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Basic Audio Waveform Question

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Scott Clements
Basic Audio Waveform Question
on Jan 31, 2013 at 5:12:54 pm

Hi,

This is a really basic question for people who know about audio. In FCP, I've been given two mono audio tracks for interviews. On track 1, the waveform appears to be what I consider to be normal, with the "spikes" mostly shooting upwards. However, on mono track 2, the audio appears to be quite abnormal to me. The spikes, for the most part, shoot downwards. Both tracks are centred. Track 2 sounds fairly normal, but quite a bit more bassy. So, I'm assuming that the sound recordist, recorded it with more bass? Is this normal practice? In my years and years of editing (admittedly for few clients), I've never seen this. How does the recordist intend me to use these tracks? I can't ask him right now. Any insights? Track 2 just looked really odd to me.

-Scott

Film Editor, London UK


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Rafael Amador
Re: Basic Audio Waveform Question
on Jan 31, 2013 at 5:38:19 pm

Most people use only one external mic for interviews (channel 1) and records the on camera mic of in channel 2 for security.
So what you are getting is nothing strange.
You need just one voice track, so use the one that sounds better.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Scott Clements
Re: Basic Audio Waveform Question
on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:10:22 pm

Hey, Rafael.

Thanks for your response. I am familiar with the technique you mentioned, but I'm almost 100% sure that track 2 is not the camera mic. It sounds as though the interview was recorded with two external mics, but that low end was added into the 2nd one. The difference in quality is only one of equalisation, not of mic placement or quality. It's almost as the recordist said, "Ah, I'm gonna give you your own bass track that you can mix in with the normally recorded one, if you feel so inclined". it's really odd.

-Scott

Film Editor, London UK


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Mark Suszko
Re: Basic Audio Waveform Question
on Jan 31, 2013 at 7:10:39 pm

Not all that odd. I do that sometimes when I can't ride levels manually: I'll feed the same mic to two, manually-set inputs and crank one down low, in case there is a loud transient part, the low-level track will catch it without distortion.

Considering the issue with your mystery track seems more one of bass than level, maybe the recordist had two mics with different characteristics and he's giving you the option, as theorized, or, the second track may have a phasing issue of some kind.


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Scott Clements
Re: Basic Audio Waveform Question
on Jan 31, 2013 at 7:52:14 pm

Thanks for this insights, Mark.

Film Editor, London UK


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Rafael Amador
Re: Basic Audio Waveform Question
on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:09:14 am

As Mark says.
I've been working many times with one channel control on manual and the other with the Automatic Gain Control.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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