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Author Topic: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!  (Read 3305 times)

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Offline jj69

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Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« on: October 05, 2023, 08:35:22 PM »
I made a generally excellent recording of one of my favorite musicians.  Unfortunately, my gear let me down the night of the show.  The right channel of my Sony PCM-A10 failed (despite thoroughly testing it before leaving the house).  The channel was not completely dead, but what I wound up with is a recording with the right channel gain 22db lower than the left.  As I'm sure you can imagine, once the right channel was boosted 22db in post, so was the noise floor.  The PCM-A10 is a great sounding little recorder, but adding 22db of gain to a channel is going to be noticeable. 

The good news is this was a hard rock band, so the excessive noise in the right channel is not particularly noticeable for most of the show. However, during quiet passages, and particularly between songs, the left channel is dead quiet, while the right channel sounds like a bad 70s cassette recording without noise reduction. 

Can someone suggest the best available noise reduction workflow to repair this that will result in the least amount of annoying artifacts?  The software I have readily available is basically Adobe Audition 3.0 and iZotope RX7.  However, I'd be willing to invest in something better if it will provide a worthwhile result.  I've tried the Audition noise reduction in the past, and no matter what I did, I found that I always preferred the original recording with hiss over the annoying artifacts the processing would leave behind. 

Any suggestions greatly appreciated! 


Offline vanark

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2023, 09:48:31 PM »
Have you considered dumping the bad channel and duplicating the good one? there are little tricks to give it some sort of stereo feel. That kind of hiss can be tough to manage without interfering with the audio too.
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Offline jj69

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2023, 10:10:46 PM »
Have you considered dumping the bad channel and duplicating the good one? there are little tricks to give it some sort of stereo feel. That kind of hiss can be tough to manage without interfering with the audio too.

No - I'd live with the hiss before going to fake stereo! 

Offline BlueSky71

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2023, 10:28:25 PM »
Dual mono can sound good pan left pan right etc. Whatever stereo image you may have at this point is probably gone anyways. What were you running, where and was it 007. if 007 get on with it and dump the right channel. Shit happens. I have had static on a channel before on a 007 situation, and was upset about it, until we went dual mono.

Offline robgronotte

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2023, 10:31:09 PM »
How do you know it is a problem with the recorder?  I have had this kind of problem before, and it was always the microphones.
Microphones can also act differently from night to night, but it's hard to imagine a digital recorder randomly not performing well.

Offline jj69

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2023, 11:04:16 PM »
How do you know it is a problem with the recorder?  I have had this kind of problem before, and it was always the microphones.
Microphones can also act differently from night to night, but it's hard to imagine a digital recorder randomly not performing well.

LOL.  Believe me, I am POSITIVE it's the PCM-A10.  I have been though seven (7) of them!  All of them have failed in exactly the same way - the right channel (through the input jack) dies, usually progressively over time (or in this case, without warning).  I've had two technicians disassemble and examine my failed A10's only to find nothing obviously amiss inside.  The theory is that whatever is failing is inside one of the chips on the board.  Me and one taper friend are the only people we can find who have experienced this problem (he has killed only 6 PCM-10's, so I'm ahead by 1!).  We use nearly identical gear.  The best theory we have is that the (uncommon) 12V battery boxes we use are somehow leaking voltage back into the PCM-A10's input jack and over time frying one of the chips.  The only reason we've persisted with this particular 12V box this long is because it is so tiny and convenient to use.  The same box has never been an issue with the Sony PCM-M10, Roland R-05 or R07 or any other PCM recorder.  It's probably a combination of a defect in the 12V box and an overly fragile chip in the A10. 



Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2023, 11:35:45 PM »
Have you considered dumping the bad channel and duplicating the good one? there are little tricks to give it some sort of stereo feel. That kind of hiss can be tough to manage without interfering with the audio too.

If the hiss is in a specific frequency range, you could also try just copying that frequency range from the good channel to the bad one. It might sound weird, or it might sound great, hard to predict until you try it.

But RX has a great hiss remover (at least RX 9 does, not sure about 7), so try slamming that puppy into learn mode on a section that's just hiss, and see what it can do to the rest of that channel.

Offline robgronotte

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2023, 01:33:46 AM »
Yow, why do you keep using that recorder then? I have one and like it, but I imagine using a different one would work better for you.
I use a 12v battery with mine also, hope that doesn't become a problem for me. Who made your battery box?

Offline unidentified

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2023, 11:50:31 AM »
Sorry to hear about all the troubles you're having. It does make me glad that I stuck with my faithful PCM M10 Sonys rather than switching to the A-10. Why are you using a 12 volt battery box instead of a 9-volt one? I presume it must have to do with the mics you are running.

Offline jj69

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2023, 01:02:52 PM »
All good questions. 

We cling to the A10 for its small size, and particularly its rock-solid Bluetooth remote control connection.  The Roland R-07 Bluetooth remote is reliable only with iPhones - its Android performance has been practically useless from the day it was released.  Likewise, we cling to the 12V battery box for its tiny size and amazing form factor.  No other combination of recorder/batter box is even close to being as compact. 

I don't think 12V of power is necessarily required for the mics, but I have had zero luck with 9V battery boxes across the board.  First, they are MUCH larger than the box I prefer.  More importantly, every 9V box I have used has failed in the field every time I've tried it.  My experience is limited to the small Church 9V boxes - they all lose connection with the battery bumped or jarred in any way (and if the box is in your pocket, it will always get moved around). 

For the record, the 12V box I like is the Sound Professionals SPSB-4.  I was reluctant to identify it, because I don't want to disparage the manufacturer.  That box has never been an issue with any other recorder, and their other 12V boxes (like the SPSB-12) have never caused an issue with the A10 to date.  I also have not yet had the opportunity to contact SP and inform them of our issues.  My plan is to send them one of my SPSB-4 boxes if they're willing to test it. 

If you look at the photos of the SPSB-4, you'll see it's small size and its unique form factor and you'll understand why we like it.  It's compact and requires no wires for connection. 

For this recording, I'm going to try to try the recommended hiss removal in RX7.  If anyone knows if the hiss removal function is different (and significantly better) in newer versions of RX, please let me know if it's worth upgrading at this time! 


Offline goodcooker

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2023, 04:14:26 PM »

Sounds like you are dead set on using gear that doesn't work right or taking the best/easiest approach to fixing the borked recording you are working on presently so I'm not going to try to talk you out of either situation.

Make sure to run noise reduction on your file before increasing the gain. After increasing the gain do it again. I had to do this in several steps before - run noise redux, increase gain by 10dB, run noise redux again, add the rest of needed gain, run noise redux again.

If you have a stereo file that's only going to have an increased noise floor on one side your best bet is to split the file into two mono files and work on them separately - which is why I don't understand why you just wouldn't duplicate your known good channel and use some tricks to get stereo separation perception out of it. But, hey, it's your recording.
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Offline unidentified

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2023, 04:46:59 PM »
All good questions. 

We cling to the A10 for its small size, and particularly its rock-solid Bluetooth remote control connection.  The Roland R-07 Bluetooth remote is reliable only with iPhones - its Android performance has been practically useless from the day it was released.  Likewise, we cling to the 12V battery box for its tiny size and amazing form factor.  No other combination of recorder/batter box is even close to being as compact. 

I don't think 12V of power is necessarily required for the mics, but I have had zero luck with 9V battery boxes across the board.  First, they are MUCH larger than the box I prefer.  More importantly, every 9V box I have used has failed in the field every time I've tried it.  My experience is limited to the small Church 9V boxes - they all lose connection with the battery bumped or jarred in any way (and if the box is in your pocket, it will always get moved around). 

For the record, the 12V box I like is the Sound Professionals SPSB-4.  I was reluctant to identify it, because I don't want to disparage the manufacturer.  That box has never been an issue with any other recorder, and their other 12V boxes (like the SPSB-12) have never caused an issue with the A10 to date.  I also have not yet had the opportunity to contact SP and inform them of our issues.  My plan is to send them one of my SPSB-4 boxes if they're willing to test it. 

If you look at the photos of the SPSB-4, you'll see it's small size and its unique form factor and you'll understand why we like it.  It's compact and requires no wires for connection. 

For this recording, I'm going to try to try the recommended hiss removal in RX7.  If anyone knows if the hiss removal function is different (and significantly better) in newer versions of RX, please let me know if it's worth upgrading at this time!

I do like the form factor of that battery box, although I have to wonder if having the admittedly small mass of that box attached directly to the input jack is adding stress to that jack, as opposed to the stress it would be added by flexible cord. But who knows. Best of luck in addressing the problem that you're encountering
« Last Edit: October 06, 2023, 04:49:07 PM by unidentified »

Offline jefflester

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2023, 06:20:26 PM »
All good questions. 

We cling to the A10 for its small size, and particularly its rock-solid Bluetooth remote control connection.  The Roland R-07 Bluetooth remote is reliable only with iPhones - its Android performance has been practically useless from the day it was released.  Likewise, we cling to the 12V battery box for its tiny size and amazing form factor.  No other combination of recorder/batter box is even close to being as compact. 

I don't think 12V of power is necessarily required for the mics, but I have had zero luck with 9V battery boxes across the board.  First, they are MUCH larger than the box I prefer.  More importantly, every 9V box I have used has failed in the field every time I've tried it.  My experience is limited to the small Church 9V boxes - they all lose connection with the battery bumped or jarred in any way (and if the box is in your pocket, it will always get moved around). 

For the record, the 12V box I like is the Sound Professionals SPSB-4.  I was reluctant to identify it, because I don't want to disparage the manufacturer.  That box has never been an issue with any other recorder, and their other 12V boxes (like the SPSB-12) have never caused an issue with the A10 to date.  I also have not yet had the opportunity to contact SP and inform them of our issues.  My plan is to send them one of my SPSB-4 boxes if they're willing to test it. 

If you look at the photos of the SPSB-4, you'll see it's small size and its unique form factor and you'll understand why we like it.  It's compact and requires no wires for connection. 

For this recording, I'm going to try to try the recommended hiss removal in RX7.  If anyone knows if the hiss removal function is different (and significantly better) in newer versions of RX, please let me know if it's worth upgrading at this time!

I do like the form factor of that battery box, although I have to wonder if having the admittedly small mass of that box attached directly to the input jack is adding stress to that jack, as opposed to the stress it would be added by flexible cord. But who knows. Best of luck in addressing the problem that you're encountering
That seems like a much more likely culprit than a blocking capacitor failing.
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Offline roffels

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2023, 08:31:40 PM »
Now you've got me paranoid about using my 12v battery box with my Sony A10... I don't  >:D often but I don't want to go and ruin my gear.

Offline robgronotte

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Re: Best "hiss" reduction? - Help me save this recording!
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2023, 04:07:33 AM »
I realized that I was confused earlier, I actually use a 9v battery.

 

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