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Sound Editing a Feature Film

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Debbie King
Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 4, 2014 at 3:00:40 pm

Hello Everyone:

Sound editing a feature is a very long and tedious process. I don't think I had as many challenges when I did the sound edits for the trailer.

My discover is that since the dialogues are all on one track, it's difficult to mix on the console, because the console is designed to monitor track levels. My challenge is that some of the dialogue is very low while others are perfect. I used the track compressor on the low ones to bring up the volume and push back the average noise you hear when volume is raised. That worked fine, except that it's not sufficient. The low dialogue is still low compared to the others. I will have to sacrifice dialogue by raising the background noise to hear the dialogue better. This is on individual clips and there were a few of these challenges. With those few, I editing them in Audacity and dropped them back into the timeline. That helped the background noise some, but volume was still an issue. So, again I go into the plugin (track compressor) and make the adjustments, but that airy hiss sound returns; not as much as before, but it's there. The sound is not seamless. You can hear the sound difference when the movie cuts to another scene.

Since they are on individual tracks, it's difficult to mix in real-time where I can listen to how everything sounds from one clip to the next and adjust accordingly as the movie plays. I'm thinking; the only way to do something like that is if they were on different tracks.

Has anyone ever experienced this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Debbie


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Graham Bernard
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 4, 2014 at 4:49:07 pm

Debbie, get Audio as GOOD as you can prior to any adjusts. I use iZotope RX 3 Advanced.

Grazie

Video Content Creator and Potter
PC 7 64-bit 16gb * Intel® Core™i7-2600k Quad Core 3.40GHz * 2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 Ti
Cameras: Canon XF300 + PowerShot SX50HS Bridge


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Debbie King
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 4, 2014 at 10:51:46 pm

Hi Grazie:

Thank you. I noticed that the advanced is pretty pricey. I'm sure it's worth it. My budget is a bit tight. Is the regular RX3 any good? Anything less is even better.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Bob Peterson
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 1:18:54 am

The regular RX-3 will do what you want it to do. It has a very good denoiser module. Also, I thought SVP now includes a denoiser. If so, it can also remove the hiss you are having trouble with, and it works extremely well.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 9:32:05 am

I believe there is a trial version of RX3 that is fully functional to play with. I always use the meters on every clip and get all my dialog within an acceptable range using volume control, normalize etc. Also if you have lab on one channel ad boom on another you'll want to select the best channel for each take. Then I go back and de-noise all the bad stuff.

Make sure you're using fade-in and outs to hide any abrupt cuts. You can also put in appropriate ambience for each scene and/or room tone to hide noise and changes between performers. I will sometimes use room tone, and stack 2 or more ambiences to fill out a scene.

Also - I find it easier to always use more than one track for dialog - that way you can overlap them to hide any noisy cuts.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Graham Bernard
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 9:44:13 am

My deepest Audio level of Tracks was:

1] 2 x Ambient (2xCammies)

2] 2 x Interviews to Camera

3] 1 x V/O

4] 1 x Music BG

5] 2 x Foley

6] MixDown from a LIVE Board of a 12 mic'ed Chorale and Orchestra

7] Post re-worked from 6] above from Audio House.

That's 10 Vegas Audio Tracks. Vegas didn't even cough.

G

Video Content Creator and Potter
PC 7 64-bit 16gb * Intel® Core™i7-2600k Quad Core 3.40GHz * 2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 Ti
Cameras: Canon XF300 + PowerShot SX50HS Bridge


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John Rofrano
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:07:34 am

I would definitely keep each actor's dialog on a separate track. This way you can EQ them differently (especially if it's a man and woman). The regular RX3 should be more than adequate for removing background noise. I would use normalization to raise the audio level and then remove any unwanted background noise. There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to get it loud enough using normalization.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:51:58 am

Hi John:

Thank you. Great advice. I have 28 actors. Would you modify your process in a case like this, or would you still have the tracks for each actor?

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 6, 2014 at 4:47:29 pm

I usually create 4 dialog tracks for every show - then as many fx tracks as I need - usually at least 12 - then at least 2 music tracks for overlaps etc. You don't need a track for every actor but you never want to cut dialog on just one track.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Debbie King
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:49:44 am

Hi Grazie:

Great advice. I will definitely make those adjustments, because when I opened the mix console and saw that I had no leverage, I wondered about separating the tracks.

Thank you so much.

Best,

Debbie


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Graham Bernard
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 12:46:56 pm

Separating the TRACKS so you have control on all aspects for exactly the reasons you outline, is the ONLY way to go forward.

G

Video Content Creator and Potter
PC 7 64-bit 16gb * Intel® Core™i7-2600k Quad Core 3.40GHz * 2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 Ti
Cameras: Canon XF300 + PowerShot SX50HS Bridge


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Debbie King
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 7:24:35 pm

Thanks Grazie:

I have a lot of actors on this project, so I better get busy separating the files. You're right I can't mix well without the tracks being separated.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Debbie King
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:47:41 am

Hi Lance:

Thank you. Great advice. I always wondered about the multiple dialogue tracks. In theory of course, because my dialogues are all on one track. I still have some time to make those changes.

Thank you very much.

Best,

Debbie


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 6, 2014 at 4:49:06 pm

No prob - have fun!

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Debbie King
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:44:46 am

Hi Bob:

Thank you. I will check it. I have Vegas Pro 12.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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Angelo Mike
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 6, 2014 at 2:36:55 pm

I didn't realize Vegas had a denoiser. I gotta try that.

I'm amazed at how difficult good location audio/dialogue can be even after thinking I've got a handle on it with years of shooting. I recently shot interview videos walking around where the host (my mom) talked to people in a crowded theater lobby, and it's maddening how deficient the audio became even after I tried to get it right on location with my levels and a decent mic and recorder. The Tascam DR-05 has a sturdy build and is inexpensive, but the audio drifts and the pickup pattern with the mics sticking outward instead of in can make for one or the other channels to dominate when I never intended that to.

Purely for educational purposes, here's what I ended up with, even after using Track Compressor and Audacity to clean up certain spots.







I absolutely believe in paying for good audio equipment on location after experiences like this and am looking into something like an H4N or H6N.


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Debbie King
Re: Sound Editing a Feature Film
on Jun 7, 2014 at 1:08:28 am

Hi Angelo:

I just clean up a clip from an outside scene in Audacity. What I did was select the noisy area in the profile and then select everything. Then click open noise removal again and clicked ok. This brought down the noise a little. I just wanted to get some of the noise from the dialogue. Afterwards I selected each area individually that was noisy and removed it, leaving the dialogue untouched. It wasn't completely seamless, in that I had to be careful not to affect the dialogue, but it clean up my file quite well. Thank for sharing.


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