How to make audio sound like it was recorded on an on-board mic, and coming from TV at DVinfo.net

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Old July 19th, 2004, 05:30 AM   #1
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How to make audio sound like it was recorded on an on-board mic, and coming from TV

Ok, let's say I was shooting a movie where the camera operator was supposed to making sound effects, and they were getting picked up by the onboard mic on his camcorder.

Now, let's say that instead of actually doing this, I recorded said sounds via my ME66, to have more to manipulate and play with. Any specific FX/plugins, in Vegas 4, that anyone can recommend, as well as methods of executing this?

On another, similar note, let's say I have dialogue/sounds that are suppose to be coming from a vcr/movie on TV, how would I simulate that with sound acquired, again, via an ME66, using Vegas 4's available utilities? Also have an older version of soundforge.

The camcorder in question would be an old VHS camcorder,

The TV in question would be a 13 inch or so little guy, one speaker, etc.

I'm assuming I probably won't want to degrade the sound effects on the "camcorder" too much, to keep it intelligible, but enough to make it sound a little less "slick" then it will if I just leave it alone. . .yes?
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Old July 19th, 2004, 08:19 AM   #2
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Some programs actually have enough plug-ins to have a specific one for this kind of effect. Or you can manipulate one that's in the same ballpark, like a "telephone" plug-in for example.
Generally speaking, you'll want to limit the frequency bandwidth of your clean sounds. Try something like 200 to 8000 hertz with a strong midrange peak. You can use the 4-band EQ in Vegas for this. Adjust while you listen. Add a very small amount of reverb with a lot of close early reflections and very minimal or no long tails.
Of course you can always do it the old fashioned way and record what you've edited clean onto a VHS tape at EP speed (on the normal tracks not the Hi-Fi tracks), then play it back on a 13" TV and record it in the same environment as it will be during the movie.
For the cameraman efx you can use a cheap lo-fi lav attached to a hard plastic box. Play back the clean sounds with a good speaker in a quiet environment, aimed at the box. Handle the box gently to simulate camera-handling noises to be sprinkled in later. Again you can do it this way live with an actual camcorder, that might sound more realistic. If you've already recorded it clean or your old camcorder doesn't actually work, then experiment.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 08:22 AM   #3
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Josh:

My memories of old VHS camcorders are that there was always a bit of handling noise in the earlier models. I would think that recording some bumps and fumbles that you can slug in when the camera moves erratically, and in particular a little bit of servo whine whenever it zooms, will help sell the "presence" of a camera person. I think for that person's dialogue, recording it very close to the mike yet slightly off the sweet spot, i.e. speaking down onto the tube instead of into the end, might give you that close proximity yet slightly muffled sound.

As far as the TV, I have had good results by simply playing the track off my edit system and re-recording the sound with a mike as it comes out of the otherwise unused tiny speaker on my monitor. Experiment with different distances for the mike and corresponding volumes for playback to get more or less room presence.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #4
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Thanks. Will try some of this.

Charles, just to clarify, when you say "monitor", you mean like an NTSC monitor's speaker, right?

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Old July 20th, 2004, 12:20 AM   #5
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Yeah...my Sony PVM-14M2U broadcast monitor has a tiny (and tinny!) little speaker in it. Jay suggested the same thing, simultaneous posts I guess! Any "bad" TV speaker will do. Most TV's sound too good these days!
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Old July 20th, 2004, 01:54 AM   #6
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Good suggestions, all. Thanks.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 05:23 PM   #7
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Looks like I got a lot of good answers, but one thing I still need to know is: How to make dialogue ACTUALLY recorded on a ME66 sound more like it was recorded with an onboard mic, from, say 6-8 feet away, some times more like 3 feet away.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 11:56 AM   #8
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Josh, I would try the same technique of playing the audio through a speaker and re-recording it, but this time instead of playing it through a nasty little speaker to make it sound like it was coming off a little TV, use a decent speaker instead. Your resulting audio should be fairly full-spectrum, just with added room ambience.

At a certain point, would it not perhaps just be easier to re-record this dialogue (since if the guy is always off-camera there won't be lip-syncing involved) and just record it the way you want?
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Old July 28th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #9
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You'd think so, but I meant dialogue of ON-camera people, so that would actually be quite a pain. I might just leave it alone, being that I think with all the room noise, zoom motor noise, and handling noise in there, I think the illusion is fine without degrading the audio. Also, it's already got a bit of echo just because of the way I recorded it.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 12:54 PM   #10
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ah, I thought this was about the cameraguy talking a la the original posts. To me, I think the audience won't clue in on the fact that the audio should be "bad" because it was shot with a camcorder---better that the dialogue be as audible as possible, right?
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Old July 28th, 2004, 01:14 PM   #11
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Yeah, that's what I figured. You were right about the audio, though. . .there's supposed to be BOTH on camera and off camera (by the operator) stuff recorded on the onboard mic. For the camera guy stuff, I did what you already suggested and just put it on my shoulder and recorded myself with the onboard. Thanks for all the tips.
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