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-   -   sounds like a freight train? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/101961-sounds-like-freight-train.html)

Eric Gulbransen August 23rd, 2007 02:17 PM

sounds like a freight train?
 
I'm new to this section of DVinfo. I'm making progress on the imaging end of videography but I haven't opened Pandora's box of sound yet. I saw you guys help out Steven with his "Multipurpose mic" question and that did help me too. Especially the scenarios part.

So there's this freight train that runs by close to our house each night. The thing will knock your fillings out. I have an idea to shoot it one night but there is no way I'll make the right impression without proper sound. I'd like to hear it approaching from only the right, capture a great amount of the knee buckling base and high tinny clanking as it passes before the camera from both right and left, and then I'd like it to trail off into the distance from just the left.

I can fumble my way though the levels and channels in editing, and I do understand that I will need more than just the one ME66 shotgun that I have now. But I'm wondering since you guys were so helpful with Steve, if you could suggest a set-up/strategy that will help me capture this.

Do I need a third mic? Maybe a 4th? Are some mics better at capturing knee buckling base than others? I do have an M-Audio firewire 410 so I think I can record with at least four mics at once (two to the cam and two to the M-Audio - If I need to?). Should I use the auto level settings so I don't blow everything out once this beast is upon me?

I'm really looking forward to recording things the way we hear them. Or at least close. I'm completely done with the mono audio. Drives me batty. I'm sure I'll screw this all up and the train will sound like an ice cream truck crashing into a nuclear power plant, but I'm still looking forward to trying..

Thanks in advance guys. And sorry for knowing so little.

Douglas Spotted Eagle August 23rd, 2007 02:26 PM

If you're looking to sound "Hollywood" with it, there is more to it than simply recording with a great mic.
Budget will play, you're correct, an ME66 won't cut it.
Pre's, mics, and sound design are all part of the picture here.
What can you afford?
Is rental a possibility you'd be able to consider?

Eric Gulbransen August 23rd, 2007 02:45 PM

There is a big problem with people disrespecting the tracks around here. You can imagine the results, and unfortunately it happens a lot. If I can sell the idea as a safety piece, for schools perhaps (like the one that backs up to these tracks), it might open some doors to more spending. For now it's just me and my brokeback budget. But I would like to understand a lot more than I currently do so I can apply this knowledge to everything that I shoot. Right now I get a little out of a lot - I'd like to reverse that... (by the way I'm just reading the ten commandments for the first time now. Guess I've got a ways to go)

Thanks for the response Douglas

Douglas Spotted Eagle August 23rd, 2007 02:51 PM

if you can't afford good mics, rental or otherwise, sound design is a great way to go. Others have gone before you and created great sounds, so perhaps you can go the "Betty Crocker" route.
Get sounds that are similar.
Record the train, build your pans or get a good two channel recording. Use this as a foundation.
Using a multitrack, start to build the sound. If you're looking to scare children for example...mix in a lion's roar pitched down -20 to -24 cents. Blend it all in to create an overall personality that is built entirely upon the train recording.
Another mix element might be a knife on a knife sharpener at the same tempo as the wheels clacking on the track.

Sound design (to me) is one of the most fun aspects of what we get to do in this biz. And it's usually cheap to experiment with.

Eric Gulbransen August 23rd, 2007 03:08 PM

Wow, that's phenomenal Douglas. Creativity in a realm I never even considered before. My grandfather used to paint babies for the covers of magazines. Everyone says I got his talents. Only one problem.. The paint brush doesn't turn me on so much.

This, does.

I can drop another two thousand on mics. That's my brokeback budget. Just finished the ten commandments. Now I finally understand the slate board. So slowly it's coming together..

Steve House August 23rd, 2007 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eric Gulbransen (Post 733162)
...
I'm really looking forward to recording things the way we hear them. Or at least close. I'm completely done with the mono audio. Drives me batty. I'm sure I'll screw this all up and the train will sound like an ice cream truck crashing into a nuclear power plant, but I'm still looking forward to trying..
...

Don't dismiss mono audio quite so soon. A really top notch soundtrack will likely be a mix of some sources recorded in stereo and others in mono. For example, lets say you get a cab ride on that train and can shoot an interview with the engineer or conductor as the train rolls along. You might record the ambient sound of the engine and the wheel noises etc from inside the cab in stereo, but for the interview voices you'll probably get better results recording them in mono as clean as possible and then mixing them with the ambience tracks into the final soundtrack during post. And voiceover narration would almost certainly be recorded mono and perhaps mixed with stereo ambience in the background as appropriate to the scene on the screen.

Eric Gulbransen August 23rd, 2007 04:41 PM

I can see your point Steve, and I agree. What I was referring to was my mindless frustration with recording in mono (without necessarily wanting to) and then having that one track simply doubled into to two tracks on the tape. Like most other things that I'm learning about the higher end of videography, is that the lower end did the mindless work for you (IE, recording in stereo). Of course it didn't do it well. The frustration is all my own and I realize that. In taking one big step forward into the higher end cameras, I definitely took two (or perhaps seven) steps backward in what I was able to produce right off the bat - hence the "Pandora's box" analogy.

Like I told my girl a while back, "The smarter I get, the dumber I realize I am.."

Thank you -very- much for your help.

Jim Sobolewski August 23rd, 2007 05:47 PM

You can use an omni-directional microphone which records a flat signal.There is no coloration to the sound so you'll get all the bass that is there to record.And if you have the mic in one position(preferably attached near your ears....clipped on to your glasses,you'll get the train entering from the right and trailing off to the left.)You can get a miniature stereo pair for a $100 or up to $1000.

I use the core-sounds binaural set($250) and also the DPA 4061's($1000) Are you recording straight to the camera or a seperate audio recorder?

Eric Gulbransen August 23rd, 2007 05:59 PM

In the past I've only recorded to the camera, but now that I'm reading what you guys write, maybe it's time I change that. Like I said I do have an M-Audio firewire 410 and I do have a G4 laptop. These could work well here, right? I'm kind of excited about making some smart audio moves as far as equipment and strategies and learning.


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