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How to remove clapping from vocal audio?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:40 am
by Nabokov
So I have a two bar ethnic vocal of some guys chanting-singing which is perfect for my needs but those pesky fellas keep clapping rhythimically throughout, almost in time with my drum beat but not enough and really I dont want the clapping anyway. Whats the best way to get rid of it. I have tried EQ cutting which works but it effects the vocal a little too much and doesn't cut it out completely. I have also tried redrawing the waveforms in sound forge but obviously I lose whatever else is at the same time as the clap. Is EQing the only viable way to do it?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:46 am
by koolkeys
The only other way I can think of is using a noise reduction feature. You will usually have to tell the software what you consider noise by highlighting a part of the noise. It then analyzes that and removes exactly what it analyzed from other parts of the audio.

So maybe instead of selecting noise, select one of the claps that is isolated, then see if it can remove the rest? I think Audacity has noise reduction, and it's free. So you can try that.

Other than that, it's probably impossible to get great results(and this idea may not even work).


PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:16 am
by Paulie Phonick
Start with EQing out as much of the claps as possible without destroying the vocals. You could try to automate an EQ so that it filters more where there are less high frequencies in the vocal.

Then you could try a crackle remover software (no recommendations, I just know they exist) or try to manually cut out the attack parts of the claps from the waveform. When done carefully, this should mask the claps enough to hide them behind the main rhythm, however it will be hard to do seamlessly if the loop is stereo; tedious if the loop contains a large number of claps and ineffective if the claps have plenty of audible reverb.

Then again, it may be easier and give better results if you try to cut up/stretch the loop in a way that makes the clapping sit tight with the main rhythm. Ableton Live would be nice for this.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:01 am
by C00kie
Try the spectrum editing view in Adobe Audition...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:06 am
by Meffy
I don't think noise reduction will do it. The kind I have (Sound Forge's plug-in) works only on constant noise, not intermittent. Whatever frequencies are in the clap would be removed from the music between the claps as well.

I was going to say it probably wouldn't be possible, but Paulie's last suggestion seems like a smart idea.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:25 am
by GreyLion
Maybe try running it through Spectro to see if you can spot the places you don't want, and either remove or attenuate them?


PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:37 pm
by Stomper
If you can get a clean clap sound out of this, copy it and invert the phase.
than, paste it exectly on every clap.
never tried it myself, but if all the claps are same sample and not recorded than it should work.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:21 pm
by camsr
try sidechain compression with a de-essing setup

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:53 pm
by Muzik 4 Machines
cut them out and time stretch both part to join back(snip a little and stretch this little not hte whole between 2 claps(in logic its pretty simple to do, probably in any host that time stretch it will be easy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:53 am
by Nabokov
Thankyou for all your different recommendations. I am running Reaper which has very good time stretching so I will try that first and then what Paulie recommends if that isn't satisfactory. I have Soundforge which has crackle removal software so I can do it in there. Will report back on any successes.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:15 am
by Nabokov
Just to add that the noise reduction plugin in Sound Forge worked successfully enough to almost completely remove the clapping sound, certainly enough that the main beat now covers it up. Thanks for your input guys.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:24 am
by whyterabbyt
Have a go with Elevayta's Extra Boy Pro plugin.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:28 am
by Acrobat
leave it on, cutting it out is like cutting out their hands...scary task! :D

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:32 am
by Kingston
leave it in there. most likely no one will notice it in the end product.

or better yet, embrace it. give it room in your production and/or enhance it with your own claps.

If you still want to get rid of it (academically), Cookie had a good idea.