Echo Issue Upon Playback

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Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by NovicePodcaster » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:49 pm

I recently conducted my first remote interview for my podcast using DVDVideoSoft Skype Recorder (Audio Only). While I recorded, the audio was crystal clear for both parties. I had my headphones plugged into my Blue Yeti mic and had no audio issues whatsoever. When I finished the Skype call and listened to the recorded audio clip, my guest had an extreme echo on his voice. Again, this was not detected during the recording.

Can someone let me know what I might have done wrong, or if this is a common issue with the Skype Recording software that I used? Also, is there ANYTHING I can do in Audacity to fix this issue in post production?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:04 pm

if this is a common issue with the Skype Recording software that I used?

It's a common issue with Skype recording software.

Skype got to be world famous for reliable communication by its ability to completely take over a machine and all the software running on it—usually including any recording software. At the end of the day, Skype works no matter how messed up your computer is. And it worked, right? Your conversation was crystal clear.

I'm curious did your recorder have any instructions as to sequence of application such as start the recording software after Skype is already running?

Can I assume the recorder delivered a stereo show with you on one side and the guest on the other? That's best for post-production editing and correction. WAV? MP3? Can you post some of the work? The instructions change depending on the show format.

Chances are overwhelming that the far-side voice is not recoverable, but final say will be after you post.

I did it by the entirely unfashionable but reliable way of having two computers and small mixer. I let Skype have its way with the computer on the right.

Image

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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by NovicePodcaster » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:15 pm

Thank you Koz for your quick reply. It looks like your setup is a bit more advanced than mine! The recorder software did instruct me to start it prior to opening Skype. I believe I followed the instructions perfectly, but still had the issue. I have attached a minute long clip of the file in both .mpa and .aup formats. You will be able to easily identify the issue with the guest's voice in contrast to my own.
Attachments
AudioClipEchoProblem.mp3
(931.02 KiB) Downloaded 20 times
AudioClipEchoProblem.aup
(4.49 KiB) Downloaded 16 times
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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:40 pm

That's an MP3, not MPA, and the AUP is an Audacity project manager text file, not sound.

But that's OK. I'll listen to it when I get back to the house.

Maybe another elf will jump in. If you play your cards right, I'll tell you my CompuServe address.

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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by NovicePodcaster » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:44 pm

Ha! Thanks again Koz. Honest typo on the .mpa vs. .mp3, but did not realize that .aup was only a text file. Perhaps I should change my username to "NOVICEPodcaster" for extra emphasis! Any help is appreciated.
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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:48 pm

You have several shortcomings straight away.

Audacity is not commercial software and has a few oddities. So it's good to get your hands dirty straight recording before you jump into anything complex. Making a straight, uncomplicated voice recording is one of the first steps in the Overdubbing/Sound-On-Sound tutorial. Before you get into technology up beyond your eyebrows, let's see if you can record your voice—full stop.

You created an Audacity Project. A Project is a _DATA folder containing the sound in snippets and an AUP file to keep track of it all.

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So if you have the _DATA folder, you have the show in perfect, uncompressed format and it would be a snap to create a WAV file from that.

http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/auda ... jects.html

I see you went straight to MP3 for sound files. MP3 is good for end-product posting, ACX AudioBooks and listening on your Personal Music Device, it doesn't work so well for theatrical voice production. MP3 is a compressed sound format and contains, however well disguised, sound damage. That would only be bad, but it gets worse the more copies you make and production/editing you do. Archive work should be File > Export: WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit. That's an uncompressed, perfect sound format and it matches the high quality sound format on an Audio CD.

It is big, so it's going to take up more drive space and that can be a shock. MP3 is very efficient and that's it's siren call.

It's not obvious until you get this far in the production, but it's insanely handy to have your voice on one track and the guest on the other. You can create a mixed show later. We can't split up a mixed show into individual voices (or instruments or sounds) for editing. So even if there was a good way to fix the guest voice (there isn't), we wouldn't be able to apply it to his voice only. If he were on the left (for example), it's a simple matter to apply different filters, effects and corrections to just his voice through Audacity splitting left and right to their own tracks.

See where your voice is slightly lower than his? That a trivial correction if your voice was by itself.

As a guess, I'd say the recording software was recording your voice (even Audacity can do that), but recording the guest error correction, noise suppression and echo cancellation instead of the actual incoming voice. That seems to be a fairly common complaint.

Our go-to Skype capture software package for Windows used to be Pamela paid software, but we have postings where even they threw into the towel recently for not being able to keep up with what Skype was doing.

This is where I tell you how to fix the capture process.
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I got it to work with two computers. This is an engineering test. It's totally not a finished podcast. Denise and I are on opposite US coasts. The left-hand computer is recording the podcast in Audacity and playing the music into the mixer from iTunes.

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/clips/De ... ilyCut.mp3

There are at least two other podcasts doing it that way.

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/pix/PandoPodcast.png

I wish I could push a button and Everything Would Be OK. It's actually getting worse as some of the older reliable software packages stopped working. If you know someone who got it to work, post back. Be warned that there are Celebrity Unicorns. Chase fired up Audacity and Skype and is (or was) turning out show after show with no problems at all. He's looking at the rest of us like we're nuts. No, we're normal.

http://reellife.podomatic.com/

http://www.pamela.biz/en/products/

viewtopic.php?p=251167&sid=dcbda04d2a287684a818466726af5091#p251167

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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:01 pm

It could be said that "The KozCo Connection" is an ideal podcast. It consists exclusively of us scheduling the next podcast. "Tune in tomorrow when Koz sets up a connection from the picnic table!!"


I have a Conspiracy Theory.

If you listen to radio news, you will hear people connecting their stories via Skype.

"John Sorrenson has more details on the European Union story from Paris via Skype."

Wait. "Via Skype???"

Have you ever heard anybody calling into a network news show via their iPhone?

I suspect Skype is offering a product or service where they guarantee a good voice connection. You have to promote the product....sign here.

All other get what you got.

Koz
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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:12 pm

DVDVideoSoft

Do they have a response line or help forum?

Did Google help any? I found a Google trick. Search term: "DVD Video Soft Complaints." If you just Google for the software or help, you're likely to get the company itself promoting their own product. No, it probably will not cure cancer and secure world peace. But if multiple people have similar problems, pay attention.

Koz
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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by NovicePodcaster » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:47 pm

I sincerely appreciate the thoughtful and detailed responses Koz. I am bummed to hear that I can't fix the echo on this audio, but at least I have some direction to prevent this from happening again. I did look into the Pamela software, but saw many mixed reviews. I suppose I am getting what I paid for with the free DVDVideoSoft Skype Recorder software! The .wav suggestion seems like my best workaround for now. My podcast has gone on for nearly a year and has built a moderate following, but I just do it as a fun hobby. I'm not sure I want to invest in a mixer and second computer for a something that doesn't generate any revenue.

Regardless, I appreciate the tips and confirmation that I can't do much to fix the current clip. Saves me hours of struggles! Thanks again for your help!

-NovicePodcaster
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Re: Echo Issue Upon Playback

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:09 pm

My podcast has gone on for nearly a year and has built a moderate following

How? Are you posting the echoes?
I'm not sure I want to invest in a mixer and second computer

The computer on the left is there because I happened to have it and I wanted to inject Music and record Voice at the same time. One and Done, No Editing. The original capture is pretty much of a disaster because of my bad coordination, but the sound quality worked. That computer can be anything that records such as one of these.

Image

And you don't need the mixer, either. I record telephone calls (similar split direction problems) with a special microphone.

Image

That plugs into your ear underneath your earphone. It's shows plugged into computers, but it's designed to go into a Personal Recorder.

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/clips/TP7SoundTest1.wav

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/clips/TP7SoundTest2.wav

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