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All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.

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Old February 1st, 2011, 02:19 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ocean Springs, MS
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So here is my problem. I had a crew film a concert and they thought the wireless mic on the stage was plugged in when in actuality it was not. I had a backup mic on the center camera, but I have their talking all over the audio. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. Here is a sample of the audio. Anyone that can fix this earns my undying gratitude (I know it's not much but it has to count for something).

Thanks in advance....
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Jonathan Schwartz
CA Video Productions
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Old February 1st, 2011, 07:46 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
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Unless you can find some other good source material from someone else's recording of the same event to use as a complete replacement, I don't think your track can be fixed...

As a benefit to all the readers here on the forum, hopefully you can participate in the painful discussion of how this series of errors happened, why it wasn't caught in time, and how to avoid this situation.
Sorry for the unfortunate results so far, it's painful just to think about it.
Hopefully you can find some other track that was recorded to sync with your video and rescue the final product.
Also hopefully this posting will help somebody in the future not have to go through the same thing.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 09:13 AM   #3
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I agree with Jay. This is a painful learning experience. First lesson: always have a backup. Second lesson, crews shouldn't talk near live mics (unless they are on 2-way comms. and need to direct). I'm guessing it will be hard to track down another person who recorded the concert in it's entirety (with a decent camera, no less). Was this a paying gig? Do you have a contract that covers technical issues such as this?
Sorry to hear about this situation. Unfortunately, there is no cheap and easy fix.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 09:34 AM   #4
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Location: Novato, CA
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Another painful reminder that someone should always be monitoring your audio. Especially the signal that you plan on using as your main source.

Hoping you are able to find a second audio source,
Garrett Low
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Old February 1st, 2011, 10:03 AM   #5
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Getting in touch with a parent who filmed can be a good idea in this situation.

Leaving a handheld recorder on the lip of the stage (as a backup) is also a good idea for future concerts.

Using wireless mics for concerts is a bad idea because a) it sounds bad, and b) it can easily cut out. At least you have audio... a buddy of mine filmed for a major symphony with a wireless mic and no backup... only got audio for half the concert... gave a full refund of course.

Buy some long XLR cables for $50 bucks and live happy. I hope you can find a solution for this particular instance!
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Old February 1st, 2011, 06:06 PM   #6
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Sorry I have been out of the office all day. Thank you all for your words of condolence. Oren has agreed to try to see what he can do so I will keep my fingers crossed. Also note that I know everything you all have said. We had two performances to film in different locations and I ran XLR and a backup zoom h1 at my site.

This site however would involve a cable run of about 500 feet to get up to the balcony. The crew had 3 cameras - 2 that were manned and one that was stationary. There was to be a wireless (senny g-2) mic on a mic stand on stage and a backup mic on the center camera. The hall where this took place is exquisite and the audio from the center of the balcony is actually pretty good.

So here is the story. Everything was set up ready to go and all audio had been checked with headphones. Then just as the concert was about to begin they lost the signal from the wireless receiver. I have no idea what happened because I checked when I got home and everything worked just fine. Probably Operator error. They thought they fixed the problem by wiggling the mic cable a little bit when in actuality all they did was unplug the wireless receiver from the camera. (insert collective groan here.....)

As you could imagine they were thrilled to have audio back, not realizing that it was the on camera audio, not the signal from the G2. To top things off, they apparently set up about 6 inches from each other so when one person talked it made it onto all 3 audio sources. SWEET!

To answer other questions. Yes they were wearing 2 way com headphones and yes one was directing the other. Hence all of the talking. I once accidently forgot to switch my XH-A1 back to XLR and used the on camera mic for an event and since have learned to always tap the on camera mic to make sure that is not my audio source. (I guess I will add this tidbit to my setup check list).

Just when you thought things could not get worse........

wait for it........

wait for it........

the female voice you hear is my wife!!!! YESSSSS!

Thank you all in advance for your sympathy and advise.
Jonathan Schwartz
CA Video Productions
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:04 AM   #7
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Jon, everyone's touched upon the basics, so I can't add much more. But I can sympathize as I've had to worry about the need to get good audio for similar projects.

My recommendation would be to have a competent person be responsible specifically for audio. Whether it's with a separate recorder or using the camera's systems, that person would ensure there's a good, clean usable audio signal at all times.

Yes, cost is a factor. But sometimes you can trade favors with friends in the local production business.
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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