6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2016 9:20 AM by ryclark

    VHS Sound distortion - Audition CS6




      I'm trying to create VHS sound effects on a line of dialogue for a short film but have no idea where to start.


      The original audio track is crisp and clean: recorded on a Sennheisser lapel mic with a Roland 26. I'm using Adobe CS6 for all post work (edit, VFS, sound editing and mixing).


      I'm looking to achieve something like this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0iMqdOqymA#t=1m20s


      So lots of distortion, disonnances, low-fi quality, non linear in time. But, keep in mind that the effects will be applied to a line of dialogue (which last 3 seconds); and not a music track like the video above.


      My sound editing knowledge is quite limited so I haven't managed to get anything really convincing... I've used and tweaked Doppler effects, Flangers and Low-fi EQ effects but not in a good enough maner. And I'm probably missing other effects that could help sell the effects.


      If you have any idea on how to pull it off, I'm all ears!





        • 1. Re: VHS Sound distortion - Audition CS6
          Bob Howes Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          In reality, VHS audio was okay (especially when they added FM tracks) so you're trying to create what people THINK it sounded like rather than anything real.


          For a generic "Low Fi" effect, may I suggest that you download the plugin Izotope Vinyl.  It offers a range of ways to mess up your sound--some like record clicks are specific to vinyl but others like hiss, wow & flutter, distortion etc. are just generic bad sound.  I've used this little bit of freeware lots of times.


          The only thing to watch is which version of Audition you have.  Vinyl is 32 bit only so, if you have CC, you'll have to install jBridge to allow it to work on a 64 bit OS and software.

          • 2. Re: VHS Sound distortion - Audition CS6
            jcozzo Level 1

            I've just given Izotope Vinyl a try and I'm afraid I can't seem to be doing anything else other than making the track sound like an old vinyl: it's all "scratch", "dust", etc. Not really what I'm looking for.

            • 3. Re: VHS Sound distortion - Audition CS6
              Bob Howes Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Turn the dust and scratch faders down to zero then play with the mechanical noise, electrical noise and warp controls.

              • 4. Re: VHS Sound distortion - Audition CS6
                SteveG(AudioMasters) Adobe Community Professional

                The things that characterised VHS sound (well the poor stuff) were mild pitch irregularities caused by the tape running so slowly (these usually came out as capstan flutter), very little HF content above about 4kHz (also directly attributable to low speed running and linear audio), level compression, and about 5% distortion. Other than that lot, it was wonderful...


                For three seconds of dialogue, the pitch variations won't be so important (less audible than with music), but it might be worth attempting to program very small but rapid pitch  shifts into Audition's pitch shifter. An initial experiment reveals that for speech, you'd probably want about a 25 cent shift up and down, several times a second. You can program that into the manual pitch shifter quite easily, and even save it as a preset. In 'special' you can add distortion - once again a small amount about half way up one of the diagonals, and set the smoothing to taste. The speech volume leveler will take care of the inevitable compression - once again you have to program to taste, and the Parametric Eq will let you taper the frequency response so that no HF gets through.


                Yes it's going to take you a little while, but when I looked at the cost of Audio Ease Speakerphone (it can't be worth what they charge, surely?), it's going to be worth it, I'd say.

                • 5. Re: VHS Sound distortion - Audition CS6
                  jcozzo Level 1

                  It starting to sound pretty good. Thanks, Steve.