Useful tools for video and audio editing

If you have your own YouTube channel or just make video or audio recordings using your mobile phone, it is good to know that there are editing tools that can help you remove undesired artifacts from recordings. For example, in an audio recording you’d probably want to remove or at least reduce a background noise. In a low resolution video you’d possibly want to have a better picture quality by making resolution higher if possible. Also, when you find a YouTube video that you think could have a better audio or video quality and this video has a Creative Commons Attribution license then you could download it, edit and upload again to YouTube. This post is exactly about such editing tools, or at least tools that I use myself and find very helpful. Most of them are free open-source tools except for video editing software.

Audio editing

Suppose, you have voice recordings that have a background noise. It would be nice to reduce it as much as possible without affecting the overall quality of the recording. There is a free tool that can do this and much more. It is called Audacity. Audacity is free and open-source professional grade digital audio editor and recording application software, available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and other Unix-like operating systems. I personally, use it to record myself playing drums. For this purpose I use two microphones and a two channel Behringer sound interface. After the recording was done I use Audacity to compress the recording and export it as mp3 file. But one of the features that is relevant to this post is the Noise Reduction functionality.

Real Life Example – Removing humming noise from Hamming’s lecture

For example, I used the Noise Reduction functionality in Audacity to remove background humming noise from the Dr. Richard Hamming’s 1990 lecture at NPS SGL. 

To do this I

Video editing – Super-resolution

Sometime videos can have a very low resolution, especially when they were recorded with old recording hardware, like old fashioned video cameras etc. But there is a solution to this problem which is called technically a super-resolution or upscaling. It allows to improve the resolution of the video by smoothing the pixels based on surrounding pixels. There are a number of implementations for an upscaling algorithms. Some of them like video2x upscaling software uses Deep Learning based upscaling implementation, for instance, NCNN implementation of waifu2x converter. Check out the GitHub repository of the video2x to learn how to use it.

Real Life Example – Upscaling Alexander Stepanov’s talk

For example, I used the video2x upscaling software based on Deep Learning model to upscale Alexander Stepanov: STL and Its Design Principles lecture from 320×200 to 640×400 resolution.

To do this I

  • Downloaded the original video (Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)
  • Used Audacity to add right mono channel to the original audio track which had only left mono channel available.
  • Used video2x software ran on a PC with Nvidia GPU to upscale the video from 320×200 to 640×400 resolution. Which took about 14 hours to process on that PC)
  • Used Movavi Video Editor to combine fixed audio track with the upscaled video
  • Uploaded upscaled video to YouTube.

You can try to play with the waifu2x Deep Learning powered upscaling website by uploading low resolution images and seeing the result by yourself.

Video editing

There are a number of free video editing tools out there, but from what I’ve seen the most useful ones that provide you with all required editing functionality are paid. And there is no workaround it. So I found this relatively inexpensive Movavi Video Editor software that I bought and use for all my video editing. Since I use mostly basic video editing, this tool suits me good. But if you are looking for more advanced capabilities, than you should check other versions of Movavi products or a different editor altogether.

How to download YouTube video for editing

If the YoutTube video has a Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed) license you can use the video and edit it. There are non criminal ways to download such videos from YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.