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Recording spoken word with stereo mic

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Tony Connoly
Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 24, 2010 at 2:03:19 pm

As discussed in my other thread, I will be experimenting with Zoom H1 internal stereo mic over the next few days. Is there anything to be aware of when recording spoken word in stereo?


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Ty Ford
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 24, 2010 at 7:28:06 pm

Hi Tony,

Your assignment is to experiment, find the least objectionable method so that if your stuck with only a stereo mic, you can make it work and report back with your findings.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Tony Connoly
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 25, 2010 at 4:43:43 am

That's a pretty tough assignment Ty. There are so many variables...my recordings so far are...what's the technical term? Kr~p! I can't blame it on the H1's mics.


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Peter Groom
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 25, 2010 at 9:04:51 am

If you really must use stereo mics for dialogue recording, then that presumes congratulations are in order, being owner of the worlds first stereo mouth - but seriously
if youre using the zoom mics.
1) get a good pop shield. (I prefer the steadman, but other brands exist)
2) back off the mics. They dont like too much front end
3) Record favouring 1 of the mics, and listen on headphones.
4) When you take it into your edit system, drop the non favoured leg of the stereo pair, and pan the remaining leg centre.
Peter

Peter


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Ty Ford
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 25, 2010 at 12:47:07 pm

Tony,

If you're talking about professional sound, you need to develop a sense of what sounds "right." To do that you need to hear really good audio as a reference against which to compare everything else. You can't do that with the gear you have. The primary limiting factors are its mics and preamps. Secondary factors are your environment and where you put the mic relative to the sound source.

Peter was very kind in giving you a valuable short term work-around. But the challenge remains. You can't really learn what good sound is by discussing it. You have to DO it, HEAR it, PROCESS it with your hearing brain and STORE the memory of it so you can compare it in the future.

Here's a link to a very good article by a very good friend of mine about how the brain processes sound.
Back to the woodshed. :)

http://www.current.org/tech/tech1017quality5-fieldaudio.shtml

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Peter Groom
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 25, 2010 at 1:47:57 pm

Hi Ty
Youre ever so right about remembering and storing sounds.

Ive been a dubbing mixer for well over 20 years now. I find I notice the fine detail of how environments sound all the time so i can recall it and re create it in the studio. Nightclubs, backstage at concerts, train stations, in the car - everywhere. Its a pain in the.
And i find when someone achieves a really good vocal sound, i really notice it, and muse over exactly what it was that i liked about it for future ref.
When listening to music, i dont hear a track. i find myself focussed on the echo or the verb on a cymbal wash, and then the songs over and i missed it.
At the cinema, i miss key parts of storyline because i was distracted by the verby atmos moving behind me and wondering what it is pre empting,.

BUT there was a time in my career when i was so pre occupied with the equipment, and the meters, that Id no brain power available to listen to the audio, and so would miss things.
Fun to learn though
peter

Peter


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Ty Ford
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 25, 2010 at 2:07:04 pm

Peter,

For the edification of all, in as much detail as you can muster, can you please explain what you do as a dubbing mixer?

Regards,

Ty

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






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Peter Groom
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:01:51 pm

Yes.

The dubbing mixer is really the final part in the audio chain in any TV / films audio process. Anything not dealt with up to here, becomes the problem for the dubbing mixer as next stop is transmission.
Strictly speaking, the DM only mixes the final mix, but in reality these days, (unless youre working on really big projects where there is a whole team of audio people carrying out specialist roles such as dial editing, tracklaying, ADR, foley, music, effects laying etc,) the job entails ALL or many of those roles Ive just mentioned mentioned. It depends on the project.
The project typically finishes picture cutting in post where it is "locked". This rarely means exactly that these day, but it should. All too often the audio post process if forced to start before picture lock, meaning the audio timeline has to be tracked to new picture cuts. Software such as Virtual Katy is used to do this.

The dub is presented with the cut audio in the form of an AAF or OMF file. This may only contain guide or scratch track audio. in that case the audio files from the hard drive location recordings need to be spotted in as replacements to the scratch.
The music (often scored to picture) is layed, ambient and spot effects laid to texturise the audio track, Foley recorded and spotted where needed or to add to the texture, ADR recorded and spotted to remove poor portions of dialogue, or to add clarity to an unforseen problem in the storyline. Then once the entire timeline is trimmed, cleaned and organised (often becoming some many dozens or hundreds of tracks) the mix can begin. Often a dialogue premix is made to ensure the dialogue and ADR is 100% perfect. Then further passes to bring in the sound effects, foley, music, eq, effects such as verbs etc, and to pan the audio in the "image (often surround) to create a technically correct, creative and expansive mix and mix stems, to the correct delivery spec and level for the project.

Ofcourse not every DM does all this, or in this order, but it gives a general picture of the process.

I think of it like a chef. He doesnt make all the ingredients himself, but does adjust and blend the different proportions to make a cake that people want to eat.

Hope that explains
Peter

Peter


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Peter Groom
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:04:11 pm

Yes.

The dubbing mixer is really the final part in the audio chain in any TV / films audio process. Anything not dealt with up to here, becomes the problem for the dubbing mixer as next stop is transmission.
Strictly speaking, the DM only mixes the final mix, but in reality these days, (unless youre working on really big projects where there is a whole team of audio people carrying out speshilist (filter dodge) roles such as dial editing, tracklaying, ADR, foley, music, effects laying etc,) the job entails ALL or many of those roles Ive just mentioned mentioned. It depends on the project.
The project typically finishes picture cutting in post where it is "locked". This rarely means exactly that these day, but it should. All too often the audio post process if forced to start before picture lock, meaning the audio timeline has to be tracked to new picture cuts. Software such as Virtual Katy is used to do this.

The dub is presented with the cut audio in the form of an AAF or OMF file. This may only contain guide or scratch track audio. in that case the audio files from the hard drive location recordings need to be spotted in as replacements to the scratch.
The music (often scored to picture) is layed, ambient and spot effects laid to texturise the audio track, Foley recorded and spotted where needed or to add to the texture, ADR recorded and spotted to remove poor portions of dialogue, or to add clarity to an unforseen problem in the storyline. Then once the entire timeline is trimmed, cleaned and organised (often becoming some many dozens or hundreds of tracks) the mix can begin. Often a dialogue premix is made to ensure the dialogue and ADR is 100% perfect. Then further passes to bring in the sound effects, foley, music, eq, effects such as verbs etc, and to pan the audio in the "image (often surround) to create a technically correct, creative and expansive mix and mix stems, to the correct delivery spec and level for the project.

Ofcourse not every DM does all this, or in this order, but it gives a general picture of the process.

I think of it like a chef. He doesnt make all the ingredients himself, but does adjust and blend the different proportions to make a cake that people want to eat.

Hope that explains
Peter

Peter


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Ty Ford
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 25, 2010 at 4:17:32 pm

Peter,

It does, indeed, and explains why the popcorn costs so much at the theater.

The Cow Audio Forum remains the very fortunate recipient of your kind attentions.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Peter Groom
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 26, 2010 at 9:02:32 am

Thats very kind Ty, but like everyone, were all constantly learning. If that stopped id go work in a bank.

I learn a lot too from contributors to this and other forums.
Peter

Peter


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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: Recording spoken word with stereo mic
on Oct 26, 2010 at 12:45:21 pm

That reminds me of when I first really started listening, rather than engineering. One of the best things I did was listen to the "Golden Ears" cds. (I couldn't afford them at the time, but was able to a borrow them.) The part I remember best are the pure tones. They would just play pure sine waves and announce the frequency before each played. Gradually they would get spaced closer together. Then they were combined at different volumes. It really honed my EQ skills. Hearing the frequency in the music and then being able to immediately dial that in on the EQ to add or subtract it is invaluable.

Hearing those tones made a life-long impression in my brain.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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