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Old October 4th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #1
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Footage wasted!!! Please save me!

Hello everyone, recorded a big event for my church and was going to play it within the next couple sundays. The sound is horrible!!!! I'm a nexbie so bare with me:I have a Canon XL1, I connected a hand microphone to the port were the stock microphone goes. The footage is good but the sound is low and muffled!!!!! I edit on Adobe Premiere and have the whole CS3 Package. Attached is a Picture on how the sound for one of the clip looks on Soundbooth. Please save me, Im working on short time because we show the Footage tommorrow!!! AAGHH well hope someone points me in the right direction.
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File Type: pdf Soundboothclip.pdf (617.1 KB, 182 views)
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Old October 4th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #2
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Well, there's not a lot to be learned from looking at the wave form, but your situation does bring to mind the importance of monitoring your sound at the time of recording.

My guess is that you connected a dynamic mic which remained at some distance from your subject, probably mounted to the camera. This would most certainly give you a low level recording without definition, as it's the wrong type of mic for this application. A condenser mic is much better suited to the task, although proximity is still an issue. There's a reason that you see mics on boom poles on a set!

Sadly there's no magic fix for your situation. You may be able to give it a db boost and EQ out some of the ambient room noise, but you will not get a crystal clear sound.

When sound is unusable "in Hollywood", they will "loop" or "ADR" the audio to clean it up. It is a tedious procedure, and you probably don't have time to try it, if it can be done at all. (A "sketch" can be pretty easily replicated, whereas an "even" cannot.)

This may have to be one of those "lessons learned" situations, and you'll know to check your audio capture before recording, and monitor it during recording. Hopefully your pastor will understand. Mine is not terribly tech-savvie, and sometimes I just have to tell him that I cannot fix his poor videos. Or if I can, he cannot give it to me on Friday afternoon to have it ready for Sunday morning!
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Old October 4th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #3
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LOL, yes hard lesson learned! What I should of done ( so no one goes through this) Was to do a practice shot with the mic, which I never tried to do before, and edit that clip. Then, I would have noticed the bad sound and would have ditched the mic idea! lesson learned! I guess I'll try to save it, but my Military side will keep trying and trying until I get frustrated........ and keep trying! As far as using a handheld Mic, what type of mic fits into the XL1, to give that direct sound and "reporter" look?
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Old October 4th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #4
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The world of microphones is deep and wide! The "reporter" look is usually a dynamic mic which is hand-held at very close range.

I use different mics depending on what I'm shooting. If I'm doing a "man-on-the-street" type thing I'll sometimes go ahead and use a dynamic mic. (I own several Shure SM-58s and they're great mics although I use them primarily as vocal mics for singing performances). If I can I'll use a Sennheiser wireless mic or two, if I only need to have a couple of people. For other off-camera micing I use a Sennheiser shotgun mic. I have a blimp and furry cover for use outdoors. If I'm framing tightly I can either mount it to a static boom stand just out of frame when the subject is not moving or have my audio guy handhold it for moving subjects. If it's framed looser he'll use a boom pole.

You may want to spend some time in the All Things Audio forum and look for some detailed discussions on mics and techniques. There's so much truth to the axiom that video is at least half audio!

Last edited by Frank Simpson; October 4th, 2008 at 02:53 PM.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 01:12 PM   #5
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I am unfamiliar with your tools but from an audio production perspective you need to normalize the audio track to 95%. This will raise the level of everything including the ambient room noise in the silent parts. There are ways to attack the ambient noise as was mentioned by using EQ filters but this is not a cure all as it also affects the audio in the non "silent" sections. I use a product called Sound Soap for that. YMMV
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Old October 4th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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In final cut studio there is "Soundtrack" and it has a feature that allows you to select the ambient noise you want removed (if it's a constant room noise or hiss, woldn't work for people talking or laughing). I would boost the level of the audio then use that to remove the hiss that is left. I'm not familiar with any of the tool sets that are within premiere, but I would look for somethin like that. If there is nonething like that then try boosting your level and with the hiss that is created, try and find a section of the audio where there is only hiss. Take the hiss and lay it on track 2. Make the hiss that is on track 2 out of phase. With hiss on track one in phase and hiss on track 2 out of phase, they should cancel each other out. Eport that audio as a mono aif or wave file. Reimport that file and put an eq on it, probably boosting the mid ranges for voice (from 1.5k to 2.5k).
Hope this works. In the future, get a wireless lavalier setup or get a feed from the mixer board.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #7
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I'd say play around with Izotope RX, see if you can salvage some results.. its great. I've turned junk into fully usable audio with this app. Otherwise ADR/Foley !
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Old October 4th, 2008, 07:42 PM   #8
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thanks for the responses guys!! I appreciate the knowledge and support on this site
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Old October 4th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Sweet View Post
I'd say play around with Izotope RX, see if you can salvage some results.. its great. I've turned junk into fully usable audio with this app. Otherwise ADR/Foley !
I second the suggestion for Izotope's RX. One of the best tools out there for fixing audio.

Todd
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Old October 5th, 2008, 01:36 AM   #10
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I use RX... very good program.
Has worked great for removing squealing breaks on my Land Rover 4x4 footage :-)
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Old October 5th, 2008, 02:48 AM   #11
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All the suggested " fixes " sond like the best steps you can take to get the most from the audio, so good luck.
As far as the cause, the onboard mic has a 2 pin connector, 1 of which is a power soucre for the mic as the level will be very low without the correct mic nad/or settings.You might find better luck using an external recording device and syncing in post. Or with the XL1s using the the rca audio inputs with a ma100/ma200 or aftermarket mic adapter aka Beachtek and setting for the mic level in the menu will give acceptable audio tracks.There is a lot of info in the XL1 forum.Be sure to test in advance of your next shoot.
Monitoring the audio with the headphone jack does not guarantee proper levels, you must also check the db levels and monitor for distortion if the inputs are overdriven.
Anyway, good luck with the " fix ", Victor.
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