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Removing unwanted noise from recording

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Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby comradec » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:17 pm

I'm remixing an old song of mine whose original analogue multitrack recording has been transferred to a digital format.

Unfortunately, probably due to the original tape machine not being the same as the one used for the transfer, the separation between the different tracks is not 100% perfect and there has been some bleeding of sound between them.

The unwanted noise causing me the most difficulty comes from a tape sync code track which has bled onto a backing vocal track that I need to use in the song.

This is a high pitched noise that continues throughout the recording. For those who don't know, it sounds a little bit like the noise made by analogue modems when dialing up to the internet. It is present throughout the recording, which means there are sections where it is on its own and others where it is competing with the vocal part.

Would it be possible for me to neutralise the unwanted element of this recording without destroying the vocal part? In truth, so degradation of quality would be okay as I could probably get away with this backing vocal being less than perfect - it mainly serves to beef up another backing voice - but I don't want the tape sync code on it.

The audio editing tools I have at my disposal are Sound Forge 9, Audacity 1.2.6 and Cubase Studio 4.1.
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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby Steve Hill » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:58 pm

You might get home with something like Cedar but it'll cost you a fortune. It would be better to deal with the problem, to the extent possible, on the original multitrack tape e.g. muting or even erasing the sync click before doing the digital transfer.

It also depends on what the problem is... some crosstalk between adjoining tracks is normal, but if it's excessive it could be a head alignment issue or something. Or if the tape has been poorly stored you might have print through problems. Hard to say.

Cedar do a bureau service if you want to enquire about them working just on the affected .wav you want to clean up.
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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby talktalk » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:27 pm

Theres a program called Izotope Restoration its pretty good Im sure you could download a demo from there site
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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby Ted Kendall » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:47 am

I fear it's one of those cases where you need the right tool for the job - and that's CEDAR Retouch. It will allow you to remove as much of the rubbish as you choose consistent with minimum damage to the wanted signal. Talk to CEDAR about it - their bureau service isn't expensive for what you get - and in any case, five minutes with a screwdriver beats all day with an axe if what you're doing is trying to tighten a screw.
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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby Urthlupe » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:25 am

Hi chaps

Steve's not quite correct when he states that Cedar costs a fortune.

Sure, I have spent time with clients in the studio down at Cedar where £700 a day has changed hands - however the bureau service which Steve suggests is a different kettle of fish. On occasion I have had clients' work beautifully processed by Cedar engineers for instance for as little as £70.

Time code crosstalk (FSK or similar) would I'm sure be a fairly difficult proposition, but I'd suggest you phone Cedar and have a chat. In my experience they are very happy to process a sample to exemplify what is possible free of charge. You can then decide whether to proceed with them or not based on a fixed quote.

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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby shirkethic » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:43 am

+1 for Izotope RX.

Absolutely incredible. If it can be done, Izotope will do it. Dead easy to use too.

Cheers!

Paul
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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby James Perrett » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:57 am

Sorry Steve - I must have missed this when I did the transfer (assuming you are talking about the tapes I transferred). The simple solution would be to just use a noise gate to keep the tracks muted when there is nothing on them. If the noise is still objectionable then I'd try something like the noise reduction in Adobe Audition. Timecode is just two set frequencies so it shouldn't be difficult to take a noise signature and filter much of it out.

If you can PM me with the names of the files I'll see if I can dig them out from a backup and have a go.

Cheers

James.
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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby Steve Hill » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:03 am

Urthlupe wrote:Steve's not quite correct when he states that Cedar costs a fortune.

It's £2,350 per DAW platform.

I agree it's a matter of opinion whether that constitutes a fortune. But if you're only an occasional user, the bureau service is by far the better option.
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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby comradec » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:46 am

Steve Hill wrote:
Urthlupe wrote:Steve's not quite correct when he states that Cedar costs a fortune.

It's £2,350 per DAW platform.

I agree it's a matter of opinion whether that constitutes a fortune. But if you're only an occasional user, the bureau service is by far the better option.

Yes, that is a fortune. And so is the Izotope RX software.
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Re: Removing unwanted noise from recording

Postby comradec » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:47 am

James Perrett wrote:Sorry Steve - I must have missed this when I did the transfer (assuming you are talking about the tapes I transferred). The simple solution would be to just use a noise gate to keep the tracks muted when there is nothing on them. If the noise is still objectionable then I'd try something like the noise reduction in Adobe Audition. Timecode is just two set frequencies so it shouldn't be difficult to take a noise signature and filter much of it out.

If you can PM me with the names of the files I'll see if I can dig them out from a backup and have a go.

Hi James.

I'll get back to you later with the file names.

Cheers,

Steve
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