Many things I would like to fix with audio in my project

Hi all,

I am creating a documentary for the first time and am having big trouble trying to get the audio “right” on each clip. About 90% of my documentary is the narrator talking into my camcorder microphone, so it sounds nice and clear. (I show pictures and videos over his narration)

The other 10% is where I am having troubles.

A handful of people I included in the documentary recorded themselves speaking and sent me their “answers.”

I also did 2 interviews over Skype and recorded it with Evaer. One sounds pretty good, the other sounds like it is in a tunnel.

What I did with these clips is I brought them into Adobe Audition and I matched the volume of the clips to the narrators level, so one clip isn’t really quiet and the next is really loud.

The problem is now some of these clips sound distorted, etc.

I was wondering if these Adobe Audition presets could fix my problem and make everything sound the same and remove things sounding distorted, etc?

What you’re looking to do is more invovled than just match clip loudness.

Firstly every microphone has a slightly different frequnecy response and amplitude so all clips recorded on different mics are bound to be at different levels and EQ. Secondly the differing environments that they were recorded in will also affect the sound.

Put each audio on a separate track and then…

I would suggest running adaptive noise reduction on the Skype audio as the first thing in your chain.

The one that sounds like it’s recorded in a tunnel is a product of bad microphone and/or bad recording environment. That one may be a right off and need re-recording with those two factors eliminated if you are very particular about the end quality of your projects audio.

You’ll need to try and balance the EQ of each recording. Do this with the frequency analysis window open for each audio. Use the capture tabs to capture prints of each and try to match them as close as possible to the “master” audio from your camera.

I’d suggest maybe using the speech volume leveller rather than match clip loudness. But be aware that the speech volume leveller can also produce unwanted results such as sucking up background noise and breaths too. If you go down this route then you’ll first want to put a downward expander in your chain of effects to reduce the volume of the unwanted noise before placing the speech volume leveller. Set the target volume level to be the same on all tracks and you’ll have to adjust to levelling amount until your happy but I’d suggest leaving some dynamic range as this is narration rather than imaging.

In short the presets may help but for this you’ll need a good ear (and maybe even the help of an audio producer) to achieve what you’re looking to achieve rather than just blanket running it through a preset template.