In terms of recommendations, I would highly recommend checking the Clarity VX Dereverb to get that echo eliminated from your recordings, as per other recommendations for plugins, it really depends on what you’re looking to improve or treat specifically.
For Vocals, I normally use the CLA-2A regularly on my vocal/speech chains.
Indeed. Make sure you try before you buy, at least in the interim.
In terms of plugins, I agree with Adi, with Clarity VX Dereverb. If you have a lot of issue with background noises then I’d consider looking at its sister plugin Clarity VX Denoise.
F6 is indeed a powerful plugin, but because of its extra flexibility it makes it much easier to make something sound worse than it did originally. If you’re really confident with using a parametric eq then I would suggest getting it as a next step forward.
Vocal Rider is a good choice for transparent volume control over your dialogue. Renaissance Vox is also another compressor worth consider getting. It’s designed for voice and its easy to use. In fact you can possibly use these both together for optimal control.
If you are working with recordings where people are up close to the mic as you get with ADR sessions you might want to consider a Deesser. Sibilance and Renaissance DeEsser being the top choice.
Lastly Scheps Omni Channel is a powerful channel strip that acts as kind of a powerful multi-tool that covers most of what I discussed in a single plugin. It has an eq, a compressor for shaping the dynamics DS2 will handle deessing tasks. plus it will allow you to insert a 3rd party plugin, maybe Vocal Rider, to help complete your chain of tools. It doesn’t do denoise or dereverb tasks, however.,
If you trial any of these plugins make sure that you check to see if there any added delay introduced by plugin latency. It will really kill a project if all your dialogue falls out of alignment with the picture.
I have been meaning to tweak my chain and submit it to Studioverse, but I have been doing cleanup on some old VHS tapes with architecture lectures at the University I work at, and have been using the following chain in this order for restoring some of the (exceptionally) bad audio:
Clarity VX De-Reverb
WLM Plus (using the limiter to keep the series of videos level)
I am not a forensic audio guy (I am actually an academic librarian) and a former (now hobbyist) musician and I have found these all work really well for my needs. I have been using Premier Pro because the Uni I work for gives Creative Cloud licenses to all faculty and staff.
I just wanted to chime back in because I realised I forgot to address the potential of “plosives” as a result of the mic being closer in proximity to the talent, as with sibilance, but it’s a different side effect.
If you start running into both plosive and sibilance issues it would be worthwhile having a look at F6, which was already mentioned.
True, it can be really easy to make things sound worse if you don’t know what you’re doing, but that’s when its time to learn. Check out the presets it comes with and any tutorials you can find online about how to use a dynamic eq to control plosives and sibilance.
You can also see if there is anything here to help you out…