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Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:13 pm
by chaseuk02
Hello everyone,
I am completely lost when it comes to audio. I have a audio clip where something has went bad with the first 6-7 seconds of the recording before clearing up. It sounds like the speaker is very muffled.

I am guessing that this is something that cannot be undone? Does anyone have any suggestions or could anyone clean up the audio for me? I would be eternally grateful.

https://soundcloud.com/user-353146338/foradam6/s-LKvcp

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:28 am
by Tim Gillett
No that section cant be cleaned up. The information is not there. Did you make the recording or is this from somebody else? I suspect the only hope is that those first seconds were not compromised on the original recording.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:57 am
by Mike Stranks
Had a very quick listen... mp3 only of course, listening direct on Soundcloud...

Sounded to me like the person was still coming 'on mic' as the recording started... If so it's an artefact of the mic in relation to the speaker and nothing to do with technical quality per se.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:17 pm
by MOF
I don’t think it was a delay in getting close to the mic’ it sounds like MP3 artefacts due to not enough data getting to your recording device.
Not much chance of repairing it other than Cedar audio devices and they might struggle.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:34 pm
by Wonks
It can probably be improved to be more intelligible, but almost impossible to get to match the rest of the recording.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:38 pm
by chaseuk02
Thanks everyone. I appreciate you giving it a listen.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:51 pm
by chaseuk02
Would anyone be willing to help clean it up further even if it cannot be fixed completely?

I would pay for your time!

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:54 pm
by Tim Gillett
I would if I felt I could significantly improve the first 4 seconds but I don't believe it's possible.

But I'm puzzled how what seems like a seamless section of speech could comprise two sections with such different levels of sound quality, with that abrupt change at 4 seconds in. What was the voice originally recorded on? Has this been edited in any way?

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:09 pm
by chaseuk02
Tim, yes that is correct. It has been edited to simply raise the volume so you can hear what he is saying. In the original recording the microphone appears to cut out and you can barely hear what he is saying, then it picks up and the rest of the sound is normal.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:16 pm
by Kwackman
chaseuk02 wrote:Tn the original recording the microphone appears to cut out

How was it recorded? Was the speaker in the same room as the recording or was it someone being recorded over Skype, FaceTime, ISDN or similar technology? If so, my guess is that the recording started before the technology had locked up a solid connection.
I don't think it's fixable, but hope I'm wrong!

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:32 pm
by James Perrett
I'd agree with Tim on this - it wouldn't be possible to match the sound of the rest of the recording. The line sounds perfectly audible to me so it isn't a problem if this is just an audio letter, but if it is for wider circulation then the best solution would be to re-record that line and edit it in to the rest of the piece.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:53 pm
by chaseuk02
Kwackman wrote:
chaseuk02 wrote:Tn the original recording the microphone appears to cut out

How was it recorded? Was the speaker in the same room as the recording or was it someone being recorded over Skype, FaceTime, ISDN or similar technology? If so, my guess is that the recording started before the technology had locked up a solid connection.
I don't think it's fixable, but hope I'm wrong!

It was recorded on a phone over a similar technology as you mentioned. I do believe you are correct, it looks like the connection had not had time to solidify.

Thanks for taking a listen. I just thought I would ask some folks who knew what they were talking about to see if I missed anything. I normalized the audio volume and tried to clean it up the best I could.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:30 am
by Tim Gillett
chaseuk02 wrote:...Thanks for taking a listen. I just thought I would ask some folks who knew what they were talking about to see if I missed anything. I normalized the audio volume and tried to clean it up the best I could.

"Cleaning up" is where mistakes are often made, for cleaning up is not always easy or even possible, let alone a perfect solution. As James said, just re recording may the best solution here. Here's an interesting short article by Nick Messite of Izotope on 8 Common Audio Restoration Mistakes.

https://www.izotope.com/content/izotope ... takes.html

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:45 am
by Mike Stranks
Tim Gillett wrote:
chaseuk02 wrote:...Thanks for taking a listen. I just thought I would ask some folks who knew what they were talking about to see if I missed anything. I normalized the audio volume and tried to clean it up the best I could.

"Cleaning up" is where mistakes are often made, for cleaning up is not always easy or even possible, let alone a perfect solution. As James said, just re recording may the best solution here. Here's an interesting short article by Nick Messite of Izotope on 8 Common Audio Restoration Mistakes.

https://www.izotope.com/content/izotope ... takes.html

Indeed!

... and thanks for that link Tim... I'll have a listen later.

(A note for old sweats here: Have you noticed how often Mr G and I are agreeing these days? Wondrous! :lol: :thumbup: )

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:49 pm
by chaseuk02
Tim Gillett wrote:
chaseuk02 wrote:...Thanks for taking a listen. I just thought I would ask some folks who knew what they were talking about to see if I missed anything. I normalized the audio volume and tried to clean it up the best I could.

"Cleaning up" is where mistakes are often made, for cleaning up is not always easy or even possible, let alone a perfect solution. As James said, just re recording may the best solution here. Here's an interesting short article by Nick Messite of Izotope on 8 Common Audio Restoration Mistakes.

https://www.izotope.com/content/izotope ... takes.html

Thanks, Unfortunately, re-recording is not an option. So I just tried to make it audible and will have to live with the difference in audio quality it appears.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:55 pm
by blinddrew
I reckon he'll remember the message long afterwards and probably won't even really notice the first few seconds. :thumbup:

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:51 pm
by innerchord
That sounds like adaptive audio codec switching. There is probably some scope for improvement.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:52 pm
by molecular
I suspect Drew is right and the listener will almost certainly give it a lot less thought than anyone on here...

But you could do a bit of creative editing the start if that hadn’t occurred to you... could be a way of making it start with the congratulations phrase perhaps.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:34 pm
by Tim Gillett
chaseuk02 wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote:
chaseuk02 wrote:...Thanks for taking a listen. I just thought I would ask some folks who knew what they were talking about to see if I missed anything. I normalized the audio volume and tried to clean it up the best I could.

"Cleaning up" is where mistakes are often made, for cleaning up is not always easy or even possible, let alone a perfect solution. As James said, just re recording may the best solution here. Here's an interesting short article by Nick Messite of Izotope on 8 Common Audio Restoration Mistakes.

https://www.izotope.com/content/izotope ... takes.html

Thanks, Unfortunately, re-recording is not an option. So I just tried to make it audible and will have to live with the difference in audio quality it appears.
I agree. The only alternative I can think of is to synthesise those 4 seconds by selecting the same words out of the rest of the message (if they all appear) and carefully editing them using the 4 second section as the template. But you might only discover how acceptable was the result by actually doing it.

Re: Need help with audio quality

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:27 am
by Terrible.dee
chaseuk02 wrote:Hello everyone,
I am completely lost when it comes to audio. I have a audio clip where something has went bad with the first 6-7 seconds of the recording before clearing up. It sounds like the speaker is very muffled.

I am guessing that this is something that cannot be undone? Does anyone have any suggestions or could anyone clean up the audio for me? I would be eternally grateful.

https://soundcloud.com/user-353146338/foradam6/s-LKvcp

Any type of major digital audio surgery is "Fool's Gold" and a waste of your time,

Do it again, do it RIGHT