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Old January 24th, 2005, 12:10 PM   #16
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Yeah, I know PT free is OS 9 only, won't even run in classic mode. I have long since ditched OS 9 (since my previous PowerBook) and am running Panther 10.3.7...so I WILL need some hardware if I want to run PT.

That USB mixer looks pretty cool; being powered by USB eliminates both batteries and AC power. OK, it doesn't require PT (nor do my present mixers) but PT requires at least some kind of hardware like the MBox (which my guitar instructor uses with his iMac and has successfully created multitrack recordings like Les Paul used to do on his big old Ampexes)...so if I want to eschew hang-on boxes and go with a pure software solution, now I'm looking at Logic.

In this day and age of virtual everything, I gotta believe that this little P'book has the horses under the hood to get things done without external tagalongs (other than a mixer-preamp, of course) and that we can have a rackfull of audio signal processing devices at our fingertips all through software. Maybe I'm believing the advertising a little too much, but this is what I have done with Final Cut Pro, which has been my hemi-powered powerplant to replace a half-ton of VTR-to-VTR editing gear and do it much better.

Or am I being too"Logic"al?
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Old January 25th, 2005, 07:05 AM   #17
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Tony, I just finished narration a 35 minute video. I was in the same boat as you. I ended up getting a Rode mic and a Presonus preamp. That, with the wires, pot filter, stand and all coat about $360.00 US from bh photo. You cannot believe how really beautiful it sounds. All the others were right, good audio makes such a difference. Oh, I also use Vages 5. Bob
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Old January 31st, 2005, 01:12 PM   #18
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This post might be a bit of a tangent, but when doing the voiceover directly into your computer, does the environment you are in make a big difference in the end result? And if it matters a lot, what is the ideal type of room? I mean, if my computer is in a small room, will it sound like I'm in a closet?

I've just started trying to do this sort of thing and I'm an audio rookie, so I don't have a great ear for what a more professional sound should really sound like.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 01:17 PM   #19
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Even worse, you'll sound like you're in a small room with a computer turned on.

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Old January 31st, 2005, 04:40 PM   #20
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It's incredible how much racket gets recorded inadvertently. The computer is the first of several potential culprits. Throw in HVAC--anything with a fan or motor, really. Add in traffic outside, trains passing by, even some light fixtures, you've got quite a soup. For a test, just try recording some "dead air," that is, record what you think is dead silence in the room, with the mic facing the way it normally would and the recording gain at your usual setting. You'll hear it all on playback.

One quick'n'dirty trick when it's hard to get away from the ambient sounds, try recording in a car in a garage*, just you and the mic inside the cabin, run the mic cable out of the car to your equipment. You laugh? It's a heck of an "isolation booth." If it sounds too much like a dead room, just remember that it's easy to add reverberancy but pretty much impossible to remove it. You won't need much anyway for a VO.


*This is assuming that it's quiet out there in the garage, turn off everything that could make noise.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:00 PM   #21
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With that much glass, you'll get the sound it it being slapped as well. At least with any car I know.

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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:04 PM   #22
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I have a walk in closet full of hanging clothes. I think it would make a great place to record VOs. Lots of sound deadening material hanging all around to kill reflections. I was going to record there once but didn't for some reason. Maybe I'll give it a try sometime. It should work great.

Good luck.

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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:19 PM   #23
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First take an acoustics 101 course in which you'll learn that closets (and clothes in a closet) suck up a disproportionate amount of HF, which will suck the live out of your audio. OTOH, better in a closet than in the bathroom.

If closets and automobiles really worked, there wouldn't be recording studios ;)

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Old February 1st, 2005, 08:36 AM   #24
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I appreciate this banter as it is answered many of my unasked questions. My Mac is in a large bedroom with carpeting and drapes, but also some hard surfaces. I was wondering about using my closet, but I think you answered that.

The Mac is pretty quiet, but I think I'll record some "silence" and see what I get. I might as well try the closet while I'm at it.

Again, thanks for all your thoughts.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 08:48 AM   #25
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>>>OTOH, better in a closet than in the bathroom.
...unless you are 4 guys who wanna sing doo-wop, then the boys' room is perfect! :-)


For those of us whose budget indicates a studio, that is obviously the correct solution. The tools are all in place and ready, the rooms are equipped with anechoic wall treatments, bass traps, etc., just walk in and start recording. And they'll know what to do in post-processing to make the most of your content.

As for cars, it's like I said: quick n dirty. Not top shelf. But free of humming refrigerators, whirring computer fans, buzzing fluorescents, barking dogs, etc. You can foley that stuff back in later if you want. hee hee :-) Actually, in the back seat of a Jeep Cherokee with a cardioid dynamic on a short baby boom (Yeah, yeah, not a studio mic, OK?), the slapback was imperceptible...breath and lip and saliva noises being more of an issue to manage. Heck, that's a topic that deserves a whole discussion itself.

Of course, the purpose of the piece will determine how much of an investment we make in the audio production. A local radio spot is one thing, a movie trailer is quite another. In some cases you need to hire trained and experienced VO talent, a small doco or vnr may not afford that.

Hey, totally off topic (but the real reaon why I wanted to post right now)...

I saw Duran Duran performing live on TV, and noticed their keyboardist Nick Rhodes had a 17" PB nestled amongst his Alesis/Roland/Kurzweil synths. What's he running on that thing?
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:41 PM   #26
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Well, my problem has been solved. I'm just going to do the voiceovers on my laptop. The XLR to phone adapter worked perfectly and the audio is great, recorded directly to the timeline. The only problem is the ambient noise from sitting so close to the computer, so I'll just take my 25' XLR cable and move on back from my computer.

Does anyone know of any good filters or tricks for getting rid of that quiet ambient noise from computers? I know Premiere had some neat filters in it, but does Vegas?
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:31 PM   #27
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Tony, the only better filter than the 25' XLR cable is a 50' XLR cable. Into another room. :-)
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 09:25 AM   #28
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Ha ha, that's probably true...
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 04:52 PM   #29
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Once upon a time, in a small market far, far away (Springfield, MA--as far from Los Angeles as one can get, both literally and otherwise), I shot and edited local commercials for a small production company. I came up with one for a golf complex that revolved around a ball being whacked all around the facilities (mini golf, driving range etc); we painted a series of faces on balls and did a location shoot as well as chromakeyed balls on sticks--it was quite a little production.

I ended up doing the voice of the ball (through a pitch shifter) and because I was working alone, I needed to record right from the edit room which was full of noisy rackmounted components. I ended up building a soundblanket tent around the edit console so I could work the controls and watch the monitor to sync up the read. Of course, while I was in the middle of it my boss brought a prospective corporate client down to show him the edit room; there I was buried under a makeshift tent hollering "yippee!! whee!! oh no!" etc. in a cartoon voice. The client probably thought I was huffing under there.

Fortunately, the ad one a regional award (gee, wonder why I don't have that hanging on my wall?) so we all lived happily ever after.
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 05:57 PM   #30
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Funny story and good idea. I should probably do something similar in my office.
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