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But this time I WANT the footsteps!

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Chuck Noland
But this time I WANT the footsteps!
on Sep 30, 2013 at 2:12:12 pm

Ok, here's a twist. For a scene in a corporate video (soundproofing company) I need the sound of footsteps walking on the floor above the scene. I've tried recording through the onboard mics on a canon xf105, with a microphone feeding the camera, and with a Tascam DR40 both using its onboard with microphones as well as mics feeding the xlrs but the sound doesn't translate like you hear it in the room. When the steps are directly above you, you get, through the human ear, that pound sound that has a little deeper resonance. All the ways I try it through recording seems to take a lot of that out and seems to tighten it down more to a pop. When I look at the sound in Adobe audtion it seems to be more of a single peak that makes more of a pop. I am recording at 16bit, 44.1kHz, mono wave file.


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Bill Davis
Re: But this time I WANT the footsteps!
on Sep 30, 2013 at 7:09:20 pm

Oh Boy.

Welcome to the huge gulf between human experience and recording technology.

In real life, you hear and FEEL the thump from the floor above. In order to re-produce anything like that using mics and speakers, the transducers need to re-create the entire pressure wave you'd experience in the room.

And that's wicked difficult.

You could probably get pretty close for a theatrical movie with superb micing technique, foley enhancement, and theatrical speakers including sub-woofers. But if you're trying to get THAT sound on a simple mic into a laptop and then hear it on a small speaker, give up. It's just not going to happen.

Ain't no recording system in existence comes even remotely close to what a human brain plus ears can decode.

All we can do is our humble best.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Chuck Noland
Re: But this time I WANT the footsteps!
on Sep 30, 2013 at 10:24:26 pm

Thanks, I didn't think it was something I was doing. I suspected that the mic just picked up the sound in the wave and like you say, there is also the air pressure from the thump which a mic isn't designed to "hear" but our senses can.


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Craig Alan
Re: But this time I WANT the footsteps!
on Oct 6, 2013 at 5:51:08 am

you might want to try an audio library.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: But this time I WANT the footsteps!
on Oct 9, 2013 at 3:53:21 pm

Hi Chuck,

If I was mixing such a project, I'd chuck out anything you could've recorded on location anyways. There is little way this could be done simply by mic'ing while staying in budget. This is foley or sound design territory. If you want to convey a sense of exasperation of the neighbour's steps, you'll want to go a bit beyond reality anyways.

I'd start with footstep samples, with heels on wood probably, filter out the high frequencies a lot and add a low-end "thump" sound on top. That would be my starting point. I'd go with some room reverb, probably a bit over the top depending on how grounded or "before and after" the shot is. It's about layering other sounds and dosing at this point, but this is not such an easy effect as there are many variables involved in how we hear sounds through floors and walls.

Sure thing, steer towards effecting your recordings or searching for step samples, many of which can be found under CC license online.

IHTH,

JC Boulay
Sound Mixer
Studio SFX
Qu├ębec, Canada
http://www.studiosfx.ca


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Bruce Bartlett
Re: But this time I WANT the footsteps!
on Nov 18, 2013 at 2:14:28 pm

You might try recording with an omnidirectional condenser mic. That type of microphone has an excellent low-frequency response which can add a solid bottom to your foot-thump recordings.

Even low-cost omni condensers tend to have a great low end.Here's one for $48.00:

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-emm-6-electret-measurement-microp...

Hope this helps,

Bruce Bartlett
Bartlett Audio


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