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Clean-up Sound Plugins for Videographers


On this video, Keith Alexander (the man with what is arguably the smoothest voice on Youtube) talks about using different types of plugins to clean up and improve the sound for your videos.

There are many types of possible issues with voice recordings including mouth clicks, pops, sibilance, noise and as well as clipping. There are also many tools that can help repair most of these at least to some degree.

Alexander has quite a few good tips for working with audio (and we will add a few from our own experience over the years):

  1. Have good quality monitors (we like working with good quality monitoring headphones – ours are the reasonably priced Audio-Technica ATH-M50x but we also use the PreSonus Eris E3.5 to hear how your recording might sound over speakers).
  2. mentions two software bundles – the iZotope RX (now on version 7) and the far less expensive option – the accusonus era bundle. Both can do amazing things for your audio, the accusonus has far fewer options and is significantly simpler to use but the more expensive iZotope is much more powerful and versatile.
  3. Always make a copy of your soundtrack before you start editing – this way if something happens – you can always come back to your original version and start again (we never had an issue with iZotope but you can never be too careful – especially with important projects).
  4. You can typically remove everything below 80hz to clean some low rouble in your recordings.
  5. Mouth clicks are a huge problem for many voice recordings (especially in interviews and voice overs – we know that from first-hand experience), These are caused by the interaction of the saliva and the teeth. Ask your talent not to eat sweet things before recordings and if possible give them a green apple to chew on (the acid in the apple is good for reducing those annoying clicks). If you can’t avoid clicks – and this happens a lot – use the mouth de-click feature in iZotope RX – it really works wonders.
  6. If your talent has a lot of strong plusives (P’s and B’s) and there are plugins from both iZotope and accusonus to handle that as well (you can also have your talent use a good pop filter on the mic if this is done as a voice over or just get the mic a little further away – but not too much).
  7. When faced with clipping sound there are also solutions although just like clipping highlights in images and videos – there are limits to how much you can save from a clipped sound track (we always suggest to record a little low and if possible to make a dual recording with one 10db lower just in case).
  8. Using a leveler can also be useful to make your sound more uniform (less high-low jumps).

At the end of the day – use these plugings as little as you need to fix your sound – too much can destory your recording and sound unnatural.

We have been using an older version of the iZotope and it is a fantastic piece of software that we simply can’t work without – especially for reducing clicks. It is very expensive though and is, therefore, a bit hard to recommend for everyone in this respect.

You can also check out more videos dealing with sound recording for video productions here.

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