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Using Sony Sound Forge to Reduce Reverberation in a Voice Recording

By Jeffrey P. Fisher

Have you ever returned to the edit suite only to find that the field recording you made sounds like it was recorded 50 feet away from the speaker in a parking garage? There’s too much room on the audio track, and now you’re faced with fixing it. Excessive reverb, the result that comes from sound swimming around a large room and being picked up by the microphone makes the voice sound distant and non-distinct.

You probably had the mic too far away or the room was unusually large and “live” or reverberant. Learn from your mistake and get closer with the mic next time and avoid these problems altogether. Since you can’t go back in time, try these techniques instead.


Open the errant file in Sound Forge and go to Process > EQ > Paragraphic to bring up the built-in plug-in dialog box. You’ll use equalization to affect the tonal balance of the recording.

Enable both the low-shelf and high-shelf EQ. Set the low-shelf to 100 Hz and reduce the amount to –Inf. Set the high-shelf to 10,000 Hz and reduce its output to –Inf, too. This effectively cuts the extreme low and high frequencies out of the recording, reducing rumble and hiss noise, and generally tightening up the sound.

Boost one of the parametric band’s Gain up 15 dB, set its Width to 1.0 oct (octave), and the Center frequency to 200. For finer adjustment of any Sound Forge slider, hold the Ctrl button as you drag it with your mouse. Click the Preview button to play the file.  

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Related Keywords:sound forge, reverberation, audio editing, digital audio,

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