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  #16  
Old 01-11-2021, 08:27 AM
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keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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Originally Posted by AuntieDiluvian View Post
I actually put a high-pass filter on the vocals, because I had some plosives that needed to be tamed. The chief source of problems is often the prior batch of solutions.....

Yes. How can you tame that aside from re-training the guitarist to improve his technique?
As @chipotle noted, iZotope's RX has several noise reduction tools, and the latest version (RX8) does have something for string squeaks, though I think it's not very good - it seems to have a lot of trouble dialing in a subtle repair - tried it manually on some of the ones in your track and it either did close to nothing, or left an audible "footprint" of the removal (moving the "sensitivity" dial from 3.2 to 3.3 - the finest adjustment available). However, I left it at a default setting and ran it over the entire track, so it does work sometimes. I'd personally suggest the player try different strings and some hand lotion, and practice technique while recording. Worst case, have a spray can of Finger Ease ready if you are hearing a lot of squeaks that will really get in the way.

Here's your MP3 with some excitation and that bass shelf I mentioned, a little more compression (while I was at it), and the RX string squeak applied globally:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aHt...ew?usp=sharing

And here's a level-matched version of the original (to avoid loudness bias):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/14x_...ew?usp=sharing

Just tinkering. As you said, there's a point where you've probably learned about all there is on a project, and you take that to the next one, where, hopefully, you'll remember a lot more than I do ...
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Last edited by keith.rogers; 01-11-2021 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:04 PM
AuntieDiluvian AuntieDiluvian is offline
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Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
As @chipotle noted, iZotope's RX has several noise reduction tools, and the latest version (RX8) does have something for string squeaks, though I think it's not very good - it seems to have a lot of trouble dialing in a subtle repair - tried it manually on some of the ones in your track and it either did close to nothing, or left an audible "footprint" of the removal (moving the "sensitivity" dial from 3.2 to 3.3 - the finest adjustment available). However, I left it at a default setting and ran it over the entire track, so it does work sometimes. I'd personally suggest the player try different strings and some hand lotion, and practice technique while recording. Worst case, have a spray can of Finger Ease ready if you are hearing a lot of squeaks that will really get in the way.

Here's your MP3 with some excitation and that bass shelf I mentioned, a little more compression (while I was at it), and the RX string squeak applied globally:
That isn't very subtle at all - it tames the squeak, but also kills the attack pretty comprehensively (and all the consonants in the vox, but obviously should be applied just to the offending guitar track).

Hmmm....
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:36 PM
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That isn't very subtle at all - it tames the squeak, but also kills the attack pretty comprehensively
Automated tools can be helpful, but many times such repair comes down to tediously fixing spots by hand to get the best result. For example, the aforementioned spectral editing can work really well for squeaks, but since every squeak is different, you have to tweak every one individually. Same with noise, crackles, sibilants or plosives, etc. etc. Some spectral editing here, a bit of dynamic compression there, a volume envelope adjustment there...

Bob Womack has posted some stories here about working magic on absolutely trashed audio, but it takes a lot of effort. As you've surmised, getting better takes in the first place saves a lot of work in the end.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:27 AM
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Automated tools can be helpful, but many times such repair comes down to tediously fixing spots by hand to get the best result. For example, the aforementioned spectral editing can work really well for squeaks, but since every squeak is different, you have to tweak every one individually. Same with noise, crackles, sibilants or plosives, etc. etc. Some spectral editing here, a bit of dynamic compression there, a volume envelope adjustment there...

Bob Womack has posted some stories here about working magic on absolutely trashed audio, but it takes a lot of effort. As you've surmised, getting better takes in the first place saves a lot of work in the end.
I started trying to edit the squeaks individually, but there were simply too many of them, and doing it unobtrusively on the mix required selecting not just the time but frequency (moves depending on the specific squeaky strings), since that particular RX module does not seem to have enough fine tuning capability to not leave a big hole in its aftermath, otherwise.

Squeaks are generally too long for the spectral repair module (operating in a mix) because the surroundings are not constant enough. Clicks and such are pretty easy, and sibilance can be done, but also needs to be bounded both time and frequency, though vocal sibilance doesn't move around as much, i.e., like the squeaks, in frequency for a vocalist (IMO/IME). And there are often only a few that stick out in a mix.
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Last edited by keith.rogers; 01-12-2021 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:10 AM
AuntieDiluvian AuntieDiluvian is offline
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Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
I started trying to edit the squeaks individually, but there were simply too many of them, and doing it unobtrusively on the mix required selecting not just the time but frequency (moves depending on the specific squeaky strings), since that particular RX module does not seem to have enough fine tuning capability to not leave a big hole in its aftermath, otherwise.

Squeaks are generally too long for the spectral repair module (operating in a mix) because the surroundings are not constant enough. Clicks and such are pretty easy, and sibilance can be done, but also needs to be bounded both time and frequency, though vocal sibilance doesn't move around as much, i.e., like the squeaks, in frequency for a vocalist (IMO/IME). And there are often only a few that stick out in a mix.
All true.

I will have some time to spend on this later this week; I'm going to give it a go with several approaches, then decide if it's better to just re-track the parts.

My intent with this project was to learn more about the process and the tools available. From that perspective, it's absolutely been a success. The next one will be an order of magnitude better, simply from knowing what to strive for in the early steps.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:33 AM
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Squeaks are generally too long for the spectral repair module (operating in a mix) because the surroundings are not constant enough.
I think you need access to individual tracks to do this level of repair effectively. It definitely gets more difficult, if not impossible, if your repair is affecting the entire mix. You can get much better results if you can apply the changes to only the instrument in question. Stuff like string squeaks especially, since they tend to be (relatively) long in duration (as compared to a pop) and can have a wide and varied frequency makeup.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:26 PM
AuntieDiluvian AuntieDiluvian is offline
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OK, here's a pass with some of the most egregious squeaks removed with fader automation:
https://soundclick.com/r/s8fur2

Not perfect, but less grating.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:27 PM
AuntieDiluvian AuntieDiluvian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
I started trying to edit the squeaks individually, but there were simply too many of them, and doing it unobtrusively on the mix required selecting not just the time but frequency (moves depending on the specific squeaky strings), since that particular RX module does not seem to have enough fine tuning capability to not leave a big hole in its aftermath, otherwise.

Squeaks are generally too long for the spectral repair module (operating in a mix) because the surroundings are not constant enough. Clicks and such are pretty easy, and sibilance can be done, but also needs to be bounded both time and frequency, though vocal sibilance doesn't move around as much, i.e., like the squeaks, in frequency for a vocalist (IMO/IME). And there are often only a few that stick out in a mix.
And a couple of the ones in this track are long enough to leave a really big gap if you try to remove them completely.....ugh. Lesson learned.
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