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Leo Wattenberg

A sound post-production

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Moin. 

I covered the basics of good sound before, so now I'll share some things that I've done in the past to make the audio sound better after recording. This is by no means applicable to every situation, and all could've been avoided with proper equipment, but if botching together a solution that makes the video sound better, so be it.

Programs used

  • ReaPlugs VSTs
  • OBS
  • Magix Vegas Pro 14

Noise removal (in OBS)

Situation: I live next to a busy cobblestone street and my mic is quite near my laptop fans. I don't want my viewers to hear that too much. 

Solution: Stream at night if possible, if not:

  1. Have the ReaPlugs installed
  2. In OBS, go to the settings gear next to your recording device (Mic/Aux for me)
    scr-2018-08-16 14_36_47.png
  3. select "Filters"
  4. click the plus in the bottom-left corner.
  5. Add a VST 2.x plugin and give it a name
    Don't select the noise suppression option. I mean, you can, but the more noise suppression you activate, the more it sounds like your microphone is laying in an aquarium. 
  6. Select the reafir_standalone plugin and open the plugin interface
    scr-2018-08-16 13_59_38.png
    Put it in subtract mode, click the "automatically build noise profile" option and be quiet for a bit. I usually wait until a car drives past. Then uncheck it.
  7. You now have audio that has the worst of the background noise removed.
    Warning: The louder the background noise, the worse your sound will be even if you apply this filter. But, it works good enough for me.

Making far away dialogue better understandable (in Vegas)

Situation: Was out to film a local comedian group (6 people), but only had a shotgun mic and my camera and had no time to set up properly, so I was in the back of the room full of people, some 10m away from the stage and trying to record what is said on stage. 

Solution: 

  1. In Vegas, click the dot-rectangle-dot-icon next to the audio track (the Track-FX icon)
  2. Click on TrackEQ
  3. Select the Fletcher-Munson-curve preset
    scr-2018-08-16 14_08_48.png

Increasing the gain obviously also was involved, but this equalizer setting single-handedly increased the quality from "difficult to listen to and hard/near-impossible to understand" to "noticably bad quality, but not repulsive anymore".

No more "RIP Headphone users"

Situation: I'm usually somewhat quiet when talking, but sometimes become loud. Viewers who have turned up the volume to understand me better usually then suddenly get their ears blown out. 

Solution:

  1. Have ReaPlugs installed
  2. In OBS, follow steps 2-5 from the noise removal guide, in Vegas, open the plugin chain
  3. add ReaComp (reacomp-standalone)
  4. Drag the left-hand slider (the threshold) down until it's just below your normal talking volume
  5. enable classic attack and auto release
  6. set the ratio to somewhere between 2:1 and 4:1, depending on how much difference there is between your normal talking voice and your normal screaming voice (and how often you expect to scream)
    scr-2018-08-16 15_46_54.png
  7. (optional) increase the (wet) output until your usual talking voice is somewhere around -12db. Don't go above this; the compressor needs some room to work with.

Compressing the audio won't make your audio sound nicer, however, it will make it easier to listen to as it reduces the difference between loud and quiet parts. 

 

What settings do you use to make your audio sound better? Share it below! 

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