DV Info Net

DV Info Net (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/)
-   All Things Audio (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/)
-   -   Audio editing with multiple layers (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/84471-audio-editing-multiple-layers.html)

Peter Malcolm January 21st, 2007 06:54 PM

Audio editing with multiple layers
 
Hey everyone,

I'm just about to start filming my first short film without any aid, which means I'm going to be directing, filming and editing everything.

While I can't wait to get to filming and I'm sure it will be fun, I'm very nervous about one particular audio aspect of the filming and editing process.

Let's me use an example.

Scenario: A man and a woman are in a restaurant.

The shots: I'm going to be using four different angles with 1 camera. The woman, the man, both the man and the woman, and a far establishing shot.

Problem: This restaurant is not completely quiet. There's the traffic outside, the hum of the AC, sounds from the kitchen, the voices of the staff... I don't want there to be any continuity errors with the audio between each shot. I don't want there to be any audible "clipping" between each shot. It's got to sound like there's really 4 cameras.

So, in essence, how do I film this?

What I suppose I'm going to do is:
1. Leave my camera on in the restaurant for 10 minutes and capture the ambiance for audio only.
2. Film the shots.
3. Edit, with the shots muted and the ambiance on.
4. Dub their voices over their mouth movement on the screen, in a quiet place such as a car (i.e. ADR).

The issue with this plan is I'm NOT confident about 4. I've never done this before and I'm very worried it won't work out well at all. Also, there is one shot where there is a waiter who comes into the scene and talks to the woman for one or two lines. This is a person who's lent us his restaurant out of his kindness, and I'm sure he would not feel comfortable to leave work and do his lines. If I have one shot ADR and the other not, it may sound very 'off'.

How should I approach this? If doing it my way is the only one, is there a way to help do this through Premiere (i.e. loop the lines in succession?)

By the way, I'm using the microphone on my Canon XL2, I can't afford a boom, and none of my friends would know how to use it.

Thank you very much in advance.

Seth Bloombaum January 21st, 2007 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm
I'm just about to start filming my first short film without any aid... By the way, I'm using the microphone on my Canon XL2, I can't afford a boom, and none of my friends would know how to use it.

Peter, you are in for a world of pain.

But, I know you don't want to hear it, don't take my word for it - do a test. Put your camera on sticks in the restaurant during the time of day you want to shoot, then shoot yourself or one of your actors giving a few lines, then go sit in your car and try out the ADR. I'm expecting you won't like the results one bit, but your mileage may vary.

Borrow a cable. Tape your mic to a broomstick. Train a friend to use it. Get a y-adaptor for $5 and both you and your friend listen on headphones. This may all seem unlikely, but IMHO what you're suggesting is impossible or at least impractical.

Peter Malcolm January 21st, 2007 08:32 PM

Ouch.
 
So I presume ADR isn't as common as I thought it was? Don't a lot of better-sounding films do it?

Having never even used a boom before, I couldn't even begin to tell you the difference it would sound compared with an XL2 stock mic.

I just figured, if you gotta use ADR with one mic, you gotta use ADR with all of them. There's no way around it.

Besides, aren't boom mics more sensitive? Wouldn't they pick up unwanted sounds even more?

Perhaps I could rent one.

Peter Malcolm January 21st, 2007 10:30 PM

http://www.synchroarts.com/products/...n/vocalign.asp

Has anyone used this?

:edit: $700... forget it!

Help...

Colin Willsher January 25th, 2007 09:52 AM

I've no experience of ADR Peter, I can only imagine it's not an easy thing to get dead right without:
a) Actors/voice talent trained in the process
b) A good mic and a good quiet room to do it in.

Doing ADR in a car would, I imagine, make the scene sound like it was recorded in a car, even with an ambient background added.

A boom mic will get you closer to the source that you WANT to capture. The level of this 'wanted' sound will therefore be much higher than the unwanted sounds of cars passing and ambient noise etc. That's what you need to achieve and what Seth is suggesting. It doesn't have to be expensive but obviously you make sure you capture your wide shots as cutaways without your sound man in vision ;-)

Good luck

Colin

Kris Bird January 26th, 2007 07:12 AM

I agree, borrow a mic ... It's very important

even a good hyper on a stand suspended above the actors (just out of frame) pointing between them all, would be better than nothing.

the xl2 stock mic is nowhere near up to the job, particularly from a distance away. I wouldn't adr, it won't be convincing. ps we have two xl2s, we only tried the stock mics once.

find somewhere to borrow/hire a decent hyper cardiod mic and a cable. then tape it to a stick and get someone to hold it.

mic hire isnt actually very expensive

Peter Malcolm January 26th, 2007 03:23 PM

Thanks for all of your help.

I'm renting a Sennheiser ME66 for $35 a day and a boom for $10 for 3 days.

Hopefully it'll be quiet enough :S

Michael Carter January 26th, 2007 05:20 PM

Peter, you were on the right track with one part of your first post... the "recording 10 minutes of ambience"; that's known as "room tone", and you use it for audio continuity between cuts.

Do a search for "room tone" here, and on DVXuser.com. Can't recall which forum just now, but DVinfo or DVX user have a great thread going right now on how to edit with room tone, with different editors posting their techniques.

And please, please, get yourself a copy of "Producing great sound for DV"; try amazon, or give eBay a try for a used one if cash is tight. Lots of info to get you rolling!

Georgia Hilton January 28th, 2007 02:54 PM

ALSO... make sure you get a big Fuzzy sock for the mic. It will make a world of difference in the location audio sound quality. Additionally....
1. Before each take have your boom op find the CLOSEST location to the speaking actor that they can. Then dip ( or raise ) the boom until you can see it in frame. Then slowly move it *JUST* out of frame. There's your spot. Tell the boom op to look across the room or past the boom and find a "TARGET" to help them maintain frame. Like a line in the wall, or a door jam, or a picture or something to line up the mic too, to help keep that sweet spot.
2. IF THE SET IS VERY NOISY and YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO ADR - After you've completed your takes, but Before you move on to the next Camera setup, have the actors do one more take the same way they just did. This time get the boom right in their face and get a SOUND take for each actor... I've done this on a number of both low and high budget gigs and many times it's saved the day during noisy locations. (doesn't work all the time, but it has worked enough to be worth it.
3. If you have time, try to eliminate as much sound as you can by turning off compressors and fans during takes, using moving blankets to cover items, Placing moving blankets on the floor, walls, ceilings out of camera to kill reflections and other exterior noise.
4. Make sure that the boom op doesn't over handle the boom during recording.. It's really easy to screw up the sound by adding handling noise from the stick.
5. Get ROOMTONE after the shoot at each location. BEFORE YOU WRAP. call for a minute of silence from the crew and cast and record a minute or 2 of roomtone. If you're going to have to deal with a noisy background and you don't have the budget or ability to do extensive cleanup in post ( or even if you do) get the roomtone, so you can drop it in the edit to smooth transitions and angles...
6. Beg, borrow, or buy a cheap but closed pair of headphones that you can use to HEAR whats going to tape. It will help you determine sound problems and good mic placement.


cheers
geo

Peter Malcolm January 29th, 2007 03:43 PM

Georgia, your points are VERY helpful. I'm going to make a checklist of them in case I forget anything. Just one thing: I wasn't planning on getting a muff or placing a sock over the microphone. People won't be talking that loud/it's not going to be anywhere outside. It's a still restaurant, just the hum the kitchen might be a bit noticeable.

Thank you very much for your pointers.

Jarrod Whaley January 29th, 2007 04:25 PM

Definitely, definitely, definitely do not use the onboard mic. Pick up both a shotgun and a hyper if at all possible; the hyper will probably be best for use in this particular scene.

I wouldn't rule out ADR necessarily. If done well, no one will know the difference. I recently recorded ADR for the first time, and I'm very glad I decided to do it. Douglas Spotted Eagle's tutorial for ADR recording in Vegas really spells it all out, and might help you quite a bit with the process--even if you don't edit with Vegas.

All of that being said, you should try to get it right on location if at all possible and record ADR only if the location sound doesn't work. If you place the mic properly when you do your ADR, you might be able to re-record only certain lines--if most of the location sound is OK--for example.

Peter Malcolm January 30th, 2007 08:16 PM

So: ME66. Yay or Nay?

Georgia Hilton January 30th, 2007 08:58 PM

get the sock anyway! it cuts out a lot of unwanted air flow and other noise.


cheers
geo

Peter Malcolm January 31st, 2007 12:47 AM

Okay, so an ME66 as long as it's "socked".

I have no clue how my friends will do in their serious parts with a sock being waved in their faces, but we'll see!

Steve House January 31st, 2007 04:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm
So: ME66. Yay or Nay?

The ME66 is a decent enough mic, very popular. I guess you could consider it a good entry-level professional mic. There are other shotguns that are considered nicer sounding such as the Sennheiser MKH416, MKH50 and MKH60, Sanken CS1 & CS3, and Audio Technica 4073a just to add a few others worth consideration. The CS3a might give you better rejection of background noise and less of the 'hollow' colouration that's a characteristic of many shotguns in a reflective environment indoors. Likewise the MHK50 or 60. Not to say there's anything wrong with the '66

Jeff Mack February 6th, 2007 12:07 PM

Another Idea
 
I'll probably get boo'd for this but what if you tried this. If you have great mic control on the dialog and your budget allows, wht not set a couple of additional mics up say near the kitchen, hostess stand and bar. If you record at those locations simultaneously, you might be able to introduce your levels of those additional tracks to play with your vocal track. For example, clattering dishes could be heard at a level under the vocal. Maybe a pan of the hostess stand in the background can pick up the introduction and seating of another guest. Same with the bar area. By making those tracks play in and around the vocals, you might be able to introduce a "cleaner" background noise.

Just a thought?

Jeff

Peter Malcolm February 12th, 2007 01:38 AM

I did it.

I was lucky enough to have a friend of my brother's, an owner of another restaurant, to lend us it just for filming on his day off. The place was quiet and the ME66 did wonders. I don't know what I'd do for the audio without it, however the damn wire at the coming from the microphone kept hitting the boom with movement, so I'm going to have to edit that out in Adobe Soundbooth. Otherwise, in editing I literally went from one cut to the next with no audio transitions. Room tone played throughout but it's next to nothing.

I'll be submitting my film to On The Lot (thelot.com); hopefully it will help me go places.

Thanks for your help, everyone.

Brett Sherman February 12th, 2007 09:59 AM

Another idea would be to use tiny lavaliers. They can be made invisible if they are small enough. They are omni so they pickup room noise, however, they will be closer to the mouths than a boom, so it might lower the noise in relation to the dialog. There's no way to tell which will work better without a test. It will also mean that you don't have to worry about having a good boom operator. It would probably cost more to rent since you'd need two mics and a good lavalier mic alone(no power supply) is about $200. If they are moving, then it needs to be wireless.

I'd avoid ADR. I always think it sounds fake. I can spot high-end Hollywood productions that use it sometimes. If you record it in a dry environment, like a studio, you have to recreate ambience with a good reverb (convolution ones work well for this). Also it depends on the capabilities of your actors. They have to recreate the exact same dialogue twice. Having them worry about getting every single word right may interfere with the quality of their performance. It might end up sounding "over-acted" or "dull".

Seth Bloombaum February 12th, 2007 11:28 AM

Congrats on wrapping your shoot, Peter.

Yes, it is true, "a stitch in time saves nine" as far as production goes, meaning that a few things done right in production can save you endless hours in post-production.

For future reference, most boom operators will use bongo-ties to secure the cable to the boom. These can be the girl's hair ties with two large clear plastic beads on an elastic band, or, the pro version with a wood toggle. Or, just put a couple twists and wrap the cable around the boom.

Of course monitoring with headphones should catch these things during rehearsals and takes...

Glad things worked out for you.

Harley Flanagan February 12th, 2007 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm


4. Dub their voices over their mouth movement on the screen, in a quiet place such as a car (i.e. ADR).

The issue with this plan is I'm NOT confident about 4. I've never done this before and I'm very worried it won't work out well at all. Also, there is one shot where there is a waiter who comes into the scene and talks to the woman for one or two lines. This is a person who's lent us his restaurant out of his kindness, and I'm sure he would not feel comfortable to leave work and do his lines. If I have one shot ADR and the other not, it may sound very 'off'.

This has got to be one of the most clever troll jobs ever. No way is this real...

Peter Malcolm February 13th, 2007 11:35 PM

What is? The fact about the restaurant?

Actually, I didn't film at the place I had originally intended, and it turned out MUCH better. I filmed at a restaurant named "Mangi & Bevi" in Toronto. The owner is a friend of my brother's and he opened her doors up on the only day the store would otherwise close. I'm quite grateful to her. The actor who played the waiter actually is one of them who works there.

If you're talking about my ADR self-suggestion... well... I'm an amateur who's never really considered sound so much in my filmmaking.

Steve House February 14th, 2007 03:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm
What is? The fact about the restaurant?

Actually, I didn't film at the place I had originally intended, and it turned out MUCH better. I filmed at a restaurant named "Mangi & Bevi" in Toronto. The owner is a friend of my brother's and he opened her doors up on the only day the store would otherwise close. I'm quite grateful to her. The actor who played the waiter actually is one of them who works there.

If you're talking about my ADR self-suggestion... well... I'm an amateur who's never really considered sound so much in my filmmaking.

Congratulations!

Now take a decent portable recorder back to the restaurant when it's open and busy and and just sit at a table in the middle of the place and record about 10 minutes of background sound. Lay that in under your dialog during post and you'll be amazed how it all comes together.

Peter Malcolm February 15th, 2007 11:39 AM

I already took a room tone of the restaurant after I was done filming.

It was empty -- as it was supposed to be, so I don't need to return. The film's already been finished, uploaded and submitted to On the Lot.

Steve House February 15th, 2007 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Malcolm
I already took a room tone of the restaurant after I was done filming.

It was empty -- as it was supposed to be, so I don't need to return. The film's already been finished, uploaded and submitted to On the Lot.

What I was referring to is very different from room tone. Instead it's a FX recording of background ambience used to create the illusion that the restaurant is full of other customers even though they're not visible in the shot. Since your film is done it's moot but you might keep it in mind for next time.

I think "ambience" and "room tone" are often confused. Room tone is the sound of the space itself, the 'sound of silence' if you will. Ambience, OTOH, is the sound of the sonic landscape surrounding the scene we're watching, the environment in which the action takes place. For instance, the ambience of a scene taking place on an aircraft in flight might include the sound of the engines, a low buzz of conversation from the other passengers, that sort thing - environmental sounds that make the place come alive but are not directly tied to speech by characters or specific actions and events visible on the screen.

Best of luck in the competition - will be looking for your work on the show!

Peter Malcolm February 16th, 2007 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve House
What I was referring to is very different from room tone. Instead it's a FX recording of background ambience used to create the illusion that the restaurant is full of other customers even though they're not visible in the shot. Since your film is done it's moot but you might keep it in mind for next time.

Don't worry, I understood what you said. By saying "it was supposed to be" empty I meant within the film, there was supposed to be no one there but my actors and a waiter. I get the difference between room tone and ambiance ;) You're right -- if I wanted to create the illusion that it was full, I would have recorded a populated restaurant separately.
In fact, I did this with my single "outside" shot. It was actually filmed inside, but I adjusted the blue curves to make it look outside, and added some traffic ambiance. I did this because I didn't want the restaurant to be within another building, which it was. I had a still shot of the door as the protagonist walks through it. You can't tell if it's outside or inside -- I'm happy with my efforts there.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve House
Best of luck in the competition - will be looking for your work on the show!

Thank you very much, Steve. I'm crossing my fingers. Apparently within the past couple days they've received over 1000 submissions. I'm only doing this because I personally believe I'm of perfect age and lots of the other films... well... aren't that good.

I'll be sure to let you guys know once my film is validated by the staff on the site. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:53 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2020 The Digital Video Information Network