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Old August 26th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
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vows/speeches audio treatment

hi guys,

how do you treat your speech/vows audio so that they come out nice and clear on top of the music bed?

I have got my speech audio recorded from the mixer to the h4n. so its a decent quality recording. however, it is not as clear and loud as i want it to be. When i pump the audio up, it peaks out on the fcp levels...

I haven't been using a lot of vows/speeches audio on my work because of this reason. I just don't seem to be able to get great output.

Someone told me to use compressor or something but I don't know how to use it. is this the case?


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Susanto Widjaja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
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My personal advice.

1 Record the voice using the best mics you can afford - we just started using boundary layer mics for the speeches and are very happy with the results, especially as they're practically invisible for video. We still use MKE-2 mics for the ceremony. Both are connected to Audio RMS radio channels.

2 Mix with quality amp and loudspeakers - headphones are absolutely no use for this job.

3 Mix with the sound at the overall level playback will be. The apparent ratio between elements like voice and backing track is affected by how loud the playback is.

4 If in doubt reduce the backing track.

5 Observe the peaking levels religiously - digital clipping is relentless and unacceptable.

My guess is that your overall monitoring levels are too low which is encouraging you to push the mix levels up.

It's probably not available to you unless you have a mixer that will interface with your NLE but riding the faders in the backing track is I still feel the best way to get it right. Unfortunately to add this control is either impossible or very expensive.

I wouldn't bother trying to use a compressor unless there is a very marked difference in the levels of the voice as it proceeds. In that case a compressor could help but do a great deal of practice before committing yourself. Along with a noise gate (happily almost redundant in the digital age, the compressor was, in my view, one of the trickiest bits of kit to master in the whole studio.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 01:41 AM   #3
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Take it into soundtrack pro and establish a noise footprint. Then reduce the noise with the sliders.

Here's an old video but the principles are the same :

Reducing Background Noise in Soundtrack Pro - Avid, Final Cut Pro, and Streaming Training Courses

It'll take a few tries to get a result you like, just keep tweaking.

Randy Panado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28th, 2010, 02:32 AM   #4
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I use Adobe Audition to give the vocals a tweek. I agree with the comment about good quality mics but every audio recording can usually benefit from some tweaking. If you are looking to increase volume and make a little crisper I would firstly reduce any hiss/noise using adaptive noise reduction and then use the Multiband Compressor in Audition which has a preset called 'Raise Vocals' which is usually a good starting point. Be careful reducing the noise as this can sometimes have a big impact on the higher frequencies and sound strange.
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