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What's the best way to get more sound from an interview done at a low level?

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Noam Osband
What's the best way to get more sound from an interview done at a low level?
on Jun 5, 2014 at 10:21:56 pm

I did an interview, and while the lapel mic is clean, the signal was real low. Below is the sound with the db level all the way up to 12 on FCP7.

This is the audio I have however.

Any suggestions for how to get the most out of it? Should I lay down a few tracks with the same audio? Any other good ways to boost the sound?

This is the audio clip: https://soundcloud.com/noamo-2/normal-sound-from-a-mic-with-a-low-level


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Roger Poole
Re: What's the best way to get more sound from an interview done at a low level?
on Jun 6, 2014 at 12:24:59 am

You can try duplicating the audio track in the timeline.


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Mark Suszko
Re: What's the best way to get more sound from an interview done at a low level?
on Jun 6, 2014 at 2:09:26 pm

That, and try using Levelator; its free.

If you try stacking multiple copies of the track, you might want to adjust the EQ on some of them to emphasize high end, but not so much that you're amplifying background noise. Just so it doesn't sound "muddy".


This kind of thing happens when the camera audio input is set for the wrong impedance: line level vs. mic level, or when a control pot in the camera audio controls isn't set high enough.

One other way audio mysteriously drops out is phase cancellation; when the stereo left and right are exactly 180 degrees out of phase, they cancel each other out. If you mute one side of a stereo pair, and yet, it still sounds louder, that's a giveaway that you have phase cancellation issues.

We once had a client that kept complaining our audio was poor on every tape we sent them, yet everything always checked out fine at the shop. Made a "house call" and found out they had their stereo speakers miswired, causing said phase cancellation with anything stereo. However, they were adamant that we should not re-wire their system to be correct. They were kind of technophobic, and were afraid re-wiring the speakers would "mess up" the system as they understood it. So, I just made a note to make all their dubs mono, single-channel, until they had a personnel change.:-)


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Alan Okey
Re: What's the best way to get more sound from an interview done at a low level?
on Jun 7, 2014 at 12:07:41 am

Effects > Audio Filters > Final Cut Pro > Gain

You can add 96dB of gain using the Gain filter vs. only 12dB using the audio level bar in the timeline or the audio level adjustment in the viewer.


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