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OT: Repairing a Sound File

Discussion in 'Archive' started by wedroy1923, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. wedroy1923

    wedroy1923 Moderator Premium Member Playlist Author

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    Hello:

    This is a little off topic, but I am hoping someone here can help.

    How can I go about "repairing" sound file that sounds kind of blown out, like when it gets to loud that it "breaks"? It is a live recording I am working with; it just sounds like the recorder may have been too close to the speaker. Is it even possible to fix this? I have Sound Forge and Cool Edit Pro to work with - I'm just not sure what to try exactly.

    I'm sorry about describing this so badly, but I'm not sure what the proper terms are.

    If I haven't confused you totally, any help that can be provided will be appreciated.

    wedroy1923
     
  2. thx99

    thx99 Real-life Harry Caul Moderator Playlist Author

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    If I understand you correctly, you're describing one of two scenarios:

    1. You have a recording which is "clipped". The record level was set too high and portions of the recording now exceed the maximum possible value, causing distortion and high-level clicking sounds (the "breaks" you describe).

    2. The speaker and/or microphone were distorting during the original recording process, thereby creating a distorted recording. The record level may have been set properly but since the source/mic was distorted, you end up with a distorted recording which is not clipped.

    First, go back to the original recording and verify that the distortion is present. This is just in case it was recorded into the computer at too high a level. If the distortion is not present in the original, then I suggest recording it into the computer again, at a lower input level.

    If the distortion is present in the original, then one of the two scenarios above is true. If Scenario 1 is true, then you can try either "Clipped Peak Restoration" in Sound Forge (part of the separate Noise Reduction package) or "Clip Restoration" in Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit Pro, may be part of older versions of Cool Edit Pro). These processes will lower the amplitude of the entire recording and then interpolate the samples which are clipped, essentially reshaping the flattened clipped regions into a smooth curve. You may need to play with the settings in order to achieve maximum restoration. Extreme clipping may exceed the processes' capabilities.

    If Scenario 2 is true, there's not much you can do with it. "Clip Restoration" might help if you adjust the settings appropriately, but you may end up degrading other portions of the recording. You might also try some form of click/pop removal, which may help to reduce the effects of the non-linear distortion.

    Good luck!
     
  3. wedroy1923

    wedroy1923 Moderator Premium Member Playlist Author

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    Doug:

    Thank you so much for the suggestions! I'm going to give the clip restoration a try. I think scenario one is the actual case.

    wedroy1923
     

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