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Old April 17th, 2019, 05:54 AM   #1
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Outdoor Audio: Too much of the city in nature!

I transferred from Colorado to Florida where I left the mountains for the city and I am having a hell of a time recording outdoor nature w/o all the “sounds” (hum, traffic, people, plains, etc,) associated with any people packed locations.

This is my portable setup: Sennheiser MKE600 Shotgun, plus a few other shotguns that I use wire/wireless.

As with my other post, this might have to be something that I handle in post, but I have no experience with post editing software options. I edit all my video in Adobe Premiere.
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Old April 17th, 2019, 08:44 AM   #2
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Re: Outdoor Audio: Too much of the city in nature!

In most nature shows, the sounds (ambient and otherwise) are added in post, from sound libraries or audio only recording expeditions. Usually very little of the actual location sound is used.
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Old April 17th, 2019, 02:20 PM   #3
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Re: Outdoor Audio: Too much of the city in nature!

What Rick said if you can't get unpolluted audio. I shoot in the north GA mountains and have to be very patient to capture clean audio due to commercial airliner flight paths into ATL and military aircraft which train there. freesound.org can be very helpful but be sure to abide by recording artist's usage permissions.
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Old April 18th, 2019, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: Outdoor Audio: Too much of the city in nature!

I guess the question in my mind is the sound keyed to the video; e.g, bird songs of a bird in the image that is up close and personal (i.e., need to sync with the movement of the beak and head), or just background ambience.

People packed location sound might be important to video depicting wildlife in an urban setting. An occasional overhead jet might fit the everglades.

It all depends on the audio message you want to convey with the images.

I use programs like Adobe Audition to edit sound in post if I need something beyond what my NLE and its plug-ins can readily do.
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Old April 18th, 2019, 07:38 PM   #5
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Re: Outdoor Audio: Too much of the city in nature!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
In most nature shows, the sounds (ambient and otherwise) are added in post, from sound libraries or audio only recording expeditions. Usually very little of the actual location sound is used.
Understood, but the whole premise of what I am doing IS about the location, and the sounds at the location I am at!
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Old April 19th, 2019, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: Outdoor Audio: Too much of the city in nature!

As said it is usually added in post but can still be recorded on location but you have to spend the time and effort to go out and capture the sound and that ususally has to be done withoout the camera as you can get closer and concentrate on getting the true audio soundscape and not just what is there at the camera position.

I have been a dubbing mixer in film and TV for over 25 years and apart from dialogue or speech and the odd spot sound effect I would generally add sound effects that were recorded as wild tracks or use my library sounds to post produce the soundscape required.

A good friend of mine is one of the top guys in the world for this and has done many award winning shows including the BBC Blue Planet show.

He spends months getting the correct sound to match the pictures and it is all done totally seperate as the camera has to be so far away from the action.

His web site is here: https://chriswatson.net

He also did a radio show on sound: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01qcldf
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Last edited by Gary Nattrass; April 19th, 2019 at 04:19 AM.
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Old April 22nd, 2019, 07:33 PM   #7
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Re: Outdoor Audio: Too much of the city in nature!

What sort of nature sounds are you after?

Sort of general ambience? Then you'll have traffic, etc.

A bird, a babbling brook, or something? Maybe try a more directional mic. I'm a big fan of the Sanken CS3e; it's great at rejecting off-axis sound. And it still sounds fairly natural (it's tuned for dialog). So I --think-- it'd help you grab the sound of a bird (if you're fairly close) and reject the noise of the bus driving nearby (it sure does that for vox pops near busy streets).

Have you asked in any nature sound recording forums? Lots of people share their experiences on those places; I'd bet a whole bunch have figured out how to get something similar to what you want in situations similar to yours.
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Old Yesterday, 11:12 AM   #8
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Re: Outdoor Audio: Too much of the city in nature!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Sgaraglino View Post
Understood, but the whole premise of what I am doing IS about the location, and the sounds at the location I am at!
What exactly is it about the sounds at the location?
It is rather a different approach if your premise is:

1) "Look at this oasis of nature so close to your neighborhood and our city. Go out and enjoy it."
or
2) "Civilization is getting closer and closer to our remaining natural spaces. Lets protect them."

In the case of (1) remember that our ear-brain system quickly adapts to "foreign" sounds when we are enjoying the space. Unless you are shooting in Central Park NYC or something, human-caused noise is semi-automatically "tuned out" by the visitor. In much the same way that your eye-brain system quickly adapts to an extremely wide variation in illumination (a single candle in pitch darkness at 100s of yards), to direct sunlight at equinox on the equator. And the eye automatically adapts to color temperature from dim candle-light to bright arctic ice and snow.

In my book, it is OK to "cheat" and use more isolated sounds. Whether from stock libraries, Foley, or actually recorded at the site. THe referenced video shows a very common practice that the recorded audio tracks are almost NEVER recorded at the same time as the video. And virtually NEVER from the position of the camera. You don't necessarily have to record the sounds at the most busy time of the location. And you certainly would not try to record nature sounds from any location that makes a good position for a camera. There are no "zoom lens" microphones. (Including your shotgun).

OTOH, if you have situation (2), then maybe it is appropriate to include the human-caused environmental sounds to "illustrate" how we need to protect our open, natural spaces even as civilization and development continue to expand. Remember that microphones DO NOT pick up sounds like our ear-brain systems work. So going in close to record individual sounds of leaves rustling, brooks babbling, birds chirping, etc. is NOT "cheating", at least IMHO.

Here is a very good video about a studio that does a lot of nature production...

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