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Old 11-19-2019, 03:36 PM   #1
ultramagnus_tcv
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Default Not finding the right term... changing sound

Hi,

I'm not finding the right term. (An audacity translation problem, no doubt.)

Basically I have a friend showing me the ropes on FX Chains and how they relate to tracks. I am learning about EQ and whatnot, but it's slow going. Audacity is a little easier on beginners, but I am committed to this.

I record audio narration.

So, let's say I want to have a track that's strictly for quoted passages. I'm reading the work then I come to a quote. I read the quote.

When I'm working on the audio, I'll put the quoted section on a separate track and then use a different FX Chain to process that track. However, I want that particular track to have a different sound ... something like AM Radio or Skype. I don't know how to get there. Is it adjusting EQ solely? Is there a FX plugin that would be simpler?

Sorry if I'm not using the right words.

Thanks,

m
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:22 PM   #2
DVDdoug
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EQ is probably adequate for your purposes (cutting the high & low frequencies). Although, you might want to keep most of the highs because they contribute to intelligibility.


If that doesn't do it. You could blend-in some noise (white noise or pink noise) and maybe use some clipping (or hard limiting) to give it a more "harsh" sound.


You could also try making a low-bitrate MP3.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:53 PM   #3
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Yeah, AM radio: EQ Bandpass from 300 Hz to 3KHz
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:38 AM   #4
ultramagnus_tcv
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I think I'm having quite a bit of trouble not understanding some basic audio engineering terms. I'll look them up, but for the benefit of myself and others, here's what I am referring to:

1. Hard Limiting
2. Bandpass

One of the things I thought I could do was try to match the output of existing AM Radio audio. I downloaded an example from the Internet Archive, looked at the EQ for it without any adjustments, then pull the bands to make it match. It did make the audio sound flatter, but it didn't sound like AM radio.

For what it's worth, the audio sample was recorded in 1971, probably on reel-to-reel. It may have been transferred to compact cassette later, but was digitized to CD before winding up on IA.

Meanwhile, I found another forum post that suggested some settings for telephone and it seems to work okay. I just wish I knew what I was doing. The post said to add compression but when I play with the buttons and levers, I don't hear a difference at all.

I'm not really frustrated, but I sure wish I could go faster than I can! :-)
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File Type: png AM Radio from IA.png (57.2 KB, 13 views)
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:04 AM   #5
nait
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I know it isn't going to solve your problem entirely, but I'd also probably make the source mono, if it isn't already. While I think maybe AM radio can do stereo, I believe most AM radios are mono.. so that will be another effect to help simulate things.

Also, I wonder if any of the EQs you use have a preset for simulating a radio on them, perhaps.

I also wonder, if you can't get it working from what was suggested already (which looks like good suggestions to me), if maybe a bit crusher might help.

This guy here also explains how to do it in Audacity (which I know you said you used), and you could really mirror everything he did completely in Reaper, minus perhaps the use of Izotope Vinyl (which you'd have to own.. but you can add noise from free plugins instead): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko9hRYx1lF4 He does basically what people here are describing to do.. but perhaps seeing it done will help (even though it's in Audacity.. but you'll be still doing the same effects work in Reaper).


The other angle of attack is if it's recorded audio, why not just edit it in Audacity if you're familiar with the process? (then bring that edited audio into Reaper after)
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Last edited by nait; 11-20-2019 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 11-21-2019, 08:58 AM   #6
martifingers
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Good advice so far. I would ask if the idea is to replicate the sound of AM radio or just to give the impression of a degraded signal. If you just want to "dirty" the sound then there's no need to worry too much about its accuracy. Perhaps something like this might help along with the suggestions above:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFXlT_M2E7A

One more thing - you may not feel confident just yet to tackle it but I reckon by automating some of the effect parameters you could add a further sense of a bad radio signal.
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:25 PM   #7
serr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultramagnus_tcv View Post
Hi,

I'm not finding the right term. (An audacity translation problem, no doubt.)

Basically I have a friend showing me the ropes on FX Chains and how they relate to tracks. I am learning about EQ and whatnot, but it's slow going. Audacity is a little easier on beginners, but I am committed to this.

I record audio narration.

So, let's say I want to have a track that's strictly for quoted passages. I'm reading the work then I come to a quote. I read the quote.

When I'm working on the audio, I'll put the quoted section on a separate track and then use a different FX Chain to process that track. However, I want that particular track to have a different sound ... something like AM Radio or Skype. I don't know how to get there. Is it adjusting EQ solely? Is there a FX plugin that would be simpler?

Sorry if I'm not using the right words.

Thanks,

m
Lo-fi radio, telephone, streaming, soundbars (those fake trashy speakers they sell at Worst Purchase), etc does 3 things:

Lo-fi frequency bandwidth. Highs and lows cut off.
You can do this with eq (as Philbo King noted above)

Brutally compressed dynamics. Smash it with a peak limiter.

Distortion. Run the eq'd and peak limited results through a distortion box. Not full on metal guitar settings but just enough to mutilate it a little.

Adjust those 3 plugins to taste and you can create just about any lo-fi device

Saturation around a high mid frequency is also a thing.
You can crank up a mid band (usually in the 1k - 3k range) on the eq before the limiter and distortion.


Add appropriate reverb if you want it to sound like a little transistor radio sitting out in a room.
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:05 PM   #8
ultramagnus_tcv
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Thanks all!!
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