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  #1  
Old 11-30-2022, 02:09 AM
mdvirtual mdvirtual is offline
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Default Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

Hi All,

I haven't been of the forums in a while, had a question I was hoping to pose. Since COVID I've been getting a fair number of projects where the audio was recording with low quality bandwidth limited sources (documentaries with Zoom interviews, corporate videos recorded with laptop or webcam mics). The audio suffers from the expected issues - limited bandwidth, room reflections, HVAC noise, extraneous sounds, and compression artifacts. Mic position is often less than ideal, with placement favoring video framing over audio quality.

I've been leaning heavily on Izotope RX for dereverb, declick, spectral denoise and spectral editing. I'll sometimes use multiband compression to tame boominess or harshness, or Waves Vitamin to recreate missing top end. As you would expect the results can be less than stellar. It's a juggling act of improving audio quality without sounding overprocessed or accentuating other undesirable aspects of the audio.

I was wondering if others are dealing with similar audio and had any mixing tips or tricks to share. I searched the forums and didn't see similar posts.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2022, 04:14 AM
LDS LDS is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

ACON Deverberate I have found can work quite well for getting rid of those strong early reflections in Zoom/Teams/etc recordings. It has a separate early reflections function and you can also mix back in some of the reverb tail, so it can sound closer yet not artificially dry. There is a new module in RX designed to rebuild lost high frequencies in these kinds of situations. It can work very well, but it seems like it is so processor intensive that it makes it less than practical to use on longer recordings. It seems like you use a bunch of what I would use. I generally avoid multi band compression, as this stuff is usually pretty nuked already. A bit of notch EQ for the bloat or boom, or de-essing or EQ to tame the harshness.

If there is the opportunity, intervening in the setup/record process and getting that initial microphone placement sorted can pay dividends. A lot of people have multiple devices these days, and a bunch of the webcam/zoom audio apps allow for some sophisticated/interesting setups. Like audio via iPhone, video via laptop.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:06 AM
mdvirtual mdvirtual is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

Thanks LDS, all good thoughts.

I'll check out Deverberate, that sounds promising. Agreed on the multiband, although I find it useful in certain situations. A lot of times a simple notch EQ is sufficient. I wish I could intervene earlier. A lot of this has been coming to me late in the process, so it's a matter of making the best of it.
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Old 11-30-2022, 07:22 AM
its2loud its2loud is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

Take a look at Descript’s Studio Sound feature. It’s not the easiest workflow but it works well.
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Old 11-30-2022, 05:20 PM
mdvirtual mdvirtual is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

Very interesting! I tried Studio Sound on a few clips with good results. It didn't do as well on some of my worst case audio, but neither did RX.

I agree on the workflow. It would take some getting used to. Certainly a good tool to know about. I'd love to see them release a plugin version with the ability to fine tune the processing beyond the 0-100% slider.
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Old 11-30-2022, 05:28 PM
mattrixx mattrixx is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by its2loud View Post
Take a look at Descript’s Studio Sound feature. It’s not the easiest workflow but it works well.
It's actually very good. Can be a bit over the top at times, but the cool thing is, that it's seems to be sample accurate to a degree. So you can parallel the Descript Studio Sound (processed) track to your original and mix to taste.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:14 PM
mdvirtual mdvirtual is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

That's interesting. I wondered if their 0-100 % slider was just a wet/dry mix. They write a Studio Sound file to the disk when you apply it, so it would make sense that the slider is a blend between the original and processed files.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdvirtual View Post
That's interesting. I wondered if their 0-100 % slider was just a wet/dry mix. They write a Studio Sound file to the disk when you apply it, so it would make sense that the slider is a blend between the original and processed files.
It's all subjective and the art of doing it a lot. I would not just rely one thing. It's a toolbox. Believe me! I have had my share of those problems with dialogue etc. Sometimes one thing works great in a scene and another is totally different and your previous setup does not work. Most of my colleagues use a variation of a number of things or setups in either a dialogue chain or other items. Also depends on if you have say several mics as well. Sometimes that can be helpful if aligned blended properly etc.

G
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Old 12-01-2022, 11:27 AM
mdvirtual mdvirtual is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by gives View Post
It's all subjective and the art of doing it a lot. I would not just rely one thing. It's a toolbox. Believe me!
G
Absolutely, there's no one-stop solution. I use RX heavily but turn to Waves WNS or X-Noise if I'm not getting good results. Just installed a trial of Clarity and it seems useful too.

The thing I find interesting about Studio Sound is that it's targeted at things like laptop audio and so takes care of most of the inherent problem that go with the territory - room reflections, broadband noise, reduced bandwidth, etc. Not terribly flexible, but it does what it does quite well.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2022, 06:56 AM
resonantRhythm resonantRhythm is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Webcam / Zoom Audio

When RX fails me, which is most of the time I turn to the Zynaptic tools.

UNVEIL is a godsend for removing room reflections
UNFILTER is fantastic for returning the perception of a better quality mic for zoom audio.
UNCHIRP can sometimes help in a pinch but I usually prefer UNFILTER.

I'd say the only downside to the Zynaptic tools is that it can EASILY be overdone and their sweet spot is often narrow...but when you find it, it'll work miracles!

Waves Clarity really is good for how simple it is!
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