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Enhancing Vocals for Video

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Neil Adamson
Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 15, 2013 at 7:56:11 am

Hello

I have a voice over recording - It was recorded on-site at a client through a camera.
Basically it is good clean recording and tecnically it sounds fine (i.e. no interference, hiss, hum, clicks or pops).

The VO was very professional and she has good expression and enunciation - so all should be good.

But it sounds a bit dull (I think) - nothing technically wrong with the recording but maybe just a bit flat and one dimensional.

I could take it into Adobe Audition (I use 1.5) and apply one of the preset effects - Bright and Punchy or Large room etc - but I am never really happy with these presets and I know enough to know that I don't know enough to apply compression / hard limiting etc to tweak the sound.

So I am asking any audio pros if they are prepared to give away some audio post processing tips and tricks that add a bit of subtle oomph (if that is the right word) to the recording - to make it sound just that much better - it certainly doesnt need a lot - just that final tweak to enhance the audio experience.

I use Avid 6 so can use the RTAS effects there as well.

Any help will be greatly appreciated
Cheers
Neil

Neil
Effective Video
http://www.effectivevideo.co.za


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Peter Groom
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 15, 2013 at 11:38:57 am

Without hearing it , were stabbing in the dark, but in general terms id
1) apply a little light compression, maybe a 3:1 or 2:1 ratio. and would set the threshold to result in about a 4 or 5 db reduction in level, and then apply the make up gain of that amount to put it back up.
2) To brighten, I generally opt for the 7 band eq3 digirack eq from within pro tools, but the same plugin is within AVID too.
Id apply the HF filter boost by 3-5 db (right end control in blue)
This will add crispness and cut through.
3) I might use the same eq LF control (red on left end) to decrease any background rumble. If its a female VO then she wont have any LF down there (I HOPE) so it wont affect the words, but will take any bg rumble out.-10db at 80-100hz should do it.
4) The green High MF control on a small boost at 1k will really punch through her clarity but be careful with that one as it will send your level much higher very easily with an female voice.
But like always, use your ears to tell you. These are just general pointers and make no allowance for her sound, tone, any sibillance etc.

Post a short sample if you like and ill eq it on the 7 band eq and tell you the settings.?!?
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Neil Adamson
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 15, 2013 at 12:07:33 pm

Thanks Peter
Much appreciated - I will try these and will post a short clip as well when back in the edit room
Regards
Neil

Neil
Effective Video
http://www.effectivevideo.co.za


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Neil Adamson
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 15, 2013 at 6:48:10 pm

Hello Peter

Your "voice unheard "recommendations already appear to make a great difference (although to be honest I am not sure how accurately I applied them!)

I have uploaded 2 very short clips
http://www.effectivevideo.co.za/agco.html for you to listen to

Hopefully they are long enough - if not let me know.

Thanks very much for the assistance - much appreciated

Regards
Neil

Neil
Effective Video
http://www.effectivevideo.co.za


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Ty Ford
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 16, 2013 at 2:28:52 am

Hello Neil and thanks for stopping by the Cow Audio Forum.

I was unable to access anything at the link you provided.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow AUdio Forum Leader

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


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Neil Adamson
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 16, 2013 at 8:07:09 am

Hello

Not sure why the link broke -

it is http://www.effectivevideo.co.za/agco.html

I tried to add it as a link in the forum editor and obviously got it wrong
- Here

Neil
Effective Video
http://www.effectivevideo.co.za


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Peter Groom
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 16, 2013 at 11:18:21 am

HI Neil
I had a listen to the 2 tracks you uploaded.

The background room liveness on the original is much much reduced on the treated vo, so thats been positive.
Was it the exact same recording?. If it was it must have been the lf filter that helped that away although I didnt get such a decrease in bg room tone with just the filters i suggested in my studio.

The levels are much better too as can be seen by comparing the waveforms. Increasing the level wouldnt get rid of the room liveness, as this would merely increase with the gain increase proportinately.

The eq is punchier and the vo will sit over other soundtrack elements like sync fx, bg fx and music much better. On my speakers
big Genelecs at work and smaller genelecs at home, it does sound pretty bright and crisp - perhaps a fraction too much?!?, but its down to personal taste really. Certainally no more Id suggest.

Try both over musc bed etc and see the difference in where you can sit the music before you lose the words.?
Good job.
Cheers
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Ty Ford
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 16, 2013 at 12:36:12 pm

HI Neil,

Sounds like you turned it up, normalized it or processed it with some sort of gain reduction.

Which did you use?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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Neil Adamson
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 17, 2013 at 8:29:22 pm

Hello

Here are the 3 RTAS effects I used - please keep in mind that this was my attempt at following Peter's instructions and I claim very little knowledge of what I did - only to say that I am determined to increase the audio quality of the corporate videos we do and all your assistance is greatly appreciated - because these changes have made the VO sound much much better.








Regards
Neil

Neil
Effective Video
http://www.effectivevideo.co.za


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Peter Groom
Re: Enhancing Vocals for Video
on Feb 17, 2013 at 8:42:08 pm

HI Neil
Yep thats about what id expect to see on the eq curve (although you did go a little harder on the hf lift than i expected)
Its a little odd to add hf and then use a de eser?? but whatever gives the result you need I guess.

1 word of advice if youre going to tinker with eq etc.
Listen to it, make the change. leave it.
if you eqy the soind brighter (as in your example) and then work with it on the timeline for an hour or 2, your ears will become accustomed to the brighter sound, so it no longer sounds so bright.
Dont then add more hf as its not a correct assesment. Trust in what you did originally and resist the temptation to tinker into the night.
Try to have a listen to any eq ing you ve done th enext day, so you can judge what youve done on fresh ears, just liek you would if grading something hard!

Which Media compser are you running?
I have MC 6.0.1.1 at home and am about to install 6.5.2.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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