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fan guy hit a wall

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Nelson May
fan guy hit a wall
on May 14, 2009 at 5:32:57 am

I have been trying to record the sound of an oscillating fan and haven't been having any luck. I have a TLM103 and Rode NTG2, but have been trying the 103. I just can't get what I want. I have event reference monitors and there is either too much bass or hiss. It doesn't sound natural.

Anyway, I make relaxation CDs (http://www.tenminuterelaxationcd.com) on the side and wanted to make an old time oscillating fan. I have been searching for a needle drop and google has turned up nothing, just other fans I dont want.

Does annone have a line on a loop for an old time oscillating fan? I would be interested in purchasing it and looping it for an hour. I also need the terms of use. Public domain would be great, but I see a lot of sfx that you can pay for and have full commercial use privileges.

G5, 1.7, 4MB RAM, 30"cine, G4, 1.6 2MB RAM, Mbox, Neumann TLM-103, FCP HD 5. Pro Tools, Adobe Creative Suite, Reason 3.0, Macromedia Studio, ProAnimator, HVX200 with Firestore v4.0


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Greg Curda
Re: fan guy hit a wall
on May 14, 2009 at 9:14:36 am

Hi Nelson,

I think you don't like the fan you have. Did you try a different one? Did you try mid to distant micing? A little EQ to get the sound you want? A little room reverb to soften it? Maybe even a low tech solution like internal laptop mic to QT, or Olympus voice recorder, etc?

If the answer is yes, then you got the wrong fan. There are about 1000 sites with SFX on them...unfortunately, you will have to browse till you find what you want...Maybe someone can give links to their fave sites...I know some offer searchable databases. Good luck...


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Nelson May
Re: fan guy hit a wall
on May 14, 2009 at 3:31:25 pm

I am not too experienced in foley audio. I tried distance and mid, and also tried two fans. One thing, I can't get a lot of gain in the mic. either the TLM103 or shotgun. I boost the trim, but get a lot of ambient sound. Should I boost the levels and add a gate? I have to normalize my sound to get it up to about -12db and it brings everything up with it.

Again I am inexperienced in foley, and I am doing a lot of trial and error.

G5, 1.7, 4MB RAM, 30"cine, G4, 1.6 2MB RAM, Mbox, Neumann TLM-103, FCP HD 5. Pro Tools, Adobe Creative Suite, Reason 3.0, Macromedia Studio, ProAnimator, HVX200 with Firestore v4.0


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John Fishback
Re: fan guy hit a wall
on May 14, 2009 at 3:25:18 pm

What's your mic plugged into? Is it receiving the phantom power it needs?

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.5 QT7.5.5 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870
ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE Enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
24" TV-Logic Monitor
Final Cut Studio 2 (up to date)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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John Fishback
Re: fan guy hit a wall
on May 14, 2009 at 5:38:45 pm

It's very strange you're not getting good level with that setup. I run a U87 into my Yamaha and have no issues with gain. Is there a pad switch on your mixer. Mine has one. If it's there, maybe it's turned on.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.5 QT7.5.5 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870
ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE Enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
24" TV-Logic Monitor
Final Cut Studio 2 (up to date)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Nelson May
Re: fan guy hit a wall
on May 14, 2009 at 3:39:41 pm

I have it running into a yamaha mixer. I have phantom power turned on. I know I can get good signal on the mic, because I am a vo actor and use the neumann and I also use the boom for indie film projects.

The yamaha mixer runs to a MBOX then USB into a MAC.

G5, 1.7, 4MB RAM, 30"cine, G4, 1.6 2MB RAM, Mbox, Neumann TLM-103, FCP HD 5. Pro Tools, Adobe Creative Suite, Reason 3.0, Macromedia Studio, ProAnimator, HVX200 with Firestore v4.0


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JC Boulay
Re: fan guy hit a wall
on May 14, 2009 at 9:49:02 pm

I think your problem is your mic selection. I work with 103's all the time on VO, where they excel, but can't imagine recording a fan with them. Too characterial, high noise floor, low sensitivity... it really isn't a mic designed for picking up ambiances and SFX. I have no knowledge at all of the Rode, but if it's a shotgun, there's a good chance it's not suited to the use either. Shotguns are usually not flat at all and the extreme polar pattern sometimes introduces other issues because of the backward lobe in the polar pattern.

Sounds like a mic rental to me. My personal go-to would be a Sennheiser MKH-800, but the list could be long.



JC Boulay
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada
http://www.audioz.com


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Ty Ford
Re: fan guy hit a wall
on May 15, 2009 at 12:27:24 am

Gotta say JC,

In only know one mic on the planet that MIGHT be more sensitive and with 1-2 dB lower self noise than the TLM 103, and it's got edgy problems. So I'm going to disagree with you on this one.

I think he has a fan that isn't making the sound he wants, or he hasn't found the right spot, or he has a really noisy room.

Go to fan shop and find another fan.

REgards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Greg Curda
Re: fan guy hit a wall
on May 16, 2009 at 9:24:20 am

Nelson, don't be discouraged. It took me half a day to get the fan sounds for "The Two Jakes" and that's with the entire prop dept at my disposal. It ended up as about 6 layers...for a fan! For Foley I always use a KMR81i, but that's just me.

I think you want to find an old fan that's metal. Metal blades for sure and good mechanical sounds. Experiment with the speeds. Use the TLM to get a good general sound and move the shotgun around to isolate specific sweetener sounds. Try placing the shotgun directly above the fan cage, so the blades move on and off axis. It's the sense of oscillation that will give you the effect you want.

The greatest piece of technology you own is your ears. The mic will never hear things in the same way. The key to SFX is to create something that the ear likes. Then the brain believes it. Sometimes you get lucky and it's 1 take, most times it's just a lot of work.


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Nelson May
Re: fan guy hit a wall (question for Greg)
on May 31, 2009 at 11:50:33 pm

Hi Greg,

It has been a few weeks, but I am about to get back on my fan project. Per your post:

-----I think you want to find an old fan that's metal. Metal blades for sure and good mechanical sounds. Experiment with the speeds. Use the TLM to get a good general sound and move the shotgun around to isolate specific sweetener sounds. Try placing the shotgun directly above the fan cage, so the blades move on and off axis. It's the sense of oscillation that will give you the effect you want.-----

Can I try to run the TLM103 and shotgun mic at the same time, on two channels and see what I get. I don't know if that is practical for not. A friend suggested it. I have an old fan from ebay and am going to see what I can do with it. Since I am a video guy and VO actor, I know little about folly. Is there a specific way to loop sounds? I haven't been able to find too much on it. After I get the take a want, I have to loop these together to get a few minutes of the fan. Again, I have only looped with pre recorded instrument loops and not sound I have created. is there some theory to looping sounds?

G5, 1.7, 4MB RAM, 30"cine, G4, 1.6 2MB RAM, Mbox, Neumann TLM-103, FCP HD 5. Pro Tools, Adobe Creative Suite, Reason 3.0, Macromedia Studio, ProAnimator, HVX200 with Firestore v4.0


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Greg Curda
Re: fan guy hit a wall (question for Greg)
on Jun 2, 2009 at 2:59:21 am

Yes, of course you can run as many mics to different channels as you want. Placement really matters, and inches count.

What is it about the fan that you really want to hear? The sound of the blades cutting the air? The sound of the oscillation, back and forth? The gentle whir of the motor? This may not be possible with 1 track. You might get lucky and find the perfect placement for the Neumann, but maybe not. All placements have some value. You might have to combine tracks/sounds to get the feel you are looking for. Try the suggestions in the previous post.

You dont have to loop anything... Record 5 minutes. If you do multiple passes, just sync the tracks in post, on the timeline. use the oscillation or mechanical sounds for sync. If you have to loop, you will have to pick a sync point anyway to make the loop sound natural. Play with the EQ of each component to bring out what you need from each component. Combining tracks is like combining instruments...they cant all be full range...you end up with mush...do you get my meaning?

Above all, trust your ears...When you get the right combination, your body will go "YEAH"...


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