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-   -   How do I make it sound faaar awaaaaayyy? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/80381-how-do-i-make-sound-faaar-awaaaaayyy.html)

Marcus Marchesseault November 25th, 2006 10:08 PM

How do I make it sound faaar awaaaaayyy?
Due to various reasons, I am probably going to do ADR for my entire short movie. It is not dialog intensive, but I want it to sound good. I need to get some ideas how to make two people in a scene that are separated by 20 or 30 feet sound like they are having a conversation like it would in real life. In reality, people would talk very loud (not quite yelling) and the person at a distance would have a different audio quality. What makes up that distant quality outdoors besides lower volume? Indoors there will be some reverb from the room, but outdoors at a great distance there is less of that effect. Obviously, I can't reduce the volume significantly on the distant subject and I want to retain the correct "feel" to the sound. Is this a job for the Acoustical Mirror effect in SoundForge? Any tips on how to achieve this with or without specific software? I will probably be doing the ADR in an interior room of an office building on weekends with lots of sound blankets and lots of objects to block reflections and resonance. I may also have access to a sound booth. Assume that my recordings are clean and fairly untainted by the re-recording environment.

I have yet to choose a mic, but I'm thinking of using my Lectrosonics omni lavalier hidden on the distant actors and using something similar at the camera for the closer actors. I wouldn't mind if I can record useable audio on-location, but know it isn't possible in many places due to traffic noise. There can be NO traffic noise at all recorded in my production. If your recommendations include a mic brand or type for the re-recording, please keep the budget moderate as I have spent too much already. Mahalo!

Cole McDonald November 26th, 2006 10:17 AM

drop your lows a bit, and reduce volume.

Emre Safak November 26th, 2006 11:15 AM

Use a lowpass filter and add some reverb if the acoustic mirror is not enough.

Marcus Marchesseault November 26th, 2006 05:44 PM

Thanks for the tips. It seems like distance is the opposite of through a wall. Instead of removing the highs, I should remove a bit of the lows. Now that I picture the scene and "hear" it in my mind, this all makes sense.

Hiring a professional audio person may not fit into the budget yet, but when it comes time for post-production I will try to reconsider. The sound booth that I mentioned in my first post would probably come with a helpful technician that would not be too bothered by the occaisional question. I just don't want to go into things with a head full of stupid and create a mess that can't even be fixed by a pro.

Colin Willsher November 27th, 2006 12:26 PM

Marcus, as Emre said, you would need to roll-off some high end too as this would be soaked up by the air etc. between the listener and the subject.

I've never found it the easiest thing to simulate actually. A convolution reverb plug-in could help if you have access to one - ie. Space Designer in Logic Pro.

Jon Fairhurst November 28th, 2006 02:10 AM

Yep. Roll off the highs and lows a bit.

Regarding reverb, you need to picture the space. If they're indoors or near buildings, then use some verb. If they're in an open field, leave it fairly dry.

Also, envision where the first "bounce" will take place. If the sound source is right next to a wall, set the pre-delay low. If there is a wall, but its some distance from the source, increase the pre-delay.

If the space is hard, like concrete, maintain the highs and lows on the reverb channel. If the space is soft, say carpet and curtains, roll off the highs of the reverb. If the space is complex, say with bookshelves and diffusion, roll off the lows of the reverb.

You don't need to make the space sound just like reality. Feel free to make it sound much better. :) Just don't make the sound at odds with the space.

A great example is the sound in a bathroom. A real recording in a small, hard space sounds terrible. By adding just enough reverb to make it believable - but by keeping the sound clean and well defined - one can make it sound the way people would imagine a bathroom to sound, rather than the way it really sounds.

Best of luck - and trust your ears.

Marcus Marchesseault November 28th, 2006 05:45 AM

Those are good ideas. I especially like the idea of treating the reverb seperately from the source. I guess that squares the options of the sound since it will be a product of the source and a seperately effected reverb.

My first scene in in a forest by a cascading stream. I'm fairly sure that I won't be able to get clean audio in that environment so ADR is highly likely. I just have a strong aversion to both people sounding like they are talking into a Shure SM58 from 4 inches away. I hate when ADR sounds too dry and the mic sounds obviously much closer than the point of view of the camera or talent. I know the mic must be close, but that proximity bass resonance with no roomtone sound is not what I can accept. Thanks again for all the suggestions.

Jon Fairhurst November 28th, 2006 12:34 PM


Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
...I especially like the idea of treating the reverb seperately from the source. I guess that squares the options of the sound since it will be a product of the source and a seperately effected reverb...

Many reverb plug ins include controls for rolling off the highs and lows. It doesn't allow for detailed EQ of the effects path, but it's quick and simple. If your NLE lets you run separate effects busses (and you're comfortable doing so), so much the better.

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