Jump to content


Photo

Audio Tips


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 spenayoung

spenayoung

    Director

  • Members
  • 145 posts

Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:56 PM

Hola All,

Just thought I would post a few helpful hints regarding audio for MS experts. There are tons of great MS flicks out there, but the sound can sometimes take away from the movie. (Forgive me if this is a repost...it's been awhile since I had time to write, so I may have written this before...dunno).

With vocal recording, you need to avoid the following:
1) Pops: this is the "P" sound you get when you pronounce "p"
2) Noise: mainly room noise and excess noise (like the dog barking behind you
3) Hum: Your computer, A/C, fridge, etc. all make mechanical noises that are picked up with your mic.
4) Saliva: Sounds gross, but some folks seriously have way too much liquid swishing around
5) Lisps: Equally annoying as saliva
6) Clipping: Used to be ok to clip a little bit in analog, but in the digital realm, this is bad news

Quick solutions:
1) A Pop filter will keep the plosives (the "p") from showing up in the recording
2) Find a quiet room, preferably with carpet unless you want the reverb of a floor/walls, etc. You can create your own isolation booth in a closet, create interesting effects with a recording in a bathroom, or use towels/blankets to soundproof a room.
3) Try to turn off EVERY electronic device that is not necessary. Record AWAY from your computer. In some cases, you may be able to isolate your CPU to avoid hum. If not, you can add "hum removal" in a program like Final Cut.
4) For saliva and lisps, just avoid them however you would usually avoid these. smile.gif Do a test and catch the mistakes
5) Clipping is its own animal, but some simple steps can include using a good mic (not the built-in computer mic), using a pop filter, and keeping a good distance from the mic (maybe several inches or so instead of "eating" the mic)

Anyway, hope that was helpful. Kudos to those who use cinematic music for your flicks. Believe it or not, the sound and music can make or break your film.

There are some more links here on my wikispaces page: http://classicalmusi...ecording Basics

smile.gif Sabrina
Sabrina Pena Young
Composer/Filmmaker/Sci-fi Junkie
Libertaria: The Virtual Opera

You must unlearn what you have learned.
Visit My Website

#2 bhainsley

bhainsley

    Wannabe film-maker

  • Members
  • 35 posts

Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:04 PM

Thanks for these tips! Really working on the area of sound...



#3 JosephKw

JosephKw

    Director

  • Pioneers
  • 135 posts

Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:44 AM

Here's some additional tips...

For those who don't have a "pop filter", use a thick cotton sock. Just slip it over the microphone, and leave an inch or so of material hanging over the tip of the mic.

If you receive someone else's VO lines and they have pops (like harsh "P"'s), use a sound editing program to find the pop (it's usually a peak spike). Zoom in to the peak, highlight it, then delete the pop.

It's also a good idea to set all the different voices to the same volume so they sound like they're all speaking in the same room--otherwise it's distracting for one person's voice to be real loud like they're talking into your ear, while some others are barely audible as if they're in another room. To do this, open each dialogue line up in an audio editing program and "amplify" the audio level so they're all pretty much the same level.

#4 cerrico

cerrico

    Novice director

  • Members
  • 74 posts

Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:02 AM

Thank you for posting these tips - they came in real handy for my amateur directing of recording two other people doing voiceovers. I also learned a new tip myself though I'm sure it's already well known. Well, I found it on the web, but actually used both tips so I can vouch that they work.

To make a mock soundbooth, get a box, get some eggcrate-like foam (like used when shipping glass), line the box with the foam, put the mic in the box, then record.

Another trick I read on the web is to put a thick blanket over you, the mic, and your computer (or something holding up the blanket so it doesn't hit the mic). That also creates a mock soundbooth.

Christine

#5 corthew

corthew

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 2357 posts

Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:20 AM

QUOTE (cerrico @ Oct 9 2012, 02:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another trick I read on the web is to put a thick blanket over you, the mic, and your computer (or something holding up the blanket so it doesn't hit the mic). That also creates a mock soundbooth.


I'm thinking of making a "cone of silence" from thick cloth draped from a metal ring hanging from the ceiling over my desk chair area so I can lower it when needed.

Maybe old curtains or towels, whatever I can pick up enough of cheaply at the goodwill.


Sango: "If it was really a miracle everyone would have been saved."

Vargas: "But if everyone was saved how would anyone know it was a miracle."

Sango and Vargas arguing over the implications of one person surviving an unexpectedly active tidal season.

#6 spenayoung

spenayoung

    Director

  • Members
  • 145 posts

Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:48 AM

I'm glad these tips helped out! Many times folks don't pay attention the quality of sound and music in the final cut. Studies have been done about the sound quality in movies, and often an audience is more forgiving of bad visuals but not forgiving of bad audio.

For those that really REALLY want to get into the sound engineering side of things, even just to know how to chat with your sound designer, you can take courses in sound design or read up on trade magazines like Electronic Musician and Computer Music magazines. And there are lots of free online videos about audio engineering online, both on YouTube and free university courses.

Glad to be helpful!

Sabrina Pena Young
Composer
http://sabrinapenayoung.blogspot.com/

Libertaria: The Virtual Opera
http://virtualopera....r-sci-fi-opera/
Sabrina Pena Young
Composer/Filmmaker/Sci-fi Junkie
Libertaria: The Virtual Opera

You must unlearn what you have learned.
Visit My Website

#7 pollux

pollux

    Wannabe film-maker

  • Members
  • 39 posts

Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:57 AM

Thank you Sabrina for the tips, they're very useful.
rolleyes.gif

#8 spenayoung

spenayoung

    Director

  • Members
  • 145 posts

Posted 10 May 2013 - 12:16 AM

QUOTE (pollux @ Mar 20 2013, 7:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you Sabrina for the tips, they're very useful.
rolleyes.gif


No problemo! Call me biased, but I find that the sound/music can really make or break a film.

- Sabrina
Sabrina Pena Young
Composer/Filmmaker/Sci-fi Junkie
Libertaria: The Virtual Opera

You must unlearn what you have learned.
Visit My Website

#9 vphilly

vphilly

    Director

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:22 AM

QUOTE (spenayoung @ May 10 2013, 12:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No problemo! Call me biased, but I find that the sound/music can really make or break a film.

- Sabrina


Thank you for the tips and I agree about music and sound. I remember the Two Steps From Hell music, "Freedom Fighters", that was used in one of the trailers from the last Star Trek film and how much more epic it made the visuals seem.
"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." -some dead guy.

My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.c...ser/pixel62Warp

#10 ArthurVKuhrmeier

ArthurVKuhrmeier

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 492 posts

Posted 10 May 2013 - 06:01 AM

QUOTE (spenayoung @ May 10 2013, 12:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Call me biased, but I find that the sound/music can really make or break a film.

Not at all, I've watched a film that was "musiced" to death. Way too much and too loud music made watching the film almost unbearable. So often I hear and read, "Music is a main actor". And so often I watch Hollywood movies that seem not to know this.

In my opinion it's pretty easy to find out if the music goes with the film. There are 3 senses involved when you watch a film: Sight, hearing and feelings -- which should all be in balance. If the music is too loud hearing is out of balance. If the scene requires silence music will disturb your feelings. If the scene needs music but there is none sight will be overemphasized. Keep these 3 in balance and your movie will be great.

Arthur smile.gif


#11 vphilly

vphilly

    Director

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 10 May 2013 - 04:16 PM

Yeah, I've also seen movies where the music was overdone. It's hard to watch a movie where the music is over the top and the volume is too much. Some filmmakers do not seem to understand that music should be a character in the film as well. The music should strike a balance with the film and with the viewer because your eyes and ears come into play. Emotions are also very important. It really depends on what you want from your audience. When you have silence in a scene that could use a dramatic cue, then you lose the balance and your scene is lifeless because all you're left with is your vision. If the music is too much when it should be almost non existent, then it kills any mood the filmmaker was hoping for. Sight, sound and emotion should all be in balance or your movie will fail.
"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." -some dead guy.

My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.c...ser/pixel62Warp

#12 spenayoung

spenayoung

    Director

  • Members
  • 145 posts

Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:29 PM

Most film composers today borrow from the composer Richard Wagner, who used little snippets of melodies to represent each character (Think the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars...you always knew when the guy was coming because the music would start). If you pay attention to almost any hollywood blockbuster of quality (like LOTR) then you will hear this in the score.

There are many composers, especially student composers, that would love to work with an indie filmmaker to learn some of the ropes, so if you have a chance of working with a composer for your film, you should jump at it.

Learning the basics of sound, in the case of dialog, is also an intricate skill, but one that filmmakers are usually comfortable in mastering, especially since there are a ton of resources online on how to mix and record audio.

The number 1 rule is to get the dialog right in the initial recording.

Don't try to fix it in post! It might take a little more time, but get the recording clean and noise-free at the beginning, and you will save yourself and your film a LOT of headache!

smile.gif
Sabrina Pena Young
Composer/Filmmaker/Sci-fi Junkie
Libertaria: The Virtual Opera

You must unlearn what you have learned.
Visit My Website

#13 sosberg

sosberg

    Master Director

  • Members
  • 307 posts

Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:54 AM

Thank you Sabrina, very well put. It is so important to just take the time and listen, step away, then listen again. A movie with a ill chosen score is like a ship without a rudder!
I would like to see us get this place right first before we have the arrogance to put significantly flawed civilizations out onto other planets, even though they may be utterly uninhabited.
--PATRICK STEWART--

#14 kwistufa

kwistufa

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 290 posts

Posted 09 August 2013 - 05:57 AM

QUOTE (sosberg @ Jul 25 2013, 11:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is so important to just take the time and listen, step away, then listen again. A movie with a ill chosen score is like a ship without a rudder!


Indeed...


#15 spenayoung

spenayoung

    Director

  • Members
  • 145 posts

Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:28 PM

Hey Folks,

I am sure I mentioned this earlier, but since I've been working Libertaria, which is a sci-fi opera (LOTS of lip sync), I found that it helped to create separate audio files instead of using the ones for the final soundtrack.

You can do this in Garageband, Logic, Cubase, Audacity (a FREE program), etc.

For best results:
1) Track must be CLEAN (no extra sounds whatsoever, no music either)
2) Add a noise gate at least at 40, maybe even 30 for the threshold (this means that some of the tale ends of sounds like 'ah' are cut off, which lets the lip sync tool know that the word is done)
3) Pump up the volume some if you have to
4) Go into the EQ and ADD a little bit of sibilance (SSSSS-sound) by boosting the treble (higher frequences). Start at around 1-2K and move up to 15K and see what happens. Our articulation takes place in the upper frequences, so what happens if the track is muddy, boosting the treble will help some of the articulation pull through. Remember this is NOT for your final take (you will need to mix in an external editor), but it WILL help with lip sync
5) Low cut the lower frequencies to reduce boomy-ness, plosives, and other unwanted noise.
6) Manually add separation between words/sounds through simple splicing

What you will end up with is a choppy, over-articulated, loud track that will help MS better know WHEN your words are cutting off. Then mix it all down in an external editor like Final Cut (I'm a Mac fan, so that's what I use).

Also, I've been using the Facial Expressions to help with overarticulating "OH" and other vowels with the lip sync. It's been helping some. I'm still not an expert at it, but that should help overall.




Sabrina Pena Young
Composer/Filmmaker/Sci-fi Junkie
Libertaria: The Virtual Opera

You must unlearn what you have learned.
Visit My Website

#16 sosberg

sosberg

    Master Director

  • Members
  • 307 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 03:00 AM

Great tip, Thanks Spenayoung smile.gif
I would like to see us get this place right first before we have the arrogance to put significantly flawed civilizations out onto other planets, even though they may be utterly uninhabited.
--PATRICK STEWART--

#17 spenayoung

spenayoung

    Director

  • Members
  • 145 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 03:03 AM

Very very welcome! biggrin.gif
Sabrina Pena Young
Composer/Filmmaker/Sci-fi Junkie
Libertaria: The Virtual Opera

You must unlearn what you have learned.
Visit My Website

#18 tree

tree

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 921 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:59 AM

Many thanks for audio Tips.

No mention of Audio within Moviestorm?
"don't fix it in post" ;-) so I like to add my little bit to your good audio tips :

A lot of people miss the in-built audio functions built into moviestorm:

No longer do footsteps need to be so loud. Background directional music and dialogue can be set just right.





#19 Ichikaidan

Ichikaidan

    Critically acclaimed

  • Members
  • 190 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:37 PM

QUOTE (tree @ Aug 17 2013, 9:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Many in-built audio functions built into moviestorm.


I like this thread very much although i do the lot of mixing in Moviestorm editor page
itself, using prepared soundclips edited in Audacity,
But sofar i have not been able to find the effects dialogue as shown. Looks interesting, yes.
I did play with the master volumes, but i could not find the left hand effect dialogues.
As i m still learning i would be interested how to open that dialoguepanel and work with it.
Greetz
Creating situations and learning to see.

#20 tree

tree

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 921 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:54 PM

QUOTE (Ichikaidan @ Aug 17 2013, 10:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like this thread very much although i do the lot of mixing in Moviestorm editor page
itself, using prepared soundclips edited in Audacity,
But sofar i have not been able to find the effects dialogue as shown. Looks interesting, yes.
I did play with the master volumes, but i could not find the left hand effect dialogues.
As i m still learning i would be interested how to open that dialoguepanel and work with it.
Greetz

Really? ohh...
After adjusting the main sliders, see the green parts? if you click on the Green it will turn Red... just keep it green.
To the LEFT of the green click on the 'WORD'.. it will open the options dialoge box... choose anything... in a pull-down window...

Lots of complicated bits... And i do wonder if everything works as advertised.
Ask Ben, He's sure to know :-)

Even if you skip the "fancy parts' moving that Foley slider down makes a world of difference.





  • Please log in to reply


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users