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The UWOL Challenge (our newest contest)
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Old July 28th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 2,674
Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
For "voice over" narration I'm still using an "el cheapo" dynamic mic and believe that is where I'm getting hiss. I've tried hooking up my Rode StereoVideoMic to the computer mic input but haven't been able to make that work well yet.
Bruce, your film is a good one!! I have always liked your films. You manage to make them interesting.
I like your story, and the sequence where the river is empty in one clip -> (dissolve) -> full of water, was great.
The abrupt ending has already been commented.

To me, your voice over sounds good.
A suggestion/tip:
When doing voice over, you could just connect your VideoMic to the camcorder, and after capturing, only use the audio, and cut away the video.
This is what I do. And when capturing the VO, I have the lens cap on as a reminder that the (black) video is not to be used.
I have the Rode (mono) VideoMic myself.
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Old July 28th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #17
Major Player
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bendigo, Australia
Posts: 234
What mic do I use?

Hi Bruce,
I only use the mic on the camera (XL H1), but I am about to purchase the sennheiser wireless mic (112p model from memory) and also their shotgun mic (ME67) - given some good reviews and also hearing the sound that Per achieves in his Bear entry & his Grouse Lek work (see his web site to view this one).
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Old July 29th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #18
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oppland, Norway
Posts: 1,390
Bruce, first of all a very interesting and educational film you got here! I second much of what Rob says about the editing and sound, but thats minor which you already are aware of.
Good work Bruce!
- Per Johan
Vimeo Site and Stock Footage Library at Pond5
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Old July 31st, 2007, 02:03 PM   #19
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Location: Black Mountain, NC
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I enjoyed the documentary feel of this, and felt the narration was very professional. The story was interesting, and the shots very compelling. As others have said, it ended somewhat abruptly, but I think that's the nature sometimes of trying to put so much into the time given. Great job.

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Old July 31st, 2007, 02:03 PM   #20
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,505
Thanks for all the excellent sound advice...

The hiss present in the voice over seems to be "white noise" from the computer sound card circuits. Sounds to me very similar to what we used to call "transistor hiss" in the early days of hi fi stuff going solid state from vacuum tube.

I ran tests last night, compared the cheap Labtec ($9.00) dynamic with my Rode StereoVideoMic condenser (got it to work on the computer sound card mic input) and sure enough I am getting about the same amount of background "hiss" out of both at the same input gain levels.

So it looks like one solution is a pre-amp to get an adequate mic gain level going into the computer sound card so I can cut back quite a bit on the gain in the computer. (Looking at a Shure SM58 and an inexpensive single channel M-Audio Fast Tracks pre amp.)

The noisy audio of Bill's voice saying "Water looks good" is my fault all the way. I simply boosted the original audio for that second and a half, built in mics on the camcorder were fighting wind noise and rustling vegetation so I turned the audio level down while recording, intending to kill it completely in post. Then succumbed to the temptation to try to bring his voice back up
to an audible level and use it.

I could live with a low level of background hiss if I had to but ain't a gonna try pumping up weak audio again.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 06:28 PM   #21
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Location: Pincher Creek, Alberta Canada
Posts: 445
Nice work. I've always found your videos interesting and I like your voice. I've never had much luck with getting good clean audio with the average sound card.

Gordon Hoffman
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:43 AM   #22
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,505
Well, Gordon, looks like I found a way to do it. I ordered the Studio Projects microphone preamp for $119 and change from ZZSounds.com. Interesting piece of equipment, has both a solid state preamp stage and a tube preamp stage with a dial that allows using either stage or variable blending of both.

Then in a local music store I found a Sennheiser e845 dynamic mic for $139.95.

Mic input gain on the preamp at 75%, blending control at 60-70% and output gain at about 85-90% allows me to pull the mic input gain on the computer sound card way down to about 15% and the internal amp hiss or "white noise" is gone.

Initial tests give me a good clean voice over with rich full bodied tone to the voice. Adequate level, and the tube stage does "warm" it up some.

I actually didn't need to buy the Sennheiser mic. That preamp brought an old (purchased in the 1980's) Radio Shack stereo dual pattern condenser mic (powered by one AA cell) to life and made it sound really good, and by running the Rode StereoVideoMic through it I got voice over that is as rich sounding as the Sennheiser but a bit "brighter". Beats the socks off of the cheap LabTec dynamic from Wal-Mart.
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