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Please help me with audio issue!

Chuck S.

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Hello All,

Just finished shooting and editing my first short film.   I am using Premiere Pro CC to edit and having an issue with my audio clips.  They all have some hiss and a low hum that I think was coming from a refrigerator.  I used a Canon 70D and a Sennheiser MKE-400 for this project - and unfortunately I could not monitor my audio. 

First I tried the Denoiser effect in Premiere - that got rid of the hiss but not the hum.  Then I edited the clip in Audition.  Tried "Capture the Noise Print" and Noise Reduction Process - and that helped but there were some audible artifacts, an obvious metallic quality to the voices, and a slight echo added when I listened to the results.  Next I tried "Learn Sound Model" and Sound Remover - that helped a bit but added a very audible fuzzy distortion to the voices.

Any other suggestions?    Should I try to manually remove the hum and hiss in the Spectral Frequency Display?  I having been trying to figure this out for over a week now and pulling out what is left of my hair......any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot! - Chuck

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I had this problem with an extractor fan with one of the first things I filmed.

Does it drown out the dialogue or ruin it?

If it doesn't, then you can just fade out or lower the volume at the beginning/end of the dialogue, then add in some other ambient sounds to cover or add to the fridge noise.

If it does then you could always re-record the dialogue - it's a very common thing to do. You just play back the dialogue, through headphones, to the talent & get them to re-do it in sync with the original. Or you can show them the footage, with no sound, and get them to re-do it that way.

Trying to remove background noise can sometimes be worse than leaving it in.

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So for starters, you need a good spanking. Audio is just about the most important thing. 70% of what you see is what you hear. People will walk out on bad audio waaaay before bad video. Didn't monitor it? Good grief! Ok. Hopefully you learned your lesson. Moving on. 

Unfortunately audio is not as flexible as video. They really have created some good fixes lately, but it's no where near as flexible as video. That said here's what I'd do. 

Use a parametric EQ in audition. Turn the Q on one band all the way down and the gain all the way up so its just a thin spike. Now sweep the frequency until the trouble hum becomes super loud so you know right where it is, probably sub 500 hz. Then drop the gain nearly all the way down and maybe widen the Q a tad. This should help. Sometimes it'll magically all disappear, but typically it just helps. You can try a couple bands of this method. 

If that doesn't work and none of the other fixes work, try ADR. Re-record your actors audio having them mimic the performance as close as they can. Then bring the original audio and the new audio into Audition. Audition has a thing where it'll line up the new audio to match the old. It might not be perfectly spot on perfect, but it should get real close, perhaps even perfect. I forget what that's called in Audition though. You'll have to look it up. 

Next time, spend way more time recording good audio. 

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Chuck, unfortunately this is something that can not be totally fixed, the only way is doing ADR like Bioskop suggested, I had a similar situation in some dialogues and i was able to fix it first using Adobe Audition as you did, you get rid of part of the problem but make sure you are not distorting the signal, then i just cut every actor dialogue when it started and finished, so i just kept the actor voice, then i did foley to add any other sound showed in the screen (steps, scratched, etc), and finally I was able to cover the voice little issue adding some ambient sound, could be a street sound, music, etc….I did all this because of i was unable to do ADR for all actors, but when it was possible i did ADR which is the best way to fix it, I know how hard is this sound problem, next time I suggest you to use an audio preamp with your camera, Juicelink is very good and they are not so expensive, and always , always, monitor your sound, sound is so much important, if the sound is bad the movie is bad.

Good luck and i hope you are able to fix it.

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As Fuzzy said Izotope RX demo - or for a free app (which can produce startling results) ISSE


Here are the links - I'd suggest spending 5 mins learning the simple process of sampling the offending noise first :)





How long is the audio - if you get stuck fire a bad bit over and I can give it a rinse and if you happy with it will clean all the dials for you  - I have CEDAR and RX etc. you'd be surprised what rubbish I have to clean daily on broadcast stuff!



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Thank you all for your help and advice!  As I said, this was my first time and I borrowed the equipment as I had no budget.  The film is a short interview with my 94 year old grandmother mixed with B-roll of her house interior and some close-ups of her.  She has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse health-wise, so I cannot re-record any audio.  I will try all of your advice and see what works best. And believe me - I definitely learned my "Audio Lesson" and will only use a camera in the future that has a headphone jack!

GH2sound - Thank you for your offer - if I hit another wall - I'll take you up on it!


You guys are great!

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Izotpe RX all day long.. on a totally different level than most any other nr.. plug ins like the nr in premiere seem to be about the same as the ones we had in 1995 (Steinberg Wavelab) ... back then CEDAR nr systems were like 100k pounds for the full setup.. RX was a revelation when it was released - learning curve is steep though, and it takes a fine touch to get rid of the noise, without killing the hi end, and detail.. if I were you, I would take gh2sound up on his offer, you will be amazed I'm sure.. if most built in nr is like a Moped, RX3 is like a Ferrari- and sure, someone like me or you could maybe get it around a racetrack, but a real racing driver would be so much faster :)

Give it a go yourself for sure, but even if you master the software, someone who has used it alot like gh2sound would get better results just from experience..

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20 minutes ago, gh2sound said:

Welcome - do feel free to transfer it over, only take me a minute. PM'ed you me email.

There's a whole post about the eoshd community that was born from recent events that came to light, but I think it's these smaller gestures that show how cool this forum is. 

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