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Old 02-20-2019, 09:11 AM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Brooklyn
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Originally Posted by BalSam View Post

I probably should've said in the original post - the main (and most infuriating) issue is the low hum from an air filtration system in the house (exactly the sort of thing you described DVDdoug)
Then I think you'll have good results with a combination of ReaFir and notching or very narrow eq, using each to handle had the job. A static noise like from an air filter, especially a low hum, has very specific frequencies, with the added bonus of them either being out of the range of voice entirely or near the cusp of where it can be sacrificed.

Firstly, any spoken work should get a high pass, which will eliminate anything below where it's set. Usually that would be 75 - 90hz for a male and higher for a female (or anyone with less low end content in their voice). Start there and creep it up until you decide it's too much off the voice and then back it down. That alone should take away a good deal of the low hum.

Before you put ReaFir on you should sweep a narrow eq over room tone to find where the offensive extra noise is. Everyone has their own way of doing this, but basically take a 15db or so boosted very narrow band and slowly creep it up the frequency range, in the area the noise is, up to around 300hz. Hopefully it's much lower than that, around 90hz or so. When you get to where the target freq is the sound will respond to the eq boost and jump in volume. Find the exact freq and change the boost to cut, keeping it narrow. You'll probably want to adjust the amount if it's within the speaker's range, but you should be able to, for example do a narrow cut of -10db of 120hz and not affect the voice too much because it will be so narrow. If you need to, raise it to -6 or whatever. You should be able to affect the air filter noticeably and the voice noticeably.

The advantage of using eq, if it does the trick, is that there are no artifacts. ReaFir works great but not to take out 100% of the noise, if it's very noisy. But both working together can be very effective. I find that using eq (if the noise is eq-able) and two instances of ReaFir, both set conservatively and with the wet/dry mix around 1/2 to 2/3 to be a good go to for noisy narration. It depends on if the narration will be naked or under a bed of music and ambience. If naked you really can't have any audible artifacts. In a mix it's not as critical.
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