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hiss question

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hiss question

Postby MadManDan » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:17 am

I'm considering recording a lecturer, with one mic. Logistics may dictate that I have to use my four track cassette for the job, and xfer to daw later. If this is the case I had a wild idea, but don't know if it flies (strange I never tried this in two decades of using tape)

I will be putting him on tk 1. When I xfer to daw, I will also include my empty tk 4. My theory is that the hiss will be the same, and I can cancel it out by flipping its phase and blending it in.

So might this work? Is hiss identical across tape? In years of listening to 2 track masters the hiss never sounded like a stereo event so I'm thinking I might be right.
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Re: hiss question

Postby zoosound » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:35 am

That's a pretty radical idea, but i think tape hiss is a bit more randomly generated than that & therefore you're not going to cancel it out with a phase flip. I'd still try it though :headbang:
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Re: hiss question

Postby BJG145 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:38 am

MadManDan wrote:So might this work?
No.
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Re: hiss question

Postby tacitus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:27 am

Totally without scientific foundation (though the explanation about tape hiss being too random to cancel out sounds right to me) your idea sounds to me like piling two lots of s**t in one place so you can get at it better with the shovel. Bound to leave skid marks ...

More seriously, putting anything in that you have to take out later is not a good idea. In this situation I'd leave a good run in on the track you're using then take a noise signature from it to use with noise reduction to give a cleaner sound. Fidelity is less important than clarity.
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Re: hiss question

Postby Mixedup » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:43 am

Yeah, taking a noise fingerprint from the tape and using a dedicated noise removal plug-in is your best bet. In fact, most noise-removal plug-ins already have a pretty capable tape preset. If you don't have one already in your DAW, you can find a demo version of something for free, I'm sure. In fact, I think the demo of Audition includes some noise-reduction stuff.
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Re: hiss question

Postby tacitus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:53 am

Yeah, I use Audition for years and the noise reduction was very effective for tape hiss. Possibly not the ultimate in sound preservation, but for this sort of job, ideal.
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Re: hiss question

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:02 am

I do quite a bit of cassette-to-digital transcription.

Audacity - which is free - has a noise-reduction facility, but I find its preset mode a bit heavy-handed. Indeed, most of the noise-reduction presets in various editors etc seem a bit over-zealous in their efforts, meaning that artefacts get introduced into the recording.

Not being able to afford/justify the cost of something like Izotope I've found that Magix Audio Cleaning Lab is surprisingly competent if used with manual settings. It has easily adjustable parameters that let you hear what your adjustments are doing to the sound as well as the ability to hear what you're removing so you can judge how much signal you're taking out with the noise.

And as is frequently mentioned when this topic comes up... better to take several gentle sweeps/cleans rather than one mega-one.

... as for your original idea... try it. However, as has already been said, I suspect the end result will be that a significant amount of your recording gets lost along with the hiss.
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Re: hiss question

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:10 am

Your idea won't work because the noise is random.

However, what will work is to record the same thing across all the tracks. The signal level will quadruple (+12dB) while, because it is random, the noise level will only double (+6dB). The only issue to watch out for is that you play the tape back on the same machine it was recorded on as any azimuth errors will become far more important when the same signal is recorded across the whole tape width.

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