In the previous part of this series on post production, we explained how to edit audio tracks. Now we’re going to take a look at the program’s sound optimization features.
Sound optimization with Movie Edit Pro
It’s very rare that you can use the original sound from a video without touching it — usually unexpected noises that don’t have anything to do with the video’s content (e.g. passing cars) detract from the quality of the audio, as can ambient noise (e.g. hissing) and generally unintelligible speech. MAGIX Movie Edit Pro provides a range of options for optimizing audio tracks:
- Premade optimizations, which can be applied by dragging and dropping
- The Audio Cleaning Editor
- Loudness editing for entire tracks or individual objects
Premade optimization options
In the Media Pool effects tab under Audio Effects > Audio Effect Templates, you’ll find preset effect configurations which can be applied to audio objects by dragging and dropping them.
Some templates (e.g. Speaker 1 and Speaker 2) are specifically designed for voice recordings. Others (e.g. High Pass 1kHz) are used to filter out noises such as rumbling. When you click on a template, you’ll hear a short sample of the effect it has on an example song.
However, the Audio Cleaning Dialog is much better suited to true sound editing.
The Audio Cleaning Dialog lets you remove all kinds of sounds. The quickest way to get to the dialog is to select it by double clicking an audio object.
In the first tab in the dialog, called “Noise reduction”, you’ll see the three effects DeClipper, DeNoiser and DeHisser.
If the signal in your video’s audio is too loud, you’ll get digital clipping. The DeClipper effect is used to remove these types of clipping artifacts.
It can restore trimmed signal peaks. You can have the clip level automatically defined for you, or you can use the slider to set the level above which the signal clips.
The DeNoiser feature is used to remove continuous noise, such as the sound of the camera drive. To use this feature, you need just the sound you want to remove in order to create a suitable filter. Under “Noise sample” you’ll find a few included samples. Switch to advanced to create the sound yourself from the material you’re using.
In the dialog, you’ll find additional explanations on how to create noise samples.
Head back to the main “Noise reduction” dialog: Use the slider to set the damping level.
Finally, the DeHisser effect removes steady noises which occur during analog video recording (e.g. tape noise). Use the slider to set the damping level. There are several intensity options under “Noise level”.
Once a parameter has been changed, a check will appear in the box. You can reset the effects to their original values by clicking the “Reset” button.
You can play your clip and listen to the difference by using the control keys under the preview monitor. The “Temporarily switch off all effects” option can be used to turn the effects off for comparison purposes.
You can jump to the previous or next audio object by using the control keys and copy the settings with “Apply from previous object”. “Apply to all” changes all the clips in the current movie.
The 10-band equalizer gives you ten controllers which you can use to alter different frequency bands. You can lower the bass and raise the highs, for example, to make speech more intelligible, or you can remove rumbling noises by reducing the bass ranges.
The “Link frequency bands” option moves adjacent controllers together to avoid over emphasizing the bands.
The compressor produces uniform sound by reducing loud sections and boosting quieter ones — a sort of automatic loudness adjustment. You can use the slider to set the intensity, and under “Function” you’ll find various presettings.
The compressor is good to use on your own vocal recordings. Music that’s loaded into your movie from external sources, on the other hand, is already so compressed that you won’t need to perform any editing on them.
This is where you edit the stereo panorama. You can set the stereo effect dosage by using the “Stereo width” slider. A high stereo width produces a broad stereo sound. Low stereo width gives you mono.
You can pan the sound to the left or right by using the “Balance” feature.
Movie Edit Pro: video projects just the way you want them
MAGIX Movie Edit Pro is the ideal companion when it comes to cutting and editing one-of-a-kind videos. If you don’t have Movie Edit Pro yet, you can download it and try it for free here.
In the next part of our series on post production with Movie Edit Pro, we’ll conclude the audio section by talking about loudness editing.