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Old June 22nd, 2008, 02:43 AM   #1
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Voice Overs and equipment with Final Cut

OK
Got some hardware (friend who is an audio guy for a living found a good package at good rate).... now have no idea how to connect it all to MacPro for using in FCE....

Whole DVD will pretty much need voice over as they are intructional.... 4 DVD's maybe 80mins each....

Equipment
Mixer http://www.behringer.com/802/index.cfm?lang=eng
Mic http://www.akg.com/site/products/pow...nguage,EN.html
Processor http://www.dbxpro.com/286A/286A.php

Very confused - help please...
Thanks
Janis
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 07:37 AM   #2
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The mixer looks like an analog mixer. You need to cable the Master Outputs of the mixer to the Macpro Line input. That is, you need to go from two 1/4" left/right jacks to a single 1/8" stereo jack. There are a number of ways to do this depending on what is in your cable drawer. I have a similar setup and use a very common stereo Y cable that has a 1/8" stereo plug (male) and two RCA plugs (male). I then put 1/4" to RCA (female) adapters in the mixer for the RCA males of the Y cable to plug into.

On the MacPro Preference panel for Audio, you want to select the Built-In Line input.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 10:12 AM   #3
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Hey thats a pretty good recording channel you have - C2000B is a decent mic, plug straight into the Dbx channel-strip will give you a good vocal sound (it has a de-esser which is useful) - its a shame it doesnt have a headphone out to monitor your voice (which would allow you to avoid the behringer altogether)

So then plug the dbx jack out into the behringer channel 1, and then the behringer out into your macpro soundcard.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 12:02 PM   #4
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Thank you, Ernest and Sherif. I can't begin to tell you how green I am with this stuff. I've come into this project (creating a ski instructional DVD series) with the content knowledge (ski pro), not the technical knowledge, and am trying to do everything in house. From filming, to editing, to now audio, building a website, and marketing.

So far so good, clawing my way through the learning process at each stage as I come to it. I just ordered this book to try to educate myself in audio. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1578201160


So just to clarify what you've told me;


- If it's an analog mixer is that a problem? Does that create any conflicts with digital editing in Final Cut Express? Should I have bought a different one? Or is it OK, and just cable adapt down from the 1/4 inch output of the mixer to the 1/8 inch audio line input on the back of my macpro, as I think you both suggested?

- Is there any signal quality loss when you reduce from 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch via cable adapters?

- I found this converter box in my searching around for a hookup solution.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Interface.html
Appears to convert 1/4 inch in to firewire out. Would there be any signal quality advantage to going this route? Or would it be wasting money on something I really don't need?

- Ernest, I didn't quite follow your hook-up directions. You said you instal female 1/4 inch adapters in your mixer to plug your Y cable into. I believe my mixer has female 1/4 inch outputs already. Could that be right? Am I confused about what you're saying?

- Sherif, terminology question. You said "hey, that's a pretty good recording channel you have". By "recording channel" do you mean the processor I have, or does that refer to the entire package combined.

Thanks you guys for helping me to get this right. I did this little video production earlier to get my feet wet with the editing program and practice voice over'ing. I'm the skier in the video, and my partner is doing the narration.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=2Fs2jkOA74o
I used a simple USB plug in headset mic to do it. Bought this more advanced set up on the recommendation of a buddy, to try to get audio quality boost. Hoping when I get it all properly hooked up it will prove worth the investment.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 03:22 PM   #5
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There are quality USB mics that may have served you well and been simpler. The Firewire audio device is overkill at this point and not needed. I'm not getting into whether there were better approaches for the buck. You've invested in what appears to be good analog gear so let's go forward.

I stated it was analog to be informative for you. Analog audio devices need to plug into the MacPro analog audio input. The MacPro has a digital audio input too so you needed to know what you are working with.

A quality audio system will produce quality audio as long as there is no weak link in the chain of parts.

What you need is a cable(s) that has 1/4" male mono plugs for the mixer end. At the other end, you need a 1/8" male stereo plug to go into the MacPro "Line input". See this page or your maybe the MacPro book has one.
http://www.apple.com/macpro/specs.html

I doubt you will find an exact cable easily. I accomplished it by using a common cable that plugs into the MacPro but has 2 RCA males (plugs) at the other end. Here:
http://www.zzounds.com/item--HOSCMR2

Another common item is an adapter that has a 1/4" mono male plug to go into the mixer and an an RCA female (jack) to accept the 2 RCA males. Here:
http://www.zzounds.com/item--CBI345IC

My links are only informative and I don't necessarily recommend those brands. There are other ways to skin the cat and get from the mixer to the Mac. The quality of the cables matters. Your audio guy who set you up with the rest of the gear kinda left you hanging and he can help.

Last edited by Les Wilson; June 22nd, 2008 at 05:22 PM.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 01:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janis Williams View Post
OK
Got some hardware (friend who is an audio guy for a living found a good package at good rate).... now have no idea how to connect it all to MacPro for using in FCE....

Whole DVD will pretty much need voice over as they are intructional.... 4 DVD's maybe 80mins each....

Equipment
Mixer http://www.behringer.com/802/index.cfm?lang=eng
Mic http://www.akg.com/site/products/pow...nguage,EN.html
Processor http://www.dbxpro.com/286A/286A.php

Very confused - help please...
Thanks
Janis

Hi Janis,

You're concentrating on the equipment, which is all well and good, but you're missing a couple of other things that are as important - if not MORE important - than the gear you use to record your voice.

The first is the ENVIRONMENT where you'll record.

A large-diaphragm condenser mic like the one you'll be using is typically VERY sensitive. So you'll be recording not just your voice, but EVERYTHING else around you. Including, potentially, the fan on your computer, the traffic outside, the sound of the refrigerator in the next room, and your own voice bouncing back off the walls and ceiling with a slight delay.

This is why you see pictures of recording sound booths with all that specialized acoustic foam.

You don't need to go to that extreme, but it's a good idea to move you mic away from the computer fans and other noisemakers and perhaps hang up some stands and drape them with heavy blankets or other absorbent materials to soak up the sound reflections.

Next, is a topic that as a skier, you should be able to catch onto quickly.

Did you do well at skiing when you FIRST stepped onto a slope?

Probably not. You had to develop balance, get used to the required physical motion, and most of all, you needed to develop the proper MUSCLES to allow you to sustain the physical effort required for good results.

VOICEOVER is precisely the same. Your voice is a projection of MUSCLES. Muscles working the jaw, tongue, lungs and - most of all - the diaphragm that supports your lungs.

If you were to advise a skier who'd never done ANY skiing before, you'd probably tell them to be patient and not expect fully professional results until time and practice had built up their abilities.

Same with VO.

When I started in Radio when I was young. A pro gave me some advice that I'll pass along to you now.

Go get something printed. Doesn't matter what. Read it aloud for 10 minutes straight. It'll be surprisingly hard to do and you'll FEEL it tomorrow.

Then just like an athlete practicing, do that virtually EVERY DAY for a while. After a few days, extend the time to 15 minutes. In a month or two, if you do this, your VOCAL MUSCLES will develop just like your thigh muscles had to to allow you to ski efficiently.

Also just like in skiing, there's technique. You want to practice supporting your voice from the diaphragm, not the lungs. This is less intuitive. But one method is to put your hand on your chest over your lungs and read an extended passage while trying not to let your chest rise or fall AT ALL.

Or sing a note that is comprised of an extended breathy Haaaa - then thoughtfully and TOTALLY remove the "H" sound and turn it into "aaaaa. Again, the point is to remove the LUNG breath support and push the air predominantly with your diaphragm.

There are a lot more tips in doing quality VOs but these should give you a decent start.

Good Luck!
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Old June 25th, 2008, 06:13 AM   #7
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Bill's right.

Your friend's idea of a package is OK for someone who know what to do with all of those knobs and buttons, but, in a sense, you asked what time it was and he headed you to how to make a watch. Nothing wrong with that, but there is a learning curve.

Good VO is done in good studio with good gear, talent and engineers who know how to use the gear, and how to edit out all the stuff that people never hear. There are skills and art involved.

If you're in it for the long haul and want to keep your client, having someone who knows how to use the gear on this project is pretty important.

Regards,

Ty Ford

BTW, a simpler tool for you might have been the mic he suggested and this -
http://centrance.com/products/mp/

Does Final Cut Express offer any audio processing?
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