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Old May 16th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

But is there no way I can make my audio recording sound a little better than sounding like it's from a tin can?
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Old May 16th, 2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

Start by telling us how you are recording your audio (equipment used, techniques used, etc.). I think you are about to go down the rabbit hole...
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Old May 16th, 2011, 09:59 PM   #3
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

A tin can?

Let me guess. You're recording indoors from a mic on the camera. The solution? A super or hyper cardioid mic that is close to the talent. Or an omni lavalier. The lavalier works best for wide shots. A super/hyper cardioid will sound best (have the least echo) for tight shots that allow you to get the mic close but out of the frame.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

Jon just opened the rabbit hole...and then there's mixers, and boom poles, and shotgun mics...
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Old May 16th, 2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

Well, let's not fall completely down the rabbit hole.

I think the first huge step in improvement is to get the mic (any mic) close to the source of the sound. Even if it isn't the best mic for the job it will be SO MUCH BETTER than a mic on the camera that I think you'll be delighted.

At least at first. Then you'll start to realize that there are a lot of different kinds of mic, and while there is no one right mic, there are lots of wrong mic types. Then you really will fall down the rabbit hole as you start to listen ever more critically, buy more types of more expensive mic's. etc etc etc.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

First, I love the quick responses!

Second..I don't want to go down the rabbit hole. I used the Sony FX1 cam and the Sony ECM674 Professional Microphone. Yes, recorded in my home office. Yes, in the future I need a sound studio and better equipment BUT is there anything I can do NOW in Final Cut or Sound Track Pro to make the sound quality better?

UUUghrrr!
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Old May 17th, 2011, 12:18 AM   #7
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

Was the mic on the camera at the time, rather than near the talent?

Unfortunately, removing echo can rarely be done well. One (time consuming) way to fix it is to re-record the audio using ADR.

Dubbing (filmmaking) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you go the ADR route, you can hang blankets to help deaden reflections. Moving the bookshelves a few inches from the walls and moving the books near the front of the shelf ad different intervals helps diffuse the sound and trap stray bass. An even simpler trick is to get a large cardboard box and line it with acoustic foam. Record the dialog with the mic near the mouth of the box.

The most important thing is to get the mic - any mic from a $30 Radio Shack model to a $1,500 Schoeps - close to the talent.

Here's how effective ADR can be when done with a tool like VocALign...
ADR? Here's a quick VocALign DEMO i just did.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #8
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

Repeat slowly and often

"Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"...

It's sort of hypnotic if you say it enough times, and then you start to believe it.

As Jon says it can be ANY mic for starters.

It's almost a fundamental law of sound. Mic position = Camera position = BAD. Mic closer to talent = GOOD. Getting from BAD to GOOD costs almost nothing. Getting from GOOD to BETTER can be pricey. Getting from BETTER to GREAT can be mind-blowingly expensive.

"Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"..."Mic close to talent"...
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Old May 17th, 2011, 08:12 AM   #9
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat Carroll View Post
I used the Sony FX1 cam and the Sony ECM674 Professional Microphone. Yes, recorded in my home office. Yes, in the future I need a sound studio and better equipment BUT is there anything I can do NOW in Final Cut or Sound Track Pro to make the sound quality better?
I'm confused.

First, I'm not at all certain what you mean by "tin can." I won't know what problems you have unless you post a clip of the recording.

Second, it's now unclear whether you want to use FC or STP to somehow improve the existing track, or whether you are asking or advice about making your future recordings better.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 11:25 AM   #10
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

GREG! YES, I am asking if there is ANY solution for my existing track in FC or STP. The footage is already recorded (this is a VO over footage) so, I had the talent "close to mic" "close to mic" " as close to mic with out them cracking their teeth on it.

Re-recording using blankets et al would help but my budget to pay the talent again is limited...but I have my time and was hoping I could do something with it...Looks like I can't or it will still not be that great :'(
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Old May 17th, 2011, 11:48 AM   #11
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat Carroll View Post
GREG! YES, I am asking if there is ANY solution for my existing track in FC or STP.(
That hasn't been clear up until now... at least not to me.

Having clarified the question, I have to say that I can't make any specific suggestions unless I hear the track. Imaging sending an EMail to your doctor saying, "I feel pretty sick today, what should I do to feel better?"

You need to post a sample of the track.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #12
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

One trick is to play some background music or even some nice sounding background sounds like some smooth, soft rumble. It might help cover up the echo a bit.

Removing echo is like trying to clean up the images that came off of the flawed Hubble telescope. It can be done with a ton of work, but it will never be quite right. Maybe there's a plugin available out there that can do the trick, but it would be costly.

One thing that you can do is to apply an expander. That makes quiet things quieter and loud things louder. It can make the tails fade out faster than normal. You can also use a "gate" which is kind of an extreme expander that shuts off quiet sounds. You can try it manually by fading the volume quickly after each pause in speech. Warning: it won't sound natural, unless you blend in some silent room tone.

You can also play with EQ. Create a narrow spike. Move it around the frequency range with the sound playing until it matches the tone of the echo. Then change the spike into a cut. You can try making the range a bit wider. Do this at a number of frequencies to tame any resonance in the echo.

The thing is that you can spend a lot of time doing stuff like this, but it's possible that the sound will be worse than when you started.

BTW, if you are playing back the sound in the same room where it was recorded, it will sound worse than it really is. You would be hearing the same room echo twice.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #13
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

Jon (et al),

Do we really know that the recording has problems with echo (or excessive reverb)?

Indeed, you may have hit it on the head. But the description "tin can" doesn't really clarify anything for me. I hope the OP will post a sample audio clip so we can be really certain what's wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst
BTW, if you are playing back the sound in the same room where it was recorded, it will sound worse than it really is. You would be hearing the same room echo twice.
If echo actually is the problem, that's a very good observation... that wouldn't have occured to me.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 01:28 PM   #14
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

True, "tin can" could also mean that it sounds too thin, with little bass. Or it could mean that it's distorted and overdriven.

Kat, if you can post a few seconds of audio as an example, we might be able to provide more help.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 02:02 PM   #15
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Re: Yes, I am an audio amatuer!

She mentioned that her microphone was very close to the talent, so I don't think echo is the issue here. My guess is that her camera mic also recorded sound, and what she's hearing are two audio tracks playing together, but out of phase with each other...hence the tin can effect.

Kat, if you see two audio tracks on your timeline, try muting them one at a time and see if that helps.
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