11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2009 8:08 AM by Ken Evans
Chris Szabo Level 1 (10 points)
Hi everyone,

I have just received an audio movie file from my french narrator which he recorded at another studio.

While he did a terrific job with the voice over, the overall sound quality needs some work. I think he was too far away from the microphone and picked up "large room sound"

I'm looking for some guidance on an audio filter that would help to eliminate the hollow sound and add some presence to his voice.

I'm not all that familiar with Soundtrack Pro nor audio filters in general and I only have a few days to complete this project.

Any advice is appreciated.


Power Mac G5 Quad, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Jim Cookman Level 7 (23,435 points)
    Best bet is a re take with a proper engineer in a dead room.

    Because the voice bouncing around in the "large room" has basically the same properties as the voice itself, you'll only damage your track.

    My 2 cents
  • Chris Szabo Level 1 (10 points)
    I hear you, Jim.

    Alas, I don't have the heart nor the time to ask him to re-voice a 20 minute french voice over.

    I'm trying the 3-ban equalizer filter to up the low gain a bit. It's surprising how easy it is to trick yourself into thinking that it's made a difference. Ha! Ha!

    I'm holding out some hope for a magic bullet solution.


  • Nick Holmes Level 7 (29,990 points)
    Here you can find a mini-tutorial on what all those audio filters in FCP can do:
  • J S Langham Level 4 (1,015 points)
    Jim Cookman wrote:
    My 2 cents

    Mine too. You can't really fix room acoustics, you can fake them, but it doesn't work the other way round.
  • Chris Szabo Level 1 (10 points)
    Thanks, Nick. I've looked at this. Kind of like french, it's a different language.

    I come from the days of analog and I seriously considered taking the whole thing out to tape and bringing it back in through my Behringer audio mixer. At least, then I could turn some dials.

    Another thought is to double track. While I still welcome suggestions, the reality of it all is starting to sink in.

  • Chris Szabo Level 1 (10 points)
    When I did my initial search for a solution, I came across a discussion that recommended the enveloper plug in with a room killer filter.

    I did a google search and found something related to Logic 6.

    Has anyone tried this?

  • stuckfootage Level 4 (3,040 points)
    The two basic techniques for getting rid of room sound are
    using an expander and using a notch filter.

    An expander is the opposite of a compressor, so it will make the
    quiet sounds (like the room reverb) quieter, thus giving the
    impression of less room.

    A notch filter is the opposite of a band boost. Dial the frequency
    to the primary resonance of the room, then cut instead of boost.
  • Chris Szabo Level 1 (10 points)
    Well, thank you very much for the education. I did not know that.

    When I apply these filters, it does help. But I am hopelessly lost when it comes to tweaking all the variables and I'm not sure how to dial the frequency to the primary resonance of the room, as you suggested.

    My current settings are as follows:

    Expander/Noise Gate
    Threshold(db) -40
    Ratio 1
    Attack Time 5
    Release Time 100

    Notch Filter
    Frequency 8000
    Q .71

    If you have the time, could you please send me in the right direction?

  • Chris Szabo Level 1 (10 points)
    Hello everyone,

    For those who are interested, I would like to close off this thread by saying that we are having the voice-over re-recorded with better sound quality.

    It's never easy to go to your client with hat in hand and admit that you've messed up. More often than not, they will want what you want...a good quality product.

    While the filters did help a little, there is no substitute for good sound.

  • Studio X Level 7 (27,030 points)
    Well done.

    Good luck with the piece.

  • Ken Evans Level 2 (285 points)
    Which leads me to an often quoted saying by myself...

    "If is is broke...please fix it!"