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Old May 13th, 2004, 06:23 AM   #1
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Location: Australia
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Audio Sweetening, WHat is it and how do i do it?

Recently, i showed my folio to a very helpful industry guy that told me my audio needed work.

He said that it was far to bassy and there was not enough top end.

This made me think that whenever i played my dvd's on a different setup from home it sounded terrible. Reminiscent of Real Audio from the net.

He talked about learning to sweeten the sound and i asked him if this meant to EQ it or something in Sound Forge.

Basically, i want to know what to do.
Can i sweeten in premiere 6.5? or do i need to exprot the entire audio wave and do things in Sound Forge.

Also what do i do to sweeten? De hiss, Normalize, honestly i have no idea!

please help

Ben Gurvich
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Old May 13th, 2004, 06:07 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
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Read Jay Rose's book on Capturing sound and the book on editing sound and you will have a great deal of knowledge.

Before you can accomplish much, you will have to have some specialized sound gear starting with a set of nearfield monitors and possibly having to treat the room in which you edit the sound to control the acoustics.

The biggest change I made was to add a pair of nearfield monitors. Without changing anything else, I could hear well, for the first time, the audio I was recording and the audio I was placing onto the timeline. Made an enormous difference because all of a sudden, the sound was acceptable on a set of computer speakers and on my Home Theatre system. And I didn't have to do anything but spend money! :-))

Not that my sound doesn't sound different coming out of different systems but at least it isn't unintelligible.

The second best thing I did was read Jay's books.

The third best thing I did was take some sound design classes at one of the San Francisco sound studios (The Sound Annex) through the Bay Area Video Coalition. Not that I have a million dollar sound studio and a set of Pro-Tools gear but I got to hear some of the subtle differences that make all the difference to a finished piece.

Another very useful class was one in which we had to take a clip from an old movie and do all the Foley work (yes, the million dollar studio had a nice setup for Foley built into its sound booth). We simulated walking on gravel, dropping ice-cubes into a glass and pouring soda water over the ice cubes.

Foley, by the way, is pro-talk for one aspect of sound sweetening and is one way to beef up gunshots, car engine noise, birds twittering, etc.

I've now used many of the techniques I learned to sweeten sound (I buy sound clips from Sound Dogs) so that the sounds are clearer and beefier (is that a pro term, Spot?) and I don't have to physically do the Foley work. Couple that with some Sound Forge work and my sound tracks are reasonably decent.

And last but not least, I read the history files in every sound forum I could find including this one. I also perused the appropriate USENET groups where people like Jay Rose and our own Douglass sometimes contribute to the general knowledge.
Mike Rehmus
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Old May 13th, 2004, 06:51 PM   #3
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Thanks Mike,
Will Chek it out
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Old May 13th, 2004, 07:02 PM   #4
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Talk to Peter or Mike Jones at the Sydney Sound House, or see me on the VASST tour in Sydney and Melbourne in August.
Otherwise, mike explained it with greater beef than I could.
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
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Old May 14th, 2004, 11:14 AM   #5
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Another thing you need to do is dynamic compression. This is very important especially for dialogue. There's nothing worse than having the dialogue alternate between too loud and too soft.
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