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Repairing audio recorded with heavy ducking

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Chris WarrenRepairing audio recorded with heavy ducking
by on Sep 12, 2012 at 4:34:42 pm

OK, so I have a client that has sent me hours of video that I am using for their training films. They recorded everything in an extremely loud factory. They are aware that the audio sucks and I am in no way trying to make this sound like it was recorded in a studio.(they are just training videos) However I am trying to polish it up just slightly. I am using the Noise Reduction filter to kill a little of the background noise.

The biggest problem is that it sounds like the audio was recorded with some heavy ducking so that when the guy stops talking the noise jumps back up.
I put a sample of the raw video/audio here to hear what I am talking about:

As you can see, the signal to noise ratio is ok when he is talking, but crappy when he isn't
Does anyone know of a way I can fix that a bit?
(Using CS5)


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Angelo LorenzoRe: Repairing audio recorded with heavy ducking
by on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:02:27 am

First thought would be to run noise reduction but not to remove noise completely, I'd probably set the "lower noise" setting to something like 6-12db, whatever kind of evened it out with the ducked portion. It shouldn't eat up too much of the vocal quality that way either, even though it seems like wide band white noise.

Angelo Lorenzo
Fallen Empire Digital Production Services - Los Angeles
RED transcoding, on-set DIT, and RED Epic rental services
Fallen Empire - The Blog
A blog dedicated to filmmaking, the RED workflow, and DIT tips and tricks

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Repairing audio recorded with heavy ducking
by on Sep 17, 2012 at 12:34:52 am

As Lorenzo said, taking a sample of the noise floor is the way to go. This is just a sample of the factory noise when the speaker is not talking. Then remove this sample from the whole audio clip, but just enough so it still sounds "real". You don't want all of the background noise to go away.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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