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    EQ Software


    Hi,
    I'm new to making field recordings but really enjoying it. I have a Zoom H4nSP which to my untrained ears is very bassy and often has a low rumble going on when recording in quiet places. I'd be interested to know what kind of EQ software people use to improve their sounds if any. I'm sure I could improve my recordings with slight tweaks, but I'm not sure which software to try. I have the bundled Cubase LE7, Wavelab LE8, and also the Reaper DAW, but haven't really fathomed it all yet. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

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    Hello,
    if you're lucky enough that no part of the interesting signal crosses the rumble range, then any high pass filter worth its name, be it just a filter or part of an EQ, will do the job. There are plenty of options even at zero cost; the DAWs you mentioned support external plugins and then you only have to choose.

    http://www.kvraudio.com/q.php?search=1&q;=&ty;[]=e&f1;[]=vst&tg;[]=22&cp;[]=1≺[]=f&av;[]=re&sh;[]=s
    http://www.vst4free.com/index.php?plug-ins=EQ

    If the frequency ranges overlap, but you have at least a few seconds of recording with just the unwanted rumble, you can try what's called noise removal or noise reduction; Audacity for instance has that feature, and it's been improved in the latest versions.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/

    HTH

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    @copyc4t
    Thank you for your help! That is really useful. Thank you smile

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    You're welcome smile

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    @copyc4t Following your advice I downloaded Voxengo Overtone GEQ from http://www.vst4free.com and ran it in Reaper. What a difference!! Thank you so much!

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    Great choice, Voxengo is one of those companies whose free plugins are well loved even by people with high quality standards.

    Since your approach is about eliminating unwanted features, I recommend SPAN, which can help identifying offending frequencies.
    http://www.voxengo.com/product/span/

    About Overtone GEQ in particular, it's a great EQ but "with an attitude"; it's not "transparent", it's one of those plugins that add "color" to the material, and it does on purpose.
    On field recordings, you may prefer a treatment as transparent as it can be.

    Also, with a graphic EQ, the bands are fixed and you can't place them where you need them, so you may want to familiarize with parametric EQ's like this to begin with,
    http://www.bluecataudio.com/Products/Product_TripleEQ/

    and then move to something that allows more bands, like this
    http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?plugin=Equilibre&id;=1021

    ...but wait... Reaper? ReaEQ may fit your needs without losing yourself in an endless plugin hunt smile

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    @copyc4t Wow! Thank you. I'm pleased I asked now! I like plugin hunts, so will be checking all your links out and probably downloading quite a few things.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer deeply.
    John

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    No problem!
    Have fun hunting plugins but beware, such hunts can be extremely time consuming wink

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    @John
    EQ is a good tool when we are trying to remove one frequency or range of frequencies (typically cutting low hum or high frequency hiss).

    But when the noise source is more complex, like for example recording a conversation on a moving bus, 'noise removal' is a much more powerfull tool.
    This works first by selecting a section of audio containing only the noise source (in my example above, just the bus engine noise no dialogue). The the program takes a fingerprint of the noise source and that is used as a template to remove out those frequencies from the whole recording.
    This can work rather well. At the very least will strongly reduce the background noise and make the speech much easier to understand.

    Usually it is not possible to remove the noise completely in Audacity (creates audio artifacts), but can achieve great improvement.
    Certain specialist tools use the same methods but are more refined - these are specific (and expensive) audio restauration software packages.

    I want to believe.
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    @AlienXXX Thank you. That's very handy to know. I live in rural Northumberland but some recordings are ruined by passing distant cars. It'll be interesting to see how much of a difference I can achieve with the removal tool. As you say, an improvement is an improvement, however slight!

    One thing I've noticed since starting field recording is how much unwanted sound there is around us. Aeroplanes being a big one. Recording is similar to trying to take a good photo only to discover something unwanted in the background that you didn't notice when you clicked the shutter.
    Good training for the ears I reckon.
    Anyway, thank you once again for taking the time to reply.
    John

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    PapercutterJohn wrote:
    Recording is similar to trying to take a good photo only to discover something unwanted in the background that you didn't notice when you clicked the shutter.

    There are 2 very usefull tools in the recordist bag: luck and patience.
    I do not do a lot of outdoors recording, that is not my thing. But I do quite a lot of indoor recordings. Some are just general noises that happen to be there, like water going through the heating pipes. Others are things I intentionally setup to record (cuttlery, bits of packaging, squeaky shoes,...)

    You would be surprised how many times the wife decides to enter the room with an errand for me to do, the phone rings, the cat decides to miaou...
    Out in the wild I am sure these unwanted random factors are magnified by 1000.

    Another thing that is often under-rated:
    In my oppinion it takes far longer and involves a lot more work to cut, clean up and classify the recordings than to actually record.

    I want to believe.
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    AlienXXX wrote:

    In my oppinion it takes far longer and involves a lot more work to cut, clean up and classify the recordings than to actually record.

    Ah, you see, that's where I'm lacking the knowledge, but Freesound turns out not only a great place to share your sounds, but it's also packed full of knowledgeable people with tons of experience. Obviously I'm in the right place!

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