2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 5, 2014 6:50 PM by mclarkdata

    How can I remove high-pitched distortion from voice-over?


      Hi folks,


      I'm completely new to fixing audio. I am making a short film, and for a voice-over, I recently had to do an interview over the phone (the subject lives in a very remote location). Actually, I used GoToMeeting, we called into the conference call feature from our phones, and I recorded the meeting into a wmv file. Then I re-encoded it using Expression Encoder so I could pull it into Adobe Audition.


      I am attaching a short phrase (extracted as a .wav file) from the interview in the hope that someone can tell me how to improve the quality of the sound. I have Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition, both CS6 and CC versions.


      Short voice recording - Creative COW


      1. Can anyone tell me, please, how to get rid of the high-pitched "ringing" kind of distortion that we hear on each of her loudest syllables? Also, does this particular type of distortion have a name? I kept finding articles on fixing sound, but wasn't sure what I'm dealing with here, so I wasn't sure which techniques were likely to work. Tried a bunch, and the overall sound got better, but so far nothing has fixed that high-pitched distortion.


      2. After getting rid of that ringing distortion, what are your recommendations for making the voice recording sound as rich, smooth and full as possible? In real life, this woman has a BEAUTIFUL, rich voice. But the recording sounds like a flat telephone call (because it is).


      Thanks in advance,



        • 1. Re: How can I remove high-pitched distortion from voice-over?
          Bob Howes Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Well, I don't think there's any miracles to be had here.  As you say, it's a telephone call and I fear that, since phone lines filter out anything above about 4k, there's no way of replacing it.


          I had a look at your file in spectral view and you can clearly see the original material going, as expected, up to about 4 kilohertz--but, above that, there's a generalised area of noise.  My suspicion--and it's only a suspicion--is that during your double conversions (to wmv then through a third party app to something else) one of them has added the extra noise as it your original was full bandwidth.


          Anyhow, best I could do was use the Marquee tool in Spectral View, draw a rectangle around the upper area (you can see a clear boundary between the programme content and the random extra frequencies) then just delete everything above just over 4 khz then delete.


          As for making a phone call sound full and rich, if there was a way to do it, when I was working in TV we could have saved hundreds of thousands a year by using phones instead of far more expensive circuits!

          • 2. Re: How can I remove high-pitched distortion from voice-over?
            mclarkdata Level 1

            Thanks Bob. You directed me toward the best tool to use (spectral view) and where to look to delete the frequencies that were causing the problem. I did as you suggested, deleting everything above about 4k, and that doesn't give me perfect audio, but it cuts out the ringing and lets me go on from there to improve it in any other ways I can.


            I can actually hear the ringing when I play back the original file, so it looks like it got added either while we were recording or while the first encoding was going on. But no matter. At least I can get it out of there and move on.


            Thanks again!