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Old September 8th, 2012, 09:31 AM   #1
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When audio just sounds bad?

G'day,

I try to watch community television (ie "C31" in Melbourne, Briz31 in Brisbane, etc), because for some reason I still hope to work in television, and figure I should support it...

But one thing that really annoys me when watching, is the quality of the audio of many productions.

Echo-y, tinny, sometimes even peaking...

What are these people doing wrong?

What are the best general pointers for recording good audio?


cheers n thanks

Travis
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Old September 8th, 2012, 10:27 AM   #2
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Re: When audio just sounds bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Wheaton View Post
But one thing that really annoys me when watching, is the quality of the audio of many productions.

Echo-y, tinny, sometimes even peaking...

What are these people doing wrong?
What most people do wrong IMHO is put all their effort into the video and think that the audio will just miraculously take care of itself. This attitude often results in mic-on-camera audio. Perhaps the worst place in the world for a microphone to be.
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Old September 8th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #3
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Re: When audio just sounds bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Wheaton View Post
What are the best general pointers for recording good audio?


cheers n thanks

Travis
Not to be a smart a$$ but the best pointer is to learn how to record good audio. Just like getting good video, every situation has it's unique challenges. In getting good basic video you first concentrate on focus, exposure, and composition. For audio the number on biggest problem most beginners face probably is mic placement. You can get good basic audio with proper mic placement and setting proper levels.

People are willing to spend hours reading and testing techniques to capture good video but they think buying a neat mic and sticking it on their camera will get them good audio. Just like with video, it takes practice and you should be making audio tests just as you do camera tests. I'm DP for a project where we are shooting a game of Warewolves (about 10 players and one moderator). Along with 6 cameras running simultaneously, our production sound department head is running lavs on each person as well as a couple of cardioid mics possibly overhead or low as backups and to help her fill in to layer the sound in post. Along with our camera tests she's been running sound tests so that we can get the best sound possible.

Another thing that helps is to treat your room to eliminate those nasty hot area where you get spikes. Can't always do it for visual reasons, but a little here an there can really help.
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Old September 8th, 2012, 12:47 PM   #4
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Re: When audio just sounds bad?

This is why I got into video. The pathetic state of audio for video.

How do you get good audio?
Shoot/record in a place that isn't hostile to sound.
Use the right microphone(s)
Put them in the proper place.
Have at least one dedicated, experienced crew person whose job is the audio track.

Each of those seems very simplistic at first glance. But there are whole books that could be written to fully expand on each concept.
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