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Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?

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Charles Ferran
Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 12:56:16 pm

Hello, we have a lady who comes in and does our V.O.'s I feel so bad for her, she got really sick recently. Her voice is pretty much not there anymore, its really raspy and 'throaty' is there a way, or effect I can use in the Final Cut Suite that will maybe boost and/or clean it up at least a bit? thanks

Charles Ferran
845-699-5270
http://www.charlesferran.com

"Far better is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with the poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much because they live in a gray twilight that knows no victory or defeat."



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Ty Ford
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 3:30:46 pm

Hello Charles and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

It's difficult to say without hearing her voice. In general, the harder edges of the voice are up around 6 kHz. You could try pulling down a few dB there with an equalizer. At some point you will lose intelligibility and the voice will go muddy.

You don't say what mic you use on her, but in the future, you may want to consider a more flattering mic for her voice. Condenser mics tend to accentuate the high frequencies. The Schoeps cmc641 is an exception. It's a condenser mic, but very smooth. Try a good dynamic like an EV RE20 or Shure SM7b.

Regards,


Ty Ford

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






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Charles Ferran
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 4:32:58 pm

thanks for the response, I was normalizing but the problem that came from that was the "S" 's were way too pronounced and would throw the audio into the red. As for the mic, I don't know much about it, I've already talked these people into buying so much stuff, whats a few extra thousand right? ;)

Charles Ferran
845-699-5270
http://www.charlesferran.com

"Far better is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with the poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much because they live in a gray twilight that knows no victory or defeat."



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Ty Ford
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 18, 2010 at 5:07:34 pm

Hello Charles,

Normalizing, by its nature keeps all levels from going into the red. I don't know what you did, but it wasn't normalizing.

Raspy voice is one thing. Excessive sibilance, which you now describe is something completely different.

There are sibilance filters in Soundtrack pro,

Regards,

Ty Ford


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






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Charles Ferran
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:04:12 am

ended up not even using her voice, but thanks anyway, one of these days when I have time I'm going to brush up a bit on some basic Soundtrack Pro tuts, because you're right I must have done something else. Thanks again!

Charles Ferran
845-699-5270
http://www.charlesferran.com

"Far better is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with the poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much because they live in a gray twilight that knows no victory or defeat."



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Peter Groom
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:14:07 pm

HI. Much as I sympathise with her problem of a failing voice, and applaud your loyalty, Id not let this get in the way of your product. The world is full of literally thousands of voices all of whom can deliver a quality read. They are ALL only a moment away on a digital line usually at no extra cost. Its a nonsense to cast a VO based on who is within reach of your studio. The entire world is within easy reach.
Get that guy in Barcelona / Istanbul / London etc if hes right for you and can agree the fees!

Peter



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Ty Ford
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 1:28:01 pm

Peter,

As Charles notes, the problem may be in the way in which the audio was recorded, not the talent. Crappy mics, bad choices in connections; the number of ways in which the audio could have gone wrong are numerous.

While hiring someone in Dubai might obscure the problem of recording on site. Eventually, the problem has to be addressed. While some voices are excessively sibilant, the waveform for an overly sibilant moment is usually not as high as other moments. It's just a lot denser.

Charles, if you are recording at good levels, you really don't need to normalize. Try going back to square one and find out where you added gain to put the signal into the red. Some plug in you jacked up maybe? Raise the gain on that track overall without watching what happened when she may have gotten louder? Play the track from the beginning to see what moment(s) went over. Use the volume line and pen tools to adjust the volume, if needed.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Peter Groom
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:13:10 pm

HI Ty
I rather took it from his comment

"I feel so bad for her, she got really sick recently. Her voice is pretty much not there anymore, its really raspy and 'throaty'"

that the vo herself was not physically too good.

Peter



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Ty Ford
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 8:27:13 pm

Peter,

Right, but then he was talking later about normalizing, going into the red and S sounds.

Who knows?!

Ty

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






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Jordan Wolf
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 20, 2010 at 5:08:52 am

You should do some research and look at "de-essing". As Ty says, they may go by other names (sibilance filter, etc.), but they should all accomplish the same thing.

Most sibilance can be found from 3kHz-7kHz. What you are looking for is a filter, plugin, or device (outboard gear) that can compress a certain frequency/frequency range when it exceeds a set threshold.

A compressor that is sidechained to a parametric equalizer can be made to do this, more or less, and is especially useful for sound reinforcement people like myself when dealing with artists who have less-than-perfect mic technique.

Basically, you'd put the EQ in the "sidechain" of the compressor, boost the EQ at whatever frequency you wish to tame, and the compressor will keep the level down when the threshold leve is exceeded.

Also look into "dynamic equalization".

Hope that helps!

Wolf
<><


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 20, 2010 at 5:10:20 am

Wanted to add this:

Sidechain could also be called a "key input" (a la ProTools).

Wolf
<><


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Ty Ford
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 20, 2010 at 5:20:23 am

Actually, Pro Tools has a de-esser. It's a high frequency limiter with an adjustable corner frequency.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Peter Groom
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Feb 20, 2010 at 10:19:34 pm

I tend to think that, unless people want to provide ongoing tech support, suggesting side chaining and key inputs (having re read the 1st post) is probably a bad idea.
Peter



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Seth Hinz
Re: Way to clean up 'raspy' voice audio?
on Mar 28, 2013 at 2:32:54 pm

I had success with the following parameters.. (bearing in mind, I'm an audio novice.

1. Boosted lower mids
2. Reduced the high end curve

That cut down the raspy quality, so I applied to file. At that point, I had bassy audio. So I needed to add back some dynamic to the voice.

In Soundbooth, there is an Effects Rack Setting called "Voice: Male 1" which includes a EQ: Graphic & Dynamics settings

The EQ Graphic does the following on a four panel EQ

Drops LOW by -2db
Drops LOW-MID by -5db
Bumps up HIGH-MID by 5db
Keep HIGH the same

Dynamics does the following:

LIMITER
Threshold: -4.8db
Ratio: 23.9
Attack: 0.0ms
Release: 100ms

COMPRESSOR
Threshold: -30.0db
Ratio: 5.9
Attack: 10.0ms
Release: 100ms

GATE/EXPANDER
Threshold: -120.0db
Ratio: 30.0
Attack: 500.0ms
Release: 1000ms

GAIN
Output Gain: 4.2db


I was pretty happy with the way it sounded at that point.

@sethhinz


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