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Vocal distortion(?) but not clipped in waveform

New Here ,
Sep 07, 2018 Sep 07, 2018

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Hello all,

I've searched the forums and found similar discussions but not sure I am using the right terminology so I wanted to pose the question just in case.

I just received a video to produce. It was recorded at a conference and the speaker was using a handheld mic. Other clips include speakers who used lav mics. The lav mic audio came in fine but anyone that was using the handheld, the vocals sound like their clipping but when I open the file it doesn't appear to be clipped. In the video, the speaker isn't holding the mic too close.

I'm fairly new to Audition as the audio i receive has typically been produced before I ever get it. I know it wont be the same as capturing it right during recording but I'm hoping to at least clean it up a little.

I've uploaded a very short clip of the audio for an example: Dropbox - Audio Extracted_01.mp3

Also, since they'll be sending me more files in the future, what guidance can I give them to pass along to the sound person to ensure the handhelds come in clear?

Thanks for any guidance,

Nate

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Community Expert ,
Sep 07, 2018 Sep 07, 2018

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n8crocker  wrote

 

Also, since they'll be sending me more files in the future, what guidance can I give them to pass along to the sound person to ensure the handhelds come in clear?

Simple - turn down the mic preamp gain. What's happening is that the first stage (the preamp) is being overloaded - quite a bit. They need to adjust the gain so that it's not distorted, rather than just cutting the output level, which is probably what they've done here. Also with a hand-held mic it's a good idea to have a limiter on the output before it gets recorded - this can make everything a little easier on the audience! Basically they need to learn how a desk works...

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LEGEND ,
Sep 07, 2018 Sep 07, 2018

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Unfortunately since the signal was distorted before it was recorded there is really nothing you can do at this stage to improve it I'm afraid.

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Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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That doesn't really make sense to me. If the pre amp gain was set to high, the audio should still show that it's clipping on the waveform? Recently got the Rode Wireless Pros and they've been nothing but a headache. Audio levels look good on the monitor and even on the meter when bringing it into Premiere but it just sounds bad. Not awful but not $400 audio quality. Constant popping and acts like its peaking but it isn't 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 29, 2018 Oct 29, 2018

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i've had the same problem but it is possible to fix!
What you want to do is:

1. Open you clip in premiere pro.

2. Use the gain fucntion to make the sound clip. This have to be done very carefully because you want to make the signal clip but without loosing too much of the valueable informaton that is left. The first time you do this you want to set it to whatever Adobe say is the max peek of the track and then gain it with +1 db

3. The you export this soundfile as WAV

4. Import the sound you just exportet and open it with adobe audition

5. Go a head and use the declipper on the track. I suggest using the heavyclipped version.

6. Check for places the tracked is clipped.

What now happens is that audition begins to detect the clipping and can therefore fix it

7. Look at the repaired waveform. You now gain some of the dynamic range back and lose the distortion in the voice.

8. What you can now do to perfect this tecnique is to repeat step 2-7 and increase the db in step 2 with +1 for each time. You will soon hit a sweet spot where your sound in this example will sound almost perfect!

Hope this helps

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New Here ,
Jun 05, 2023 Jun 05, 2023

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5 years later I see I'm adding to the thread. Had this same issue....simply ran the track through Adobe's Shasta and it was essentially fixed.

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New Here ,
Jul 18, 2023 Jul 18, 2023

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Not OP but needed same advice. I couldn't access Shasta but could immediately access Adobe Enhance Speech and it has saved my audio! As you have for sharing this! Thanks for taking the time - you saved a podcast episode!

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