09-14-2009, 10:50 PM
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This sample clip is being put online specifically for a current customer, who had the unfortunate issue of a wedding video full of wind noise. It was a consumer-grade DV camcorder, from what I gather, using the built-in microphone. This was a particularly ugly video, as the noise occupied more of the audio spectrum than did the "good" audio.

Correction of this audio file was somewhat complicated, and required use of three key audio editors:
  • Sony Sound Forge 9
  • Goldwave 5
  • DiamondCut Live Forensics 7
There was a lot of initial testing with a mix of SoundForge and Goldwave filters, but it became apparent after about a half hour of testing that such audio filters were just not going to work. The audio problems were too much for those audio editors to fix.

I loaded the WAV file --- extracted from the DVD then converted to WAV from AC3 using Goldwave --- into DC7 Forensics, and then ran the Adaptive Filters. In DC7, the preset "Sharp Adaptive Filter for Mono Source" was used --- or "Very Aggressive Filter with Mono Reference", I forget, wasn't planning to make a how-to guide when I did it --- and it eliminated much of the wind and air noise from the audio clip.

However, the audio was not perfect when I had started, it was plagued by a slight muffle that was made worse by the wind noise reduction. For this problem, I loaded the new audio clip into SoundForge, and used one of the digitalFAQ.com paragraphic EQ Preset filters over it, some of the harsher "VoltL" model high restore filters.

NOTE: These are not meant to be click-by-click instructions, as every audio file will be different. This is just a sample of how one particular audio file was filtered and recovered to a more pleasing sound quality. There were more filters used in chains, ones that slightly altered pitched -- I'm only writing about the major filters. Settings were often tweaked in the filters too, rarely was something used as-is. I also want to mention that accuracy to voices was given higher priority over quality of the music. This post is about sharing concepts, an example of fixing bad audio, not how to instructions.

Anyway, with the pitch largely restored and improved better than the original, and the wind noise mostly gone, I was left with an audio file that I refer to as a "Moderate" restoration project. The audio still had some noise, and it was still not as perfect as if it had been shot by a good microphone, rather than the built-in camera mic.

This "moderate" option was presented to the client, but a more filtered version has been created for example on how more noise can be processed out -- at a price.

GoldWave has the ability to further filter down the audio, although it is known for leaving "mechanical noise" or "electronic noise" (sometimes known as "tinny" or "metallic" noise, too). The "Heavy" noise reduction version of this audio file has some slight after effects, although the wind noise is now next to zero, with vocal and musical sounds remaining at decent volume and fidelity.

UPDATE: Being not 100% satisfied with the Goldwave restoration, I decided to give the popular freeware Audacity a try. Sometimes Audacity works well, but other times it just muffles the sound (a lot like DartPro did in the 1990s). While it did muffle the audio a tad (requiring a counter-muffling SoundForge filter, using the digitalFAQ "High Restore" presets), the end result was an audio file that had noise removed, but without any added electronic/metallic noise. This is the final "heavy" version presented to the client. Goldwave probably still took out a tiny bit more air noise, but the trade-off for added noise was not worth it.

Listen to the samples now! Simply login to the forum -- Not a member yet? Join as a Free member now -- and then download the attached files, to listen to what is possible.

Leave a comment, too, if you would. Don't be one of those stalker downloaders!

Have a project you're struggling with? While it can be a fun challenge to do something yourself, consider letting the skilled audio experts at DigitalFAQ Media Services restore the audio on your valuable wedding video, private investigation video, or other important audio project. Contact us about your problem! We have the software, hardware, experience and audio knowledge required to get the job done right.


Attached Files
File Type: wav DsWedding-Sample-AFTER-Heavy.wav (1.55 MB, 99 downloads)
File Type: wav DsWedding-Sample-AFTER-Moderate.wav (1.55 MB, 87 downloads)
File Type: wav DsWedding-Sample-BEFORE.wav (1.58 MB, 124 downloads)
File Type: wav DsWedding-Sample-AFTER-HeavyAudacity.wav (1.58 MB, 91 downloads)

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