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In this chapter, we're going to look at some of the tools in workflows for cleaning up and repairing audio. And to me, this is a spot where Audition really shines. It has some incredible tools for fixing several common problems that might crop up from time to time. You can remove unwanted sounds, lower background noises, and quickly perform all kinds of other repair work to your files. The majority of this work is going to be done in the Spectral Frequency Display. Up until now, we've been working primarily here in the Waveform Editor. We've seen that to view the Spectral Frequency Display, you can just click its button up here, and that splits your screen showing the waveform at the top and the Spectral Frequencies at the bottom.
Using these two displays in conjunction can help you identify and isolate certain sounds. You can adjust the size of each pane by dragging the divider up and down. If you're working primarily with the Spectral Display, you might want to increase its size like so. And again, while the Waveform Editor shows you amplitude, the Spectral Display shows you the frequencies for that recording. And the brighter the area of the display, the louder that particular frequency is. The darker the spots, the quieter. Now, the lower frequencies are at the bottom of the scale and the higher ones are at the top. I'm just going to expand this all the way up so we're seeing just the Spectral Frequency Display. I'm just going to zoom in a little bit more, here we go.
Now the human range of hearing is between about 20 Hertz and 20 Kilohertz, so that's approximately the range that we see here in the Spectral Display. Although because I'm using a slightly smaller monitor resolution, you can't see quite the scale here on the right-hand side, but basically, if you can see it in the Spectral Display, you should be able to hear the sound and vice-versa. Now this file is just of a male voice speaking. Let me play a little bit. (male speaker: Hi, I'm George Maestri, and welcome to Character Rigging in Maya.) So you can see the brightest portions are along the bottom of the frequency range, right around the 500 Hertz range and below, but there are frequencies in the human voice that stretch all the way into the highest frequency ranges here, but they're just not as prominent as the lower frequencies.
Let's switch over to a music file. Here you can see the Spectral Field is much more filled up, because instead of a single voice, we have a bunch of instruments and singing going on. If I zoom in at the beginning here, you can tell just by looking at this display that there's a rhythmic pattern going on. So we can see some very sharp beats are going on here, and this bright spot--maybe about 7 seconds in-- indicates that another sound comes in, disappears momentarily--or at least drops out a little bit momentarily--and then the sound increases again. I'll play a few seconds here so you can listen and watch.
(audio playing) So you can see here, this is where that organ starts to swell in, followed by the guitar, which just plays a few notes and then pauses, and then they come in again over here. As you get used to working with the Spectral Display, you'll be able to pick out individual sounds fairly easily, at least some of the time.
And being able to see the sounds makes it so much easier to fix problems, and we'll start looking at how to do that in the next movie.
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