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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 23rd, 2013, 05:25 AM   #1
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Background Noise

Can't believe it….. talked to this couple at length about things to avoid, like air conditioners & fans running through the ceremony & speeches and they say they understood and there would be no problems.

I get there and they had hired multiple projectors to show some lighting effects on the walls and ceilings and these things have the loudest fans in the world and the sound is 'beating' against each other. Gimme a break!

Hum / noise reduction just makes it worse and/or trashes any reasonable spoken words too.

It's not something you can pull out with a graphic equaliser or other filter types because it's broad spectrum noise that just gives a blanket sound everywhere! Arrgghh!!!

Do you even bother about this stuff or just let it all go with a big hum in the background?
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 06:38 AM   #2
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Re: Background Noise

That's what I would do. They obviously knew or at least pretended to know and understand what was going on, now they can really hear it for themselves.
Remember no matter what style we edit in, in the end, we are there to document their day and this is a part of it. Since you can't don't anything in post about it, leave it alone.
Just my jaded look at it. ;-)
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: Background Noise

Leave it Dave, it happened, theres not a lot you can do about it, apart from make yourself a whole lot of work.
I had on back in the summer, the groom sniifed throughout the service, not good when he has a lav on his lapel. I received an email from the bride a couple of days after the DVDs were delivered saying she was unhappy with my sniffing over the camera, I replied telling her that the audio was from the mic on her new husbands lapel. The next email from her started with, Sincere apologies.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Background Noise

"in the end, we are there to document their day and this is a part of it."

Absolutely !
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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Re: Background Noise

With the background fan noise, I leave it in, but make sure it's reasonably level throughout the relevant sections so that one part doesn't suddenly become clear - basically, turn it into white noise/room level.

You warned her, but I'm sure it never occurred to her that lighting effects have fans - it's something I see DJ's asking about when choosing fixtures, but there is only so much you can do.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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Re: Background Noise

That is a really tough dilemma! With noise like that it typically spans quite a frequency range.

Last summer I was shooting some kids in a Junior Sailing class at the RVYC in Victoria, Canada. This situation didn't have quite the background noise your shoot had but due to the distance of my camera from the talent, probably about 30-feet, and I was using a Rode Stereo Video Mic mounted on the camera - this was just a hobby vacation shoot - the human type audio was, understandably, very weak.

Since I edit in FCPX, I tried for the first time using one of its "audio tools" that tries to emphasize human voice. I was really surprised at how well that worked in this particular situation. I guess "impressed" is a better word. However, I'm sure the background noise probably wasn't anything like what your take had.


Trying to fix "that" problem is going to be grasping at straws. I'd tend to agree with those who said to just forget it, but if you're a perfectionist in your craft as many of us are, I know that will be hard to do.

Sadly, if there are others who will view the video and know of someone who will be needing a videographer, it could reflect negatively on your image. A real bummer all the way around.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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Re: Background Noise

John, that is interesting to see. I use the RØDE Video Mic which is more shotgun than the Stereo video mic but have also been quite impressed with its performance. I shot an ordination where the only sound I could get was my mic 15 feet away on stage right. It picked up everything. Unfortunately this also included the creaking to the platform as the Bishop rocked from foot to foot slightly during his address.

FWIW, the audio clean up tools in iMovie 10.0 are NOT up to par with FCPX. I just left the creaking in and told the client they would have to put up with it. They were still perfectly happy. I wonder whether our chasing after perfection is even perceived by the client?
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Old December 24th, 2013, 05:16 AM   #8
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Re: Background Noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Rowe View Post
Leave it Dave, it happened, theres not a lot you can do about it, apart from make yourself a whole lot of work.
I had on back in the summer, the groom sniifed throughout the service, not good when he has a lav on his lapel. I received an email from the bride a couple of days after the DVDs were delivered saying she was unhappy with my sniffing over the camera, I replied telling her that the audio was from the mic on her new husbands lapel. The next email from her started with, Sincere apologies.
Exactly the same thing happened to me Colin with a snuffling groom - from my terms and conditions:

"Environmental audio is recorded during certain parts of the day such as the ceremony and speeches. YWV will take great care that audio is recorded as professionally as possible but is not responsible for extraneous sounds such as, but not limited to, the ringing of mobile phones, passing emergency vehicles, crying children, coughing or sneezing participants."

At yesterday's wedding they'd booked a video guest message extra, and I always ask that they allocate a quiet area for this to take place - I was put in the corner of the busy bar room close to the sax player!

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