This blog is going to have a look into repairing audio. The example I am going to be using in this blog is a vocal track that I had, which had many unwanted clicks and pops, especially when the singer was singing up close into the microphone for the real intimidate parts of the song.
This is a look into how I edited vocals for a artist recently named Karen. We are beginning to work on a project over the next few months when I have my Uni break. I have done a few vocal takes, and recorded some guitar for her so far. This blog will look into how I edited the pops and clicks out of her vocals, and made her vocals sound a lot cleaner.
These are the vocal takes before and after on my soundcloud playlist: https://soundcloud.com/user-876278774/sets/karens-vocals-before-and-after-editing
The first plugin that I used was a noise gate. This tool gave me the chance to take away some of other unwanted noise between the vocals throughout the song. This is an easier way to do instead of just literally taking away the spots by editing each part, this would take way too much time. I ended up putting the threshold up a tiny bit, this gave was able to give me the chance to remove things such as when the singer hit the stand or his mouth hit the microphone. After I made sure I put the threshold back down so that I would be able to hear the full expression of the vocals.
I then used a iZotope’s RX plug in so I would be able to identify the parts throughout the vocals that did have these missing parts. I used this so I would be able to identify the parts I needed to remove. Once you have the noise stored, the plugin removes the set of frequencies from the mix. If you use this tool too much though, there is a definite chance that it will remove a lot of the colour out of the mix, so you must make sure you are able to find a good spot for it to be, or else the mix will be missing a lot of its characteristics.
I then used one of the settings on it I love, the de-plosive tool. This gives you the chance to remove many of these unwanted characteristics in the track you don’t want. There won’t a ridiculous amount of plosives in the track, so i processed the sound so the upper limiter reached around 120kHz, this got rid of a lot of these unwanted noises. Removing too much can definitely ruin the track though, so I found the right amount between these levels so the sound still sounded natural.
After this the track was sounding pretty good, could still hear a very small amount of the unwanted sounds but nowhere near as much that it didn’t sound natural anymore. After this I played around with a few effects such as reverb and delay, and was able to get the vocals sounding really good (though these steps don’t repair the vocals, just give it a niceer sound). All up using this method is a great way to get rid of some unwanted sounds in vocal tracks that tend to always be sitting there when you are mixing.
This video gives a great look into a similar way of doing this:
Repairing a Distorted Audio Track. 2017. Repairing a Distorted Audio Track. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.izotope.com/en/learning/rx/repairing-a-distorted-audio-track.html. [Accessed 14 December 2017].
Lynda.com – from LinkedIn. 2017. Audacity: Cleaning and Repairing Audio. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.lynda.com/Audacity-tutorials/Cleaning-Repairing-Audio-Audacity/359526-2.html. [Accessed 14 December 2017].