Hey everyone,

Check this out - its a clip from a Noise Reduction job I am doing for a client. It was recorded teleconference style.


How in gods green earth do you get that hideous sound out. I have done quite a bit to it from the original, removing the high end pitchiness that resided around 7.3k, and just basic noise floor reduction and a bit of voice enhancement with a little bit of EQ.

From my training and experience, I almost want to say its impossible since its embedded distortion. There is no way of repairing the vocals through some kind of interpolation method.

Any thoughts? De-Essing just lowers the volume of a small band of frequencies and ruins the dialog. Multi-band compression doesnt work because the noise is broadband. There is no way of fixing it using the spectrograph in RX2 because it creates muffled audio and doesnt recreate any kind of voice semblance.


4 Answers 4


I don't think you can repair that. If that's what you have to work with and the client will allow it, I would try splicing together syllables from other parts of the audio that aren't as distorted. I know it's not the same issue that you have, but I removed a girls lisp from a recording by splicing in other syllables that weren't as offensive.


You mentioned EQ, I'm assuming you did a hardcore notch EQ yes? There are probably other areas you could notch as well aside from 7.3k. Multiple notches can help.

Also, adding a light amount of reverb can warm it up and smooth offer the hideousness

And, a nice parametric slope cutting out everything above 10k can help as well

  • Since it was a teleconference, a spectrograph shows there is no frequencies past 10k. So I dont even need one hahaha. I do have a couple notches - the most hardcore is at 7.3k
    – C3Sound
    Jun 24, 2011 at 22:57

Copy and paste would probably be your best option in this case, as suggested by nb. However, I think you need to look at your workflow. Ideally, you want to try and fix any distortion and clipping first, then apply broadband NR and finally EQ and levelling.

At this point, you have removed so much broadband noise that most repair tools, especially spectral tools, are not able to function correctly. These tools rely heavily on programme material immediately surrounding the problem area, most of which has been removed. There is also some noticeable artifacting, presumably from the broadband NR you have already applied.

I don't know the total length of your recording but, if it is only a few minutes, I would recommend starting again and working on this first. Should this not be possible, use the cut and paste approach to replace the distorted sections. I don't know what the rest of the recording sounds like but, if it is only on the "esses", it is often possible to cannibalise a suitable replacement from another dialogue recording you have lying around, match it up with some EQ etc and then blend it in. I would also recommend adding some low level filtered noise to make it sound more natural.

  • Ive tried all combinations. Plus there wasnt that much noise to begin with.
    – C3Sound
    Jun 24, 2011 at 22:55
  • Noise as in broadband
    – C3Sound
    Jun 24, 2011 at 22:56
  • @C3Sound Looks like you're pretty much limited to a copy and paste solution. Declipping, EQ, etc won't help, as your problem is distortion.
    – Bluesman69
    Jun 25, 2011 at 1:25

You could try the deconstruct module in Izotope RX 2 Advanced. Also try the declipper.

  • Tried the declipper - ill try this deconstruct module that you mentioned - thanks!
    – C3Sound
    Jun 24, 2011 at 22:56

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