Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 25th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 31
Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

Hi guys,

I've just completed a project for a client for an awards show. They requested to have the video and audio together (synced) But they also want the interview audio to be separated from the music track, just in case they have to make any adjustments in levels.

My initial thought was to pan one to the left audio track and one to the right. but im concerned that in some songs, there are specific instruments highlighted in either left or right, so when i pan, will the music tracks loose an instrument or sound?

OR is there a better way to do this, so the tech guys at the event can control each audio (voice and music) separately.

your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Josh Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2011, 02:18 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Huddersfield, UK
Posts: 406
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

If the music is in stereo then simply sending one channel would indeed risk the loss of some of the music. The only way would be to reduce it to mono then put it on one channel and do the same for the interview (if that is in stereo). But then the music would only be in mono! So really the music would have to be sent separately and synched later. What kind of format are you sending it in? You could possibly send a multi-channel file...
Geoffrey Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

Josh,

You don't say what you're editing in but I would export the audio tracks out into an AIFF file. You should be able to keep your music tracks and dialogue tracks on separate channels but everything will pull into their NLE or Sound Editing program synch'd.

-Garrett
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2011, 03:50 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 463
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

So let me get your head around where the finished production will end up.....

It will be on a (mono) PA system in a room with perhaps 200-300 people watching on big screens being mixed by someone (possible a young person new to the industry with only a BASIC grasp of an audio desk) that has NEVER seen your presentation before, wearing one-sided headphones so they can here the producers cues. And you get the blame if it ends up sounding like rubbish......

And you think I'm joking... this is what ACTUALLY happens!!!!

OK now to your production, you will need to deliver your video with 2 audio tracks on the DVD. Track 1 will be FULL dialogue [meaning... introductions, full sound on interviews and anything else dialogue] and on track 2 will be the music that will rise and fall [from full level music to soft background] as you want the mix to happen.
This way the panel operator will put up both faders equally [or use MONO MIX], this is the ONLY way you will get the video to sound like YOU want it in the room.
Brian P. Reynolds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2011, 06:11 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Chan View Post
Hi guys,

I've just completed a project for a client for an awards show. They requested to have the video and audio together (synced) But they also want the interview audio to be separated from the music track, just in case they have to make any adjustments in levels.

My initial thought was to pan one to the left audio track and one to the right. but im concerned that in some songs, there are specific instruments highlighted in either left or right, so when i pan, will the music tracks loose an instrument or sound?

OR is there a better way to do this, so the tech guys at the event can control each audio (voice and music) separately.

your advice would be greatly appreciated.
They want to be able to remix the music stem with the interview dialog stem as the piece palys during the presentation????? I can understand them wanting to adjust the overall level of the total audio package to fit the hall and audience but it doesn't make any sense to me for them to be adjusting the levels of prerecorded speech with respect to the background music bed on the fly during the show. Are you sure you and your client are really on the same page here as to what they're trying to accomplish?
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

I see no point of splitting the Music and Dialog for an event type presentation. Unless I don't understand something, that's asking for trouble IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Josh,
You don't say what you're editing in but I would export the audio tracks out into an AIFF file. You should be able to keep your music tracks and dialogue tracks on separate channels but everything will pull into their NLE or Sound Editing program synch'd.
-Garrett
Are you saying a multichannel poly file or an EDL project file? AAF for example.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,124
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

I see the point - and in fact I've done many shows where th supplied audio has exactly this problem, and I just need to be able to highlight the narration track and lower the music - very often the conditions in the studio are too good - once you get the audience background level, if you just turn up the overall level, the music is too loud. I'd have no problem at all running the music in mono. In a big room stereo music often sounds odd anyway, because of the separation of the speaker stacks. Convert the music to mono and just have the two tracks - it will be fine. The alternative of course, is a multi channel output card in the machine and then you can run more audio channels.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 05:45 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 43
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

Surely it just needs to be mixed well and maybe with just some extra mindfulness when watching the levels in the edit. I've never seen a mixed feature film where the dialogue is overpowered by the music (when it wasn't desired) to a level that is incomprehensible. I understand the dilemma and the worries that the client have, but are they not basically saying that they don't trust you to mix it properly?
Mike Chalmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,359
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

If I'm not mistaken, the playback system of the mix studio is supposed to more or less duplicate the system in the theatres. In that case, if your mix has a good-sounding balance between dialog and music, it should have roughly the same balance in theatres. But... will your mix be played back in a good-sounding theatre?

I've worked in conference centers where the playback system and acoustics are really substandard. Specifically, rooms that would seat 300 people, where the speaker system consisted of eight 10" speakers in metal ceiling cans that were less than 1 cubic foot each, with no acoustic absorption inside the cans. The repsonse was certainly not flat, and probably started rolling off at 200 Hz or higher. Meanwhile, the cans would resonate and rattle, especially if you fed them too much LF energy, trying to make the bass audible. A real nightmare of a sound system. And it could just barely put out an intelligible level if the audience was dead quiet. Obviously that system could not handle any dynamic range that would be typical of a track with any dramatic presentation.

Obviously, if you're sitting in your own mix studio or control room, you cannot anticipate what that playback environment will be like, so you can't mix for that venue.

Under those circumstances, it might make sense for the final "mix" to take place in the actual venue, during playback, with audience in place, so the level of the music track can be lowered, if necessary, to be sure of getting the needed intelligibility from the dialog track.

In fact, I've been involved in some multi-media installations (real multi-media, with motorized effects flying in from the ceiling, fog and smoke machines, mechanized set pieces, etc.) in theatres with very quirky playback systems. In those cases, the sound studio came to the theatre(s) with a playback machine, all the stems on separate tracks, and a mixing board. They played back the show on the theatre's own system, and mixed so everything sounded right in that venue. That worked.

Since you probably don't have that option, and this is presumably a one-time event, perhaps in an unknown or inaccessible venue, it probably does make sense to deliver two separate mono tracks. As a caveat, I'd be sure the client knows that you cannot be responsible for what the product sounds like, if the final playback mix is out of your control.
Greg Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 1st, 2011, 02:45 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 43
Re: Separating VOICE and MUSIC as left and right audio

Greg makes a good point and is clearly more knowledgeable than I am on this.

I don't know if I made my point well: that if they played a movie DVD in the venue would there be the same problem, where the dialogue of a major film was inaudible.. Regardless, I have been in situations where it's been a really bad mix so I totally understand the issue.

Best of luck with this.
Mike Chalmers is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:53 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network