Important project, little time, scant equipment: need advice! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 15th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Francisco, USA
Posts: 52
Important project, little time, scant equipment: need advice!

Hi there. I don't usually venture into the audio forum. But, as can sometimes be the case, last-minute desperation has compelled me to come 'round hat in hand to seek out help from the pros.

Most of the time I participate (lurk mostly) in the video fora--especially the JVC pro-acquisition forum (as I have a HD100 camera). There I have been extremely fortunate to benefit from the unselfish help of people like Paolo Ciccone (who I see as something combination of the God and a Guru of the JVC camera forum).

In fact, Paolo is giving me a great deal of help at this moment as I struggle to finalize and polish a short film for a fairly important film festival. The project came back from the dead and was pretty much thrust back upon me a couple of weeks ago and now I have to have it finished and ready for theater exhibition by February 22nd.

The picture is locked and the color-correction and grading is mercifully being handled by someone else (once again, I must thank the amazing Paolo). But the audio is left to me--a momentous task for someone who although he has a some audio know-how and was an erstwhile musician and band-dude, is by vocation a television news photographer and editor.

I am the picture and audio editor on this project and I made rough cut (rough video, REALLY rough audio) six months ago for submission to the festival so I am not starting totally from scratch on the audio. But most of the production sound is unusable as none was recorded save for what was picked up by the (pretty bad) camera mic.

Before assembling the rough cut I did record some background/atmospheric stuff and it could be used if I need to but it is mono and I'd like to try to get the atmospherics (street noise, the ocean) in stereo. Which leads me to my first question:

Can anyone suggest a fairly inexpensive (<$200 would be nice) stereo mic for atmosphere? Or with budget and time constraints in mind should I just leave it in mono and somehow try to add some "space" to it artificially? I worry about how centered and dead it will sound (all in mono) compared to the other shorts playing in the same shorts program.

Another problem I have is monitoring. My home speakers are OK as far as home stereo listening goes but are nowhere near flat and true enough for proper sound mixing.

I'm trying to think of some workaround I can do because buying studio monitors at this point is not an option. One idea is to use headphones for all of my EQing and use my home speakers for the channel mix decisions.

I think this could work if I can convince the producer to spend the money for a final mix to be done in a production studio. Yet I know that the best I can hope for is just the bare minimum of studio time. I'm hoping that my individual EQs of channels, and my basic mix will be close enough and the studio can finish it as best as they can in the shortest possible time.

I always write too much in my posts. There are more details and I will provide them at request if you have any questions.

Boy would I sure appreciate any help and guidance.
Maat Vansloot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maat Vansloot View Post
Can anyone suggest a fairly inexpensive (<$200 would be nice) stereo mic for atmosphere?
I'd beg, borrow or buy a Zoom H4 recorder for casual non-sync recording of stereo atmosphere (street price $299). It's very good for this sort of thing, really excellent for any non-sync work. (sync is possible but a bit harder).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maat Vansloot View Post
Another problem I have is monitoring. My home speakers are OK as far as home stereo listening goes but are nowhere near flat and true enough for proper sound mixing.

I'm trying to think of some workaround I can do because buying studio monitors at this point is not an option. One idea is to use headphones for all of my EQing and use my home speakers for the channel mix decisions.

I think this could work if I can convince the producer to spend the money for a final mix to be done in a production studio. Yet I know that the best I can hope for is just the bare minimum of studio time. I'm hoping that my individual EQs of channels, and my basic mix will be close enough and the studio can finish it as best as they can in the shortest possible time.
This one is way harder. Can you rent/borrow some decent monitors? IMHO headphones lie, and home speakers lie. They lie in different ways, which can be accomodated to some extent by experienced ears, but from what you wrote, you ain't got 'em.

There really are only two choices - do your best with what you have and take it to a production studio, or get good monitoring and decent listening environment. But you knew that.

If you stay with finishing at an outside facility you should make that decision now, choose a studio, mix 5 minutes of difficult material at home, and take it in to the big studio for a half-hour of listening and discussion before you do the bulk of your home audio work.

PS. Maybe there is someone with a good sound setup who is less expensive and more accomodating than a production studio? S.F. is a big market...
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2008, 02:55 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Francisco, USA
Posts: 52
Thanks for the reply Seth. I'm running out the door to go check on the video only master. It's a long shot but-- if anyone knows of a good, not-too-expensive audio post place in SF Bay, I'd love to hear it.
Maat Vansloot is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:31 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network