MacMusic  |  PcMusic  |  440 Software  |  440 Forums  |  440TV  |  Zicos

The Podcaster’s Guide to Restoring Audio

Wednesday January 25, 2023. 02:00 PM , from Sweetwater inSync
Imagine that you’re totally absorbed in your favorite true crime podcast. During a make-or-break interview, the host keys in on something the prime suspect mumbles under their breath. However, it’s hard to hear through the staticky jailhouse recording. So, the host cranks the volume on the raw recording, piercing your eardrums with static and high-frequency content. Not only does that ruin the mood, but that could also lead to listeners turning off the podcast for good. Luckily, this all-too-common scenario is avoidable with some audio restoration know-how.

This article is for you if you’re a podcaster who frequently uses audio from courtrooms, on-location interviews, or any other third-party source. This article primarily deals with using third-party audio sources. You’ll get familiar with the tools of the audio restoration trade, concepts for cleaning up nasty sounds, and other ways to optimize your show’s audio.

Choose Your ToolsGolden Rule #1: Some Tricks Only Work OnceGolden Rule #2: Audio Restoration Is a Massage, Not Major SurgeryGolden Rule #3: Keep the Listener in MindStart with the Best Recording PossiblePresets Are a Beginner’s Best FriendBasic Filtering and EQ Can Work Wonders

Choose Your Tools

If you’re going to regularly restore audio, then it’s a good idea to have audio restoration plug-ins available. Below, you’ll find the most popular plug-ins Sweetwater offers. 

iZotope RX 10 is considered by many to be the professional standard for audio repair work. With its wealth of specialized modules and presets, iZotope RX 10 is capable of almost anything. These versions are available: the pro-grade RX 10 Advanced, the flexible RX 10 Standard, and the streamlined RX 10 Elements.

Waves offers a massive selection of practical audio restoration tools at amazingly affordable prices. The company’s WNS noise suppressor plug-in removes noise from your signal in a flash. Meanwhile, the NS1 noise suppressor plug-in has a single-fader design that makes it super simple to remove the noise. Or you can get all the audio restoration tools you need with the Restoration plug-in bundle.

Add to cart Add to listLearn More

Add to cart Add to listLearn More

And don’t forget about FabFilter! This company specializes in unique filtration tools and EQs that cut rumble and massage your audio into radio-ready goodness. Their Pro-Q 3 EQ and filter plug-in as well as their Pro-DS de-esser plug-in work magic.

True crime podcasters will want the Zynaptiq Unchirp plug-in, too. It’s optimized for restoring poorly encoded and artifact-ridden audio, such as radio messages or phone calls.

Add to cart Add to listLearn More

Add to cart Add to listLearn More

Golden Rule #1: Some Tricks Only Work Once

It’s important to point out the first rule of audio restoration right away: some tricks only work once. Removing hisses or echoes often requires a different approach for each, no matter how similar they sound. And when you run into a problem that stumps you, be patient and keep working until you find the solution that does work.

Golden Rule #2: Audio Restoration Is a Massage, Not Major Surgery

With the wonders of AI-assisted processing, it may seem easy to restore audio. Just crank your noise reduction settings to 11 and let a plug-in do the work with a single click. Not so much. Making one big adjustment means removing all sorts of noises in a single pass, leading to “restored” audio without the best results.

Instead of doing what we mentioned above, take small passes at the noise. By making multiple, gradual changes, you can identify and remove each kind of noise individually, achieving a clean recording with fewer artifacts. Each pass you take might sound similar, but the results speak for themselves at the end of the process — patience, patience, patience.

Golden Rule #3: Keep the Listener in Mind

Before you fire up your plug-ins and get to work, take a moment to assess how your listeners expect your show to sound. For example, suppose you’re working on an outdoor interview. In that case, the faint noise of a road or nature in the background is okay. But if you’re supposed to be in a dry-sounding podcast studio, then that noise quickly becomes distracting. Working with your listeners in mind will guide you to better results every time.

Start with the Best Recording Possible

A good recording makes the whole audio restoration process faster and more straightforward — or hopefully, unnecessary. However, we recognize that only some third-party audio sources are recorded in high resolution, with every person speaking clearly into a microphone. So, when you’re producing your podcast, use the best recordings you can get your hands on — especially the recordings you capture yourself. Barking dogs or a vacuum cleaner in the background take more time to fix in post production than just recording a second or third time. 

Presets Are a Beginner’s Best Friend

When you’re ready to restore your chosen audio, presets can work serious magic. And when you’re starting out, those presets can get you decent results quickly! RX, for example, offers a host of modules for different situations, with algorithms tailor-made for each. Other plug-ins supply presets for eliminating hum, honing in on voices, and more. A preset might not work perfectly right away, so tweak the parameters to fine-tune it to fit your needs. 

Basic Filtering and EQ Can Work Wonders

Filtering can work wonders if you’re in a pinch and need quick cleanup (think low-frequency rumble or a high-frequency drone). While there are many types of filters, there are two common ones that come in handy for podcasters: lowpass and highpass. Depending on the recording, filtering can help you achieve great results without having to do heavy-duty processing.

Highpass filters, sometimes known as low-cut filters, let higher frequencies through while attenuating lower frequencies. A highpass filter, like the one built into FabFilter Volcano 3 filter effect plug-in, is excellent at removing rumble and other low-frequency content from a recording.

Conversely, a lowpass filter cuts out the highest frequencies, leaving the midrange and bass untouched. If you’re working with a clip with a hissing sound, then a lowpass filter can help cut some of the offending noise from the signal.

Dive Deeper with Sweetwater

While this is by no means a comprehensive guide for audio restoration, we hope that this gives you a good starting point for maximizing your podcast’s sonic potential. Check out these articles below if you’re ready to dig into the nuts and bolts of audio restoration!

How to Fix Bad Audio for Podcasts or YouTube

Audio Restoration: Tips, Techniques, and Software

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment!

While restoring audio takes time and effort, the results speak for themselves. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new techniques to uncover the content hidden beneath the noise. And by offering better audio on your podcast, you set yourself apart from other shows and encourage listeners to come back for more. And if you’re unsure where to start, then please call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer at (800) 222-4700. They’ll be happy to help.
The post The Podcaster’s Guide to Restoring Audio appeared first on inSync.
News copyright owned by their original publishers | Copyright © 2004 - 2024 Zicos / 440Network
115 sources
Current Date
Feb, Fri 23 - 15:49 CET