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Old July 25th, 2004, 11:31 AM   #1
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Post audio questions.

Hi all,
Been playing with my AT-897 for the past few days and was wondering a few things. Say I'm filming a scene, where someone is walking and talking. I want to pick up the voice as clearly and clean as possible. I know that in post I can add in sound effects of the person's feet walking on the floor. My mic however pics up both. The voice is much clearer, and the footsteps are distant. Would I just overlap the distant sounds of the footsteps with clearer recorded sound effects?

Are there any good pieces of software for cleaning recorded sound?

Any guides?

Thanks.

P.S. Apparently there is a low bass roll off switch on the AT-897, is this that small black bit half way down the mic...it's not very switch-like, but can be changed back and fourth. Is it better having bass roll off on for picking up voice?

Thanks again
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Old July 25th, 2004, 12:18 PM   #2
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YOu can add stronger footsteps in Post.

Sound Forge is probably one of the best sound editors for most of us.

Don't modify the sound as you record it. Do that in post where you can reverse a modification if you wish.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 06:46 AM   #3
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Here's another approach:
If you can introduce the footstep sound loudly for a few seconds before the person starts speaking, people will remember it. Once they know it's there, even if it's barely audible, people will perceive it during the talk as if it was just as loud. Think about that for a while. That is how our minds work, suppressing unimportant (and unchanging) sounds to concentrate on the important info. The mind doesn't mind you helping it in the process as long as you play by the same rules.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:16 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tor Salomonsen : The mind doesn't mind you helping it in the process as long as you play by the same rules. -->>>

Tor,

Outstanding advice, but I didn't know there was a rulebook. I know this is probably the material you learn if you have the luxury of a full course of study in film or drama, but is there a useful reference with other 'techniques' for "helping the mind" in the film-making process. It was a real 'aha' moment when I read what you wrote and I know there has to be other tricks of the trade that are commonly used, but I don't even recognize are there until someone like you mentions them specifically. Thanks for the insight.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 09:24 AM   #5
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There isn't a rulebook. What I meant by playing by the same rules is that you should not try to be clever (arty) trying to make the mind pick up information that it doesn't really want. It won't work. It's like that subliminal message thing; that doesn't work either. Or at least, you can not make it work for you.
I don't know of a selection of golden tips or what you might call it. Keep your ears open when experienced people are talking is the best general advise I can give.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 04:45 AM   #6
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Thanks.

What about cleaning up dialogue? I'm sure in post they don't use the exact recorded dialogue taken through the mic, they must do some processing to make it sound clean and clear?

Thanks again
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Old July 30th, 2004, 05:15 AM   #7
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What you hear in commercial films (drama etc) is usually re-recorded in a studio. But what you hear on TV (news, documentaries etc) is the sound that was recorded at the shoot. Professional people always place the mic close to the sound source. That way, instead of having to remove things (which is difficult) in post they can add things (which is easy).

Sony Sound Forge is a very good audio editor. Coupled with Sony Noise Reduction it is a great problem solver.

If you want to work with many tracks of audio, Vegas is a great tool. On a laptop, with a multi in-out firewire soundcard Vegas becomes a portable multitrack harddisk recorder. Up to 24 tracks easily. It edits video, too.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 11:06 AM   #8
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I believe that one of the software plug-ins used to sync studio dialog with the sound recorded with the footage is called vocalign. Nice little plug-in as I remember it.
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