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Reducing echo

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John Drith
Reducing echo
on Aug 22, 2008 at 7:05:01 pm

I was referred to this forum from the Adobe Premiere Pro forum.
I am trying to salvage as best I can a DV recording which has a great deal of echo in it. I am using Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5. Knowing that I cannot eliminate the echo the best I could hope for would be to reduce it.

Which (if any) filters in PP1.5 might help me accomplish this?
Even if there are useable filters in this software that's half the battle since I have little experience adjusting most parameters in these filters.

All informed suggestions are appreciated.


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Ty Ford
Re: Reducing echo
on Aug 23, 2008 at 3:03:10 am

Hello John and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Sadly, there isn't a lot you can do. I can only suggest that next time you use Sony MDR 7506 or Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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David Jones
Re: Reducing echo
on Aug 23, 2008 at 3:33:34 am

Hi John

I don't mean to dump on, but to anyone else reading this: echo is NOT something you can "fix in post". It must be controlled in the field using things like sound blankets, and proper micing techniques. This DOES NOT include using the built-in mic on the camera or even a shotgun mic mounted on the camera.


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Stuart Nimmo
Re: Reducing echo
on Aug 27, 2008 at 11:46:12 am

Very true, "we'll sort it all out in post is" was always a sign of a dodgy technician or Director! However, that said, even the best get caught in unforeseen conditions and the good news is that there is a way of reducing room echo to an extent.

Each room has it's own echo "footprint" and much of that echo is oddly at a very precise narrow frequency - narrow enough to identify precisely and to EQ out to good effect - without doing too much damage to the rest of the sound; the trick is to spend the time identifying the frequency and not to over do the EQing out.

I do agree though, this is very much an emergency solution to situations that do happen.

http://www.GluedTo.Tv


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Ty Ford
Re: Reducing echo
on Aug 27, 2008 at 2:36:15 pm

With all due respect, Stuart, I've yet to hear a cure for bad micing that isn't as bad as the disease.
That includes the $6K GML noise reduction hardware made for Disney. It was able to do "something", but everything else falls into the first category.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Stuart Nimmo
Re: Reducing echo
on Aug 27, 2008 at 3:13:34 pm

As I said, I'm not keen on this of course Ty, but if you are stuck it does work. I've used it in desperation, (I made the silly mistake of thinking I was on my summer holiday. I was on a Greek island with almost no equipment at all (and no chance of collecting any in time) when a story came ... and went. I simply had to shoot it. In post I relaid 11 audio tracks (thankfully as an ex BBC Editor I loved track building and laying)and was left with an interview that was clean apart from mild room echo. I tried this and was very surprised and grateful for the result. which wasn't bad and considerably better than the unfiltered track.



http://www.GluedTo.Tv


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Stuart Nimmo
Re: Reducing echo
on Aug 27, 2008 at 4:58:52 pm

Just to add and clarify.

Ty is the man for audio and he is right about not recording "duff" sound in the first place. Audio is a big responsibility, well used it can easily add up to more that half the value of a production, (radio exists and tell a story really well without television, but television isn't up to much without the sound.

My suggested repair method is definitely for emergencies and "after the sad event" only. It is not a regular audio edit tool.

If you are stuck and if you really need a solution to echo then used carefully and with moderation you may be able to improve on a poor job. It is worth a try, after all, you can always undo the cure, you can't necessarily undo the original error.

http://www.GluedTo.Tv


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Greg Curda
Re: Reducing echo
on Oct 3, 2008 at 1:55:25 pm

Hi Guys,

Can I amplify a little, because we're at the root of a situation. Acquiring sound is not as easy as acquiring picture. There are hundreds of picture "looks" that could fly, but sound has far less latitude. People spend years perfecting techniques and building an aesthetic sense of sound. Technology makes our job easier and harder at the same time. Producers (and even some new sound people) now believe there's a magic plug-in for every ill, similar in a way to the concept that lavs and wireless were magic cures. The principles of effective production and post-production sound have not changed in decades. The massive degree of "control" we have over digital sound produces the perception that anything is fixable. And indeed, those dedicated to sound will try anything to save a track. I have reduced echo by heavy compression. That and 8 layers of backgrounds! It shouldn't have worked...but it did. I got lucky. It didn't work the next time. Every situation is different, and every show is a new challenge. We do whatever it takes to make it right. But I think we're all obliged to foster the "principles", the established aesthetic conventions, of good sound. There is no shortcut.

Hope I'm not out of line with this posting... Vote Sound!



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