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Old February 8th, 2008, 04:11 PM   #1
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Adding a soundtrack in post production

Pardon me if this newbie question has been addressed, but I did a search and couldn't find what I needed. I'm pretty new to video in general, and have rapidly come to realize that the video is the easy part... it's the sound that bites you in the butt! Anyway, I've jumped into the HD world (HV20), been collecting hours of tape (volleyball matches) and am now learning to edit together something watchable. My question is:

What is the typical "prosumer" way to create a voice track? Hook up a Mic to the computer through the soundcard, or record on a standalone recorder and copy that in? If it matters, I'm using Vegas Studio 8. And if it's the standalone, what's a reasonable prosumer recorder?

Also (am I allowed another question?) how acceptable is it to edit in an interviewer's questions, as opposed to using what you record live? Seems it might be easier than balancing two mikes and getting your questions onto the original HDV tape?

Thanks in advance, all you sound guys... never had to worry about sound when I did stills!
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Old February 8th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #2
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What is the typical "prosumer" way to create a voice track?
$130 Audio Interface (I love our E-MU 0202)
$100 Shure SM58 and XLR cable

The most difficult and important part is the recording studio: it most be totally dead (no reverb, reflections, coloring, etc.). Douglas Spotted Eagle taught me a good, cheap way to do it right next to your computer: build a five-sided cube with sound-absorption material ($20?) and put your microphone inside it.

Second: yes, it's perfectly acceptable to edit in your questions.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 05:16 PM   #3
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$130 Audio Interface (I love our E-MU 0202)
$100 Shure SM58 and XLR cable
I should probably add that there are a variety of factors that will affect quality:
  • Subject (generally, voice overs don't have *that* much dynamic range)
  • Recording Environment
  • Microphone (The SM58 is excellent)
  • Placement (Hanging above your mouth is actually better)
  • Accessories (consider a pop stopper)
  • Cables (use XLR or TRS that's in excellent condition)
  • Pre-amp (the EMU 0202 has one built-in)
  • Analog-to-Digital converter (Here I think even the cheap ones do OK)
  • Monitoring (another subject)

Generally, my advice above should be OK, but I haven't tested the pre-amps on the EMU 0202 -- they probably add a bit of noise for voiceovers with very wide dynamic range (i.e. whispers). Good preamps cost quite a bit, though.

Last edited by Daniel Browning; February 8th, 2008 at 07:15 PM.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #4
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Here's one of those little voiceover mic boxes:
http://digitalprosound.digitalmedian...e.jsp?id=89503
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Old February 8th, 2008, 06:29 PM   #5
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Alternatively, you can use titles and skip the voiceover.

Here's a short that I made last month about my swim coach *almost* setting a world record. I went with original music, but skipped the voice.

http://colonelcrush.com/movie/index/00260001
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Old February 8th, 2008, 11:09 PM   #6
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Alternatively, you can use titles and skip the voiceover.
Nice... :-) What did you use to put together the music? Is there anything in the PC world akin to Garage Band?
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Old February 8th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #7
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Thanks...

Nice to see a long lost brother here on the boards, Daniel.... ;-)

Thanks to all of you... I think I'm getting the picture. Need to keep out all ambient noise, process the signal well, and then feed it in. At least we aren't talking thou$ands.

But then at some point soon I do have to get a wireless setup to get the interviewee into the camera. I have the Canon DM-50 shotgun on the HV20, and that is working reasonable well by keeping out quite a bit of the crowd noise and focusing things on the volleyball court. I'll do some tests talking into the back of the shotgun with the interviewee reasonably close, but I'm thinking of a wireless I can quickly hang around someone's neck or attach to them. Either that, or hand them a handheld wireless and put a lavalier on me. I'm looking at the Azden 2 channel mixer, which might be 'okay' for this work.. I just have no idea about the quality... unless I buy it. :-/

So much to learn... I'd be nowhere without this forum.

Thanks again guys.
--
Jim
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Old February 9th, 2008, 12:11 AM   #8
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Nice... :-) What did you use to put together the music? Is there anything in the PC world akin to Garage Band?
ACID was ACID on the PC before there was Garage Band. In fact, Apple hired away a key Sonyc Foundry ACID developer to lead the Garage Band effort.

However... I created the music in MIDI with Sonar as the sequencer/recorder and GigaStudio as the sample playback engine. The samples are from a variety of libraries collected over a few years. I set up a click track, selected one sound at a time, and recorded each part live on the MIDI keyboard - that helps keep it human and avoids a quantized, robotic sound.

The end result - big music and slow motion - makes Coach Bert look like a real badass. (He's more of a puppy dog in real life.) If I had the-Hollywood-trailer-guy doing the voiceover, I could pull it off with a real voice. But with the talent available to me, a voiceover would have made it really cheesy. Just imagine this video with a wimpy voice trying to sound big and tough - yuck!
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