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When two mic's leak into each other... fixing in post?

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Justin Farrar
When two mic's leak into each other... fixing in post?
on Apr 26, 2013 at 3:47:06 pm

I edit a lot of interviews between two people who are generally mic'd with lavs. The mic's leak into each other a lot and if I leave both audio tracks in tact, each person sounds bouncy/tinny.

The only solution I've ever had is to go through and manually delete each person's audio from the timeline while they are not speaking, back and forth. It's a long and painful process when I'm cutting 50 minute interviews.

Is there a better solution for handling this in post? I once spoke with an audio guy who suggested I use a Compressor filter in Soundtrack Pro... I'm somewhat amateur with that stuff, but wouldn't that do the OPPOSITE of what I want? It's my understanding that a Compressor would squash the dynamic range - making the quiet parts louder to match the loud parts. What I WANT is to have the "loud" parts of the audio track remain (when the mic'd person speaks) and the "quiet" parts of that audio track disappear (when the mic is picking up the other guest).


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Peter Groom
Re: When two mic's leak into each other... fixing in post?
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:55:52 pm

Yep I agree about compression. Don't see that helping unless he was suggesting using a side chain to trigger a dip on the off mic? Good lck with that!

I think it's a mistake to edit out the off track. That's too severe. You need to be mixing down the off mic so the on mic I's definitely featured, but a little of the room tone will remain in the mix . It's called bulldozing, as the faders work like a bulldozer diggers controls. It's just mixing. Everything needs mixing before it goes anywhere, even just a single mic needs eq,ing and level adjusting.

Why it it a problem to invest time and effort making the audio track correct. Audio is just as demanding as pictures to get the right results and arguably bad audio is more noticed than bad pictures!
It may be that your problem is made worse by poor mic selection at the recording. My preference is the cos11.. Poor mics may have a wider pick up than you want, and of course the levels need to be correct.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Justin Farrar
Re: When two mic's leak into each other... fixing in post?
on Apr 26, 2013 at 9:11:23 pm

Thanks for this response. Definitely helpful.

I probably should have clarified that I'm a video editor - I'm given the video/audio elements to edit and deliver to client. Hence why I am not so familiar with audio mixing. These productions are sadly pretty low-budget, so they can't be sent out and mixed properly.

I don't believe there is a way to bulldoze/mix within a program like Final Cut Pro, but if someone could provide insight on that, that would be great. I agree, it's important to spend the time/effort to make audio sound good - it's just unfortunate that it comes out of my pocket in post, as I'm working at a fixed rate on these videos. The more I have to work to clean up the audio I'm given, the less money I'm making essentially.

I'll look into that cos11 for the production team - I believe right now they use a Tram (wired) which tends to sound pretty good, and a Sennheiser (wireless) which doesn't sound terrific and picks up much more background noise/hum.


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Peter Groom
Re: When two mic's leak into each other... fixing in post?
on Apr 26, 2013 at 10:11:22 pm

In FCP (not that Id use it) you will have to cut the audio track, drop the level on the fader, cut the audio track where it needs to go bak up, and then put cross dissolves in to create the same effect.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Ty Ford
Re: When two mic's leak into each other... fixing in post?
on Apr 27, 2013 at 12:27:50 am

Hello Justin and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Over here we call it "checkerboarding" because the audio tracks are staggered like the squares on a checker board.

Yes, you can do this in FCP and no you don't need to cut the audio files. You use the pen tool, click on the lower left corner to activate the visible volume line. After a little practice, you get quite handy at "dotting" and dragging. You can do crossfades and overlaps and really make very nice transitions.

MInd you there are other things in FCP that irk me, but I have learned to work around most of them.

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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Justin Farrar
Re: When two mic's leak into each other... fixing in post?
on Apr 28, 2013 at 9:36:07 pm

Ty - I think this method will probably be the best for me.

I also did some research and discovered that I can use the Audio Mixing tool, and record key frames on the fly by just playing back the video and bringing the audio levels up and down on the mixer. I'll have to see which is more efficient. Checkerboarding by looking at the audio waveforms would probably be faster, but may only be possible if there is a big visible dip in the waveform for me to detect.

I'll probably do some combination between the two... fast-forwarding through footage whenever possible to save time, and manually adding key frames with pen, or by moving the sliders around.

Thanks!


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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: When two mic's leak into each other... fixing in post?
on Apr 29, 2013 at 8:09:16 pm

From experience, using the pen tool to edit levels will be quickest once you get the hang. In the audio tool you'll only be albe to record one fader move at any time and what you require is two simultaneous fader moves per edit. Once you read your waveforms right and know what levels you want, you can edit much faster than real-time, with a few touchups left. Don't lose time grabbing faders with a mouse.

IHTH

JC Boulay
Technical Director
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada
http://www.audioz.com


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