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Thread: Sound problem

  1. #1

    Default Sound problem

    I Filmed a stage play a last year and have finally been given the footage to put together. The problem is that the mic was not close enough to the talent so there is a lot of room echo. I only have Sony Vegas and Audacity as tools to fix this issue. What are the best "FX" within these programs to fix it.

    Any advice apreaciated. BUT don't tell me to put the mics near the actors, I know that.

  2. #2


    I don't know and have never done it. My current version of Audacity is 1.3.12, so some of my suggestions may not be possible with other versions.
    So are my guesses:
    The quality of any fix will depend on the loudness of the echo (when compared to the non-echoed sound), the harmonic range (the frequency, htz) of the echo; and the number and timing of the echoes.
    The best to be expected is to reduce the echo which you hear when the actors are not speaking (e.g. at the ends of phrases and sentences).
    Any (or a mixture) of the following suggestions could be tried:

    1) Use the 'Equalisation'. Heavily reducing the EQ below around 200Htz can remove any deep booming sounds. Equally, fiddle to see whether there is another range which will reinforce the original sound.
    2) Use a 'Gate'. I am not sure if there is a Gate in Audacity, but there may be some freebie addins (eg. Audacity Forum • View topic - Noise Gate).
    A 'Gate' can be set to *only* remove sound which is low in volume. If overdone, it can also cut off the sound of the actors when they speak quietly. Again, I urge fiddling.
    3) One method which I know, but have never used, is to duplicate the audio, turn it out of phase (invert), and then to heavily compress it. I have read some better descriptions, but this one briefly describes it.
    How to remove echo from audio at

    Good luck... luck.....luck

  3. #3


    Thanks Tim, I appreciate your reply. If it was a big hall sort of echo it would be easier to do. Here is a short sample so you get an idea of what I'm faced with.

  4. #4


    Take a listen to
    The mp3 contains 2 versions of the audio. Firstly one with effects, second is the original (from the YouTube file).

    Although I did not use Audacity, I feel sure the same effects can be applied:

    1) Use EQ to remove all low frequencies (in the demo, the cutoff I used was 160htz). This greatly reduces the banging from the stage and alot of it's subsequent low frequency echo). In simple terms - turn down the bass.

    2) Use Compression to reduce the huge different levels in volume from the actresses. Sadly, this has a knock on effect of making some of the background more audible. But to my sensitive ears, it sounded less painful.

    3) There is a persistent hum in the recording. I only briefly looked at it. In the demo, I have heavily reduced the EQ in a narrow band around 1,000Htz, which seemed to reduce the hum. It is necessary to reduce it in a narrow range so as not to interfere too much with the sound of the ladies speaking.

    Any help?

  5. #5


    Thanks a million Tim, I'll get to work on this.

  6. #6


    I foolishly neglected to attach this paragraph to my earlier reply:
    My advice about reducing the EQ at around 160htz was because the clip only contained ladies speaking. Such a setting might interfere with speech from a man's voice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Beijing, China


    I did some editing to your original file and produced this. I was able to do this by taking out the problem frequencies, then using an expander to increase the vocal level, some more EQ, then a final compressor. Higher frequencies makes it sound like it is closer to the mic. What do you think?


  8. #8


    Thanks for taking the time with this. I've come to the stage where I've done all I can with it. I did some EQ work and put a gate on it. Then I cheated and put a new background noise over it so it doesn't sound so bad now. It will never be perfect but I knew it wouldn't be at the time of filming. We just used one condenser mic at the front of the stage which was never going to be satisfactory. Ideally we should have had all the talent wired up with Lavs but the budget did not stretch to that.

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Then I cheated and put a new background noise over it
    Audience chattering/coughing?

  10. #10


    For the fish factory scene I got the sound of a Chinese Fish market and for the race course scene I used a generic people mumbling/chatting out side noise. I found it helps to cover up the "processed" sounding actors voices.

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