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Toni Reynolds
Background noise problems.
on Feb 4, 2010 at 10:40:23 pm

I'm a complete beginner trying to get my head around using a radio mic! I'm using a Sennheiser EW100G2 with the clip on mic. I need to film someone giving a demonstration in a room which has some minimal background noise such as people talking in the next room, cars outside. These sounds are not a problem until my speaker stops talking. When she does the volume of the background noise increases. I don't even know what this is called to look up how to alter my settings...

many thanks!




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cowcowcowcow
Richard Crowley
Re: Background noise problems.
on Feb 5, 2010 at 1:23:02 am

That is called "pumping" (aka "breathing" or "noise modulation") It is possible that it is happening in the wireless microphone. But without hearing it, I would wager that is much more likely to be happening in the camcorder or recorder (not identified).

The most likely cause is "auto-level". If the equipment is setting levels on its own and the person stops talking, the level is increased until the ambient noise is almost as loud as the speech.

This is a major reason for not using auto-level. Little professional recording is done with "auto-level".


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Toni Reynolds
Re: Background noise problems.
on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:03:06 pm

Of course you were right! I'm using a Sony FX1000e and it was set to Auto audio level. Will have a play around with manual...

Thanks again!!! t*


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Peter Groom
Re: Background noise problems.
on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:13:38 pm

Richard is right. No AGC ever (except when needed!!)
Also try experimenting with best capsule positioning to minimise extraneous noise. Also try to ensure you are getting a good healthy voice input. Never too hot as that creates other problems, but you dont want to be amplifying other noises to get your vo up to the mark.
The trick is maximising the difference between the unwanted and the wanted signals, hence lessening their noticability.
The cars noise etc can probably be improved with a hi pass filter. This will take out the lo rumble of cars outside and leave the vo, as this personal mic is unlikely to go that low. Just keep your ears turned on so youre not over doing it.

Failing all that, go tell them to shut up.

Peter
Dubbing Mixer



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John Fishback
Re: Background noise problems.
on Feb 5, 2010 at 10:51:35 pm

Another way to say what Peter has suggested is the closer the mic gets to the mouth the louder the speech is so you lower the gain of the mic to get the voice to a good level. By lowering the gain you also lower the background noise. I once shot in an American Can plant which was so loud everyone had to wear mandatory ear protection. But the sound person placed the lavs in a perfect position so the actors were perfectly clear. You heard the background noise, but it did not drown out the talent.

John

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FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.1, Motion 4.0.1, Comp 3.5.1, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.1)

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John Fielden
Re: Background noise problems.
on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:21:37 am

Besides the previous posts of going to a manual setting and better mic placement, to help with the editing process in noisy enviroments it is wise to record "room tone". Which is just recording ambience using the same microphone in the same placement for about 30 seconds. This gives you a smoother transition for different scenes instead of an abrupt sound change.

Visit http://roll-sound.com


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Toni Reynolds
Re: Background noise problems.
on Feb 15, 2010 at 2:56:08 pm

Thanks for all the useful advice. Also bought a set of decent headphones so I was better able to hear what was really being picked up at the time. Have managed to get a good recording and feel much more confident using the kit. :)

Cheers!!

t*


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