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Old December 24th, 2004, 05:48 PM   #1
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Drowning Out the Teacher

I have a scene I am finishing the audio on and I am trying to figure out the best way to achieve a certain audio effect. The scene is in a classroom and two students are having a conversation in the back of the class as the teacher is still talking. What should I do to the audio track of the teacher speaking to make sure it doesn't compete with the students talking? I'm guessing maybe something like a low-pass filter might help it sound drowned out. But I am not sure. Any ideas?
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Old December 24th, 2004, 05:52 PM   #2
 
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Do you have the tracks of the students recorded separate from the teacher?
If so, it's an easy matter to dull down the EQ of the teacher's voice, leaving the student voices articulate.
If not, it's gonna be a challenge, if all 3 voices are on 2 or 1 track.
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Old December 24th, 2004, 06:54 PM   #3
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Why not just have it so that the teacher is out of focus or out of frame (so that you can't see his/her mouth), then record her dialogue in the same room later, put it on as another track in your editing program. Then you can do whatever you want.

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Old December 29th, 2004, 01:07 AM   #4
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I recorded them separately. It would be insanity to do otherwise. I guess I will just EQ it.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 09:51 AM   #5
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Yes, I would experiment with EQ first.
A wide dip between 2khz and 2.5khz will substantially dull the teacher's voice. Roll-off the highs considerably. Using a low-pass may be too dramatic but you should experiment to find out if it's workable. A lot will depend on the range of settings available in your particular filters.
Set your volume appropriately after EQ to achieve the balance between tracks and it should be achievable.
You can also try reverb on the teacher but use a much higher percentage of the wet signal and very little of the direct sound. This will make it sound muffled and distant. If you take it to the extreme, it will sound like the teacher is outside the room.
Use moderation, if you've shot the visuals effectively it won't take much to convey the idea without the audio effect becoming too obvious.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 07:25 AM   #6
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Re: Drowning Out the Teacher

<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Frank : I have a scene I am finishing the audio on and I am trying to figure out the best way to achieve a certain audio effect. The scene is in a classroom and two students are having a conversation in the back of the class as the teacher is still talking. What should I do to the audio track of the teacher speaking to make sure it doesn't compete with the students talking? I'm guessing maybe something like a low-pass filter might help it sound drowned out. But I am not sure. Any ideas? -->>>



Only mic the students.

Smiles,

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Old January 1st, 2005, 09:50 PM   #7
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If you've got a good digital environment to do post-production sound, I'd suggest applying one of the above mentioned EQ curves and then side chaining a compressor to the teacher's dialog to do some automated dipping on her vocals whenever one of the onscreen subjects is talking. This is the easiest way to have the teacher's voice rise slightly back into focus whenever there is a sizable pause in the (as they called it in my school days) "socializing".
I'll post more about this if I notice your interest.

Best of luck, Dave.
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