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Is this a "Tin Can Effect?"

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Cameron Harrison
Is this a "Tin Can Effect?"
on Oct 5, 2012 at 1:17:43 am

I recently shot three interviews for a director colleague of mine. After giving him the files he got back to me saying two of the audio tracks were unusable and we'd have to re-shoot the interviews. They had, what he called, a tin can effect. I then gave them a listen, and though I could hear a slight difference between those and the third interview (and some "professional" interviews he sent me as reference) I really don't think it calls for a reshoot.

So I guess I'm asking for some professional advice. Do you think these sound so bad we need to reschedule the interviews? (If so, I'll accept that, I'm just not convinced yet) If not, can you suggest any filters to help make them sound more rich.

I was using a Rode Ng-1 shotgun mic and recording onto a Tascam audio recorder.

4760_soundexamples.zip


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Richard Crowley
Re: Is this a "Tin Can Effect?"
on Oct 5, 2012 at 3:50:35 am

HOW did you record these? Did you record all three of these exactly the same way? I hear what he is saying about examples 2 and 3. They have a distracting metallic close-reflection "ring" to them. You could try sweeping a notch filter in there to try to reduce the "ring". But whether it is "acceptable" or not is up to the director's ears.

It is an order of magnitude more likely that this can be fixed during shooting than trying any number of filters and tricks after the fact. Of course you should be wearing GOOD, sound-occluding headphones. If you were, then you should have heard the problem and fixed it before hitting the record button.


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Peter Groom
Re: Is this a "Tin Can Effect?"
on Oct 5, 2012 at 10:09:59 am

To me it sounds like the mic position moved between the acceptab;le and un acceptable recordings. The unacceptable ones have way more "room" and i think this would be caused by the speaker moving away from, or the the mic being moved away from the source or moved off axis. .
Its wall refelctions.
Id also guess that the mic was pointing up over rather than dropped in from above, but of course i dont have the pictures.
Cant be removed to the best of my knowlege.

Adding music mask "mask" to some degree.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Cameron Harrison
Re: Is this a "Tin Can Effect?"
on Oct 5, 2012 at 4:06:10 pm

Thanks for the input guys!

I should have mentioned that the "acceptable" interview was done in a much larger room than the other two. The mic position may have been different, too, but I'm guessing the difference in quality is mostly due to the room.

I had the mic above, pointing down at them, but was probably a bit far away (about 2 feet). I'm used to short film shooting, where you usually give a little more head room (and a boom operator is holding it anyway). So I'll be sure to mic a little closer in the future. Would still like to avoid a re-shoot, though, so I'll attempt using the notch filter, thanks.

I'd still be curious on a pro-sound persons opinion whether it's over-reacting to want to re-shoot, or if the audio is distracting enough to warrant it.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Is this a "Tin Can Effect?"
on Oct 5, 2012 at 6:40:06 pm

Even the "good" example has a bit too much ambient for my taste. I would use a clip-on lav for that kind of thing and leave the booms for more dramatic shooting.

I think you could get rid of some of the "ring" using a notch filter, but whether that would render it "acceptable" depends on a great many other factors which likely none of us (except the director) are privy to.

For example, if you were using just a short clip (a phrase or a sentence), or if there were a music bed, or if the audio in the rest of the production all sounds distant, then it might be OK if you can filter it adequately. And of course, what it costs to re-shoot (if it is even possible?)


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Cameron Harrison
Re: Is this a "Tin Can Effect?"
on Oct 9, 2012 at 8:04:54 pm

Thanks for all the replies folks!

Just to give the story an ending, my director finally laid some music under it and found the resulting mix to be acceptable for the use of the video. So it seemed to work out, but I'll be sure to take the advice of making sure the mic is closer to the speaker going forward.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Is this a "Tin Can Effect?"
on Oct 10, 2012 at 5:18:31 pm

I am one of those people who thinks that a clip-on lav is ALWAYS better than ANY boom mic ("shotgun" or hyper-cardioid) for a sit-down interview.

Let's get with the times here, people! Why are we still using our grandfather's technology (hanging a mic from a boom) from back when a microphone was the size of a football? We have really excellent-sounding mics nowadays the size of a match-head!

Here are my criteria for using a boom mic:
1) Period piece where the sight of visible microphones is banned. (Or the actors are nude and no place for a mic!)
2) Talent/subjects come and go quickly (like a man-on-the-street interview, etc.) And there a hand-held may be better than boom anyway.
3) The talent is in a hostile environment (i.e. cavorting in the surf where you don't want any expensive electronics)
4) TRUE "run-n-gun" breaking news coverage where you are chasing the disgraced politician up the steps of the federal courthouse.
5) Film-style (one camera, detailed setps) shooting of SCRIPTED dramatic action where the boom operator knows who/where the next dialog will be. (i.e. big-time Hollywood film/TV production)

Note further that mount the microphone (ANY microphone) ON top of the camera is NEVER a good spot for it. It is ALWAYS a 3rd-rate kludgy compromise and will yield inferior results.


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