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best program for lifting vocals?

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Anonymous
September 15, 2004 8:25:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi there,
Excuse me if I'm delving into the wrong group, but I figured
if anyone would know which way to go with my problem it would be the
pros.

Many may years ago, in 1977, I recorded a lengthy radio interview with
Jimmy Page of Led Zep fame that went for over 3 hours or so and
featured a dozen or so of the groups tracks, as well as a few
Yardbirds songs. The interview took place in the back of a limo after
one of the band's Madison square gardens shows, and finished up at the
group's hotel. It was a great interview that featured a lot of
interesting details about the band's history and Page's early days as
a session musician and member of the Yardbirds, and I've kept hold of
it all these years out of sentimental value.

One thing I've increasingly had in mind over the years is how much I
would like to take the tape and overlay the fairly poor mono recording
of the songs with the stereo versions I have in my music library.
Obviously the average hi-fi isn't going to let you do this, but having
spent a great deal of time at one point with a friend of mine who
worked for years in radio - as a production manager - I know how
capable proefessional equipment is of performing the task. What gave
me the idea that it might be possible was the way I used to watch my
friend work with an 8-track, winding the reels backward and forwards
to get to just thr right spot where he wanted to start an edit or
insert addtional material on another track.

I figured the most appropriate way to do it would be to try and
extract all of the interview aspects to the tape digitally and then
try and overlay the song recordings. If it was just a case of
seperating interview material from the songs I wouldn't be here, what
make the task difficult - at least from my perspective - is the fact
that Page and the interviewer often overlap the intros to many of the
songs, sometimes quite extensively, so extracting their voices, and
syncing the stereo versions of the songs back in, is the major
problem.

Any ideas on how I could this, and any reccomendations on a decent
program that I could use for the job? I already have the facility to
take the tape and store the material on my computer, I just need to
know the best course of action to take to accomplish the task.

Any suggestions much appreciated.

Lastly and in case anyone was wondering, the project is strictly
personal and not some sort of bootleg project. It's just something
I've long wanted to do as a sort of homage to my youth and a band I
revered back in the 70's - God, am I THAT old?!

Cheers........Tim

More about : program lifting vocals

Anonymous
September 16, 2004 5:42:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"tim wilde" <wildepuzzles@msn.com> wrote in message
news:69ec1d95.0409151525.2bbf34ce@posting.google.com...
> Hi there,
> Excuse me if I'm delving into the wrong group, but I figured
> if anyone would know which way to go with my problem it would be the
> pros.
>

Any audio editor will work. There's some good free ones like Audacity:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
Anonymous
September 16, 2004 5:42:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Ricky W. Hunt" <rhunt22@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Qb62d.184899$9d6.140047@attbi_s54...
> "tim wilde" <wildepuzzles@msn.com> wrote in message
> news:69ec1d95.0409151525.2bbf34ce@posting.google.com...
> > Hi there,
> > Excuse me if I'm delving into the wrong group, but I figured
> > if anyone would know which way to go with my problem it would be the
> > pros.
> >
>
> Any audio editor will work. There's some good free ones like Audacity:
> http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
>
>

Tim,

i would suggest you look at cool edit / adobe audition. i feel it is one of
the easiest of the multi-track editors to learn to use. it costs $ but some
of the features like noise reduction and clip restoration may come in very
handy for you.

i think trying to separate the vocal from the music intros and outros is
going to be real tough. i would consider a slow crossfade starting at the
point where they cease talking into the stereo version.

after dubbing from the master tapes into the computer i would further break
them up into segments of 10 to 15 min to work on. then when you are ready
to burn to CD you can assign just enough tracks to fill the first CD and so
on. this way when playing back you can easily skip ahead to a favorite
segment.

hope you enjoy the project :) 

Tim
Related resources
Anonymous
September 16, 2004 10:52:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <69ec1d95.0409151525.2bbf34ce@posting.google.com> wildepuzzles@msn.com writes:

>
> Many may years ago, in 1977, I recorded a lengthy radio interview with
> Jimmy Page

> One thing I've increasingly had in mind over the years is how much I
> would like to take the tape and overlay the fairly poor mono recording
> of the songs with the stereo versions I have in my music library.

> I figured the most appropriate way to do it would be to try and
> extract all of the interview aspects to the tape digitally and then
> try and overlay the song recordings. If it was just a case of
> seperating interview material from the songs I wouldn't be here, what
> make the task difficult - at least from my perspective - is the fact
> that Page and the interviewer often overlap the intros to many of the
> songs, sometimes quite extensively, so extracting their voices, and
> syncing the stereo versions of the songs back in, is the major
> problem.
>
> Any ideas on how I could this, and any reccomendations on a decent
> program that I could use for the job?

I think you need to think about production techniques rather than a
program or hardware solution. If what you have is all mono (interview
and overlapping music) there's little you can do to separate them. But
I've heard radio programs where there's some music recorded live with
the interview and that's cut into the studio version. Basically you
line up the studio version with what's in the interview and crossfade
between them once the talk stops.

> Lastly and in case anyone was wondering, the project is strictly
> personal and not some sort of bootleg project. It's just something
> I've long wanted to do as a sort of homage to my youth and a band I
> revered back in the 70's - God, am I THAT old?!

Actually I think it would have more value, even sentimental value, if
the music was real time with the interview rather than something
that's out of character. But that's just me and my old time radio
listener sensitivity.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
September 16, 2004 11:48:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"tim wilde" <wildepuzzles@msn.com> wrote in message
news:69ec1d95.0409151525.2bbf34ce@posting.google.com

> One thing I've increasingly had in mind over the years is how much I
> would like to take the tape and overlay the fairly poor mono recording
> of the songs with the stereo versions I have in my music library.

> Obviously the average hi-fi isn't going to let you do this, but having
> spent a great deal of time at one point with a friend of mine who
> worked for years in radio - as a production manager - I know how
> capable proefessional equipment is of performing the task. What gave
> me the idea that it might be possible was the way I used to watch my
> friend work with an 8-track, winding the reels backward and forwards
> to get to just thr right spot where he wanted to start an edit or
> insert addtional material on another track.

IME, there's a big difference between working with a multitrack master and
the results of a mixdown. A multitrack master gives the mixer the feeling of
being the master of the (local) universe. Working with stuff that has been
mixed without access to the originals gives a profound feeling of
helplessness.

> I figured the most appropriate way to do it would be to try and
> extract all of the interview aspects to the tape digitally and then
> try and overlay the song recordings.

Been there, done that with varying degrees of sucess.

You've got two problems. First, you want to extract and keep the vocals that
are imbedded in a mixdown. This is the inverse of the problem we usually
treat - removing the vocals from a mixdown so that the backing instrumental
tracks can be reused.

The other problem is re-introducing the instrumental tracks with high
fidelity. IME you don't need to totally remove the instrumentals. All you
need to do is reduce them by say 6 dB, and then add back enough good clean
wideband stuff to bring them back up to the desired level. Yes, the results
won't have 0.1 dB frequency response, but they will probably be greatly
enhanced.

This is something like freshening up old wine by pouring out some of the old
and refilling with new. Pick your wines and proportions carefully, and you
might end up with something that adds up synergistically.

The tricky part might be preserving synchronization between the origional
music and the modern tracks. There was probably a analog tape recorder in
there someplace so there have been at least subtle pitch and speed changes.
I'd recommend doing some speed adjustments in the digital domain to get the
synchronization roughly right overa-all, and then break the interview voice
parts into phrases, and line phrases up with the background music as
required to preserve over-all synchronization.

>If it was just a case of
> seperating interview material from the songs I wouldn't be here, what
> make the task difficult - at least from my perspective - is the fact
> that Page and the interviewer often overlap the intros to many of the
> songs, sometimes quite extensively, so extracting their voices, and
> syncing the stereo versions of the songs back in, is the major
> problem.

You've really only got one tool that will work - and that is filtering the
vocals out of the mixdowns. Unfortunately, the recordings you've overlaid
the interviews with probably have vocals in them. Pulling vocals out of an
instrumental track is a lot easier than separating vocals from each other.

In the past I've been able to do some very satisfying things with very sharp
filtering - using digital brickwall filters. I hear that Adobe Audition 1.5
has stepped ahead of the competition with a new feature called "Spectral
Editing" that can raise this process to new heights. Audition 1.5 also has
some improved tools for managing speed and pitch independently that would
relate to my previous comments about synchronizing the voice and music.

http://www.adobe.com/products/audition/overview.html

While I'm a long-time and enthusiastic Audition/CEP user, I haven't yet
updated to the latest release, so I can't comment from personal use. But,
I've read some pretty believable glowing testimonials about this particular
feature from others.
Anonymous
September 18, 2004 8:28:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message

> Editing" that can raise this process to new heights. Audition 1.5 also
> has some improved tools for managing speed and pitch independently that
> would relate to my previous comments about synchronizing the voice and
> music.

As do most serious DAW apps.....

geoff
!