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Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

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Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby withnail » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:28 pm

I've got a recording of some footsteps that were recoded in a confined echo strong area.
I want them to sound as if they are outside.
I am going to head out and re record my own feet but, out of interest, is there any post production I could use to get the outdoors sound. I've been messing with adding reverb but I'm struggling to get it sounding right.
Cheers.
W
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:45 pm

Hi and welcome!

Using FX is something I'm doing all the time with audio dramas. I've learnt the hard way - as I think you are at present - that if the 'acoustic' of the effect is wrong for the wider sound perspective then you're on a hiding to nothing in trying to make it fit.

As well as having numerous FX discs I make regular use of Freesound. Even then I sometimes just can't find the right effect/acoustic combination. Then I have to record the effect myself. That's usually my last resort as I'm usually on fast turnround times from receipt of raw voice recordings to finished product and recording raw FX does take longer. But sometimes there is simply no alternative.

In your specific case I'd say that if you can't find what you want in Freesound or another library then record it yourself.

HTH. Mike
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby BJG145 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:53 pm

Perhaps not quite the right tool for this job, but you might be interested in checking out Speakerphone if you haven't come across it...

http://www.audioease.com/Pages/Speakerphone/speakerphone.html
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:10 pm

It's virtually impossible to remove an unwanted acoustic like this, and slapping on more effects just makes it worse. Of course, some outdoors environments are actually surprisingly reverberant, but an empty park or field is pretty dry, so you'd need to start with a very dry acoustic, or record it outdoors in an appropriate environment in the first place.

H
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby alexis » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:28 am

withnail wrote:I've got a recording of some footsteps that were recoded in a confined echo strong area.
I want them to sound as if they are outside.
I am going to head out and re record my own feet but, out of interest, is there any post production I could use to get the outdoors sound. I've been messing with adding reverb but I'm struggling to get it sounding right.
Cheers.
W

Hugh Robjohns wrote:It's virtually impossible to remove an unwanted acoustic like this, and slapping on more effects just makes it worse. Of course, some outdoors environments are actually surprisingly reverberant, but an empty park or field is pretty dry, so you'd need to start with a very dry acoustic, or record it outdoors in an appropriate environment in the first place.

H

I came across a review of two plug-ins in Electronic Musician (5/13), Zynaptic Unveil and SPL De-Verb are describing as being able to:

"... completely eliminate ambience from a two-channel recording without shrinking the stereo field, and they work equally well with mono tracks".

I would be skeptical about such a claim without even having read Hugh's response. But those are not squishy descriptors in that write up ... could it be these products are actually able to to that, could this be what the OP was looking for?
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby alexis » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:12 pm

alexis wrote:I came across a review of two plug-ins in Electronic Musician (5/13), Zynaptic Unveil and SPL De-Verb are describing as being able to:

"... completely eliminate ambience from a two-channel recording without shrinking the stereo field, and they work equally well with mono tracks".

I would be skeptical about such a claim without even having read Hugh's response. But those are not squishy descriptors in that write up ... could it be these products are actually able to to that, could this be what the OP was looking for?
Nobody has experience w/ these two products I guess. Can anyone give an opinion whether they could truly be this magic, or is the claim BS?
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby The Elf » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:45 pm

alexis wrote:Can anyone give an opinion whether they could truly be this magic, or is the claim BS?
Typically this type of software is:

Not as good as you'd hope
Not as bad as you'd fear



Both have demo versions, so give them a go.
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby narcoman » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:49 pm

alexis wrote:
alexis wrote:I came across a review of two plug-ins in Electronic Musician (5/13), Zynaptic Unveil and SPL De-Verb are describing as being able to:

"... completely eliminate ambience from a two-channel recording without shrinking the stereo field, and they work equally well with mono tracks".

I would be skeptical about such a claim without even having read Hugh's response. But those are not squishy descriptors in that write up ... could it be these products are actually able to to that, could this be what the OP was looking for?
Nobody has experience w/ these two products I guess. Can anyone give an opinion whether they could truly be this magic, or is the claim BS?

I've got Unveil.

It's good for what it is, most useful in reducing room tone in dialog. But it is not a magic solution. Useful but like all these things not perfect.... Not even half perfect but better than nothing.
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby alexis » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:10 am

narcoman wrote:
alexis wrote:
alexis wrote:I came across a review of two plug-ins in Electronic Musician (5/13), Zynaptic Unveil and SPL De-Verb are describing as being able to:

"... completely eliminate ambience from a two-channel recording without shrinking the stereo field, and they work equally well with mono tracks".

I would be skeptical about such a claim without even having read Hugh's response. But those are not squishy descriptors in that write up ... could it be these products are actually able to to that, could this be what the OP was looking for?
Nobody has experience w/ these two products I guess. Can anyone give an opinion whether they could truly be this magic, or is the claim BS?

I've got Unveil.

It's good for what it is, most useful in reducing room tone in dialog. But it is not a magic solution. Useful but like all these things not perfect.... Not even half perfect but better than nothing.
Thanks for that, Narcoman. I think it's despicable that people write such things, and that editors allow them to be published. Subjective statements, sure ("The sound of these speakers is as crystal pure as the Andalucian Alps spring waters, at least upstream of where the goats gather to relieve themselves, downstream of which is actually not clean at all …"). But these were made as black and white quantitative statements of fact ("…completely eliminates ambience …). I am actually seriously letting my subscription lapse. I'd write a letter to the editor, but can't be bothered, knowing in circumstances like these it would almost certainly change … nothing.
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby narcoman » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:50 am

Don't be too hard on them. A lot of reviews ( not in SOS) are done by people with not much more than a hobbiest knowledge of recording and production tech. To them I'm sure it does sound like its completely removed the ambience. The same way as some people say an MP3 at 192 is indistinguishable from a CD. with reviews read between the lines a little. For me, if a reviewer hasnt got years of experience on professional product then that reviewer loses a bit of credibility although his/her opinion is still useful as a guide.

. The USE of tools is very different to the TEST of tools. Unveil does do its job in tricky situations, but under test conditions ( exposed dialogue etc) then its not transparent.

In laymans terms Unveil does indeed remove reverb.... But it has artefacts. A very good piece of software but , again, better to have got it right in the first place. Obviously!!
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:11 am

alexis wrote: I came across a review of two plug-ins in Electronic Musician (5/13), Zynaptic Unveil and SPL De-Verb are describing as being able to:

"... completely eliminate ambience from a two-channel recording without shrinking the stereo field, and they work equally well with mono tracks".


I've not knowingly heard either of those plug-ins, but the description seems rather optimistic to me. I have heard several different 'de-verbs' to date, and some are quite remarkable, but I wouldn't describe any as being anywhere close to the kind of artefact-free tool we need for high quality music applications. They may well be useful, and they are used, but 'completely eliminate' just ain't possible.... yet.

However, this is an area that is undergoing rapid development, largely driven by the interest in voice-controlled technology. As it happens, I was talking with a mega-boffin from Sony recently who is working in this field. He was explaining that voice-control is relatively easy when you are talking into a phone because there is lots of voice and little ambience, so the voice recognition algorithms have a lot of useful information to go on. But as you expand the technology to a car, to tablet users, to voice controlled TVs at the other end of a quiet living room, and then to a voice-controlled toaster at the opposite end of a noisy and reverberant kitchen (with squabbling kids, barking dog, and the washing machine on fast spin), things get much harder... and being able to discriminate between wanted voice and unwanted reverb is a critical aspect.

Consequently, there is a lot of investment at the moment into finding ways of identifying and removing reverberation and ambient sounds -- mostly targetted at voice recognition, but with obvious applications elsewhere -- and that's why rapid progress is being made.

But it still has a way to go yet for artefact-free music applications.

H
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:26 am

narcoman wrote:Don't be too hard on them. A lot of reviews ( not in SOS) are done by people with not much more than a hobbiest knowledge of recording and production tech.


Surely, that's exactly why you should be hard on them! They lower the standard and expectations, and devalue the work of genuinely knowledgeable and experienced reviewers with integrity. It is a constant struggle for SOS to maintain our quality, integrity and independence in the face of advertiser-pleasing claptrap like that!

There are many examples I could give from the 20-odd years I've been a reviewer, but here's just one: a few years ago I was asked to review a product that had received rave reviews in the competition -- scoring 4/5 in one review, and acquiring several awards, and yet it became obvious to me within a short time of using the product that there was a serious problem. I subsequently confirmed various issues with bench test measurements -- this product had several major and fundamental design flaws that made it unusable in any professional context, and the manufacturer withdrew it from the market immediately after they confirmed my findings. Consequently, we never published a review for it.

A lot of 'reviews' are little more than re-writes of a manufacturer's blurb and it's not unknown for the reviewer to not even have seen the product they are writing about! I've received review product that has come from other magazines which was clearly never unpacked, let alone used in earnest!

H
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby shufflebeat » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:03 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:It is a constant struggle for SOS to maintain our quality, integrity and independence in the face of advertiser-pleasing claptrap like that!

And thanks for your consistent effort. I can't buy any kind of guitar/folk music publications any more (including the main UK contenders) not because there aren't some interesting bits and pieces within but my blood pressure won't take the ill informed tongue stretching sycophancy that presents as contact with the 'talent' (some of whom are known to me, and they're nice guys and decent players but...) and the raving on about reinvented wheels and overpriced 'acoustic' kit for the unwary enthusiast.

Rant over.

In putting a few amateur soundtracks together I found it worthwhile to underline the particular (in your case 'outdoor') properties of a sound by judicious use of supporting audio cues. The sound of a parking car was made 'indoor' in my case by not only gradually applying (much more effective) a small room IR but bookending the sound with garage doors opening and closing relying on listeners' imagination to fill in any technical gaps.

In some cases I'd imagine a background outdoor ambience, traffic, subliminal birdsound, distant aircraft might make the difference.
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby narcoman » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:28 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
narcoman wrote:Don't be too hard on them. A lot of reviews ( not in SOS) are done by people with not much more than a hobbiest knowledge of recording and production tech.

Surely, that's exactly why you should be hard on them! They lower the standard and expectations, and devalue the work of genuinely knowledgeable and experienced reviewers with integrity. It is a constant struggle for SOS to maintain our quality, integrity and independence in the face of advertiser-pleasing claptrap like that!

There are many examples I could give from the 20-odd years I've been a reviewer tell, but a few years ago I was asked to review a product that had received rave reviews in the competition -- scoring 4/5 in one review, and acquiring several awards, and yet it became obvious to me within a short time of using the product that there was a serious problem. I subsequently confirmed various issues with bench test measurements -- this product had several major and fundamental design flaws that made it unusable in any professional context, and the manufacturer withdrew it from the market immediately after they confirmed my findings. Consequently, we never published a review for it.

A lot of 'reviews' are little more than re-writes of a manufacturer's blurb and it's not unknown for the reviewer to not even have seen the product they are writing about! I've received review product that has come from other magazines which was clearly never unpacked, let alone used in earnest!

H

True enough Hugh. I'm just being careful what I say these days as there are a couple of individuals on the forum who shout down anything I say that might be seen as affrontive.
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:33 pm



H
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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby Urthlupe » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:49 pm

narcoman wrote: I'm just being careful what I say these days as there are a couple of individuals on the forum who shout down anything I say that might be seen as affrontive.

V sorry to see this.

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Re: Change the 'setting' of recorded sound.

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:12 am

Just saw this on the front page

http://www.soundonsound.com/news?NewsID=16082
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