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Old August 30th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #1
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Can anyone help with these vows?

I did a wedding last Friday night, and using my Senn EW100 wireless, this is a sample of the vows I captured:

http://www.danielwilliam.com/vowsample_1-2.wav

It sounds way off to me... not as clear as it should. I setup the mic the same way I do at every other wedding, and it has always sounded great. Can anyone tell me what I might have done wrong with this one?

I think it sounds kind of tinny, and like it's clipping a little. But, I'm fairly inexperienced with audio, so I'm not sure. One thing that could have contributed is that the groom was miced by the sound guy as well, with his audio being broadcast through big speakers positioned near the guests, and it was a bit loud. Could I be getting some feedback from that audio in here?

Does anyone have any ideas how I might clean this up and make it sound better, or is it a loss?

Thanks much!
Dan
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Old August 30th, 2006, 02:41 PM   #2
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It's clipping, but it's hard to say why. Sometimes low batteries on a transmitter will cause clipping when it wouldn't with a set of fresh batts.

There's a few places in the chain when things can be overdriven. I'd look at each one.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 03:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, and thanks for checking out the audio clip. I did drop in fresh batteries before the ceremony, so that wasn't it. Could feedback from the speakers have contributed to this at all, or is that a shot in the dark? It just seems odd that 3 of the last 4 weddings, the vows came out perfect, and I didn't do anything differently for this one.

Is the clipping bad in your opinion? Would you be embarrased to show this to the couple? Would it be feasible to approach the groom and ask to re-read his vows? I think it would be unprofessional, but then again, dropping clipped vows in the video is also unprofessional.

Audio is so important to the video, and I really wish I would have done a better job with these vows.

Dan
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Old August 30th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #4
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There are some audio restoration plugins that "unclip" audio recordings (and removes pops and scratches and stuff). You might click around and see what's available these days.

(I have no experience with these, and haven't gone shopping for restoration plugs, so I can't offer anything specific.)
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Old August 30th, 2006, 03:11 PM   #5
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There is a definite frying noise is the background as if the signal received signal is weak but there also seems to be some distortion so I would guess that the problem is interference - probably from the other guy's wireless i.e. the channel he selected was close to the channel you selected. It could be from another source as well or it could be just a weak signal but that's unlikely given that the batteries were just replaced.'

The first thing to try to do to get rid of this is use noise reduction software in an NLE or DAW. This may reduce the noise somewhat but will not do much against the distortion but it's worth a try.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 03:21 PM   #6
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I don't think it sounds like clipping. It sounds a little "hashy" like the result of poor reception and the signal to noise ratio isn't good. It might be the result of him wearing two transmitters. When two transmitters are very close to each other physically they tend to interfere with transmission even though they are on different frequencies. If he had them both on the same hip or both in the small of his back that would definitely shorten your clean reception range.
I think it can be cleaned with noise reduction and EQ.
I don't detect any extra pickup of the PA, so perhaps your transmitter input gain was set low. That could also account for some of the poor signal to noise and it would be about the only way to not pickup the loud PA in relation to the groom's voice. Once the PA had leaked into your signal, it would keep the same relation to his direct voice no matter how you set your other levels and I don't hear any of that.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #7
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I looked at the waveform and it doesn't look clipped. The highest peak I registered, -9.9db at the word 'heart' is within acceptable range of digital audio. The hiss seems like weak signal reception as was mentioned. The audio does sound a bit hot and could be the officiant's voice is overdriving the mic element slightly. Your level meters won't tell you that so that's why you always have to monitor the audio quality with headphones.

I used some tools in Soundtrack Pro to take a noise sample then applied noise reduction. A noise gate at around -45 threshold cleaned up the remaining hiss between phrases.

I'd say it's very salvagable especially with a little music bed under it to mask things a bit.

-gb-
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Old August 30th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #8
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Greg, is there any way you can outline the steps a bit more for what you did to clean the noise up in Soundtrack? Just something basic, if you don't have time for a step-by-step, as I don't have much experience in Sountrack Pro at all.

So, having two wireless transmitters near each other can create interference even on different channels? I didn't know that. He had one in the rear left pocket, and the other in the rear right pocket, so was that close enough?

So it seems it's sounds more like interference than clipping. This wedding was in a big reception location with 1 other wedding happening at the exact same time, and one just ending when this one started, plus 2 receptions and a corporate banquet. At any given time during my ceremony, there might have been about 10-20 wireless transmitters going, including the 5 for my ceremony alone (groomx2, minister, guitarist and singer).

I was using the ME2 lav mic and SK100G2 transmitter set at -10db sensitivity. Should I have set that higher or lower? I know it's dependent on the grooms voice and other noises and such. Is there a better lav mic you can recommend? This would have been a good circustance to have an iRiver/GS mic on the groom. Wouldn't have worried about interference at all then.

Thanks everyone for the advice and opinions! I love this board... there are so many professionals willing to help others, and I think it's great.

Dan
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Old August 31st, 2006, 09:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Shallenberger
So, having two wireless transmitters near each other can create interference even on different channels? I didn't know that. He had one in the rear left pocket, and the other in the rear right pocket, so was that close enough?
It is possible for one transmitter to effect another if enough rf is coupled from the antenna of one into the audio input of the other. While the rf levels might be high enough at the transmitter site of an FM or TV station if the design is poor it is unlikely that the 50 mw from one wireless transmitter would couple tightly enough to the audio circuit of the other especially since these devices, designed to be used near rf transmiters, are sheilded and bypassed to prevent this happening. OK, a sheild could break or a bypass circuit fail but it's unlikely. What is more likely is that the other transmitter was on a channel adjacent to the one you used and close enough to your receiver that your receiver's selectivity was insufficient to reject it completely. Simply choosing another channel would probably have prevented this problem. At the risk of sounding preachy, this is an excellent example of why it is so important to monitor sound with headphones during setup.
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