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how to improve low quality audio files?

Talk about anything audio here. From video narration to podcasting, MP3s to MP4s - whatever your flavor, this is the place.

how to improve low quality audio files?

Postby MGadAllah » Thu May 29, 2014 4:45 pm

I've a friend, he is a teacher and he gave many lectures in a public places and recorded his lectures using poor mp3 player device.
Now he would like to make in a better quality in order to publish it on public.
This is the copy of an example:-
I tried Adobe Audition, 1) Ctrl+P. 2) Ctrl+A. 3) Ctrl+Shift+P.
But I am afraid that the quality still not good.
Please may someone help me and tell me what to do using audition or any other software to make the audio more good?
Thanks a lot :)
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Re: how to improve low quality audio files?

Postby Kent Frost » Thu May 29, 2014 11:04 pm

Ouch. Not aware of any way to up the quality of really anything if it starts out low. The thing to do is start with high quality raw material and then, if you need to, generate lower quality (read: internet speed-friendly) versions of the final edits for delivery. Unfortunately, you can really only take quality away, not add it. Maybe someone out there knows a trick or two, but that's always been the rule as far as I've ever known.
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Re: how to improve low quality audio files?

Postby Bob » Fri May 30, 2014 1:46 am

That's pretty poor quality. Besides the noise, there is also reverberation/echo and distortion on the voice.

You should be able to clean up much of the noise in Audition. But, it's a balancing act between reducing the noise and not affecting the voice too much. With this poor quality, don't expect miracles. Here's the basic procedure. Did you basically follow this?

First load the audio file and display the waveform editor. Here I dragged the bottom of the frame up to display the spectral display also. Zoom into the waveform until you can easily find the space between the words.


Open the noise reduction effect (keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+p). If you haven't sampled the noise yet, you'll get a message to do so like this screen capture. Select one of the spaces between words that is typical of the noise you want to remove and click "capture noise print".


After you take the sample, click on "select entire file". It should look something like this:


Now you need to play with the settings to find the best noise reduction. The two main sliders to adjust are "reduce noise" and "reduce by". Start with a setting of about 60% and 30db respectively. At the lower left corner there is a preview play button. Click it to hear the audio as you make adjustments of each up and down until you find a setting that reduces noise without drastically altering quality the voice. I also adjusted the "spectral decay rate" in advanced. I thought 25% sounded better. When you are satisfied with the results, click on apply.

For comparison, here's what the waveform/spectral display looked like with the 60/30 setting.


And, here's what it looked like with a 100/60 setting:


Notice the last one had removed almost all of the noise, but the voice waveform is noticeably different. I thought the 60/30 actually sounded better with less distortion.
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