Spectra layers to get less-than-ideal-audio into shape?

I have several digitized interviews from cassette tape that I need to get into shape for an audio documentary. Originally, I just needed the tapes to be good enough for transcription. Now there is interest in arranging the material for others to listen. However, the interview recordings have several challenges. In addition to tape hiss and most interviews conducted via phone, some of them also have tones sustained throughout (maybe from nearby electronics) or the recorder put in the middle of the room for all to speak (instead of directly at an interviewee). I was wondering if I could post segments from each tape that really has trouble and ask how would one approach the audio to get it into the best shape possible. How would you use Spectra Layers Pro to elicit the best (within reason) audio?

I would just download the demo and experiment with it. SL has a hum-elimination module.

I hoped someone would have a listen and suggest how Spectra layers could be used to address the issues. Perhaps even in conjunction with other tools. I am not experienced in Spectra and can experiment 'til the cows come home, but it helps if there is someone who ‘knows’ and can advise.

I haven’t got time to do file analysis. Maybe somebody else can help you.

That’s fine, no one said you had to reply.

Several tools and organizational possibilities…

  1. capstan to eliminate wow/flutter
  2. First pass of SLpro to zap hiss
  3. Second pass to zap any global hum
  4. Third pass of the mono file into slpro to unmix all layers…because…hey…you just might get lucky and slpro just MIGHT grab the gremlin noises and demix it from the main dialogue…could happen!
  5. Now personally at this point, I’d next break the interview down into manageable chunks via wavelab or sound forge. Not only to potentially tighten the entire thing but also, as an easier method to remove further gremlin noises/hums. ie…loading a smaller, edited section into spectralayers a fourth time to then manually draw out the offending, remaining noises.

@DosWasBest Thank you for this. Could I perhaps post some audio samples for you to listen and comment on how you would approach?

I do not understand:
“1. capstan…”
“4. Third pass of the mono file…” because it is stereo.

I am new to Spectra Layers Pro, so there is much to learn.

Thank you.

I sent you a private message. Look in your inbox

Hi there, thanks for the information and backgrounder.
My needs are quite specific, to yank tones, hums, and hisses out of interview footage from cassette and bring it, more or less, into serviceable shape. I am making some progress on my own, but a professional is always useful. My knowledge on what you speak of is limited, but then I have very specific goals. I am not out to master/mix bands, but offer decent audio for audio documentaries. Going beyond that would be lighting a barbecue with an atom bomb.