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Old December 24th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #1
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POSTAUDIO: Recreating "sounds-thru-the-wall"

I'm trying to recreate the sounds of music and noise coming from the other side of a hotel wall. Basically just a dulled-down sound. Right now I am using a low-pass filter with a cutoff frequency around 600 but it just doesn't sound right. How do you all do this sound effect?

As well, whats the best way to make music sound like it is part of the scene and not just music over video? Dropping the volume doesn't seem to make the music feel natural to the scene, but I am not sure exactly how to tweak it to make it feel natural. It is a party scene, so the music will be loud but there is still dialogue that needs to be heard over top of it.
Jeff Kolada

Last edited by Jeff Kolada; December 24th, 2008 at 03:13 PM. Reason: added second question
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Old December 25th, 2008, 02:51 AM   #2
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For the "sound through the wall" one thing you could do is re-record the sound. Play it out through a good speaker and record it through a blanket, a door, etc., try different things to get what you want it to sound like.

For the backgroundmusic, it sounds like you are missing room ambience. You can put the music on one track, add EQ, reverb, etc. to get the character of the sound you want, and set the level. On another track put a room ambience track, either recorded yourself in the kind of environment you need or a commercial one from a sound effects library. (I have the Digital Juice sound effects library that has a lot of these. However, there are many others, and there may be sites where you can download and buy just the track you need).

The dialogue then goes on top of/inside this.

You can get the dialog to stand out without making it overloud by EQing out a bit from the ambience track the frequencies that are predominant in the dialog track, etc. etc.

You may also want to add sounds for things that are seen in the video that would create sounds, such as a door closing, a glass getting set down, ice in a glass.

You can also stylize the sound design. No Country for Old Men was very sparse, with a lot of silence punctuated by specific sounds. Dialog can take a stylized place that isn't natural but works in the film if done consistently. The natural ambience can be heightened in unrealistic ways, making it more like a music soundtrack, with breaks that let key lines comes through. Sequences can be done comepletely unrealistically, like music videos, holding together the story or a sequence of images or beats. Etc. The point being, if something is not working, think of different ways you can handle the sound that may work even better than just trying to make is real but not quite getting it right for the material or sequence.

Remember, there are a couple of categories for all this in the academy awards.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 03:19 AM   #3
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I do this easily on occasion with Adobe Audition using either Reverb or Quick Verb, after adjusting freqs. I feel if it's to be believable at all one has to mimic slight reflections that are still present even through walls, or down a hallway, etc.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:44 AM   #4
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It's not inexpensive, but AudioEase makes a fantastic plug-in that simulates various loudspeakers (and sounds) in a variety of environments... including sounds coming from "next door". It's a great time saver.

Need a narration?
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Old December 30th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #5
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forget about spending money, grab yourself a pillow and wrap the mic. record your audio. once you have it in the editor duplicate the track. on the duplicated track add eq plug and cut all of the bass out and adjust just the mid freq. then, add reverb plugin, use small room preset and adjust. its a lil tricky but you get outstanding results. I learned this from a guy who was a foley artist in the earlier years!
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Old January 1st, 2009, 01:25 PM   #6
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The re-recording of it isn't a bad idea, but would take a lot of trial and error.

I'd just go into the EQ and bump down the highs and mids. Find an effect to give it more of a distance sound. The reverb might work or an echo hall very lightly applied.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 12:46 PM   #7
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Probably too late to do any good, but I've seen a recipe that says use a high pass filter cutting everything below 800 hz and a low pass filter cutting every thing above 3500hz and add a little reverb to get a properly muffled-distant-echoey kind of other-room sound. Disclaimer, it's in a book I have, I have not done this...//Battle Vaughan / video team
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