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Windows 7: Cleaning up soundtracks in videoclips

26 Aug 2012   #1

windows 77 home premium 64bits
 
 
Cleaning up soundtracks in videoclips

Is there an easy way to cleanup sound tracks from videoclips?

With Windows Live Movie Maker I am putting together videoclips recorded with a digital camera (not a camcorder) and I would like to correct the following problems

-the sound is full of clicks, wind rumbles and zoom whirs...

-the sound levels sometimes vary from clip to clip....

-the camera operator's voice booms out compared to the other persons in the clips

I am not at all an expert in computers, so I need something relatively easy to use...

Am I hoping for too much ? I am retired and can afford to spend considerable time on the learning curse, as long as it is within my limits !

May thanks for your any advice you can give me...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Aug 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I have cleaned up the sound portion of video clips easily, using Audacity.

But only when I have no interest in the video portion.

After the cleanup, you have to re-save or export the altered file, and Audacity won't export video as far as I know.

So I end up with the improved sound in an audio file, no video. Which is fine with me, all I wanted was the audio anyway.

I assume you could export the Audacity-altered sound portion and then "paste" that sound track over the original noisy sound track in the video, using a video editor of some type. I've never done it.

I'm not sure of the sound improvement capabilities found in video editors. I've used video editors, but never to alter the sound track of a video clip.

The basic video editors I have used can convert the audio portion to some other format, but cannot reduce noise, clicks, pops, etc like Audacity.

You might use Audacity and try the "paste" method mentioned above---you'd have to find a basic video editor that will let you over-write an existing sound track with your altered one.

There may be a higher quality video editor that includes audio noise reduction, but you may have to pay for it.

Search out expertise on forums devoted to video.

Audacity is here:

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/


It is often regarded as the best free sound editor for the PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #3

windows 77 home premium 64bits
 
 

Thank you for the useful information. I will pursue this further. Audacity may not be the solution for me given the video limitations. The video component is primary for me. I may have to live with the audio imperfections !

I will investigate the other suggestion about Mixcraft. thank you all...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Aug 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pantagruel View Post
I may have to live with the audio imperfections
I don't believe that at all.

It's just a matter of finding a video editor that has good built in audio noise reduction, or using Audacity to alter the sound track and then paste it over the original sound track in a video editor.

I know certain video editor permit this "swapping" of the audio track on a video.

Some even allow you to make minute changes in the speed of the audio to eliminate synchronization issues where someone's mouth moves well after you hear them speak.

A couple of free video tools for you to look at:

Avidemux.

VirtualDub.

Look here:

Video Editors (Basic) - VideoHelp.com Downloads
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2012   #5

windows 77 home premium 64bits
 
 

Thanks for the encouragements and the leads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

My only other point: keep your expectations modest.

Some sounds will be virtually impossible to significantly reduce, let alone remove.

It depends on the type of sound, how constant it is, what else is audible at that exact moment, etc.

You can filter or reduce certain sounds, but other desirable sounds audible at that exact moment may also be affected adversely. For instance, you can remove the "hiss" of a tape recording, but only at the expense of also removing other high frequencies. The cure may be worse than the disease.

Or you may be able to remove isolated ticks and pops. But suppose it takes 3 minutes per tick and there are 200 ticks in the video. Are you going to spend 600 minutes on the job?

The easiest stuff to remove is a more or less constant "hiss".

Something like the whirr of a zoom lens or variable winds would be quite difficult.

Something like a baby crying during a musical performance would be all but impossible. Consumer tools can't distinguish between an undesirable 2000 Hz noise from a baby and a desirable 2000 Hz noise from a saxophone.

Sound editors generally do a pretty good job of "normalizing" the overall volume levels and do allow you to boost certain portions of the audio track without boosting the remainder.

If you have a stereo audio track, you may well find that one of the two channels is much preferable, in which case delete the noisy channel and use the good channel for both left and right (mono).

Or you may find it preferable to combine the stereo tracks into mono, rather than delete left or right.

Familiarize yourself with "notch filters".

There are automated "click and pop" filters that work pretty well and can do a damn good job on that type of noise quickly---a few seconds per minute of running time. But they cost a bit (under $100) and have a learning curve.

The learning curve may not bother you if you have the time and inclination.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2012   #7

windows 77 home premium 64bits
 
 

This is very informative, thank you. It may be too much time and work for the payback. The overall sound quality of the clips is low, so it may not worth the effort to remove the odd glitches.

I am in mutiple learnings curves at the moment (Live Movie Maker, a new IPOD...), so I'll put the project on a backburner for now. I will consider purchasing a digital camcorder for future recordings if only for the audio part (assuming a camcorder has better sound recording elements). I currently am using an ancient Sony HI-8, and use a converter to transfer to video disks.

I appreciate very much the detailed explanations you have taken the time to give me.
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