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-   -   Why Bother? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/86789-why-bother.html)

Alex Milne February 17th, 2007 06:54 PM

Why Bother?
I asked a question a while back about foley and other ways of enhancing sound. I got a few answers, and have been tinkering around. I've come to the conclusion... why bother with significant audio enhancement in post? I, of course, set levels, fix any hiss, extraneous noise, etc, and I assure you my original dialogue isn't too shabby either.... but as far as the more advanced things go-

Any foley I insert sounds, I won't say worse, but more awkward than before. Certainly not better. Sounds like I'm trying to accomplish an audio soundscape I'm simply not capable of producing with my equiptment and my expertise.

I record my foley in a music studio, complete with sound dampening panels, so my signal is clean enough. When I import, I can never, NEVER, get the "feel" of the sound, the reverb and fullness, to match the feeling of the surrounding sounds. It just feels fake.

And ADR, don't even get me started.

Maybe everything sounds fake because I use foley sparsly, it's unexpected and inconsistant. Heck, hollywood films re-record/add pretty much everything, and they have technicians, whole departments, whole buildings, dedicated to audio post. I can't possibly expect to achieve or pay for any of that, not to mention have the time or manpower for.

IMO, I'd rather have consistant audio than overworked audio. It seems more authentic when paired with video, even if the content is fictional. I've seen way too many shorts that just scream "I want to be a hollywood movie!" But of course, aren't.

Am I alone?!

Dan Keaton February 17th, 2007 07:44 PM

Be sure to record "Room Tone" for every scene you film.

This is a recording, with the same actors on the set, and everything else in place, but everyone is quiet. Record at least 30 seconds, maybe a minute.

The "Room Tone" can then be layered with the other sounds that you create and will help them fit in with the other audio. The sounds that you create will never sound right without adding room tone, in my opinion.

I hope others will offer their suggestions.

Adam Reuter February 17th, 2007 11:29 PM

Tinkering with reverb settings and EQ help to make your foley sounds...that were acoustically isolated indoors, into something more lively.

Also, you may just perceive the "fakeness" of the sound because it sounded different on-set. Since we KNOW that the sound was added in later, we KNOW that it wasn't there on-set/on-location. Show your video to other people (who weren't at the shoots) and ask them if they noticed anything odd about the audio.

Glenn Davidson February 18th, 2007 12:29 AM

I find it humorous that everytime you see a horse on screen, you will hear this....

Steve House February 18th, 2007 07:35 AM

Dan is spot-on with the suggestion to insure you layer room tone with the foley, tone running under the sounds as well as between instances. Also make sure your foley is on its own dedicated track in the mix - don't try to intercut it with other sounds on the same track (dedicated source track, that is, not destination track). A common fault that provides a subliminal clue that the sound was added after the fact is the transition at its entrance is too abrupt - instead of a straight cut try using a fast fade-in using the volume envelope in your NLE and at the same time dip the room tone slightly to make room for it. Explore the idea of using a convolution reverb plug-in on the foley track to recreate the acoustic environment of the location.

Alex Milne February 20th, 2007 11:00 AM

I certainly do always make sure to record at least 1 Min of pure ambient wherever I go.
Maybe, as I said before, I'm just too picky.

The fade in idea sounds great, can't wait to try.


Steve House February 20th, 2007 11:20 AM


Originally Posted by Alex Milne
I certainly do always make sure to record at least 1 Min of pure ambient wherever I go.
Maybe, as I said before, I'm just too picky.

The fade in idea sounds great, can't wait to try.


Take a look at the book "Sound for Digital Video" by Tomlinson Holman

Ian Savage February 20th, 2007 11:59 AM

No you are not being picky :-) There is no such thing in audio work.

And no you are not alone in thinking how you think, it's why the audio department should gather as much as possible on the set regardless, as for films having alot of resources compared to you, well to be honest they do and it still sounds fake a huge part of the time, went to the pictures last week to see a new movie and wondered why on a windy day, 10' from a fully leafed tree I couldn't hear anything but voices, it looked and sounded fake and how that kind of thing pops up in just about everything I watch I'll never know, well I will actually and it's due to people not knowing or being picky so good on you for being picky ;-)

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