR.


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Nick Griffin
Re: How can I remove echo from a soundtrack?
on Jun 25, 2006 at 3:54:22 pm

Oh, yea. It doesn't hurt to have a talent who's done ADR before or, at the very least, has enough professional control over his/her vocal performance that they can repeat some things the same way and tweak others as needed. Pros are easier to work with than non-pros. What a concept!


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