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I recorded some audio of two person hand-clapping games in a reasonably dry room, but which definitely sounds like it was recorded indoors. I have some ambient playground audio which is obviously recorded in a wide open space. How can I get the clapping audio to sound like it is in the same place as the playground audio?

I have done a few things which have got me closer, but would love some extra advice. I have already:

  • used a transient modifying plug-in (NI Transient Master) to remove all of the indoor reverb.
  • tried using Altiverb outdoor reverb IRs - this was really interesting, as it didn't work at all! It made me realise that the playground audio has no noticeable reverb at all, and the Altiverb outdoor verbs all capture echoes/resonance from buildings, cars, walls etc.
  • simply taking the volume of the clapping down a lot helped too.

What EQ or other processing would help me place my clapping audio "further away" but in a wide open space?

BTW, I already looked at this post, but wanted more info.

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Very wide open spaces have almost no ambience at all, by their very nature. If you're in the middle of a cornfield with nothing but a few trees or hedges round the edge and just more fields beyond, you've got nothing to reflect from. Sound will just get swallowed up fast.

A playground might have some long early reflection from buildings within a couple of hundred metres, for some distinct slapback, but you might want to dial those back a bit because though it's 'real' it can sound artificial. If any at all, it needs to be almost subliminal.

Altiverb is probably doing its job; it generally does, but there's an additional consideration. Your indoor recording has short ambience on it already - little more than a vague bloom, but irritatingly 'indoors'. You may have difficulty getting rid of that if it's very short. iZotope has some good de-reverb but for one single task that might be a tad pricey. Transient shaping & a gate might get close to what you need.

EQing it all a lot thinner might also help reduce your existing bloom, and then try droping in a little Altiverb [check it's giving you a slapback if you have buildings or not if you don't] but then wind that back a long way too.

Depending on how this is to sit into other FX in your scene, you might need to fake in a single long slap with some actual noticeable reverb on it - all dialled way back - because very flat & open can bizarrely sound 'wrong'. Human perception is an odd thing; sometimes real feels false & false feels real.

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  • This is a very good answer, especially the last part. What you want is a sound the lister believes is outdoors -- often enought if you record it outdoors it will not sound believable.
    – ghellquist
    Sep 9, 2020 at 6:24

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