Cleaning up poor quality oral history recordings

Participant ,
Dec 29, 2021 Dec 29, 2021

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I have been given about a couple of dozen cassette tapes recorded probably 20 plus years ago. These were recordings of the village memories of elderly residents, now all deceased.
Unfortunately the person recording them made a number of basic mistakes - speakers too far far from microphone, wrong recording levels, and so forth. The poor quality of the recordings have been made worse I think by print through as the tapes spools have been in the same position for all thse years.

For my part, I have to say that I am very much a novice when it comes to use Audition, so that doesn't help.
I am sure there are professionals out there who could improve the quality of the sound, but the village history group does not have the funds.
Any pointers you can give me that would help me tackle the problem would be gratefully received.
I have attached a brief sample. 

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How to , Noise reduction

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Dec 29, 2021 Dec 29, 2021

You'd find that they would be a lot clearer if you remove most of the background noise. Since that's constant, Audition will make a reasonable job of it, as long as you follow the recommended procedure (which isn't obvious, by any means).

 

The tool to use is Noise Reduction (process). The idea is that you take a sample of just the noise, and this is used as a pattern to remove it from underneath the sound that you want to keep. But, to do this effectively you need to use multiple passes (3 is a

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2021 Dec 29, 2021

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You'd find that they would be a lot clearer if you remove most of the background noise. Since that's constant, Audition will make a reasonable job of it, as long as you follow the recommended procedure (which isn't obvious, by any means).

 

The tool to use is Noise Reduction (process). The idea is that you take a sample of just the noise, and this is used as a pattern to remove it from underneath the sound that you want to keep. But, to do this effectively you need to use multiple passes (3 is a good number), not taking too much off at each pass, and with each pass at a different FFT setting. And you have to resample the remaining noise for each pass. It's a bit of a faff, but it works so much better this way that it's worth it. There's a thread with rather more detail in it here. The trick is not to take more than about 3-4dB off on each pass; that way you reduce the chances of horrible bubbly artifacts considerably, which is what you would get if you tried to take 12dB off in a single pass.

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Participant ,
Dec 29, 2021 Dec 29, 2021

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Thanks Steve. Will read the thread you mention and re-read your advice and have a stab at this tomorrow when I am fresh. 

 

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