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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:18 PM   #1
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Five Important Audio Fixes for Weddings??

I rarely touch audio in post, I just don't see the value in it, but to level all the clips. What are 5 or so things you do to sweeten up the audio. I have Soundtrack Pro 3.

Also, I have found its very time consuming to level all the clips. Have they invented a software that can fix all the clips to be leveled out??

Or do you have any audio tips for post production to enhance the ceremony?
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:33 PM   #2
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The best way to get great audio is to focus more on great recording. What I do is I record double system sound, as well as record back up audio on a second recorder.

However, since the question was what do you do in post I'll tell you that for the most part I just level, occasionally if there is some strange background noise I can't control, i'll record a noise print and use it to remove the audio from the background later in post.

There are some other times where there might be some clicking or popping (not from the mic's but occasionally other sounds that take place that the computer will pick up as clicking or popping) and I will use soundtrack pro's analysis feature to locate them and remove them if they sound wrong.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:13 AM   #3
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5 important audio fixes for weddings?

1. Good Mics
2. Good Mic cables
3. Good Mic placement
4. Good Mics
5. Good Mics


I'll add one for ya.

6. SEE THE VALUE IN GOOD AUDIO.

:)
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 01:52 AM   #4
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Hi Kelly

Audio is more often than not neglected and people don't realise that it's critical!!!

Remember this saying :
"If Bad Sound Were Fatal, Audio Would be the Leading Cause of Death": Don & Carolyn Davis

At the ceremony I still use radio mics. on the groom, on the priest (if he allows me), on the lectern where the readings are done. If you have a Zoom audio recorder use that too!!!

I have a Rode Mic on each camera for emergencies as well. If you miss the audio you are dead!! My A Cam is a mere 5 or 6 paces from the bride so in an emergency I still get something..dunno about where you are but here the priest has a lav mic thru the Church PA (usually pitifull!!!) but the B&G have nothing!!!

Sorry, one more thing are a pair of closed in headphones, Stick em on before the wedding and listen to the audio... check for noisy backgrounds...I nearly ruined a wedding years ago but neglecting to ask the venue to turn off a noisy fountain!!!

It's all in the recording ..post edit work is done when you have fouled things up and done a poor audio setup!!!

Chris
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 01:59 AM   #5
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As Kelly specifically asks for post production audio tips I'd say monitor the timeline on a really decent pair of speakers and make sure they reproduce the bass clearly. More and more clients will be playing our DVDs on high end gear, and any deep bass rubbish you've left in there will destroy all the work you've put into getting your beautiful pictures.

tom.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:05 AM   #6
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I have to say a good microphone setup is so important. We can do so little in post...

Anyway, that's what I usually do...

1. pick and balance different audio track
2. get rid of the obvious distortion, like the 'bang'
3. lower the value on clapping
4. do a quick EQ on speeches
5. normalize the audio track + small adjustment with limiter
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 05:46 AM   #7
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I agree with the general thrust of the advice so far but with so many more people owning replay systems with full range sound repro rather than tiny TV speakers I always roll off the bottom of the voice tracks which can become very boomy.

The most important advice is to remember that you can't put back what isn't there so get the audio right in the first place. All sweetening is the removal of stuff to make other stuff appear better.

Having said that, audio has always been the poor relation in television. How many of us can afford to pay a sound engineer in weddings? I still have a beautiful SQN field mixer and maybe one day I'll be able to afford someone to drive it.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
I agree with the general thrust of the advice so far but with so many more people owning replay systems with full range sound repro rather than tiny TV speakers I always roll off the bottom of the voice tracks which can become very boomy.

What does it mean to roll off the bottom of the voice track?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 10:45 AM   #9
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Using a EQ (graphic or paragraphic are simplest to use) reduce the level of the lower end of the frequency range of the voice tracks. In an ideal world the frequency response of microphones will be flat; this corrects the boominess which will result from an equally flat playback.

In other words, traditional TV set speakers were small and had poor bass response. Nowadays people often have full range systems which are comparable to hi-fi in their response.

Many professional microphones and field mixers have a bass roll off switch which allows you to record the track with the lower end attenuated already.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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Philip - my ME66 has a tiny little bass roll-off switch on the K6 module. Would you advise having this turned on when recording voices?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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Tom, that's the $64,000 question and will depend on your own equipment, your own preference and your clients' equipment.

On the one hand, if your NLE has a simple EQ option then you cover yourself against all eventualities by leaving it off.

On the other, if you're doing many recordings of the same person ie you know the talent and their voice, switching the roll-off on can save time in post.

For weddings, which include music as well as speech I leave the switches off and sweeten in post. My own preference (impractical for weddings) would be to use our SQN field mixer which has a two-position roll off switch on each channel and switch between subject.

Finally the other factor I guess is how you personally feel about the effect of the switch ie test.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #12
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As many have said a good recording solves just about everything.

As a SoundTrackPro user the very first thing I do is send a specific clip to Soundtrack as an audio file project. However, I identify every audio problem before sending to Soundtrack, because some issues are easier for me to address as a multi-track project, the absolute last thing I do before exporting the entire video to a DVD burning application. Once there, the very first thing I do is normalize the audio, which generally means expanding the dynamic range, which significantly enhances gain. Important note, know how many audio tracks will be in your project because audio every audio track contributes towards amplifying the master audio out. For eight track audio I normalize to -4db, more if necessary. Because my projects usually average 12-14 audio tracks, I normalize to -9db. Bear in mind the audio file project addresses the entire clip. A Roman Catholic Wedding with Mass could represent an hour or more of audio.

While working with the audio file project I will run analyzer functions to fix the normal things.

Just before wrapping up the project I will export all clips to a multi-track project. Here, I work with filters, track by track, then export the project. That is followed by importing the audio project back into FCP.

Hope that helps.
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