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Need advice on fixing up audio

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Jacob Kirby
Need advice on fixing up audio
on Nov 20, 2009 at 4:54:14 am

Hey,

I'm editing a movie for some friends and I'm kinda new to everything. They filmed the entire thing at a fair, and as a result there's ALOT of background noise. I've got soundsoap and final cut studio 3 and I've heard that both are pretty good. What would be my best plan of attack for fixing up the audio and removing background noise?


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Peter Groom
Re: Need advice on fixing up audio
on Nov 20, 2009 at 12:45:33 pm

Ive got to be a negative here.

If you don't want it to sound like its in a noisy place, dont shoot it in a noisy place. Pros would create the fair for the shoot and therefore all extraneous noise would be added in the mix.

The sound recordist should be flagging up unacceptable levels of bg noise on location, and the director needs to listen to him.
Noise reduction applications like izotope, look at analysing a constant factor such as buzz or hum, and can remove that pretty well. But fairground isn't flat, its highly textured and isn't noise, its a feature that you chose when shooting there.
You can do obvious things like lo roll off filters to remove a general lf noise, but there are real limits before you cripple the audio you want to retain, and if the dialogue is too submerged in the bg atmos, then there is only ADR left.

ADR is the re recording of all dialogue in a controlled studio, adjusting and slipping to fit the lipsync, and then you re add the fairground to a better spec. Its very specialised, time consuming, and the performers need to be good at it too. An acquired skill for everyone.

Sorry but its the truth!
These are the lessons "freinds" learn.

Peter

Peter


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Peter Groom
Re: Need advice on fixing up audio
on Nov 20, 2009 at 2:17:31 pm

Ive got to be a negative here.

If you don't want it to sound like its in a noisy place, dont shoot it in a noisy place. Pros would create the fair for the shoot and therefore all extraneous noise would be added in the mix.

The sound recordist should be flagging up unacceptable levels of bg noise on location, and the director needs to listen to him.
Noise reduction applications like izotope, look at nalysing a constant factor such as buzz or hum, and can remove that pretty well. But fairground isn't flat, its highly textured and isn't noise, its a feature that you chose when shooting there.
You can do obvious things like lo roll off filters to remove a general lf noise, but there are real limits before you cripple the audio you want to retain, and if the dialogue is too submerged in the bg atmos, then there is only ADR left.

ADR is the re recording of all dialogue in a controlled studio, adjusting and slipping to fit the lipsync, and then you re add the fairground to a better spec. Its very specialised, time consuming, and the performers need to be good at it too. An acquired skill for everyone.

Sorry but its the truth!
These are the lessons "freinds" learn.

Peter

Peter


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Jacob Kirby
Re: Need advice on fixing up audio
on Nov 20, 2009 at 4:26:03 pm

Thanks for the help,

For the record, we're not professionals and I wasn't even on set... If I was I would have definitely said something about it. It was a learning experience for everyone involved and I'm just trying to help them piece it together. I'm not looking for perfect audio here, I've got plenty of music from local musicians to cover up the really bad stuff and some of it actually sounds pretty good. There's one scene in particular where they're in front of a fun house and some kind of motor is making a constant hum. It's almost as loud as the dialogue and pretty distracting, I'm just looking to bring that down as much as possible so I can cover it up with a song or something.

I don't have Izotope on my computer, is it worth looking into? Can I do just as good a job in Soundtrack pro or Soundsoap? We've already established that we aren't doing any ADR. Some of the actors aren't around anymore and this project is far from perfect anyway. They're just good friends of mine and I'm trying to help them wrap it up so we can move on to the next one and do a better job there.


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Peter Groom
Re: Need advice on fixing up audio
on Nov 20, 2009 at 5:26:09 pm

Hi
Personally I rate izotope pretty highly. That said its not something that just magics away sound. It takes some time and effort to learn how to manipulate the audio and the software.
id say you should look at it.

There is a demo version and it works as a stand alone app or as a plug in to daws like pro tools. The thing with the demo is that you cant save the audio using the stand alone. So youd either need to assess if it can help and then buy it, or find another way of recording the output audio in real time!!!!

I take onboard what youve explained about the project and your involvement. I guess Im just not used to that way of working.

Enjoy the experience

Peter

Peter


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Ty Ford
Re: Need advice on fixing up audio
on Nov 20, 2009 at 8:04:00 pm

Peter,

Sadly, this is very typical for a newbie or even semi-experienced film maker in the US. I go to meetings where shorts are played and am usually appalled at the sound.

Somehow there is an expectation that because someone has a camera, he or she is capable of making a movie, regardless of the lack of talent, bad script, poor lighting and bad audio. When you combine zeal with ignorance, you end up with a genre called "student film." Not to say all student films are like this and they are not all made by film students. Maybe they should be! At least there might be some training to make the piece look or sound better.

Sometimes I can help. Sometimes the solution is the reshoot filter.

Regards,

Ty Ford


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






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Peter Groom
Re: Need advice on fixing up audio
on Nov 21, 2009 at 2:06:48 pm

Good point Ty.

I think, just watching the cow audio forum over the past year or 2, that its apparent that a massive number of people end up with audio problems in their film making endevours. Which seems to prove or support 1 statement. They dont look at the cow until after its too late.
If people were across the cow generally, then they would be totally aware of more of the pitfalls in advance, and therefore fall into fewer of them.
Its the same problems time after time.

Im also amazed by the number of people who are not audio based, trained, knowlegable, etc who post stating that they are doing the audio mix for a fil, or a tv channell etc . - WWHHHAAATTTT!!!!
Dont think it happens in the UK nearly so much
Peter



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