Post processing audio - workflow 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 June 5th, 2013, 04:07 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY, NY USA
Posts: 466
Post processing audio - workflow

Hi,

I am about to work on my audio and I don't know how to handle the process. Maybe someone can help me out. I am using Final Cut X and edited a piece where multiple people speak, separately (different locations). I need to normalize the audio and fix minor things such a little bit of background noise for some interviews and taking a clap out. I have Adobe Audition and Izotope RX. What steps do I take? Do I first normalize? If so, how? in Final Cut X or do I export all audio and import to Audition and normalize there then take it to Izotope to denoize? Can someone help?

Thanks
Kathy Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 05:19 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Audition is a far more capable program and I suggest you use it for everything. This might help: FCP X: Send Audio to Audition to Mix

I've never used Izotrope.
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 06:02 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY, NY USA
Posts: 466
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Sareesh,

Izotope is Audio repair software which is way more capable than Audition. But it's for fixing audio so I need to use it at some point. I want to use Audition for other things such as Normalize
Kathy Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 06:08 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY, NY USA
Posts: 466
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Also, the question I have is how does one let's say fix the noise if the audio clips are all different. One is from one person speaking in one location the other one is another person speaking. Do you have to open them individually?
Kathy Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 07:37 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,359
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Audition can work on just the selected portion of a file. So if you know accurately where the different audio sections start and end, within the larger file, you can process each section individually. This would give you the advantage of being able easily to compare the various sections against one another.
Greg Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 08:33 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,124
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Be careful with normalisation - remember that all it's doing is bringing up the loudest point to a preset level, so it doesn't mean it will mix well. A busy soundtrack with plenty of background noise may well sound louder than a bit of speech with no background noise. If you, for instance, bring in a complete CD into an editor, if you normalise each track separately, some will sound quiet, others loud - depending on the content and genre. Use it with care.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 08:34 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY, NY USA
Posts: 466
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

How do you get a noise profile for each section if all you have is already edited audio? Do you have to open the room tone audio file for each section as a separate file?
Kathy Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 08:39 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY, NY USA
Posts: 466
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Be careful with normalisation - remember that all it's doing is bringing up the loudest point to a preset level, so it doesn't mean it will mix well. A busy soundtrack with plenty of background noise may well sound louder than a bit of speech with no background noise. If you, for instance, bring in a complete CD into an editor, if you normalise each track separately, some will sound quiet, others loud - depending on the content and genre. Use it with care.
That's why I need to normalize the complete mixed audio (without soundtrack) so one person is not super loud and next one super low. Right? Is this not what normalize is used for? And if so at which point do I normalize before noise removal or after?
Kathy Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 10:25 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Why don't you use the Izotope RX plugin and do everything within Audtion.. You don't 'have to' use the stand alone version.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Normalization might get you closer, but it is not a mix. IIRC, in audition it can only be applied to individual clips. Just to clarify, applying a normalize filter will find the peak level in a file, determine the amount of gain required to bring that peak to a predetermined (by you) level, then apply that amount of gain to the whole clip. Useless for loud and soft sources in one clip...

It is occasionally useful, but is not a primary mixing technique at all. If you've read or heard that Normalize is a primary tool for mixing in professional workflows, that's wrong info. Seemed like legions of internet contributors were sharing this technique a few years ago...

When you have your edit over in audition, it should have come over with the audio still in clips. (I don't know how capable FCPX to Audition transfer is...)

Separate those clips into tracks for processing and mixing. E.g. Bob is loud. Put all his dialog for scene 3 on track 1. Jane is quieter, put her dialog on track 2. Use the track-level volume controls to rough-in your mix. Do that for the whole project. Next pass you can touch the individual clip gains to make sure that Bob is at the same level from clip to clip; this can be super-fast work, because you'll do more and finer passes later, after you have music, vo and effects.

BTW, you REALLY need to be listening on reference monitors. Headphones lie. Speakers for home entertainment lie. Reference monitors don't.

Noise reduction is another tool that some internet contributors will claim that they use on every friggin' clip. I don't know where they get the time. In pro workflows "Noise reduction" starts with location planning, quickly followed by good boom work, lav placement, and other good mic and recording techniques. On-the-camera mics (shotgun or not!) are next-to-useless in collecting quality audio, they're typically OK for ambient sound, that's about it. A microphone that is hearing a lot of background sound is usually distant from the desired source, and is therefore hearing a lot of indirect sound too, that is, the dialog bounced off ceilings, floors, walls, etc.

But this is the 21st century and we have the technology for N.R. Really it's only been about 10 or 12 years, somehow we managed without it for the previous hundred years.

N.R. can certainly be a lifesaver, but it is timeconsuming, and frequently when you've really gotten a silent background your dialog sounds underwater. The point here is that it is very difficult to pull voices out of background when the original recording was indirect, but N.R. can reduce background in an otherwise good and direct voice recording.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 956
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Seth - that reply was a very good read. But it got me thinking.

After reading all that it begs the question: "What could one get for a starting monitor?"

After reading an article Studio monitor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia about monitors I'm really overwhelmed. This isn't the first time I've read the article but this time it was more apropos.

Currently I'm using, umm....let's see, do I really want to admit this?, a pair of computer speakers, and not very good ones at that. After reading the above article and doing some Internet searching I'm finding there is a plethora of choices and the choice will depend a lot on what the video will be viewed on, or better yet, listened to on.

One web site I went to says "We specialize in Studio Reference Monitors" and there was a huge list of over 30 manufacturers one could choose from. Within each manufacturer there were various models to choose from. And this is just for "Studio" monitors. Then, if the monitor isn't powered, one needs an amplifier, and who knows what else.

The good news is that next week we have our local Videographers Club meeting and there will be a professional sound/audio person there that can help provide support but I'm open for suggestions before then.

Thanks again for the informative post.
John Nantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2013, 09:33 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Like a lot of other items, monitor preference is subjective to a point. Most serious post engineers have multiple systems. Don't forget the room the monitors will be in.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2013, 10:14 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
Like a lot of other items, monitor preference is subjective to a point. Most serious post engineers have multiple systems. Don't forget the room the monitors will be in.
Rick is 100% right, but... Most video editors who are working on better post sound will take things one step at a time.

Understanding the acoustical space you're editing in, and in some cases treating that space can be very important too. A space that reverberates at certain frequencies (this is common!) will negatively influence at least your EQ settings.

But how are you going to get a toehold on a slippery slope, so that you can get to the first plateau, understanding that there is another mountain behind the one you're on?

Moving from headphones or entertainment speakers to decent near-field studio monitors is the first step, and, unless one is mixing in a horrible space, the most important step.

At a guess, you'll be into it for somewhere between $200 (used) to $2000 USD to start. A self-powered bi-amplified speaker with a 5 to 8" low-frequency driver.

Yes, there are so many brands! And now that I think about it, this is one area of our industry that Chinese manufacturing hasn't totally taken over, maybe because it's a small market. Lots of info about people's experience and preferences on this site, "Search" is your friend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
...After reading the above article and doing some Internet searching I'm finding there is a plethora of choices and the choice will depend a lot on what the video will be viewed on, or better yet, listened to on...
This is true. But maybe not as true as you might think. Certainly if you're mixing music for commercial release, or mixing film for theatrical distribution there are specific requirements. For most of us it would be most economical to meet those requirements by working with a studio that specializes in mixing & mastering for those markets.

But, again, for first steps, (affordable) decent monitoring *should* improve listening for all. That's really the point of reference monitors, to develop a mix that sounds good in most/all playback situations.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 956
Re: Post processing audio - workflow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Rick is 100% right, but... Most video editors who are working on better post sound will take things one step at a time.

Understanding the acoustical space you're editing in, and in some cases treating that space can be very important too. A space that reverberates at certain frequencies (this is common!) will negatively influence at least your EQ settings.
..... taking one step at a time. That's my kinda speed!

The acoustical space is one area of concern I've come across in my recent searches. I'll have to work on that to see what effect my workspace has.

Near-field monitors is where I'm headed because, for one reason, my room isn't that big. The $200 US and up for a pair of speakers seems to be another common statement found in a couple of my searches.

Some time back there was a thread here about hearing loss and how to compensate when editing audio. This seems to be one area that is not discussed much but in my case I've recently found that my hearing is not quite what it used to be. The audio-editors ears, in my case, is a weak link. Besides the acquisition of a couple monitors I'm going to have to figure out how to deal with my hearing issue. This will be for another day. First the monitors.
John Nantz 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 03:49 PM.


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