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What are we missing in our set-up?

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Jeffrey
What are we missing in our set-up?
on Oct 4, 2005 at 4:30:51 pm

We are a small, locally produced Outdoors show, cutting on FCP Studio and shooting with an XL-1 and XL-2. We are getting more and more frustrated as we continue to produce spots and segments with poor audio.
Most of the spots we make consist of a Voice Over audio track and a music track and our segments involve 2 Sennheiser G2 lavs connected directly to the XLR input in the XLs (all outdoors locations). We just can't seem to get that big, full dynamic range that we hear from the nationally produced spots we run on our show. Our field audio is muffeled and thin and our studio VOs are weak and lack any presence (We use a vocal stick mic plugged into a Mackie VLZ going directly to a DVCAM deck to record then into FCP and back to BetaSP for air).
What are we missing to get that big dynamic sound we hear on the big spots?
Is it the mic? The mixer? Do we need a compressor, other additional equipment?
I understand that people spend years aquiring all the information I just asked for, being a real audio pro is very difficult, I'd just like to be pointed in the right direction. What kind of basic set-up should we have or how can we better use our existing set-up to improve our audio?

Jeff


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Perch
Re: What are we missing in our set-up?
on Oct 5, 2005 at 2:46:49 pm

It helps to start out with a good microphone, and good placement. But, for an easy fix without spending a fortune, you may want to try to sweeten the audio in SoundTrack. I do this with most of my audio.
TC


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Seth Bloombaum
Re: What are we missing in our set-up?
on Oct 5, 2005 at 4:00:14 pm

1) Really accurate audio monitoring in your edit suite. You need studio reference monitors to tell you what's really going down. If you don't have them you're just shooting blind on EQ and compression of your field recordings as well as your v/o.

2) Forget the stick - you need a decent large-diaphram condensor mic and a pop-sheild if you have a good narrator and want to hear that in the mix.

3) Learn what to do with eq and compression. You'll do it on the Mac, not with outboard equipment. (sorry, no Mac software recommendations, I use Vegas on the PC)

4) If you're hiding your lavs under clothing, realize that means a whole lot more work in post. See #3.

5) Monitor all your audio in the field with good headphones. Play with lav placement while you're listening to it.

6) Get in-person help from a sound professional in the field and/or studio. They earn their money by getting good sound, and can help you with all of the above. Even if you bring a pro in for just one shoot, one VO and one mix you'll see if what they do is within your reach. If you establish a good relationship they might be happy to set you up for post (do pay them dayrate for this) plus first call for your more difficult shoots.


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Ty Ford
Re: What are we missing in our set-up?
on Oct 13, 2005 at 2:08:05 am

Toys and how to use them to get really good audio and then compress and limit the bejeebers out of it. You can do that with plugins or outboard gear.

Ty Ford



Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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