Identify this kind of distortion & Can it be fixed?

So I received a video clip from my daughter visiting an ancient church in Tallin, Estoina, with “big” acoustics. She and her friends sang acapella spontaneously, and she wishes to do something with it. And given the recording was done with a mobile device, it’s… well, it is what it is, but there’s this extra terrible distortion in the first 2-3 seconds of the audio which I just can’t figure out how to deal with (see attached 10 sec snippet). So my question(s) are:

Q1: Can anyone here listen and tell immediately where the troubling frequencies are?

Q2: Can anyone tell what KIND of distortion? (to me this doesn’t seem to be part of background noise, which should be fairly easy to reduce).

Q3: Can this kind of distortion be fixed, or at least reduced?

Every concrete tips and advise will be much appreciated.

It’s not that I don’t have tools (Cubase, SpectraLayers Pro 10, RX 10, Ozone 10, Neutron 4 and some Waves Noise-plugins etc) but I’m not very experienced, and 60+ with “Heavy Industrial Grade” hearing, and so I have not managed to identify the frequencies involved, nor reduce this rumbeling to any significan degree.

Every enhancement would be appreciated though. The plan is to add some background music, and so some of the bad stuff can be “hidden” to some extent.

If someone have both the skills and the tools which I don’t have and would like to take a stab at it, I can send the whole audio in PM.


I think it might be the reverberation in the lower frequencies that tends to clutter the sound, caused by the acoustics of the church itself.
Try to (in SL) use the Frequency Selection Tool and select the area/frequencies below, say, 800 Hz or lower. Use a gradual fade of 150-300 Hz.
Then try Reverb Reduction. Play with the parameters.

You can then, should you like, make the desired frequencies (the horizontal lines, including the harmonics) stronger, using the Amplifier spray can for the first 3 secs.

Sounds like good advise. I’ll try that.

Yes, increasing the harmonics of a freq. makes it louder even when the base freq. is reduced. Again, good advise worth trying. Many thanks!


This sounds super easy. Please private message me.

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It’s not that I’m just sitting here doing nothing. I’ve been trying quite hard but no go so far.

This seems to be a tough one. The clicks and bangs were easier to “hand paint” away, but the first seconds were really tough.

There were contractor buiders in the church making a terrible noise evey now and then. That’s why she only got one verse without some really nasty bangs.

I wish you luck.



I unmixed the noise profile and (Believe-it-or-not) I already unmixed the girl’s voice and the 2 other voices. Let me sit on it for another day or two so I can give my ears a refresh and continue refinement.


Also to add, it’s not distortion, the correct term is reverb. Technically you can de-reverb however because the reverb in that church is so powerful, its almost considered convolution reverb.

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Wow! The HQ version is really amazing given the original audio. Really amazing! (pun intended)

How can I thank you other than just kind words?


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