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Old 10-05-2015, 12:57 PM   #1
RavenousMonster
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Cleaning up Dialogue in Audition

Any Adobe Audition users here have any advice for how to clean up and compress dialogue tracks without introducing a bunch of weird sounding artifacts and reverb? If not, are there any tips on how to fix these issues afterward, the weird reverb effect in particular? Thanks, all.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:23 PM   #2
Alcove Audio
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Wow, I don't know where to begin.

Cleaning up production sound is one of the toughest gigs in audio post. It takes quite a long time to develop the "ear," and the better processing systems are fairly pricey.

Part of getting good dialog tracks is editing and mixing line by line, word by word, syllable by syllable. But as the programmers used to say, GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out. It all starts with capturing quality production sound. If your production sound is poor your audio post becomes a rescue operation. At the low/no/mini/micro budget indie level the best you can hope for in audio post is intelligibility.

Start with reducing broadband noises and excessive hiss. Notch, high pass and low pass filters can handle this. Then lower the volume between lines of dialog. (Actually, you should cut these spaces out and drop them onto a separate track with appropriate crossfades.) Then you start tweaking. The basic issue is to keep the sound of the dialog consistent within the film as a whole as well as within the scene.

Audition has a noise reduction processor. If/when you use it do it in small judicious bits; this is one of the "secrets" in cleaning up production sound. The "big guys" will have four or more (very pricey) noise reduction plugins on each channel rather than taking the brute force approach.

Oh, a learning tip... Once you've completed your dialog edit be sure to save an "original" copy so you can A/B your progress as you work on the noise reduction.

... You DO NOT compress dialog tracks in the way that you probably mean it.

... If you get the "weird reverb effect" you are probably over processing or over compressing. Removing existing reverb is difficult even for the pros. There are a few processors that help a bit, even a few free ones, but nothing beats capturing solid production sound to avoid the problem in the first place.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:42 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot! I apologize for the late response. I thought I had this set up to alert me via email, but apparently not. I've since moved on to doing ADR of an important monologue that is essential to the movie as well as the only bit of production audio that is beyond redemption. I had my actor come to my micro-budget studio and re-record his lines and he did quite well. The new lines line up very closely with the old lines. However, I'm trying to use Audition's Automatic Speech Alignment function to get it spot-on and I can't get it to work to save my life. There isn't much out there on how to use it, and that's not surprising because it's really very intuitive. But I try to align my clips and the new aligned clip begins the dialogue immediately, even though both original clips have a couple seconds before the dialogue begins. The aligned clip ends the same way, except that the aligned clip is somehow longer than the original clips by a second or so. And nothing lines up. I'm at a complete loss.
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Old 10-17-2015, 02:46 AM   #4
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I didn't comment on your thread previously because for the relative beginner, Alcove covered all the main points perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenousMonster View Post
I'm trying to use Audition's Automatic Speech Alignment function to get it spot-on and I can't get it to work to save my life.
I'm not sure if you're going to get any particularly useful answers to your question. Adobe Audition is not used by professionals (the market is dominated by Pro Tools) and therefore, pretty much the only advice you're likely to receive is from those with low audio expectations. On the face of it, Audition is quite attractive because it includes a lot of audio post tools/features "in the box", more in some respects than Pro Tools, however, this is not as much of an advantage as it might seem. Pro Tools effectively relies on a number of third party "plugin" developers who are specialists in particular audio processing fields, with patented algorithms/technology. A single company trying to provide all these tools themselves (without infringing patents) is a much cheaper solution for the consumer but is going to struggle to produce an entire suite of decently usable tools. Some of the tools in Audition are next to useless, IE. They might work moderately well in certain circumstances but in other (maybe the vast majority) of circumstances, they may work only marginally, not work at all or may even make matters worse. With very limited knowledge/experience of Audition, I can say that the built-in noise reduction certainly falls into this category and it would be a decent guess that the dialogue alignment tool probably does as well.

The obvious solution is to use professional tools for the job, in the case of dialogue alignment that would be one of SyncoArts products (VocAlign or Revoice Pro for example). The only other suggestion I can think of (without spending cash) is to split your ADR clips into smaller sections, try aligning no more than 3-4 words at a time. Even pro software can struggle with entire phrases and require a bit of tweaking.

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Old 10-18-2015, 10:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioPostExpert View Post
The only other suggestion I can think of (without spending cash) is to split your ADR clips into smaller sections, try aligning no more than 3-4 words at a time.
That's how I did it. I didn't even know there were voice aligning plugins out there.

But the next problem after you align voices may be to match the ambience, so the ADR'd sounds feel like it belongs. That's another trick that requires a plugin.
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