If you are recording sound through your computer or phone, there is a good chance that the quality of the audio will be distorted. Worry not because right now I am going to talk about how you can fix distorted audio in your audio recording.
Producers usually want the highest quality possible when it comes to their sound, but sometimes things go wrong and there’s no way around it.
Commonly experienced distorted audio issues include:
- Bumps, Mic Movement and Rumble
- Buzz, Whine and Hum
Can you fix distorted audio? Yes. There are multiple ways to fix these each of the audio distorted problems and it can be done with some quick fixes.
However, we will look at a few different methods for fixing distorted audio so that you can get back on track with whatever project you are working on.
Now you may be wondering how do I fix my distorted audio? The following are ways on how to fix distorted audio recording:
Fix Bumps, Mic Movement and Rumble Audio Distortion
Bumps, Rumble and Mic Movement Problem
In certain recordings, you’ll hear rumbling. It might be a low-frequency grumble that never stops. It might just be a brief thud. Regardless of the situation, it is definitely not part of the nice audio in your recordings and must be removed.
Low-frequency rumbling can occur from a variety of places. Wind or distant traffic can sometimes provide low-end vitality to outdoor recordings. Moving a microphone or shaking it in a stand might cause a momentary thud.
There are a couple difficulties with this bass rumbling. Constant rumbling makes a sound “muddy,” adds low-end energy, and detracts from the recording’s clarity. Temporary bumps are annoying and can drown out other frequencies of sound.
Fix Bumps, Rumble and Mic Movement Distortion
This is a simple problem to solve. Set a high-pass EQ filter with a slope of 12 dB around 100 Hz. Find a happy medium between removing the rumbling and reducing too much of the wonderful sound in the process.
Momentary noises can be corrected by sculpting out the bump with spectral repair lassoing tools, replacing it with other audio, or removing it from the rest of the frequency.
A high-pass filter may also be applied to rumbling sounds using any equalizer. The Pro-Q 3 from Fab Filter is a popular choice among users. Intermittent bumps can be “penciled out” with iZotope RX’s Spectral Repair.
Fix Clipping Audio Distortion
Audio Clipping Problem
The top of a waveform gets flattened or “clipped off” in clipping, which is a common audio issue. While the appearance of this smushed waveform is obvious, the underlying issue is that it implies degraded audio.
Clipping occurs when the recording levels are set too high or when the sounds are too loud. Recorders are overwhelmed when loud noises are captured with these “hot” gain levels. They are unable to cope with the volume. Rather, they seize what they can and cut what they can’t. What’s the end result? The powerful sound is “clipped,” with a portion of the audio missing.
The sound of clipped audio is unpleasant. It frequently has a distorted or saturated sound. Clipping also indicates that audio is not entirely caught, which is an unpleasant sound. The signal’s loudest section is lost and not captured at all.
Fix Audio Clipping Distortion
Fortunately, there are a few plug-ins that can assist. They function by analyzing the audio on both sides of the clipped area and using that information to reconstruct the broken audio. In most circumstances, choosing the affected region and defining how much the level should be decreased are the first two procedures.
iZotope RX or Accusonus’ ERA De-Clipper are two plug-in options for repairing damaged audio.
Fix Buzz, Whine and Hum Distortion
Buzz, Whine and Hum Problem in Audio
Buzz, Whine and Hum are precisely what their names suggest: constant gritty or nasal tones that last throughout the recording process.
What Causes It to Happen? Have you placed your recorder too close to a power outlet? Perhaps your microphone is illuminated by a fluorescent light. Perhaps there’s a distant air conditioning unit. Whines, buzzes, and hums can come from any of these sources. They’re often unnoticeable, and you won’t see them until you’re in the edit suite.
Hums and whines are persistently annoying. They infiltrate the sound spectrum in several harmonics, not simply one frequency. Of course, this interferes with the wonderful audio you want to maintain and adds a gritty feel to any audio.
Fix Buzz, Hum and Whine Audio Distortion
The good news is that buzzes and whines are frequently based on alternating current mains power and occur at known fundamental frequencies. Depending on the country, this will be 50 or 60 Hz. As a result, the highest hum will occur at 60 Hz, as well as a few frequencies above it, such as 120 Hz and 180 Hz.
An EQ notch filter can be used to target these frequencies. This will focus on just that frequency while causing no harm to anyone nearby. To remove the hum without impacting other sounds, broaden or narrow this Q, then do the same for other harmonics.
Some plug-ins make the process go more smoothly. They detect the hum and all of its harmonics correctly and slice them away in one step.
iZotope RX, Waves, SoundSoap 5, Absentia DX, and others all provide hum reduction plug-ins.
Manually, Pro-Q 3 or any other notch EQ may accomplish the job. The NF575 from McDSP can locate a hum frequency and automatically connect four more harmonics to eliminate whining with no effort.
Noise Problem in Audio
When capturing audio, one of the most common issues is noise. It’s a hissy, airy sound that may be heard throughout the recordings.
There is a lot of noise. Refrigerators, fans and air conditioners may be heard making the noise. Large places are by their very nature loud. Wind may add a bothersome hiss to tracks if you’re recording outside. Every microphone, preamp, and recorder contribute a little amount of noise, and low-quality gear contributes even more.
Noise is unpleasant to hear, just like static on a television. Furthermore, noise in recordings competes with good audio. It’s broadband, which means it may appear at any audio frequency. That means bass rhythms, conversation lines, and wilderness effects recordings may all be mixed together.
It’s difficult to get rid of noise. It has nice audio interleaved with it. As a result, eliminating it risks removing the good along with the bad.
Fix Noise in Audio
Here are three methods for reducing noise:
1. Use Multi-Band Compression
Multi-band compression takes a little more effort, but it may frequently minimize noise. It’s done by soloing each band, establishing the noise threshold, and then lowering the gain until the noise vanishes. The amount of noise removed from each band may be customized using discrete band controls.
It’s crucial to be cautious with de-noising: eliminating too much removes the liveliness from recordings at best, and adds subtle, tinkling robotic errors at worst.
Waves C4 is a well-known multi-band compressor.
2. Use Equilizer
To get rid of the high-frequency hiss, use equalization. Set a high-frequency low-pass filter and progressively lower it until you hear it stealing too much of the nice sounds.
3. Use Noice Reduction Plugin
Noise reduction plug-ins sample parts of pure noise, known as a noise profile, and use that as a template for what to remove from the audio.
Popular noise removal plug-ins include but not limited to:
- Waves X-Noise
- Accusonus ERA Noise Remover
- iZotope RX
- Noise Suppressor
- Sonnox Oxford Denoiser
- Antares SoundSoap 5
Before I forget, sometimes you may encounter problems with your audio recording software. You need to know ways to fix your audio software to continue with recording.
Audio distortion can be a headache for any audio professional. is there any way to fix distorted audio? Yes. There are many ways to fix distorted audio recording and it is not always necessary to re-record everything from scratch! Other than using plugins, you can use equalizer, filter, or multiband compression among others.