Looking to recreate the "perfect" sound
April 25, 2007 12:28 AM   Subscribe

audiofilter: How do you get one sound sample (http://www.sendspace.com/file/x8yljn) to sound like another (http://www.sendspace.com/file/fh6v9l) without rerecording?

I recorded a guitar part for a track I'm working on using a pretty crappy computer mic on my old Dell laptop and recorded another part with a condensor mic on my newer Powerbook. My Dell refuses to boot anymore and I've essentially given up trying to record the guitar parts on that mic. So I tried to use the computer mic to record on other computers but failed to match the sound of the original sample (I'm convinced that the soundcard on my Dell was somehow magical). Frustrated, I decided to simply record using my condensor mic and hoped to recreate the sound by means of filters and EQs but with no luck. Any tips on how to get the condensor mic clip to sound like the computer mic clip without rerecording? Perhaps there's a good VST that will magically solve my problem? My resources include Reason, Ableton Live, Garageband and Logic Express.
posted by defmute to Technology (6 answers total)
You could try something like Steinberg's Free Filter or Voxengo's CurveEQ, both VSTs which will try to replicate the EQ of one sample on another.

The problem you'll face though is that the different microphones will have recorded different information, not just the same information sounding different - you may well find that one microphone had a better frequency range, or an exaggerated response in a certain band and that the other sample just doesn't have that information at all. EQ and filter will never recreate it completely.

Studios in this situation will always rerecord, which I know you've said is not an option, but in the end it might be the quickest and best solution.
posted by benzo8 at 2:45 AM on April 25, 2007

It sounds like a very difficult problem, and one I'd give up on if I weren't able to rerecord or at least record test sounds so that I could figure out the mic's response.

If the Dell won't boot and you don't plan on fixing it, open it up, find the wires from the mic and run them somewhere else, and close the Dell back up again. Then record through the laptop to another machine.

If you are planning on fixing it, then do that instead.
posted by edd at 3:40 AM on April 25, 2007

A convolution processor might be handy in such a case, if you can record something with the original Dell (or one with similar specs). For instance Logic's Space Designer is a convolution processor that could help you make one thing sound like being recorded through a different recording chain. As for eq'ing, Logic's MatchEQ could further match the spectral content of sample A with that of sample B. Both for Space Designer and MatchEQ you must be able to record audio with the original Dell. You may be able to restore it to a factory state with the enclosed CD-ROMs. Good luck!

posted by hz37 at 6:02 AM on April 25, 2007

Like has already been said, the only way you're going to be able to do this (and I can promise you that it won't be to your satisfaction, that kind of plugin never is) is to use the kind of plugin that Benzo mentioned.

[opinion to follow. don't hurt me.]

I'm just going to throw this out there, but I'm confused as to why you actually want to do this? By pretty much any measurement, the newer sample sounds better than the old one. The old sample is muddy and thick, and I swear that (if you haven't processed it) your dell sound card was compressing it a bit.

The new sample is a little thin, but orders of magnitude clearer, with a lot less pick noise, and a lot less noise in general. I'd try to re-record the new part some different mic placement, and play full chords, rather than just the high strings.

[okay. I'm done.]
posted by god hates math at 7:15 AM on April 25, 2007

i would crank the mids and compress the shit out of the new sample and get close... or just re-record. i doubt in this instance you'd be able to do anything with convolution you couldn't do with like, a 5 band eq.

but mainly i'd try and be alot less fussy. i'd try to work the difference in takes into an element of the song. i can definitely see how you'd like the low-fi tone of the original better.
posted by tremspeed at 8:24 AM on April 25, 2007

Thanks for the help, all. I'm going to give the eqs benzo mentioned a shot but otherwise, it looks like i just need to sack up and fix my computer and rerecord.
posted by defmute at 10:19 AM on April 25, 2007

« Older Nutritious Camp-Out Food   |   Understanding protocols Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.