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EQ 'ing live sound indoors

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Jonny Cates
EQ 'ing live sound indoors
on Sep 3, 2010 at 2:37:49 am

Hello...I need some advice, and I hope this is the right area to post in. It's an FCP audio question.

I've not had any real training in mixing live sound, but I recently shot an indoor musical event - and an unforeseen problem occurred.

ONE:
I had originally plugged my camera into a Yamamha soundboard controlled by an audio technician. He only gave me one line "OUT" so I would not be capturing in stereo, only mono. Fine. I plugged-in the left channel on my Canon GL2.
There was no time to do a sound check for various reasons. The show was about to start. As soon as the first act started, it sounded as though levels were good, but the band was playing quietly at first. As soon as the bass, drums, etc., came in, the sound I then got was bad.
It sounded as if the low-end was overdriven. The PA system sounded OK, but what I was getting was not. Unfortunately, there was not time to trouble shoot this issue.

To my dismay, I was quickly forced to unplug my XLR line from the board, and run my own twin mic system. This of course, is no way to capture (loud) live music. I had no choice.
The sound I recorded on my video is as outstanding as it could be, considering my equipment. Basically, I have authentic 'garage band type sound', and my levels are perfect, just not the mix. The technician did not know what was wrong, nor do I at this point. On two previous events in the past, I have plugged into soundboards before and recorded high quality audio.

I've been experimenting with FCP audio tools (31 channel EQ) to explore the possibility of improving this live sound. And I have found that the EQ 31 channel filter in FCP, does make a vast improvement. Actually, a remarkable improvement I would say.
But I really don't know what I'm doing other than guessing where to move the 31 sliders to make it sound better.

TWO:
Being an audio novice - is this the proper approach to improving a live mic recording? Does the 31 Channel EQ filter in FCP qualify as the best capable enhancer under these conditions?
I'm not looking for a miracle, just the best approach to "IMPROVE" what I have.

Thanks for any advice!

Jonny Cates


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John Fishback
Re: EQ 'ing live sound indoors
on Sep 6, 2010 at 4:36:27 pm

EQ can certainly improve a recording. You might explore using the Compressor as well. While there might be guidelines on using eq for specific situations (try Google-ing), it usually comes down to what sounds best to you. There's an Audio Professionals forum on the Cow that might help. Your problem with the sound board is probably simple overload. They fed you a very hot mix which overloaded the input of your camera. You might invest in some in-line pads. These are devices which passively lower the gain. You'd probably want switched ones with various gain reduction options.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Jonny Cates
Re: EQ 'ing live sound indoors
on Sep 6, 2010 at 8:19:21 pm

John
Thanks for you opinion, much appreciated. I bet your right about the gain being too hot for my camera. I believe I need a more sophisticated XLR adapter other than the simple one made by Canon. It has no controls on it.

I am, however, a little perplexed over one thing. I did open the compressor filter as you suggested, but the audio render line is now red, and I can't listen to any of the slider changes unless I render.
"I don't recall having to do this with the EQ filter?" I searched the FCP 6 manual - and found what I thought was the answer. Key framing a section along with enabling loop playback, sounded like this would let me to hear my changes in real time. Well, that don't work.

I went into the preferences to see how many real time audio mixing tracks and changed that from 8 to 12 track. That didn't help. I must have something not checked or checked wrongly? I'll keep looking.
In the meantime, I will go to that audio group you suggest.

Thanks...

Jonny Cates


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Jonny Cates
Re: EQ 'ing live sound indoors
on Sep 6, 2010 at 8:41:52 pm

John...
I think I answered this, maybe. I un-checked the other audio filters on that clip, and it now enables me to hear the audio changes I make. I assume that when I re-check all the audio filters, they will all render together. I guess this means that when you stack audio filters, only one can be checked in real time. Didn't know that.

Jonny

Jonny Cates


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John Fishback
Re: EQ 'ing live sound indoors
on Sep 6, 2010 at 9:34:57 pm

You're right. Like any filters applied to audio or video tracks there comes the point you have to render. And that depends on how beefy your processors are as well as your RT settings.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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