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05-12-2009, 10:03 PM
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Goldwave is a good piece of software, but it's not without its quirks. One such quirk is how the timeline is a bit backwards, being difficult to zoom in on the audio with any sort of decent speed to the process. I compare it to Womble MPEG Video Wizard, SoundForge or Adobe Premiere. Goldwave simply works best when the noise pattern to be removed with de-noise filters is at the very beginning of the file.

So that's what this guide is for...

  • This guide starts off opening an MP2 or AC3 in Goldwave, and saving it as a WAV. Why? Well, SoundForge is not the best program for opening compressed audio, flatly refusing to work with AC3. If the AC3Filter is installed on your system, Goldwave will open AC3 quickly and accurately. It can even open the audio portion of a muxed (program stream) MPEG file.
  • Your first goal is to find a "silent" place in the audio, where there is nothing but noise. Very often, this is before or after the video footage, in the "dead recorded space" of the tape. In other cases, however, it can be found during scene transitions or other "quiet" times.
  • You only need a teeny tiny sampling of the noise, so zoom in quite a bit, to get that 00.256 (about a quarter of a second) length of noise. Use your mouse to copy. Then hit the HOME key on the keyboard (or drag the slider bar back to the start of the file), and select the same amount of audio (00.256) and paste over it.
  • DO NOT ADD AUDIO at the beginning. You will muck up the sync of the audio and video. Yes, you might overwrite a quarter of a second of audio, but it's honestly such a small portion that few would pay it much attention.
  • Save this as a new WAV file, and then open this new WAV in Goldwave. Restore as needed. In this guide, the Noise Reduction filter is being used. When this filter starts, it takes an automatic reading of the noise at the head of the file, and applies the reduction based on this. In many cases, it works quite nicely.

Closing thoughts...

The only downside to Goldwave is it can sometimes leave audio with a "metallic" noise. This tends to be less obnoxious than the noise you've removed, but it can be obtrusive nonetheless. The solution for this lies with one of the "Remove Electronic Noise" filters I've created in SoundForge. This is one of the advanced Paragraphic EQ filters found in the download on the SoundForge guide page on the guides portion of this site.

In the end, remember that restoration means to "make it better" and not the often-impossible task of "make it perfect".

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