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Super Clean Sound Film

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Debbie King
Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 2:30:58 am
Last Edited By Debbie King on Jun 16, 2014 at 5:14:36 am

Hello Everyone:

For the first time, I watched a movie and paid exclusive attention to the sound. What I discovered was that the dialogue, deliberately placed ambient noises or sound effects were the only things I could hear. Other than those things, the sound was super clean. I'm in the process of mastering my film and that is one of my challenges. RX3 is a little pricey although they do have a 10 day trial offer. When I try Audacity to clean audio, it affects the dialogue as well; makes it sound echoed. Is RX3 only for repair, or is it comprehensive? I know that Isotope has many products. I need one software that can do many jobs.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Stephen Mann
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 3:21:12 am

In movies you see in the theater, all dialog is in the center channel only.
Music and some sfx are in the L-R channels.
LFE and some sfx are in the rear channels.

Play a DVD on a Hollywood DVD and pull the center channel - dialog is gone.

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 5:24:37 am

Hi Stephen:

How do they get the dialogue so clean where you don't hear any ambient sounds, except for those that are on the other channels. For instance, I used Audacity to clear some ambient sounds surrounding the dialogue. When I tried to clean it up completely, it affected the dialogue. The more I left on the audio the more natural the dialogue was. So I am not clear as to what they use to get it so clean; just dialogue.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Colin Morris
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 6:10:37 am

Hi Debbie,
One of the methods used in film is ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) The actor goes into a studio and re-records his/her audio in sync while watching the video/film scene. Vegas is very good for this because you have full featured video and audio in the same application. The set up is very similar to recording voice overs. The actor wears closed back headphones to hear the original audio and you record clean new audio while the actor watches the scene. The final dialog is usually a mix of real sound and ADR.
Another method that helps to get clean audio is to use a digital recorder that can record 2 different input levels at the same time. You set one channel to record a lower level and another to record a hotter level. This way, if your hot level distorts, you can use the lower one. I would highly recommend buying a book on film and video sound recording techniques. It will list all of these techniques in detail.
Good luck with your project!

Colin Mendez Morris
ArsMusica
http://www.arsmusica.ca


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John Rofrano
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 11:59:25 am

[Colin Morris] "One of the methods used in film is ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) The actor goes into a studio and re-records his/her audio in sync while watching the video/film scene."
Yea, they are not using the dialog from the location recording. All dialog is re-recorded. That's how they get it so clean. It's done in a controlled studio environment. I would bet that almost none of the audio you hear in a movie is from the set. It's all Foley and ADR.

Even when Robert Rodriguez shot "El Mariachi" for $7,000 he had the actors redo their lines at the end of every shoot so that he had clean audio to work with. If you are doing gorilla filming and haven't read "Rebel without a Crew" you should. It's a very interesting read.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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John Rofrano
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 18, 2014 at 5:26:07 pm

[Debbie King] "Soundness took over the business and is now offering Soundsoap for PC's."
Ah, I didn't realize they eventually made a PC version. When I bought Sound Soap 3 for Mac there was no PC version. This is good news.
[Debbie King] "Would you say that it is comparable to Izotope RX, or would RX3 be a better buy?"
iZotope RX3 is definitely better because it gives you more tools for cleaning. It's also twice the price. Sound Soap 3 is very easy to use and does a great job. I didn't see any way to download a trial copy. That's what you really want so that you can test it on your footage and make sure it removes your noise. Maybe contact them and ask if they have a trial? If you can afford RX3 then just get that. You will not be sorry, it's an amazing tool set.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 19, 2014 at 4:26:47 am

The availability is recent. They just made it available a few weeks ago. Thank you for the advise on separating the audio files into separate tracks. It was tedious, but I have much more control over what's on the timeline.

Best,

Debbie


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John Rofrano
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 19, 2014 at 10:41:07 am

[Debbie King] "Thank you for the advise on separating the audio files into separate tracks. It was tedious, but I have much more control over what's on the timeline."
You're welcome. Don't forget that Vegas Pro has the ability to group tracks so you can place multiple dialog tracks for a particular scene into a group and then collapse that group to get it out of your way while you are editing other parts of the movie. This has no affect on the sound but is a lot easier on the eyes when trying to work on a large project. You can also mute and solo groups so groups are a nice way of isolating a particular set of tracks while you work.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 19, 2014 at 3:22:49 pm

Hi John:

Wow. What a difference. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed scrolling through all of those tracks. This is really great. Thank you.

Best,

Debbie


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John Rofrano
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:33:09 am

[Debbie King] "Wow. What a difference. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed scrolling through all of those tracks. This is really great. Thank you."
You're welcome. Glad that helped. Group Tracks Rock! ;-)

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Mike Kujbida
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 11:13:33 am

Debbie, an excellent book that I've recommended several times is Producing Great Sound for Film and Video by Jay Rose. He has a new edition coming out next month.
The details are at http://www.greatsound.info


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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 18, 2014 at 3:46:53 pm

Hi Mike:

Thank you for the reference. I also saw another one of Jay Rose's books "Audio Postproduction for Film and Video: After-the-Shoot solutions, Professional Techniques, and Cookbook Recipes to Make Your Project Sound Better" Have you read that one. My situation is definitely a post-production one.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Mike Kujbida
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 21, 2014 at 1:02:11 pm

Debbie, I'm not familiar with that book but Jay Rose is well respected so anything by him will be good.
Another book that I've heard great things about is Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures: A Guide to the Invisible Art by John Purcell. It was just published last year so it's very current.
http://www.amazon.com/Dialogue-Editing-Motion-Pictures-Invisible/dp/0415828...


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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 21, 2014 at 9:31:38 pm

Hi John:

Many thanks. Definitely what I need. My challenge so far has been dialogue.

Best,

Debbie


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Stephen Mann
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 12:17:10 pm

As Colin and John said, it's almost always done in a sound booth after the editing is finished. It's also not easy, which is why the ADR gets higher on the credits list.

On a low budget film you may be able to record an ambient track in a location that hears the ambient noise but not the talent. Mono only, stereo is a consumer term and no director is ever thinking about the final sound mix. Then you can invert that track to subtract the ambient sounds from the dialog. I have had good results on an indie film with wireless mics on the talent - it's not hard to hide the microphones under clothing , hair or a prop. We also had a boom mic if we needed some audio that was muffled by moving clothing.

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 3:16:18 pm

Hi Mike, Stephen, John and Colin:

Thank you so much for your responses. I am in a bit of a dilemma. The film has already been produced and I am in post currently. I used a very sophisticated mic and recorder, but I still hear ambient noises, even though they are much cleaner than a few other clips of the film where I am forced to use the camera audio. I am relieved to know that the studio gets the clean sound from ADR, but would like to find a software that could at least take some of the ambient sounds out so that I can bring the voices forward. The dialogue sometimes get lost in the other noise, because raising the volume also raises volume of the noise I don't want to hear. As mentioned, Audacity was able to get close, but it also affects the quality of the dialogue.

ADR is not an option currently, because most of my actors live in different locales. So even though I've had a few successfully record on their Iphone in a closet a few lines that came out very clean, I am not financially in a position to bring them back nor have the entire cast record for me. Micro budget film for sure.

Any suggestions on what you would do in this situation?

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Stephen Mann
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 3:27:04 pm

First, don't try using ADR on just some of the dialog. That will be much worse because it calls attention to the background noise.

Post a minute of the problem audio and let some of us have a go at it.

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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Angelo Mike
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 3:39:51 pm

I know it's too late now, but don't skimp on getting good audio and having the budget for it in the first place. Christopher Nolan supposedly puts a big emphasis on it to get the actors' performances since that's harder to do in ADR. 90% of The Dark Knight uses the location dialogue, though all that gets mixed, EQ'd, etc., before completing the movie.


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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 4:49:40 pm

Thanks Angelo and Mike:

Most of the audio in the film was good, but some scenes are missing audio from external mics, so I had to cut in the audio from the camera. In a couple of scenes the actors' voices were low during recording, and even when I normalize it brings up everything else. When I clean up the surrounding noise, it changes the quality of the dialogue. Can RX3 help with this?

Many thanks,

Debbie


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John Rofrano
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 9:35:31 pm

[Debbie King] "Can RX3 help with this?"
iZotope RX is the goto plug-in for removing noise. You won't find any better and you don't need the advanced version. The basic version is fine. If you have a Mac you could use Sound Soap but there is no longer a PC version.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 16, 2014 at 11:58:33 pm

Hi John:

Would the RX3 remove the noise without affecting the dialogue. I was trying to describe the affect Audacity had on dialogue. I read somewhere where the person called it a metallic sound. I agree with him. It's not an echo sound it's metallic.. Not only the dialogue, but other sounds as well are affected the same way.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Neil Porter
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 17, 2014 at 1:59:37 am

I've used Sony Sound Forge Noise reduction to get rid of background noise from time to time. If you overdo it you will get that 'metallic' sound on the voices - I call it robotic or, more nerdy, Dalek. However .....

What about Sony Spectral Layers? Doesn't that do exactly what you want? Check out some of their video tutorials on Spectral Layers. It will be time-consuming but I think it will do the job.


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John Rofrano
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 17, 2014 at 3:21:32 am

The metallic or under-water sound if from applying too much reduction at once. You need to apply a little reduction several times to avoid that from happening. You need to listed to the noise that's being removed and if you can hear speech in the noise then you know you've applied too much reduction.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 18, 2014 at 3:43:56 pm

Hi Neil:

Thank you. I will definitely check it out.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Colin Morris
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 17, 2014 at 3:30:52 am

Hi Debbie,
A technique I have used in the past is to duplicate the audio onto multiple tracks and use each track for a different plugin/treatment-then sync them together again to get the sound you want. For example track 1 may have a denoiser plugin at one setting and track 2 the same plugin at another setting. The trick is to not try to do everything on a single track. Duplicate the section of dialogue, treat it, and then mix them back together.
BTW- As Mike suggested, get a copy of Jay Rose's book. It has saved me several times over the years.

Colin Mendez Morris
ArsMusica
http://www.arsmusica.ca


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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 18, 2014 at 3:44:42 pm

Hi Colin:

I will try this. Thank you so much.

Best,

Debbie


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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 19, 2014 at 5:36:27 pm

Hello Everyone:

Do you think that RX3 would be able to get rid of the metallic sound that a noise removal plugin has caused, or would I need to start from scratch?

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Neil Porter
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 19, 2014 at 11:55:18 pm

Start from scratch. As has already been mentioned above, when using Sony Sound Forge Noise Reduction, you have to do several passes with only a small % at a time. Thanks to the Sony contributors/users tipping me off about that, I have been doing that for years already. e.g. if you wanted to reduce by 25%, then you need to do 5 x passes of 5% each.

I once did that for an entry into the annual Australian Tropest Film Contest. The last pass had only the slightest trace of the Dalek sound in it, but I could tell. I called in my two young adult kids, both singers and musos and with really fussy and accurate ears. They liked all the passes except the last - they could pick the Dalek.

I sent them all to the project owner. Guess which version of the soundtrack the owner chose?


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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:00:22 am

Thank you Neil:

So you are saying that I should be able to accomplish this in Sony Sound Forge? What about Audacity?

My challenge is that some of the noise is with the dialogue. So although I cleaned around it, when the speaker speaks I hear a slight hiss.

Thank you for the info.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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John Rofrano
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:43:40 am

[Debbie King] "Do you think that RX3 would be able to get rid of the metallic sound that a noise removal plugin has caused, or would I need to start from scratch?"
That sound is caused by dialog being deleted. You can never get that back so as Neil said, you need to start from scratch. I good trick is to listen to just the noise. Most plug-ins have a switch to check what's being removed. If you can hear dialog in the removed noise, you have removed too much.
[Debbie King] "So you are saying that I should be able to accomplish this in Sony Sound Forge? What about Audacity?"
Sound Forge comes with the Sony Noise Reduction plug-in which was sold separately at one time for a few hundred dollars. It is way better than Audacity but not as good as iZotope RX.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:58:07 am

Thanks John and Neil:

I was experimenting and went back to the original audio that was not altered and dubbed it with the other metallic version. The dialogue was pumped up and I cannot hear the metallic sound. What I am thinking is that I can use the noise reduction software to remove the hiss and hums from the original and keep both tracks since the dialogue is more audible. My original problem was that the dialogue was recorded low, and when I raised the volume or normalized the file, a lot of noise was heard. I took the normalized file dropped it into Audacity and removed the surrounding noise which resulted in loss of dialogue under water sound.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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John Rofrano
Re: Super Clean Sound Film
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:58:24 am

You're welcome Debbie. Glad we could help.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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