Simplest audio mastering for video?

UkingViking

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Hi Forum,

I am looking for a bit of advice, since everything I try to do to my recording sounds super box like. I is probably partly due to the acoustics of the room I record in, but the sound also get worse with everything I do to it.

My setup:
I usually make a live recording with a Blue Yeti plugged into Reaper, while also recording video seperately. I then combine audio and video and audio in Reaper and attempt to optimize the sound levels for Youtube.

Since I only have one audio track, I just apply effects on the master.

I insert:
- Compressor
- Master Limiter (set at -1.0 db to fit Youtubes settings)
- LUFS-meter (Which I want to end up at ~-14 to fit Youtubes settings)

Then I try to adjust the volume from the recording, the compressor ratio and the volume make-up in the compressor to hit the desired LUFS level, while I dont want to -1.0 limiter to kick in before outside the peaks. But I am doing it wrong.

At some point I tried to put in some EQ, with some of Reapers default settings, but sounded even worse.

Any suggestions as to which compressor and EQ settings I should try to apply in which order to get the desired sound level? I don't need to improve the sound of the music a whole lot compared to the raw footage, but I want the sound levels to be right without the sound getting worse.
 

Jim Hanks

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I find everything I record with a microphone or video camera needs some degree on noise reduction first in the chain. Otherwise, when you apply the compression and limiting, you're also raising the noise floor. On iPad I use a plugin called Brusfri that is super simple to use and does a great job of reducing the room noise. There is a PC version too that's a little more expensive but I haven't tried that one. I use a similar one in Reason from iZotope.

If you don't want to spend the money on a plug-in, you can get a big improvement from a simple high-pass filter in your EQ plugin. Start with the cutoff frequency around the lowest note on your uke (or voice) to cut out all the junk below there that adds nothing to your sound. You may need to adjust up or down from there to dial it in.

You can also experiment with a high frequency shelf in the EQ if you're getting a lot of high frequency noise from the room
 

UkingViking

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Thanks for the suggestion!

My former attempts to apply EQ was inspired by youtube videos on mastering, which I didn't fully understand, and attempts to apply predefined EQ settings with appealing names. Those didnt work out.

Adfter reading your suggestion I discovered that Reapers stock "ReaEQ" Equalizer had a predefined setting called "Mud-free", which should be of the high-pass type and remove low end noise.
I tried applying it to a couple of those videos I was not too happy with, and it does make a big difference!

I am open to more suggestions!
I prefer the easy monkey see monkey do instructions, where there are as few parameters left to experiment with as possible.
(You see I picked a predefined EQ setting so I wouldnt need to think)
 

Jim Hanks

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It doesn't get simpler than Brusfri but it is $60 for the PC version
https://klevgrand.se/products/brusfri

I will say that you aren't going to get the best results from a "set it and forget it" approach as everybody's recording space and equipment is different. For that matter, every recording is different, so you're always going to need to tweak some things. But a few simple rules should get you in the ballpark.

I could take a look at a sample project of yours and see what I can do with it. Unfortunately I don't have a Reaper license any more, but I could do it in Reason such that it would be easy to transfer to Reaper. PM me if you'd like to try that.
 

UkingViking

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Thanks for the offer, but I am going to pass. My videos are usually part of the Seasons Of The Ukulele here, and when I record I want the video to be uploaded right away to meet the challenge deadlines.
For this reason, the videos that I just improved with the stock EQ - well, that was too late for those videos, but now I can make the next ones better.

I realize that I am not going to get perfect audio this way, but for now I just want the best I can get with what is included with Reaper, in 30 minutes, with out too steep a learning curve.

I am sure that Brusfri is superior, but I feel that at this point I dont know enough about which plugins i need the most to prioritize which plug-ins - that cost nore than Reaper itself - that I should invest in.
I will remember to start out with the high pass EQ setting though!