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Old September 13th, 2017, 02:02 AM   #1
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Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Hey guys,

I'm currently editing some footage with slightly muffled dialog audio from a lav mic that was placed under a thick jacket.

The audio isn't terrible, but you can hear that some of the higher frequencies have been lost. It was a rookie mistake but lesson learned.

I'm wondering if it's possible to make an improvement with EQ?

Audio editing really isn't my thing, so any info would be greatly appreciated! I've got access to the audio tools in Avid and Audacity.

Sample clip here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8J...ew?usp=sharing
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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:55 AM   #2
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Hi Jody,

Any basic audio programme should be able to improve the situation considerably. Not familiar with Avid, but as with most editing programmes the audio facilities should allow using a graphic to increase the mid and higher frequencies. Just play around with the frequencies until it sounds the way you want it, probably around the 8k range.

I have to ask the question as to why you placed the lav under a thick jacket in the first place as a few seconds viewing of any tv interview will give you an idea of lav placement? If you don't want a mic visible, you would be better off with a boom mic just out of shot. Lavs are small and inconspicuous so that they can be placed close to the sound source without dominating the frame.

Roger
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Old September 13th, 2017, 06:15 AM   #3
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Hi Roger

I put my lavs normally in between the groom's shirt and waistcoat on two triple folded pieces of gaffer tape either side of the mic ....very rarely do I need to have to boost the highs but usually around 4db at 5K is pretty much perfect.

I also might put it between the front and back pieces of the tie ....since doing that I simply don't ever get any wind hassles as most of our weddings are outdoors and there is always some sort of breeze!!
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Old September 13th, 2017, 07:56 AM   #4
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Hi Jody,

Any basic audio programme should be able to improve the situation considerably. Not familiar with Avid, but as with most editing programmes the audio facilities should allow using a graphic to increase the mid and higher frequencies. Just play around with the frequencies until it sounds the way you want it, probably around the 8k range.

I have to ask the question as to why you placed the lav under a thick jacket in the first place as a few seconds viewing of any tv interview will give you an idea of lav placement? If you don't want a mic visible, you would be better off with a boom mic just out of shot. Lavs are small and inconspicuous so that they can be placed close to the sound source without dominating the frame.

Roger
Thanks very much - I'll have a play with the EQ in Avid and see what happens.

As I said, rookie mistake. I've probably placed hundreds of lavs before so it's not a matter of inexperience. It was an outdoor IV, it was starting to rain, we were pressed for time and I was having issues with my shotgun mic cable... one of those days I think.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 09:56 AM   #5
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Hi Chris,

Personally I would never put anything over a lav apart from a dedicated wind shield, as anything else is just going to reduce upper end frequency input. If needs must, I would rather disguise it in a button hole or similar. I would also be concerned about any material of any sort touching on the lav due to noise from movement, apart from a properly fitting windshield.

But if it works for you then that is all that matters.

Hope you are keeping well by the way :-)

Roger
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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:45 PM   #6
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Aside from EQ, a high frequency stimulator / exciter can usually restore some lost high end. My favorites in the budget/free category are, the (Direct X) 'RGC Audio HF Stimulator' (modeled after the original Aphex Aural Exiter) and the (VST) 'Elogoxa X-cita' (modeled after the BBE Sonic Maximizer). Beware, a little goes a long way with either.
The best.. is not having to use any of the above (unless it's FX). When hiding mics under clothing, an unobstructed air path to the capsule should always be considered.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 06:31 PM   #7
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

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Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
Aside from EQ, a high frequency stimulator / exciter can usually restore some lost high end. My favorites in the budget/free category are, the (Direct X) 'RGC Audio HF Stimulator' (modeled after the original Aphex Aural Exiter) and the (VST) 'Elogoxa X-cita' (modeled after the BBE Sonic Maximizer). Beware, a little goes a long way with either.
The best.. is not having to use any of the above (unless it's FX). When hiding mics under clothing, an unobstructed air path to the capsule should always be considered.
Hah! The original Aphex Aural exciter, I had forgotten all about them. What a great piece of gear that was in it's day and one that I often made use of to brighten up studio recordings. The trouble with it was that your ears got used to it when mixing and the next morning you really noticed the over use and had to remix!

Roger
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Old September 14th, 2017, 09:20 AM   #8
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

I used the original Aphex way-back-when as well. (along with a Eventide 910 Harmonizer and other outboard gear of that time... not to mention editing with a grease pencil and razor blade).

"The trouble with it was that your ears got used to it when mixing and the next morning you really noticed the over use and had to remix!
- For sure Roger, the same with me on this side of the pond.
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Old September 14th, 2017, 10:18 AM   #9
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

I had an Aphex too and it had a very artificial effect as it made the harmonics scream off so it was like playing an NAB tape on a CCIR machine.

I think my Pro Tools has a plug in to do the same thing but I suppose it may not work as effective in the digital domain.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 12:02 AM   #10
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Hi Roger

Well thanks but a year older!! I was hesitant at first but we have howling Souwesters her in the afternoon and nothing spoils wedding vows like wind noise ...even with a foam windsock it causes major issues. Unless the groom has a bow tie then behind the tie works well too. You should try it in your off-season which will be coming up in a few months I guess. You might be surprised and a hidden lav even inside a Church looks far better than the lav on his jacket lapel with a big foam blob on it!! Yes you do lose a little output and highs but that's easy to adjust even in the field. I don't think I would ever consider using an exposed lav outdoors again .... How do you compensate for wind at an outdoor wedding ceremony??

This is a good video to watch
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Old September 16th, 2017, 01:04 AM   #11
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Thanks for that Chris. I like Izzy's work and that was very useful.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 11:45 AM   #12
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Really very useful info!
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Old September 17th, 2017, 06:24 AM   #13
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

The fastening methods in the video really do work too ...I tend to use the triple folded gaffer tape so I have a loose triangle that's sticky on both sides but still very flexible too. Sandwiching the tiny mic head between the tap works really well almost anywhere and gaffer believe it or not doesn't leave any residue on clothing!!
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Old September 17th, 2017, 02:34 PM   #14
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Hi Chris,

The number of outside weddings I film in the uk are a tiny proportion of the overall number. I've only had one totally out in the open wedding this year and there was only a very gentle breeze coming from behind them so no problem. Most of the so called outdoor weddings at our regular venues are in some sort of open but roofed over structure that can be protected if the weather changes, so they tend to shield the wind. Claire was filming in one a few weeks ago where the temperature reached over 100F. The Bride was close to fainting behind the protective glass screens.

The registrar's table is usually very close to the couple, so I have on some previous occasions put a mic in the flowers or clipped to the edge of the table.

Roger
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Old September 17th, 2017, 07:17 PM   #15
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Re: Audio EQ slightly muffled audio

Thanks Roger

Ours are totally opposite of course. Last season (ours runs September to June) I think I did a grand total of two Church wedding ceremonies and I still hid the mic as it makes for nicer ceremony photos.

I guess if 99% of the UK ones are indoors then you rarely have a wind issue. You need to try a wedding over here in a quaint old Church (that means no air conditioning) where the temp is running at a charming 42 degrees C in the shade (that's somewhat higher than 100) and the bride still insists that the guys wear black suits!!
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