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Removing Echo in Soundbooth

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Chris ThomasRemoving Echo in Soundbooth
by on Dec 4, 2007 at 5:34:42 pm

I have a section of audio that was shot in an auditorium and picked up from what sounds like the camera mic instead of the lav. Therefore there is a really obvious echo (reverb) in my recording. I was wondering if there is a filter or some other way to possible remove the reverb or and other suggestion to help make this sound a bit better?


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Michelle AlvaradoRe: Removing Echo in Soundbooth
by on May 8, 2010 at 12:29:37 am

Chris - Did you ever solve this? I have the same issue to resolve.

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Lee HughesRe: Removing Echo in Soundbooth
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:53:10 am

I know I am drudging up a long dead thread but I figured I would offer some insight on the subject incase anyone else stumbles across this post.

Add a parametric advanced eq in the rack. chick high and low pass and band 1

pull the leftmost X back and bring band 1 down some. also bring the band end down a little.

Play with these settings until you get more or less a tin sounding audio minus the echo, it can be tricky but if you just keep playing the audio and slowing tweaking the points youll hear where its removing, then add some effects back to bring the voice back into a nicer sound. It wont remove all the echo but it will help significantly. and to the untrained ear with music in the back, they wont notice. if any one wants, when i have time i can make a quick tut

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vidar froyRe: Removing Echo in Soundbooth
by on Feb 7, 2011 at 7:25:31 pm

Great idea!!!
I would like a tutorial on that

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Lee HughesRe: Removing Echo in Soundbooth
by on Feb 7, 2011 at 8:23:11 pm

Ill see what I can do, I stay so busy a tut might take a few to get around to being made. Keep in mind this only works on slight echo. If its too bad its unsalvageable. I have had horrible echo that I removed get approved by the client, but I wouldn't have used it personally.

The biggest thing about removing echo is to listen. You have to pinpoint what part is echo and what is speech. Some echos come in the mids some bass some high, some are all three. if its only an echo in one range its usually resolvable by simple bringing that hertz down and then compensating the distortion of voice by reintroducing sound in that area. You will always crush the voice in that range but thanks to the plethora of effects in soundbooth it gives you a chance to bring it back to usable.

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vidar froyRe: Removing Echo in Soundbooth
by on Feb 8, 2011 at 1:44:21 pm


I have done a recording of a womans voice in a small room and there to much echo from the walls. I have tried to do what you described in your post, but I couldn't quite understand what to do. I guess it will be easier to understand while seeing what you actual do.

But this is a theme that many many people want to learn about so a tutorial and some info on how to remove echo (like when you have done a recording in a small room), will be useful for a lot of people!

I do have som timepressure on fixing the echo on my recording so the sooner a tutorial the better. But to get it done you need time. No problem understanding that.

In advance thank you!

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Michael QuamsRe: Removing Echo in Soundbooth
by on Jul 19, 2011 at 11:08:25 pm

Thanks but I did not understand "Add a parametric advanced eq in the rack. chick high and low pass and band 1

pull the leftmost X back and bring band 1 down some. also bring the band end down a little." what does that mean? thanks

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Lee HughesRe: Removing Echo in Soundbooth
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 1:21:05 am

sorry ive been so busy i completely forgot about this. removing echo is a tough situation, what i poorly described above was simply the way that my particular situation was resolved. When dealing with an echo you need to identify what wavelength its operating in, most but not all echo is produced in the bass spectrum of sound. for anyone who is unclear of what an echo is here is a very brief explanation:

An echo is when sound waves bounce off a surface and return to the source location, usually in a single instance. Multiple echos can occur if many sound reflective sources bounce the same wave back. Not to be confused with reverberation,multiply sound waves bouncing back at a frequency that makes the sound unintelligible.

with that said solving for an echo is not something that a simple tutorial will fix unless its for the same sound. What you need to do is remove or crush the wavelength that the echo is occurring in. For my previous example I was working in the deep bassy part of a voice, so killing the lower end of the vocal spectrum eliminated it almost completely while saving my voice characteristics.

For my example the best way to accomplish this was to add a parametric plugin, to do this i import a file and then highlight the area with the echo and goto effect/advanced/EQ:Parametric hitting setting will bring up a menu, select low and high, these are check boxes at the top and bottom. I am not going to give a detailed description of what all of this is, but in a nutshell these are the "controls" for the different levels of the wavelength, manipulating these settings will allow you to modify how much or how little of the spectrum to remove or add. start with the high and low removing as much of the echo as possible, then you can add some of the sound back in using the other controls in there to compensate for the loss of that hertz, this coupled with filters in the stereo rack for voice, can help to re introduce the spectrum of sound you removed little by little until the voice sounds more or less normal but without the echo. It takes alot of playing to get it right, and honestly you will almost never get it perfect, but it can save some audio from the cutting room floor.

I hope this was helpful. As i said before a tutorial is sort of pointless since all audio is not equal and a different technique might be better suited depending on the spectrum the echo resides in as well as the level of background noise and other factors. Keep in mind, you will never completely fix the echo, this is simply masking it and reducing it to make the audio piece usable, and sometimes an echo is so bad that it cannot be repaired.

If there is a specific piece of audio you would like help with message me privately and I will look at it and can possible recommend a course of action.

And remember, check and double check everything BEFORE a shoot and problems like this will almost never happen. A lesson I've learned the hard way over the years.

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dennis schorRe: Removing Echo in Soundbooth
by on Aug 13, 2011 at 5:35:19 pm

sounds like you've got a handle on the filtering.... i have audio that was taken in a relatively barren room with a domed ceiling using an RCA digital set on high quality. approximately a 60 second clip which is typical of the entire recording.... RCA RP5022B

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