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Old October 1st, 2009, 10:57 AM   #1
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Help me understand what im seeing here

I am new to the sound arena. Recently i helped a director make a short. I was the "sound Guy"

I had a lav mic on the main actor and a Boom mic on the secondary talent.

I was recording the Lav on the L channel and the Boom on the Right Channel

IT was ran through a Shure Field Mixer, One channel Right, the other Left

Then into a Zoom h4n

This is what i got.. See attached pic

Why are there two tracks? Isnt there supposed to be two Channels? I was expecting to see the Left Channel on the Left channel used, the Right channel a straigh line

On the second channel I was expecting to see a straight line on the left track and audio on the right?

Did i have the settings wrong on the recorder?

Thanks
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Help me understand what im seeing here-learning-sound.jpg  
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Old October 1st, 2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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What you're seeing is perfectly normal, I'm having a little trouble figuring out exactly what you were expecting.

If you're just after two 1-channel tracks instead of the single 2-channel track, just click on the track name and close to the bottom it should say 'split stereo track' or something like that. Boom, two tracks. Now assign them both to mono instead of left or right and you're all set.

I think you're a little confused about the terminology (Track vs Channel) Think of a muisc CD, you've got 10 or 15 tracks (songs, in this case) and each of those tracks has two channels of audio (left and right). There's no law, however, saying that 2 channels in a track have to be left/right (or even how many channels make up a track, the track is basically just a container). Your recorder take the first input and records that to channel one, the second input to channel two. Pan (where a channel should fall in the stereo/surround picture) is something malleable.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 11:51 AM   #3
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Jordan is quite right - you do have 2 channels, they just happen to be formatted as one stereo file, which is easy to pull apart in any sound editor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ruhland View Post
...I was expecting to see the Left Channel on the Left channel used, the Right channel a straigh line

On the second channel I was expecting to see a straight line on the left track and audio on the right?...
As to why you have no silence on the "a" track while the "b" subject is talking, this is because of how they were miced.

The lav is typically going to be an omnidirectional microphone. It depends on close proximity to the subject for isolation from other sources. But this is far from black and white - it's all gray, it's all a matter of degree. If you're softspoken, and wearing a lav, and I'm a loudmouth (true!), and we're talking face-to-face, I might well be louder in your mike than you are!

So, this is why you have the second subject's voice in the lav.

Likewise the boom mic. People boom mostly with anything from a hypercardoid (somewhat directional) to a long shotgun (pretty directional). But, again, even with a directional mic, it's pretty easy to get both subject's audio in the track. Which can be a good thing!

So, it's hard to say if you're in trouble on this - you won't know until you split the track and pan both the new tracks to center. You'll probably find out that when you adjust / mix the volumes of the two tracks it will sound just fine, or, at least as fine as the microphones in use and the techniques used to position them and the amount of ambient noise and...

It's quite common for there to be some leakage between multiple mics. Depending on the circumstances, this can be OK. A lav has a different sound than most boom mics. Post EQ (equalization) can help to make them sound closer.

In some cases, dialog does need to be isolated, and with tracks such as your example this can be a lot of work - cutting it up, or, more likely, using volume envelopes to raise and lower the volume of the individual tracks.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 12:23 PM   #4
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i think im getting it

This is what i expected to see... I think the confusion comes in with the R and L on the recorders and field mixer.

ITs starting to make sense to me now. Yes.. i think what i was expecting is each mic would pickup only its character clearly.

Am i on the right path here?
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Help me understand what im seeing here-what-i-expected.jpg  
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Old October 1st, 2009, 12:28 PM   #5
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In Vegas (I see you have version 8c), you can load the same audio on two tracks. Right click a clip, and you will see a "Channels" entry. Choose left-only on one and right-only on the other. Now you will have two separate tracks in your project. You can solo each track and re-render in mono, if you want to create independent files.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 01:12 PM   #6
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Got it Thanks!
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 12:02 AM   #7
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Looks like a basic stereo (2 ch) track to me.
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