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Old January 27th, 2003, 04:44 PM   #1
Tess Burke
 
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Audio noise on interview

Hi all,

I just did an interview with 5-6 people in a reasonably quiet environment. I used the onboard mic on my camera to capture the audio but found it a little hissy when l loaded it into my Mac. I'd like to cut out some of the noise and boost the sound.
I plan to take the audio track into Pro Tools and mess around with it in there. Any suggestions?
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Old January 27th, 2003, 04:46 PM   #2
Tess Burke
 
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Oops. I used my XL1 to record the interview with.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 06:41 PM   #3
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Suggestions? Next time have a wired mic close (within a foot or two) of the speaker when they speak. Directional mics are often better if ther is an ussue wiht background noise sources. A mic on a camcorder that is several feet from the speaker is NOT going to provide good sound.

Hiss may sound amplified if you are using headphoens.
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Old February 12th, 2003, 06:58 AM   #4
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I too use an XL-1 and found that by adding soft background music underneath the voice, the listener will automatically "tune out" the hiss. Use music containing string instruments (orchestrial arrangements) as this will better mask the hissing.
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Old February 15th, 2003, 07:01 AM   #5
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If you have Protools, you may also have the noise reduction plug-in that allows
you to sample the noise to be removed (hopefully you have a second or two
of "quiet" noise to sample, noise without people talking, chairs being banged etc.)

Best results are to sample and then take the noise out over several passes.
Don't try and get rid of it all at once.
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Old February 15th, 2003, 02:28 PM   #6
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noisey audio

You should NEVER be using that camera mike for anything but Nat Sound....even then, I;'d think twice. That being said, sound forge has a noise reduction plugin that reduces hiss and pops...also has notch(paramentric) EQ...that might help, but probably wont help with all the abience...just export the audio from the timeline, tweak it in Sound Forge, then re-imort the new file
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Old February 16th, 2003, 08:30 AM   #7
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The Cool Edit products from Syntrillium have similar filter options.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 11:55 AM   #8
Tess Burke
 
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Jacques - you were righ on target with thte noise reduction filter. Did a fantastic job by clearing out the low noise in the background. Also equalized a little and the sound came out clear. And with a low music soundtrack as suggested by Steve the sound is great. Thank you for your suggestions

I realize that other mics would be 'ideal' to use but I am a small independent just starting out doing all I can with what I have. Using a product like Pro Tools works for me now until I have the dollars to buy better mics.

Cheers.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 02:26 PM   #9
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Hi Tess,

I'm glad Protools came to the rescue. One thing you may want to consider
is making an extension cable(s) for your XL1 mic.

You need two cables to do this. The first is an 1/8" stereo
mini female to stereo mini male. You'll also need another female to
male extender cable, I *think* it is 3.5 mm. That one carries the phantom power to the mic.

Even an extra ten or sixteen feet will get you that much closer
to the sound source and get the mic off the camera which is a big
culprit in producing (motor) noise.

You'll need a mic stand and clip, but the total cost is much less
than buying a mic, stand, mic cable and MA-100.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #10
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audio hint

for recording 5-6 people in a field setting there are a few options rather than use a camera mounted mic:
get a small mixer and someone to operate it...behringer makes a little field mixer for about $100....then slap a lav on everyone.

another option is to put a good shotgun or cardiod on a boom, and have a boom pole operator...then you just need one mic. CONTROL and direct the folks in the shot so that your boom op can get to everyone, if at all possible.....cross banter will drive your boom op crazy.

you can tack a lav between every other person and mix that way..then you only need half as many lavs.

you can use a couple of cheap piezos, they can be found at a Radio Shack....they work all right from several feet away....

use a good stereo pair of omnis, and mic it like an orchestra...then you only need the 2 mics, tho ambiance will still be rather high

I realize that you are just starting out, but there is no substitute for good audio...if you want paying jobs but cant afford to purchase, then rent the mics and mixer and pass the cost on to your client, with a markup of course......financially, its not a problem, its an oppotunity to mark up vendor services and make a profit. Do the same with hiring a boom op. Clients wont tolerate bad sound...its easier to deal with bad video, you can often cover THAT with a graphic or some b-roll. but bad sound will kill a shot.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 05:31 PM   #11
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Crown PZM's make excellant mics for group settings. One microphone can cover an entire group with equal sound levels. Radio Shack used to carry a very economical one (under $50 I think). Crown has them starting at $90. The Radio Shack one can easily be converted to balanced audio with XLR connector.

Crown has some downloadable PDf's that detail the use of PZM in video and other applications (miking speakers, podiums, etc.)
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Old February 16th, 2003, 07:08 PM   #12
Tess Burke
 
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Thanks for the mic tips. I plan on improving the audio portion of my set-up with the money from this lastest gig. Renting would be ideal but I live in a small town where this in not an option. Nor is there a boom operator in sight.

But that's OK because my 'guerilla style' is teaching and my friends me how to do things with less. Doesn't mean we have to compromise on quality - but it does mean learning how to innovate. I appreciate all the info from the users on this forum - your knowledge is a great resource.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 07:42 AM   #13
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audio hint

whoops....didnt realize you were up in the Yukon.....no rental houses in Yellowknife??? I used to Live in Kodiak , Alaska....have to say this winter in New England is the worst weather I have seen since Alaska....
some rental houses will actually ship items to you...I know a Guy in Portland that used to rent PAL Betacam decks from a place in NYC, and they'd ship them back and forth..as I said earlier, just another opportunity to charge the client.....
"ya gotta make a living....."
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Old February 17th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #14
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steve, have you looked out your window this morning? i think we're in a damn blizzard in boston right now.

the PZM mic that Jeff Donald is a good suggestion, but i would be careful, as it pics up direct sound, plus a good deal of reflections, giving you a wider, more spacious sound...in an interview this is sometimes less than ideal.

a good way to use them is to toss a PZM on the wall to get the overall room ambience, then use shot guns or (my fav...wired lavs) on the people...then mix in the PZM signal to bring a little life into the overall recording.

c
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