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Recently I'm doing dialogue premix for a feature. Unfortunately the recorded location sound are in poor quality. The boom track is useless, off-axis and reverby. Only the LAV mic track can be used. However, after EQing it, cloth rustle noise is obvious. Are there any ways to get rid of this kind of noise? I've uploaded two clips for reference.

Before Denoise and EQ:

After Denoise and EQ:

Most of the scenes are in meeting room, actors just sit and talk to each others, so I can't use AMB/Foley to cover the noise. Also, ADR is not an option.

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I guess surgical operations in Izotope RX5 could help a bit, maybe Spectral Repair, but i can't be sure that cloth noise could be removed completely.

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Well, there are ways that a signal could be clean, i could experiment with that kind of noise removal.

Just to give an answer , there could be some ways you could remove this sound, one is to try and make it exactly the same, with some noise generators and stuff and put it right underneath and flip the phase.

i believe that the de noiser has really killed it...

If you have a boom mic, you could for an instance change it by editing/cutting a small chunk and after doing some processing substitute it with the chunk of time that contains the cloth noise.

I think that the best denoiser you can make can be done with a way of gating called subtractive gating.

In essence this are 2 channels and one has a limiter and the other is clean and phase flipped. Try to find the sweetspot and you can have some good results.

When you end up having a problem like yours there's only magic that can help.

The last way you could clean a signal is Crossover Distorion.

Crossover distortion is a channel with a clipper VS the clean channel with the phase flipped, again trying to find the sweet spot. This technique actually happens in tape machines.

This is not a linear process! So careful about your levels.

  • Thanks for your suggestions again! I finally go through the whole film, now I start from the beginning and use the automation of Avid Multiband Compressor to fine tune the EQ as much as possible. The overall EQ is really muddy, because only Lav mic can be used. The Hi End is totally missing!! – Ah Kei Jan 16 '16 at 19:59
  • well automating the whole movie can be a time consuming process but surely gives good results, it all depends on the hours you want to spend for this project! If your hi end is missing, try to apply a tad of distortion to create some harmonic content up there and boost it a bit with an EQ. There are distortion plugins that have a tone knob which helps.. but you have to be carefull with the distortion , it has to be applied before it actually distorts the sound .. – frcake May 6 '16 at 14:23
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Izotope De-Noiser my be usefull if you can also reproduce only the noise separated from the speech. What it does is it Learns from the noise what has to be removed, and then you apply it to the real sound. I'm no Pro, but it's helped me a lot, cause it's so easy to use. But remember, you need to have the problematic sound separated from the speech as well for the learning.

If you can't use this, try other stuff from Izotope, I found their sound fixing plugins very helpfull.

  • Actually the denoise one is treated after using RX. The rustle still here. – Ah Kei Jan 13 '16 at 19:42
  • My bad than, wish u luck on that! – Rodrigo Nader Jan 15 '16 at 8:51
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I would try iZotope RX for spectrally selecting the cloth rustles and then gaining then down. You could also apply EQ to only the cloth rustle areas.

Another technique is merely gating the entire recording such that it only lets the speech through. You can sometimes gate between word parts without the speech sounding like it has gaps or gain changes between it if the gain changes are done in sufficiently small and fast portions. This is best done manually (gain automation) and can retain naturalness especially if there's background noise that will fill in the silences between the gate close/open.

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