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Old September 2nd, 2012, 05:28 PM   #16
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

As far as I can recall, this the first time our esteemed friend from Canada (Steve) has mentioned specific video gear.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 05:49 PM   #17
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

Maybe it's because audio is considered dull boring and not 'immediate'. People shoot a little video and slap it up for comment because they've just discovered something (even if it was originally discovered years ago then forgotten). Audio stays relatively static and the only really exciting thing was when they invented CDs and digital sound. We can use a 60 year old microphone and still be amazed by what it can capture in the right hands. Nobody now would d even want to use old video gear. We get excited by cameras, lenses and even camera supports - but start a discussion on microphones and nobody even wants to join in. People can detect soft focus and poor resolution so easily, but with sound, the usual repost is they didn't like it. I think I'm actually guilty of this too. In the sound department it's so easy to use pre-existing material than creating it yourself. We use sound effects, and even Foley techniques to convince people it's real, when we could go and record the real thing. Few people do - we just reach for the things to hand. Video people could use library material, but don't - they enjoy the shooting. I do lots of sound, but rarely seem to actually enjoy it? Strange.

Video is always open for comment and criticism - in 2012, we can tut tut at people producing in 720 instead of bigger formats, and we've forgotten that only a few years ago we had what? 240 lines of resolution! We moan and groan about DSLRs and 4K resolution when the reality is many of us really are technicians not photographers. My friend can take pictures that are simply stunning with any old camera or phone. Maybe mine are technically better, but his are the ones you get drawn to. I suspect I'm better with sound and can produce both modern close miked material and do things like choirs and orchestras justice because I can hear what sounds good. When I'm mixing live sound I can balance to the audiences needs - so like this week, the mix for the 1200 old people was quite different from the mix for the younger audience in the evening. Same band, same singers but quite different. For many video people, good sound is simply the absence of bad sound - and that is that!


I think the simple test is to look at a product you've edited recently. If the sound consists of transitions and the occasional fade out or fade in then you're not a sound person. If your sound means more than two tracks of audio and you actually added eq and you used the faders or elastic bands throughout, then you are.

I love to look at colleagues timelines - you see the layering and effects added to the video track, yet see the audio as simply one track with a few cuts and no processing at all.

How many topics saying "what video effect was used here?" I've never seen anybody ask about compression, limiting, graphic vs parametric eq, soundstage and panning, delay and reverberation, let alone the other audio sweetening tricks.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 06:13 PM   #18
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

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Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
As far as I can recall, this the first time our esteemed friend from Canada (Steve) has mentioned specific video gear.
Actually was just reminiscing about some classic still equipment from the good old days of (gasp) film and wet-chemistry printing in an actual darkroom.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 07:21 PM   #19
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

Geeze, the posts are coming in faster than I can make any replies but let me start here and I'll get to the others when I can:
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Originally Posted by Greg Bellotte View Post
See John, there is your answer...after three really good responses look how many mentions of camera/lights/meters creep in for this question about audio. picture picture picture....thats all some people can think about.
Well, it's okay to read some other viewpoints. As someone who was heavy into stereo for years and paid a premium for "quiet" and "the least noise possible", perhaps I'm more in tune, or more sensitive, when it comes to audio. I've been accused of being a perfectionist but I don't see it that way, I like to do a good job and "get it right." If the visual sense is part of the information transmission, so is the audio sense, and a good combination of the two will lead to a greater sense of the message being transmitted.

One of my books, "Final Cut Pro X," Brenneis & Wohl, Chapter 11, page 260, starts out with a few statements:
Editing your picture is only half the story. Your sound is just as important. In fact, a famous movie editor once quipped that sounds is two-thirds of the picture." This is where I got my thread title from.

The next thing they say is "While your picture carries the information about what's happening on-screen, the sound carries the emotion. The inflection of someone's voice often tells more than the words [they] are saying, and similarly, music and sound effects can often completely redefine how your viewers understand a scene..... if seeing is believing, hearing is feeling."

As I see it, good audio will pick up what you want picked up and sound like you think it should sound. Years back, like I mentioned, I was trying to tape and copy the sound of alpine skis with someone skiing (me) so I could use them in a radio commercial. I did a lot of takes but could never get the sound that I wanted. I tried everything, holding a mic, strapped the mic to my leg, etc., but it never sounded like it should and, consequently, never got used.

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Originally Posted by Greg Bellotte View Post
Audio is one of those things that is easy to learn but a lifetime to master, but most think since it is so easy that it will happen on its own. Not so, audio acquisition must be constantly monitored for good results and you just can't do that while running the camera. I mean, would you EVER consider running a camera without looking through the viewfinder?? Sound without headphones, a brain to listen, and a hand free to adjust is the same thing! The best solution is a separate sound guy but it's funny how NO ONE thinks that is a justified expense. I've seen so many spend MORE on the "magic plugin" or re-take sessions than it would have cost for the sound guy in the first place. And why does buying a new kind of mic always seem like the most suggested solution? Sometimes its not the kit, its just plain old how you use it.
Several people have commented about the need for a separate person to handle the sound and for most situations that would be true, and that would be really nice, but in my situations that isn't possible because I'm a hobbyist and not making any money on this so I can't justify it. In one case, on a sailboat with two people on board, there is no room for a sound man (person) and still be able to photograph the other person.

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Originally Posted by Greg Bellotte View Post
So back to your original thought...WHY is audio giving you fits? I know a lot of us don't really share the "secret sauce" too often but most audio issues are pretty easy to overcome if given a little effort.
I've been on the lookout for additional mics. Something for voice, instrument (piano and accordion), choir, and for use on a sailboat (35-ft with only two people on board. Me and my significan other). Another project is to help do something to support the environment but I don't know what that would be yet but a creek will definitely be one of the subjects and the Poulsbo Marine Science Center another. A friend of mine is a manager there and I want to help him promote it.

My immediate projects:

Piano Recording, string instrument.
Video record some piano playing on both an upright and a grand. The musician is almost 12 years old and the pianos are both in homes. This isn't a performance situation as in a recital so multiple takes and sound tests can be done. I just acquired a used mic stand with a boom so this can be used with one of my mics. However, musicians have their own ideas as to what mics provide good sound reproduction, but the dilema is to find a good bang-for-the-buck mic and then the next step is to figure out how to properly use it.

Accordion Recording, reed instrument.
The same thing applies here as above but this instrument has it's own challenges, one of which the audio comes from two sides of the instrument. There are mics for amplifying the sound internally but there are difficulties here, namely caused by "hot spots". There isn't much room inside the accordion box so the reeds aren't equidistant from any mic(s) placed internally. There are two other options, both external mics. One is a pair of small mics mounted to the base of the instrument and these are specifically designed for the accordion. The other is to just use a mic on a stand and that's the route I plan to go. However, what is a good mic for a reed-type instrument? and how should it be used?

Choir (see my other post on this at How much applause to retain in recording? ), post #7 and #20
I've started looking for a video recorder and for about $200US the Tascam DR-40 seems like something that might work. Just started looking at options yesterday but this one has two features: Locking XLR cable inputs and a backup recording. The mics also move for X-Y and A-B use. I'm not a fan of all-in-one instruments because if something breaks you've lost everything and one can't upgrade in pieces. In the case of a recorder with mics, I can't see how the mics can be as good as the separate ones I've got or will get, but I'm sure there is probably a time and a place where the built-mics would be useful.

Sailboat videos
This would mostly be done on-board the boat. A 35-foot boat has a small cockpit and this will create a real challenge. There are all kinds of noises that will be picked up in the audio, ones that you don't want, and until it is played back you'll never notice. I suspect this will be a work in progress for some time. Trial-and-error type work. Wind will definitely be an issue and inclement weather or flying salt-water spray will add to the difficulty mix.

Environmental videos
I don't have a story line for this yet, but I would like to find a way to support their web site and their mission with some video. Poulsbo Marine Science Center There are other environmental areas I would like to support including a local creek. Again, no story line yet but capturing the sounds of nature and putting in some dialog, interview or narration, would seem appropriate.

Rather than deal with all these at once in this thread it would be better to tackle them one at a time as a approach them. For today and tomorrow, I'll do a take of the pianist with the upright using a boom mic and see how it goes. The mic I'll use will be the Sennheiser ME-64 because I've got all the XLR cables to go to the camera for it.

The Rode Stereo VideoMic has a mini plug and I don't have an adapter for it so I can't place it near the piano. I'd like to see how both mics compare.

If I break this thread into it's parts I can post some subject matter videos that would help everybody see what I'm up against.

In the meantime I'll see about some other post replies.

For everybody, I do see that the things that go into creating audio are analogous to the tools in my roll-away tool box in the garage. I already have a few mics with assorted cables and adapters and I see this as just the beginning. The JuicedLink pre for the camera provides some ability to adjust incoming audio signals.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 08:07 PM   #20
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

James, I can really relate to what you wrote. Change a few items and that could be me.

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Originally Posted by James Kuhn View Post
I recently began this journey(you can look-up my thread history), and being the visual guy that I am, getting the camera originally was my primary goal. Wow! What an eye-opener. After several emails to some of the very smart people here on DVInfo, I quickly found that 'video' is the easier part(notice I didn't say, "easy".).

My audio kit started with a Audio-Technica AT4053 Small Diaphragm Hypercardioid Condenser Microphone. Along with my A-T4053 and my Sony OEM on-camera shotgun I was content with my 'audio kit'. What's really funny, I thought I was all set to go. Heh, heh! What a neophyte I was(am).

My audio kit now consists of RODE NTG-3 Shotgun, CF Boom-pole, RODE Blimp, a pair of matched impedance AKG C451 b, matched pair of AKG C414 XLS, Sennheiser EW 100 G3 wireless kit, a Sound-Devices SD-302, and an Oade Bros. modified Marantz PMD-661 digital recorder. This is a "basic" kit. I don't say this is what you have to have, but it answers some of the technical issues I face in the field doing location interviews. I know most folks wouldn't have a need for 'matched stereo pairs' of microphones, but I plan on doing some live 'wooden music' recording.

Now, if you really want to go insane, start thinking about an LED field lighting kit. Heh, heh!
A couple years ago I was looking for a video camera. Been looking at getting one since the days of the black & white viewfinders, and not the flip-out ones, either. Then color viewfinders came out - had to have one. Things happened, video went HD and the guys in the store said it'd never happen with prosumer cameras. Other things happened, got sidetracked, and looked again. Now there was a Canon with both an eye level and a flip-out viewfinder and all solid state. I was talking to my son-in-law about getting it and he said, "Here, you can have this one." So, out the door I went and came home with a JVC HD-7 that shoots Full HD and 1440CBR (which is what I use). Little did I know what a neet little camera this was. Not quite the Canon I was looking at but hey, the price was right.

Fast forward a couple years and I've added nearly $3K in equipment to support the camera that didn't cost me anything. Fortunately almost all of this is used so I can tell my wife how much I've saved. And this doesn't even include the MacBook Pro, Mac Pro (2006 1,1), extra memory for both, FCPX software, Toast 11, a Pioneer Blu-ray burner. Are we having fun yet?

Except for the computer stuff I'd say that just about everything is to support the video: lighting and mic/sound gear. And part of this was three Cool Lights 600 LED panels with Manfrotto Avenger stands and gel kits for the panels. I've gelled them to as close as I can get them to daylight but there is still some green that shows up and if the scenes mix true daylight with the gelled daylight you can see a little difference. Color matching in post isn't my favorite thing. Oh, and my CF boom pole was shipped on Friday. This is a rush or what?

Almost got a used (but with all the boxes and paperwork) Sennheiser G3 a couple weeks ago but by the time I got approval from higher up it had sold. Then she said if I wanted it I could have got it! So far I'm all monaural except for the Rode Stereo VideoMic.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 11:26 PM   #21
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
I suspect that it's because although the 2/3 guide makes sense, audio is rarely given the same depth of study, skill development or practical comment.
My wife came home yesterday with a used book she bought from the Friends of the Library titled "Movie Making Course" and wondered if I could use it. It is written by Chris Patmore, copyright 2005, and in his words says he is a "writer specializing in creative technology. .... has worked as a photographer, began filmmaking in the late 70s, shooting Super 8..."

Although the book is titled "Movie Making Course" the author's background is more into animation than films with live actors.

NOTE: The book has 144 pages of which only six (6) are devoted to "Sound." Four pages in "The Shoot" and two pages in "Post-Production."

The author's closing remark in the first section is "Record everything you think you will need, as clearly as possible, but anything you miss can be added in post-production (see pages...)." Hey, for someone getting started in video that's good to know. Well, isn't it???

So if you missed the spot where the bride says "I do" you can just add this in in post?

On the plus side, all kidding aside, for 50 cents the book is a good summary of the major areas of how to put a movie (video) together and provides a good overview. This is not what you need to help with audio but it does give audio a mention so if you got some you can check that box. I've got two audio-only books that total over 850 pages between them and they will help fill in the gap. Heck, even my FCPX quick start guide has more pages covering audio!

So, if this one book is any example you're right on.

Last edited by John Nantz; September 2nd, 2012 at 11:29 PM. Reason: added the part about the bride
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 12:10 AM   #22
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

Hi James. I had no problem at all with the "hijack", but rather thought it emphasized the point of picture priority over audio and how easily audio gets lost or ignored. I'm never one to criticize where things are said or "please use the search" on forums-I rather like the discussions no matter where they seem to lead.

I love Paul's quote "good audio is the absence of bad audio", but that certainly isn't the end of the story. And I guess you really have to be passionate about sound to be an audio guy as most are not willing to put in the multitude of little efforts that string together to make good sound. The medium does contain both pictures and sound, and I have always felt they both need to be good. Yes good sound is tedious sometimes, but no matter how good the pictures bad sound always seems to spoil them. And yes you are right, most shooters are "technicians"...and all that entails. :-)

So John, you've got quite the list of projects! Quite the difference from a few pals that can't ever think of anything to shoot... The advice i give out most frequently is about mic positioning. It's been said that a cheap mic near a sound source will ALWAYS sound better than an expensive mic far away. I'm a big fan of close micing most things. Once you have the "in your face" sound element cleanly its always easy to go back and add other ambient elements back in. This method gives a lot of control for creating a sum of exactly what you want to hear and nothing else, but yes it takes some time to layer it all up. In the old days it was always a dance to squeeze it all into 4 or 8 tracks and keep it synced up with the picture. GarageBand and Final Cut make it so much easier, add all the tracks you want and audio takes much less horsepower than video.

I think you'll find that the Rode SVM will be a little too sensitive to place close to the piano and may overload, or overload your camera input. The ME64 on a boom will probably work fine, just open the lid and point it down into the strings. We use a lot of ME64/66/67 for general recording they seem to be pretty versatile although I personally find the low end a little lacking most of the time, well when compared to other mics like a MKH-416 for instance. If you have a dynamic mic to try you may find it has better low end. I never think of a mic as being "wrong" for a purpose, rather some just sound much better than others in a given location.

Hey don't forget that audio is VERY subjective, I always say ask 10 audio guys the same sound question and you'll get at least 12 answers... :-)
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 12:28 AM   #23
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

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Originally Posted by Greg Bellotte View Post
Hey don't forget that audio is VERY subjective, I always say ask 10 audio guys the same sound question and you'll get at least 12 answers... :-)
But EVERYBODY in your audience will know bad sound when they hear it. And no matter how beautiful your video is, bad audio will knock down the perception of your production by several notches.
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 12:50 AM   #24
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
...I've never seen anybody ask about compression, limiting, graphic vs parametric eq, soundstage and panning, delay and reverberation, let alone the other audio sweetening tricks.
Well...I'd like to know about some of these things but don't know the questions to ask...
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 01:05 AM   #25
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

And also...seeing I've been using skilsaws and miscellaneaous other machinery for 45 years - often times without earmuffs - but not lately, I've lost the top end of my hearing...at least I think that's all I've lost but who knows...sometimes can't hear some birds or such like that others hear...

Sooo...when I come to do audio stuff...meaning editing audio, I wonder at times what I'm missing...and if it will be noticed...

And...given the above, whether it is better for me to use headphones than listen on speakers as everyone advises...

Last edited by Renton Maclachlan; September 3rd, 2012 at 06:18 AM.
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 02:05 AM   #26
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

Hey Renton

There are times also when you have a situation where you simply have to do the best you can and that certainly doesn't mean, forget all the audio gear and record from the camera's internal mic!!

Our magnificent cathedral here is a joy to film in and a nightmare for audio...sorta 30 metre high smooth marble walls and huge windows and the PA system the priest uses makes for instant reverb...you can hardly understand what he is saying as the sound bounces off everything (including the marble floor)

Some audio situations are really a lot tougher than the video side!! I try and mic as much as I can and as close as I can and it does make a difference....but when you get a bride that insists on being at one with nature and standing as close as possible to a waterfall, it's pretty tough to get clear audio.

Being able to record frequencies from 20 - 20,000 hz is probably not as important as getting audio that is background noise free so a piano recital with the guy in the street using a jack hammer isn't going to worry about whether you captured those delicate notes in the upper range but rather that you didn't capture the guy breaking up the concrete outside.

Most PC speaker systems (sorta sub with two units) have a decent frequency range and those are usually adequate but headphones are great if the missus to watching a noisy movie in the next room.

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Old September 3rd, 2012, 02:38 AM   #27
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

I've always noticed that many of the excellent videos we see are nearly mono! You see pictures of things that really should have location based sound - I saw one the other day taken a theme park, where to the right of the picture was an old fashioned carousel, and to the left, a dodgem car ride - both of these make very different and identifiable sounds. In the middle was a presenter. It was pretty obvious the camera had two channels - one for the radio mic receiver and one for the local sound from the camera's built in mic. An ideal example of where a location recorder could have produced a really interesting stereo sound field - where, listening carefully with your eyes closed, you could have pointed to the location in the frame where the sources really were. Stereo sound, with the presenter mixed central. So few videos feature stereo sound, most are plain and simple mono. Of course, you then get into tricky territory - if the camera pans to follow the presenter, what happens to the sound? Does it change perspective to match, or remain the same? Loads of new challenges. Few video people have experience of recording in stereo. X/Y, A/B or even M/S? Rycote style windshields with stacked directional and fig 8 patterns, and field mixers or recorders with M/S matrix monitoring for headphones. It takes practice to hear the difference between X/Y and A/B, and A/B with cardioids vs A/B with omnis! It's only been a year since plugins that could remove reverberation were announced - previously reverb was accepted as a problem that could not be solved. Many people can't describe the differences between reverb and echo, and others can't hear compression at all. I use Premiere, and in the very basic audio mixer section often see no adjustments have been made to pan positions, and no eq at all!

Sound recordists who edit, always seem to use the audio facilities, yet cameramen who edit do so to a much greater degree - and to be honest, despite my sound upbringing in studios and live sound, I'm frequently guilty of the same thing. After this topic started I looked at my rooms here. In the sound studio I have nice, large studio monitors, but in the edit suite I'm using very inferior loudspeakers for monitoring. I'm just as guilty of 'demoting' the importance of sound as others. I'm now going to make an effort to sort it!
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 10:12 AM   #28
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

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30 metre high smooth marble walls and huge windows and the PA system the priest uses makes for instant reverb...you can hardly understand what he is saying as the sound bounces off everything (including the marble floor)
This is just bad system design. It is possible to install sound reinforcement systems that do NOT excite all that mass of reverberant space while still maintaining good speech intelligibility in the nave.

Quote:
a bride that insists on being at one with nature and standing as close as possible to a waterfall, it's pretty tough to get clear audio.
And this is why we use clip-on or headset microphones that get the mic as close to the mouth as possible.

Quote:
I've never seen anybody ask about compression, limiting, graphic vs parametric eq, soundstage and panning, delay and reverberation, let alone the other audio sweetening tricks.
To be honest, of the several audio and audio for video forums I participate in, this is the one with the least activity. There are other audio for video forums that get 2-3x more traffic (i.e more questions asked and answered and discussed).
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 12:08 PM   #29
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

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Piano Recording, string instrument. Video record some piano playing on both an upright and a grand.
Much depends on:
* The instrument itself. How well does it "speak". What can you open/close to change the sound? And, of course, how good is it? Is it in tune, etc.
* The space where it lives. Is it a very dead (or very live) room? Is the upright against a reflective wall or heavy curtains, etc. Can you move it slightly?
* The microphone(s) you have available. Particularly what are their directional characteristics.
This is a great opportunity to experiment with different placements of the instrument and the microphone. While the player is practicing the piano, you can practice recording it.

Quote:
Accordion Recording, reed instrument.... audio comes from two sides of the instrument. There are mics for amplifying the sound internally ... a pair of small mics mounted to the base of the instrument and these are specifically designed for the accordion. The other is to just use a mic on a stand and that's the route I plan to go.
Only the player hears distinct "stereo" from the keys on the right and the bass/chord buttons on the left. The microphones inside or attached to the instrument are typically for reinforcement where you need a good isolated signal to achieve good gain before feedback through the house (and monitor) systems. But these are typically pretty bad for recording as they are way, way too close. At least if you are talking about the instrument as a solo performer and not just one of the layers of a larger ensemble.

Here again, experimenting with the microphone(s) available and the performance space is to your advantage.

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Choir
This is my specialty. Choirs are typically miced from overhead and from a microphone's "POV" that can "see" all the rows of the group in order to get a balanced perspective. I have several tall mic stands which are typically used for large groups (choirs and orchestras). Sometimes we also "fly" the microphone from a cable (a mechanical cable, not the mic cable) to get it in the right spot without having mic stands in the way. It wouldn't be impossible to get a decent choir recording with the built-in mics on a portable recorder (such as the popular Zoom H4n), but it would require putting the entire recorder up on a stand in the right place, and that removes monitoring and control from your reach. Several of the things I do are impromptu or "run-n-gun" and so I use stereo microphones or a co-incident pair of mics on the same stand.

Quote:
Sailboat videos
This is a very different situation, both because of the sound sources, and the hostile environment. Suggest looking up online information about how they do production (both video and sound) for "Deadliest Catch". According to one report, they are practically buying all new sound equipment every season because of the high mortality rate of the microphones, transmitters, etc in the salt-water environment.

Quote:
Environmental videos... Poulsbo Marine Science Center
Most of the sound that you hear on nature videos (including, or perhaps especially, underwater) is not recorded synchronously with the picture. It is created as part of the post-production editing process. There are specialists in nature-related "Foley" and they have all sorts of tricks for creating sounds that seem like they go with the picture. This is another fascinating field and there is some good info and examples available online. YouTube actually has a surprising number of good videos on production sound, sound design, Foley, ADR, and other production sound topics and techniques.

Last edited by Richard Crowley; September 3rd, 2012 at 01:37 PM.
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 02:37 PM   #30
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Re: If 2/3rds of good video is audio, how come there is only one Audio section?

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Maybe it's because audio is considered dull boring and not 'immediate'. People shoot a little video and slap it up for comment because they've just discovered something (even if it was originally discovered years ago then forgotten). Audio stays relatively static and the only really exciting thing was when they invented CDs and digital sound. We can use a 60 year old microphone and still be amazed by what it can capture in the right hands.
With regard to old microphones, in music the ads for old mics really toot the old and retro. If it has vacuum tubes, be it an amp or a mic, it's worth more than when it was new.

When CDs came out the were all the rage for cleaner sound. It's interesting that vinyl hasn't gone totally away and some claim there is more audio in vinyl than in CDs. For myself, I don't know anymore and I used to be really into it. Unfortunately, I, too, have lost some of my hearing on both ends of the spectrum but one thing I don't like, and never will, is "noise".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Video is always open for comment and criticism - in 2012, we can tut tut at people producing in 720 instead of bigger formats, and we've forgotten that only a few years ago we had what? 240 lines of resolution! We moan and groan about DSLRs and 4K resolution when the reality is many of us really are technicians not photographers. My friend can take pictures that are simply stunning with any old camera or phone. Maybe mine are technically better, but his are the ones you get drawn to.
With probably everything there is a point of diminishing returns. As products get improved there is always the desire to have that new one that saves work or captures whatever with better quality. I still have my old box camera from when I was a teenager and at the time the pictures looked pretty okay, but this was in the day of black & white TVs with screens that weren't even fully rectangle. Given the day and age, the results just fit in. A little later and I upgraded to an Argus C-3 (which I also still have) and Wow! I could FOCUS! Pictures could be taken in dimmer light and there was a flash. This was a definite upgrade, but not for long.

The next camera was a SLR by Yashica (almost an Exakta, though) with a 1.8 lens and in combination with the Weston Master V light meter I was able to take a much wider range of pictures. The Ultrablitz flash saved on flash bulbs. Slide film allowed one to throw up on a screen blazing color and the quality lens allowed for a sharpness that was never possible with the box camera. Buying film in 100ft rolls decreased cost. My last camera would be the Nikon Photomic T. Through the lens metering (no need to compensate for filters) and a what-you-see-is-what-you-get viewfinder. The camera had a huge range of possibilities and because it was versatile I held on to it for a long time. I tried 4 x 5s and 2-1/4 but the 35 was my medium.

Many years would pass before I got another camera, and that was somewhere around 2000. That was a span of 33 years - but I still had the Nikon for the "important" pictures and saved the digital one for the snap shots. Sadly, very sadly, I sold the Nikon a couple years ago and it was sad day in my life. Even though it hadn't seen a roll of film in many years, for what I got for it I should have kept it as a momento or a book end.

The main point I'd like to make is there is a point of diminishing returns in upgrading technology. The early moves in cameras each had significant improvements in quality and features but after the Nikon there really wasn't any "breakthroughs" until digital came along.

With video, it was a jump from Standard 8 to Super 8 (for home movies). I never considered the VHS cameras as they were too bulky and expensive for what you got and besides, I really hadn't been taking any videos anyway because the 8mm was too awkward. It really wasn't until after video went digital, with improvements, that I got back into it.

One can spend a whole lot of money for the best technical equipment but settling for something a little less can save a lot. When through-the-lens metering came along that was the "must-have" as far as I was concerned. After that it was very hard to justify any upgrade from a cost standpoint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
My friend can take pictures that are simply stunning with any old camera or phone. Maybe mine are technically better, but his are the ones you get drawn to.
Every once in a while I come across examples of what you're talking about, where someone just has some creative genius in looking at things in a different way. There was one guy who had pictures taken at car shows (street rods) and he could see the beauty in all kinds of angles, close-ups, and reflections, captured show-goers with their emotions, then put the whole thing together in short videos. Even the choice of background music was good. And all this on a cheap-o budget camera.

Maybe we get too wrapped up in the bells and whistles and miss the opportunity to think creatively. My wife with her simple digital camera often takes some very nice photos from an artistic perspective, be they flowers in the yard, a spiders web with dew drops in the morning, or kids and people. It's point-and-shoot camera but she doesn't mess with the gadget settings. Actually, come to think of it, there aren't many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
How many topics saying "what video effect was used here?" I've never seen anybody ask about compression, limiting, graphic vs parametric eq, soundstage and panning, delay and reverberation, let alone the other audio sweetening tricks.
Ummm... Talk about a lot of things to learn!

Here's my proposal to the administrators of this web site:
That we have a section for audio similar to that for some of the other sections - those that have a grey area with sub-topics. Like "Tapeless recording solutions" or "Support your local camera".

What do you think?
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