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Old March 27th, 2003, 11:33 AM   #1
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1ST Post!! New here w/ a Sound Problem.

Hi all,

As the topic indicates I'm new to this board and fairly new to the hobby, I got my first cam (Sony 8mm) back in 1995. I decided to expand the hobby a little. Well, I hate to meet and greet with a problem but here is my problem:

Recently, one of my wife's friends got married and at the rehearsal they indicated that they needed someone to video tape. They knew that this was a hobby of mine so they asked. Right away I indicated to them that this will not and can not be a great production in order to lessen their expectation. Under promise over produce kind of thing. One of the groomsman was setting up a stationary VHS-C on a tripod and that would have been the extent of the video. So I kindly accepted the project and decided to shoot the event almost like a spectator or the guest that I was. With the B&G informed that this was not a lavish production I figured it would be alright to try and by the very least gain some experience about the event.

Being recently married myself and have gone to alteast five weddings a year for the last 3 three years I got familiar with the events that will happen in a wedding.

Anyway, I shot the whole thing with my VX2000 and got excited and started to feed the footage on my PC using Vegas 4.0. I then learned quickly that I have audio issues:

1) Echo...lots of it from the church and the banquet hall.
2) The VX's mikes pickup up everyhting around except the person I was interviewing that cause a problem.
3) Wind noise was easily picked up by the camera as well.
4) I also did the rookie mistake and did not check that my camera was on 16-bit sound, it was on 12-bit. doh!

I have the Noise Reduction plugin for Vegas, but unfortunately didn't quite learn how to use it. So my question for the board will be:

1) How do I alleviate these at post using either Vegas and/or Noise reduction or Adobe Premiere 6.5 or even Avid. (all of which I have)?
2) How do I prevent these things from happening?

The second question I have an idea, which would be to use external mics. I have a Sony N707 MD recorder and a 4 channel Nady mixer and a azden wireless mics in lav form and some Nady mics on handheld form. The reason I didn't use them was I didn't have the extra pair of hands to operate and setup the system.

Thank you, all.

-Garret
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Old March 27th, 2003, 02:26 PM   #2
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I'm short on time here so I'll make a few brief comments.

Some of the sound problems you encountered are fixable . . . sort-of. Read Jay Rose's book on post production as the instructions are quite detailed.

The noise reduction filter is designed to handle, to a degree, repetitive sound like a buzz or refrigerator. Won't do much for an echo.

Luckily you warned the B&G ahead of time but that doesn't make you feel any better.

Some of the tools you didn't use would have helped immensely. You didn't need to run a mixer though.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Mike, my fellow Vallejoan :). You are right, right down to the fact that warning them doesn't make me feel any better. I'm thinking of using the mixer to mix the mics I have and record them all to my MD. Then at post with careful synchronization, I plan to kill all camera audio and replace it with the MD. What do you guys think? I think it would help especially using multicams.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 03:39 PM   #4
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IMO, recording to a secondary device should only be done if you HAVE to. As Jay Rose always says, and in my experience, always happens on shoots other than Movies, feed into the camera. Syncing audio is a Nightmare. And, will kill your profit margin. I promise. MD is great for VO and sound fx tho.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 05:29 PM   #5
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I dunno.

I have no problems with synch on a MD recorder. Using one as a backup has saved my bacon several times. I regularly use up to 3 sound recorders, 2 of them normally being cameras with no post-production problems. It is just too much trouble to record an orchestra, the B&G (double record them), and perhaps a podium to a single camera.

One can probably never be too redundant.

I mix down to a MD on location if necessary but I have a sound person then.

If you are going to mix disparate sound tracks down to a single synchronized track, it would be much easier to do it in a multi-track software program where you can slide each track back and forth.

If you are going to serially join time-sequential clips, then you can use something like Sound Forge with its 2 tracks (or in VV).
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Old March 27th, 2003, 05:52 PM   #6
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Having not tried it before, just read about synching sound it seems like you can either use the peaks or a loud noise, e.g. clapper or a the first note from the orchestra will aid in proper synchronization. I have sound forge and VV so maybe I can use that for down mixing? I have a friend who was a DJ and he was willing to operate the audio while I shoot so maybe he can determine which source to record and not to record? Is this a good idea?
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Old March 30th, 2003, 10:03 AM   #7
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Mike, I agree that backups are Wise. =) But I do think that if we say 2 lavs, 1 podium, 1 omni for the music, feed all that into the mixer and then run into the tripod mounted cam. It just occured to me, that something I'm taking for granted in this scenario is 2+ cams with one in a stationary position.

In my experience, even when using a particular loud signal moment, the problem is the amount of time it takes to get it right. Especially if the shots are longer, you can easily spend an extra 20 minutes or so per shot just getting things synced. Now that can add up quickly in the editing process. Although, if you're the lone gunman, it may be your best bet.

Garrett, if you've got a friend willing to run the mixer, I would definitely take advantage of that offer!
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Old March 30th, 2003, 12:10 PM   #8
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Brian,

The only time synch is a real problem is when you can see the speaker's lips. At other times, close is good enough and any errors are undetectable.

It does not take me 20 minutes to sync any sound. More like 3-5 if I am being really picky about lip-sync and the lips don't move much. If, for some reason, sync drifts, I'd just go to a cut-away and pick it up again.

I'm using a really simple editing program, RexEditRT which does not show an audio waveform and only allows frame resolution when editing sound. It does let me scrub audio.

If the job were more difficult, I'd move the sound tracks to Sound Forge or Pro Tools and slide them around there, then go back to the video editing.

I find clapper boards, light strobes to not be very useful since they happen over several frames of video (or at least the camera takes more than one frame to recover from a strobe). They get me close but not right on.

BTW, for those of you who haven't made the mistake yet. A camera & microphone at the rear of a wedding or reception can have a built-in sync problem. Sound travels at approximately 1150 feet per second or 38 feet every frame at 30 fps. So the sound arrives 1 frame late if you are 38 feet away from the action. If, like at so many facilities, you are set up 80 feet away, you will have a sometimes detectable 2 frame video to audio slip.

Rule of thumb is that every 40 feet you slide one frame.
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Old March 30th, 2003, 12:57 PM   #9
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Good info Mike, I haven't seen RexEdit, and I've been editing interviews mostly so I tend to be anal ( know your own faults right? ) and probably take longer than I should. Is RexEdit PC only?
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Old March 30th, 2003, 06:55 PM   #10
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It is PC only (www.canopus.com). But I think one could (or should be able) to do the same thing in most editing programs that allow sound scrubbing.
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