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Thread: Urgent help with live music audio

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Urgent help with live music audio

    Hi guys. I was recently given some video's and asked if I could slap on a little editing, just little things like titles and fades to black. I just looked at the clips (which were live recordings of a band playing in a pub) and the audio is really fuzzy.

    I've done video editing but really haven't delved into audio that much, so I was wondering what could I do to make the audio a little clearer? You can make out the tune of the music and the fact they are singing, but it's so loud and fuzzy (you know what I mean) it just comes out horrible.

    I have Sony Vegas Pro 8.0 and Audacity, working on a Windows XP Latitude D600 Laptop.

    Any help would be amazing, as this guy is moving to Australia in like two weeks.


  2. #2


    You may be on a hiding to nothing with this. Use the FX in audacity you will definitely need to look at the EQ. Possibly noise reduction. There are also some good sound tools in Vegas but I'm not very familiar with them. Just experiment with them to see if it improves the sound.

    The real problem though is if the recording is bad it will never be HiFi quality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    From your description it sounds like the audio was distorted by "clipping" - audio being recorded at too high a level. There is nothing you can do about this and this is what Midnight alluded to when he said you may be on a hiding to nothing.

    You might be tempted to try, but if you're not careful you'll get sucked in to thinking you can make an improvement and before you know it you'll have wasted hours. (What might sound an improvement at 2am, sounds different from, but just as bad as, the original on the following day)

    I'd be inclined to stick to the brief and concentrate on the visuals and admit there's nothing to be done with the sound. Unless, of course, you can get hold of another, better recording of the same gig.

  4. #4


    An audio editing effect commonly named "declipper" may help.

    There are several available, for example:
    iZotope RX? Help
    oriZotope RX - Complete Audio Restoration: Declipping, Declicker, Hum Removal, Denoiser, Spectral Repair, Restore, Remaster, Download

    I have never used one, and as earlier posts have commented; whatever is done will not necessarily sound better. I also suspect that the best Declippers are also the most expensive.

  5. Default

    Well this can be done because I've done it, but it involved a lot of trial & error & I spent a lot of time but not a lot of money.
    I was in a band in my teens & we were very good but the drummer ( a very close friend) died tragically, the band fell apart & it was too emotionally painful to even listen to the rehearsal tapes, live recordings & demos we had for years after.
    20 years later I felt different & decided to do something with them, but time had ruined the cheap cassette tapes they were on. It was heartbreaking to hear them, but these were my songs & I also now felt I owed it to my friend, so I was impassioned.
    Using a combination of noise reduction, a multi band EQ & a multi band compressor all from one of those cheap software programs for converting your LPs to digital on a computer I managed to restore them to reasonable state. The experience kick started me into writing & recording music again after all those years.
    Sorry i needed to get that of my chest!

    The easiest thing to do is with a muti band eq to hone in on the frequency band each instrument (& vocals) occupy & lift each one out of the mush & try to rebalance the song.
    Noise reduction & Compression are a bit more complicated to get to work effectively but worth a fiddle with if you have time.

    Last edited by Sarah & Allison; 05-10-2010 at 10:02 PM.

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