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Boombox recording fix

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Boombox recording fix

Postby bragimike » Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:49 pm

I'm not sure that there's anything to be done, but I have a recording I made in the 1980s on cassette tape using a boombox. As was the case in those days, it had no recording volume control and a built in compressor that cut in whenever the bass guitar came in. I'm assuming that the energy in that frequency range dominated everything. This means that the recording is unlistenable. I'm guessing that there's nothing that can fix it, but I thought I'd ask on the off-chance that it could be fixed. The music software I use is Cubase in case that is helpful.

Any assistance or suggestions would be greatfully received.
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Re: Boombox recording fix

Postby The Elf » Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:36 pm

You could try some expansion, though I doubt you'll get anything great from it.

One thing to try may be to split the audio into those parts without bass and those where the bass dominates and put these on two separate tracks. Now try lifting the bass-drenched track to the point where the other instruments sound more even.

But this is all very hopeful... :headbang: :oops:
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Re: Boombox recording fix

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:09 pm

Assuming the recorder wasn't actually overloaded, it might be possible to restore some sense of more natural dynamics by writing fader automation essentially to invert the gain reduction applied by the recorder's compressor. But it would be very long and tedious work.
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Re: Boombox recording fix

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:41 pm

I'm wondering whether it would be possible to create some upward expansion with the expander's side chain driven by the bass. I've done something similar in Reaper to decode dBX but it would take quite a bit of experimentation to achieve what you want successfully. If you have access to Izotope RX7 or RX8 it might be worth seeing if Music Rebalance can extract the bass guitar to use as a sidechain input.
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