#1  
02-27-2009, 10:03 PM
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I saw the link for SoundForge in my workflow post. I'd rather have advice for my specific files like was suggested to me in that post. I've never used SoundForge, or any type of audio restoration programs for that example, so I how no clue how to even begin. I downloaded the filter pack, and the present manager and did everything that was suggested in the original SoundForge guide on here, I hope everything went alright with it, it seemed to.

I'm also going to use GoldWave, as was also suggested to me in my workflow. Do I use it before, or after SoundForge? I've never used that either.
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  #2  
03-02-2009, 12:30 AM
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Rather than spend a lot of time writing a multi-scenario guide, I'd rather have one of your audio files, and build a guide based on that. And then teach a few "what if" situations, to adjust as your audio varies (which it will, from tape to tape, recording to recording).

This forum currently does not support upload of files larger than 1MB (something I've got to upgrade here in a couple of months). In the meantime, I can setup a temp FTP on another server. Do you know how to connect to FTPs?

If so, let me know, and I'll PM you details on how to upload a file. If not, I'll have to write a new thread teaching how to use FTP.

It would need to be a somewhat shorter audio file, both in length and size. Something in the 50-75MB range, as MP2 directly out of the Hauppauge card. We'd just clip off a piece of a source capture, and then demux the audio from it. I'd step you through this (in yet another thread) if it is required.

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  #3  
03-02-2009, 12:48 AM
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I just sent you a PM.
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  #4  
03-29-2009, 06:41 AM
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My time is limited this morning. While I may come across rough, it's only because I'm being brief and to the point.
Make no mistake, I am friendly.

On with the post .....

I've taken your audio file, and restored it.

You cannot do what I just did, it is insanely difficult, and you don't understand this stuff well enough yet. It's something that cannot be taught, it only comes with experience. Let me explain:

You have several problems here:

1. Your VHS tapes were not tracking in the VCR properly. There is tracking noise distortion, fuzzy fluttering sounds, because the signal is not being locked down. You can try to adjust tracking to fix this. Failing that, you need to put the machine into mono mode, and only play the linear track, which tends to not get these noises, as they are usually in HiFi channels only. On the Panasonic, it's a toggle switch on the front of the unit, on a JVC it's a setting in the main menu.

2. You must cut this video up into more segments. You cannot cut the entire VHS tape into half, and work with it. Your tapes are made up of multiple recordings, and each has it's own noise profile and levels. The audio is hard to edit when it's hours long, too, because a WAV file can only be 2GB max, and the files you have are too long to stay under 2GB as uncompressed WAV audio. Opening the compressed audio files makes restoration take 10x longer, because of all the decompression background tasks in the editor.

3. One segment on the first tape has audio volume too loud during capture. It is red-lined off the chart, overly maxed out, and has loudness distortion that can be partially compensated for, yes, but would be better off being re-captured with audio volume much lower for the segment.

What I did for this was:

Opened MP2 in SoundForge (SF), cut into 5 separate files. This is the list of parts, 5 of them, and then the filters I used on that part:
Pt1 - SF Combo High Restore/Hiss Cut 4
Pt2 - SF Combo High Restore/Hiss Cut 4
Pt3 - SF Hiss Cut Alternate 7
Pt4 - GoldWave Pop/Click Agressive 500 Tolerance, SF Remove AC and Fan Background Noise
Pt5 - SF Remove AC and Fan Background Noise

Not fun. But you can hear the results on the file found at the FTP address you were given. (To others reading this: It's a large file, 400MB, and the reason it's not on the forum or being left on the server long-term.)

Your next course of action:

Take the videos you encoded in MainConcept, and the audio from the captures. Drop them on the timeline in Womble MPEG Video Wizard. Top line is video, third line is audio. Cut each audio+video pairing into smaller clips that represent the recording itself. Forget about the tape length, go for the recording itself. You'll end up with a bunch of them per tape, I would imagine.

It will be easy to manage that way. Then we can talk about restoring techniques, how to listen for hiss, how to test, etc.

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 03-29-2009 at 06:44 AM.
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  #5  
03-30-2009, 12:24 AM
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Wow, this is some high tech stuff lol. First of all, thank you so much for the time that you took to work on them, I greatly appreciate it.

I have some q's, and you may think they're stupid, but I have to ask them to cover all my grounds lol.

Ok, I changed the setting on the front of my VCR to Mono on, it was previously set to off. Should I totally delete all of my captures, and re-capture them all over again? You saw how many I had, but do you think that I would be easier? Also, is there any other settings on my VCR that I need to change?

"Take the videos you encoded in MainConcept, and the audio from the captures. Drop them on the timeline in Womble MPEG Video Wizard. Top line is video, third line is audio. Cut each audio+video pairing into smaller clips that represent the recording itself. Forget about the tape length, go for the recording itself. You'll end up with a bunch of them per tape, I would imagine"
I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean here. After I bring the encoded video, and audio into the Video Wizard, what do I do then? I know you said to cut each audio+video pairing into smaller clips, once I do that, then what do I do? Each video is about 3 hrs, so how many should I cut them into? I've never done anything like this before..I assume when you say cut them, you mean do the same thing I do when I edit them and remove junk from the video? Since each part of the video is a different recording, as you mentioned, should I cut it into each part serperately?

I assume I have to get this part down & done before we move onto doing this more...

Thanks again, and the audio sounds amazing by the way.
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  #6  
04-02-2009, 12:59 PM
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Drag the video from MainConcept onto the Womble video timeline (top line). Drag the audio from your source video to the Womble audio timeline (third line down). Then use the cutting tool to cut the file.

What I would do is this:
  1. Cut the first match, delete the video/audio after it.
  2. Export it to a new file, such as "Tape 1 Match 1.mpg"
  3. When done, close the little export box.
  4. Press the back arrow to the right of the timeline, in the toolbox there. It's the same as pressing CTRL+Z, or "undo". This will undo your delete.
  5. Now delete the first match. Move the existing audio and video to the start of the timeline.
  6. Cut the second match, delete the video/audio after it.
  7. Export is to a new file, such as "Tape 1 Match 2.mpg"
  8. When done, close the little export box.
  9. Press the back arrow to the right of the timeline, in the toolbox there. It's the same as pressing CTRL+Z, or "undo". This will undo your delete.
  10. Now delete the second match. Move the existing audio and video to the start of the timeline.
  11. etc etc etc -- Repeat until all your matches are cut up.

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  #7  
04-02-2009, 06:19 PM
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Alright, once that is done, what do I do with the Soundforge? Can I please have step by step directions on what to do with that?
Also....for a 3 hr tape that is not split up into different matches, how do I do that? It's just a normal 2:40-3 hr video...
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  #8  
04-11-2009, 01:42 AM
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NOTE: Due to a forum snafu, some posts were lost from 4-3 to 4-6. I'm restoring posts from this thread from my e-mail digests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar

Is the audio that was restored ready to be made into a dvd, or do I need to do more work with it in FFMPEG? The original workflow I was given on here has steps 5-7 listed as this..

5 - Convert MP2 audio from WAV in HeadAc3he (should I eliminate this step, I dont think it was done when the audio was restored)

6- Restore audio in Soundforge (Can I uninstall GoldWave, I haven't seen that used for the restore of my audio)

7- Convert WAV to AC3 in FFMPEG (do I still do this? If so, how?)

Also my q from my last post still applies..
Alright, once that is done, what do I do with the Soundforge? Can I please have step by step directions on what to do with that?
Also....for a 3 hr tape that is not split up into different matches, how do I do that? It's just a normal 2:40-3 hr video...

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  #9  
04-11-2009, 01:49 AM
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My original answer probably looked something like this:

The audio you have is not very good, even partially restored by us, because your captures had problems. You should re-capture the video in mono mode on the VCR. Only then will it be the best it can be. The fluttering/buzzing noise in your audio now makes the video almost unwatchable.

5 - Your audio workflow, on these smaller files, should be MP2 to WAV, before processing. This can be done several ways, be it Besweet/BesweetGUI, Goldwave, or FFMPEG/HeadAC3e.

6 - You'll need Goldwave too, it has some filters that operate different from SoundForge. It depends on your exact audio file. It takes practice.

7 - You'll need to convert your audio back to MP2 or AC3, WAV is too big for DVD (wastes space), AC3 is better than MP2 for NTSC (MP2 not officially supported in the spec), and FFMPEG is one choice. Others include the authoring software (but I don't think DVD-Lab has this option), or Besweet/BesweetGUI. The guide made for you, found on this site, is for HeadAC3he/FFMPEG to do the MP2>WAV>AC3 method.

The long 3-hour tape is just going to be done like one long match or episode, as it should have the same noise profile throughout its duration, unlike your mix-and-match recordings that were all over the place.

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  #10  
04-11-2009, 01:50 AM
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And your reply was...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar

Great, thanks so much, I really appreciate it!

I guess the path of guidance that I need is instructions for each program to do what was done for my audio piece that was restored (I think workflow steps 5 & 6 was done for that), as well as instructions for the programs that I need for steps 6 & 7 in my workflow for the audio. So I guess that would be step by step instructions for each programs for steps 5,6,7 in the workflow.

When I get these steps done, how will I be able to tell if the restored audio is as good as it can be? Also, how long will it take to do the audio restoration for 3 hr. videos?
and then you made this post shortly thereafter...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar

Wow, the audio looks like it's going to be quite a pain to do lol. I know nothing about restored audio since I've never done it before. It does sound much better now then it did before, I noticed that it doesn't sound quite as loud as it did before, but everything else sounds great on it, all of the background noise was removed.

You mentioned that it's still not as good as it can be, what steps are left for it to be as good as it can be?

Convert WAV to AC3 in FFMPEG was the last step left in the audio portion of my workflow, so after this is done, will it be as good as it could be then? I was given the settings to use for FFMPEG, can I please have a step by step guide on how to use it?
Also I'll need a guide on how I will need to use GoldWave for my projects, as it was used in the restore of my audio.

Is mono the only setting that I need to change on my VCR now? I turned it now, it was previously off on all of my other captures.

Out of curiousity, if I ever get the audio part figured out, how long will it on average take me to restore audio, for say a 3 hr. video?

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  #11  
04-11-2009, 10:43 PM
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What are my next steps? You mentioned a few days ago about the stuff you were working on, what will that consist of? Are they my finals steps in the audio restoration?
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  #12  
04-13-2009, 03:41 PM
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In terms of audio, this is your audio workflow:
  1. Capture VHS tapes with best audio solution. In some cases, you can use the full stereo signal -- this is always preferable. In other cases, where the HiFi stereo audio signal on the tape is damaged, giving you those fluttering/buzzing sounds, the VCR may need to be put into mono mode if manually tracking the tape has no effect.
  2. Edit your videos into per-recording clips, whatever length they may be, be it 18 minutes or 180 minutes. This allows the audio to have a uniformity for easier processing
  3. Try to find a point in your video that is "silent" in terms of content, and then copy/paste the noise by following this guide. It will, of course, still have the background noise, such as hiss, present.
    • If this is possible, then you can use the GOLDWAVE METHOD to restore your audio. This can result in audio that is cleaner sounding that SoundForge work alone.
    • If this is not possible, where no noise pattern can be isolated, then you'll need to use SOUNDFORGE ONLY on those clips. Many of the clips I heard, from the first sample video, would qualify for only SoundForge work.
... and this is where this post originally stopped, and I honestly don't remember where it was headed, we've had so many PMs and secondary discussions since then ...

The new guide created for you shows what is being done in Goldwave, and that's a pretty straight-forward process. The SoundForge work is pretty well documented in the SoundForge audio restoration guide. It honestly covers a lot of the basics. There are many more filters available in the filter download pack, more than 100 of them now, and the only way to know if the filter works well for you is to select it and then preview it. It takes a good ear, good computer speakers, and some patience to listen to audio. And hopefully, be a good enough judge of quality to not digitally "cook" the audio, but rather repair it and make it better.

After the audio is restored, you can import it as an asset into your favorite authoring program. I believe you're using DVD-Lab for your DVDs.

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 05-12-2009 at 10:46 PM.
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  #13  
05-12-2009, 10:46 PM
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I've made an update to the above post.

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  #14  
05-12-2009, 11:01 PM
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Given what I've heard, I don't know that the above posted method is necessarily going to be the best for you, given your limited experience in audio restoration, and the typical condition of wrestling/sports videos.

More likely, it will be hard to isolate a "quiet" moment in the audio, allowing for a clear noise pattern.

I would suggest using just some of the basic de-hiss filters in SoundForge that can be downloaded from this site. Try some of the Flesher-Munson based hiss cut filters, or the basic hiss cut filters. Hiss Cut 2 and Hiss Cut 6 are the ones I'd look at most.

From what I heard of your audio some weeks back, there are various fluttering noises and other tracking-related issues that almost can't be restored in software. Hopefully some re-captures (with closer attention paid to the capture process) will correct these flaws.

To remove the flutter and static, at best, you can attempt to use Goldwave "pop/click removal" filters, and set it to a low attack threshold, such as 400 or 500. You just have to listen to some samples clips in the preview, to hear if it will help or harm.

At this point, I think you have all that be given, information-wise, it's time to experiment with the software, the filters, and the audio. I don't know that I could actually say anything else to help now. At least not in a general sense.

Maybe if you run across a specific error, you can cut it into a small clip, and attach it inside a RAR (less than 7.9MB in size), and I could listen to it and make suggestions. Hopefully it won't come to that too often, however -- it can take a lot more time that I have available. Be reasonable with the number of clips you attach and ask help with, should you do so.

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  #15  
05-12-2009, 11:23 PM
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Wow..all this looks so overwhelming, and so hard. Thanks a lot for the guides, I'll give it a shot, but wow this is going to be very tough.
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05-12-2009, 11:34 PM
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It is a lot to take in at once. That's one reason I suggest starting out with easier tapes first, ones with less errors present, and stick to a few basic de-hiss filters in SoundForge. As your skills get better, you can tackle more difficult tapes, and involve more advanced methods that also use Goldwave.

I've been doing this for years, and it was definitely not a skill I learned overnight. It took practice, experiments, testing, etc. And above all, patience. It's hard to rush through a restoration project and get good results.

I have customers that sometimes think a few weeks is "too long", but in reality, the testing and processing is very time consuming. If you've not found that out yet, you will soon.

However, at the end of the day, it's completely worth it, to enjoy a DVD set that looks and sounds better than the inferior VHS tapes, to have a higher-quality copy archived to digital format.

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  #17  
05-12-2009, 11:45 PM
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Yeah that's true. As you know, that's what I want the most, is the best possible picture and sound quality I can get. I read closely what you and Smurf suggested, although you seem to have different opinions. It looks like a few posts ago, you suggested I use Soundforge only? Unless I read that wrong, and u posted the video guide for the Goldwave..what order should I use them in?
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05-12-2009, 11:54 PM
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I did post a Goldwave guide, but I think that's too hard for you right now. It's information for later. For now, just look at SoundForge only. When you get the hang of that, maybe you can start using harder methods to do more difficult audio work.

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05-16-2009, 11:34 PM
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I remember a few months ago Smurf made this post, and as I was just re-reading all of this, I'd like to try to give this a shot..

"Then we can talk about restoring techniques, how to listen for hiss, how to test, etc. "

Can you give me some steps on these techniques? Are these the most important things that I'd have to do?

Also, Admin made this post above..
"I would suggest using just some of the basic de-hiss filters in SoundForge that can be downloaded from this site. Try some of the Flesher-Munson based hiss cut filters, or the basic hiss cut filters. Hiss Cut 2 and Hiss Cut 6 are the ones I'd look at most. "

I've realized how hard this is going to be and I dont think I'm going to be very good at it, i'd like to at least master the hiss and bouncy sounds, learn how to get rid of that...because a lot of my vids are older, and I have that problem with the audio on a lot of them...how would I go about doing that..

Something that I notice on my burned DVD is when I play it in my DVD player, there isn't any sound coming out of the left side of my tv speakers...there's nothing wrong with them, there's sound as normal when I watch reg. tv or a vhs video, why is it doing this?
Update*** I'm listening to a capture now, and it doesn't sound like there's any sound coming out of my left speaker. Could this be the reason why none is coming out on the left side of the TV speaker of the burned DVD? If so, what is causing this?

Another thing that I'm noticing on the burned DVD, is that the color is not as I guess I would describe it as not being as crisp and/or sharp as the original VHS video that it came from. I'm doing all that I was told to...capturing at 15000 CBR, then encoding 352x480 32-3300 avg bitrate, 4000 max, 1000 min.....is there anything at all I can do to sharpen it some? I watch it as it captures and it looks sharp and crisp, but once I'm done with everything is when it seems to fade a little on the final burned DVD, why is that?

Last edited by Superstar; 05-17-2009 at 07:37 PM.
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05-18-2009, 10:12 AM
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In regards to the loss of brightness/crispness of color, should I maybe change the bitrates I'm using, or keep them how they are?

Also, could my speakers be damaged or something? I can't figure out why sound is only coming out of the right one during the capture, and then only on the right side of my tv speakers on the burned dvd
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