A Crash Course For Mixing Sound – Part II

MixerMeters1There’s a reason why your Grandma’s apple pie tastes so much better than the pie you purchase at the grocery store. The reality is that both the store and Grandma have the same ingredients: sugar, flour, apples, etc. Nevertheless, Grandma’s apple pie seems to melt in your mouth, while the store-bought pie seems stale.

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Multi-track Mixing for Location Dialogue

Attention, did you notice that this article is NOT called STEREO sound mixing for film/video. That is because just about everything that you record on the set will be monaural, even though the headphones, mixer, and recorder all use the term “stereo”.

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Adventures in Sound Editing

MixerImagine the tape you made of your kids' last camp out. It's got some crickets on the sound track.

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Natural Sound to the Rescue

Two minutes of extra work on the set or in the field can save you hours of headache in the edit bay. You just need to remember to do it.

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Adventures in Sound Editing - Part 2

MixerGoing for the Take: Okay, you've got your mixer and your equalizer.

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On YouTube, Good Audio Will Put Your Video Ahead of the Pack

One of the most common questions we get from beginning video producers is “how do I get my video to be more like what I see in movies and TV?”

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Audio for Television - Mixing the "Basic" Event

I wish that I could say that the life of a professional Production Sound Mixer consisted only of sitting around on a large, Hollywood feature film set while being obscenely overpaid.

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Our Camcorder Classroom - Part Five - Sound

Let’s put the bad news right up front:

Sound seems simple, but it’s actually one of the most difficult parts of typical video production to understand and get right.

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Audio for Video

micSo, you've bought a shiny new digital video camera and you're blown away by the image quality. But what about the audio?

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Packing my Sound Recorder

Capturing sound is one of the most important aspects when creating the perfect story.

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Audio Location Scouting

Visuals aren’t the only thing to consider when you’re scouting locations. Audio is just as important. Just because a location looks good doesn’t mean it sounds good.

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Practice Makes Perfect

mic

I’m always amazed when I see musicians perform complicated pieces with a look on their face like they don’t have a care in the world. Whether they first chair in an orchestra or play lead guitar for a hair band, they have that simple look of enjoyment as they play their instruments effortlessly.

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Audio Sweetening

Rarely will a video producer lay down an audio track and leave it. Good, recorded sound is essential in any production,

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Recording Sound Effects

SFX00Movies with true organic sounds, imagined futuristic electronic audio, and even the everyday noises around us, aren't complete without good sound effects.

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Audio: Impedance

Impedance is very important because selecting the wrong impedance mic can cause immediate and sometimes serious problems.

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Selecting Boompoles and Shotgun Mics

Many articles have been written about the value of a boompole and good shotgun mic when it comes to achieving quality Production Sound. (Well, folks, here’s one more!)

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Audio: The Forgotten Component of Television

Hands down the most over-looked element of any television production is the audio. 

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Balanced Cables

Audio cables can be the weakest link in the chain of sound recording. When deploying external microphones, videographers need to know the difference between unbalanced and balanced cables.

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Selection and Use of Lavalier Mics

A brief history:
Originally, the term “lavalier” referred only to the “neck-worn” or “body-worn” class of small microphones.

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Basic Audio Techniques: Intro to Booming

Great sounding audio is key when producing a high quality video.

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Shooting to Playback Audio

Quite often it is essential to shoot musical numbers to playback, the logistics of recording music and shooting film or video simultaneously being too demanding

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Boom Operating Techniques

The boom pole is used to suspend a microphone over the actors on set.

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Shooting to Sync Playback (aka Music Videos)

Thematic Concerns:
Music Videos consist of picture cut to a song. Simple enough definition, but we can expand on this somewhat.

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Building an Audio Recording Room

Clean, clear audio is an essential aspect of any professional production, but many (if not most) videographers underestimate its importance.

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Shooting to Sync Playback - Part Two

Technical Aspects of Shooting to Sync Playback:

Non lip sync sequences for Music Videos are relatively easy.

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Cable Conundrum

Separating the S from the XLR, the USB from the VGA or the DVI and giving you the ABCs on choosing the right cable for the right price.

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Sound for Film and Television

The Boom—Why, Isn’t That Old Fashioned?

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Crash Course for Mixing Sound-Part 1

MixerMeters1Recently, a sound design forum that I belong to debated on what the audio levels should be in a film. I, of course, chimed in. I was surprised that there were so many different opinions. The group is a good cross section of the sound design community being made up of amateur, prosumer and professional participants. However, despite this eclectic group, there was no definitive answer. There were some guidelines and a general understanding, but still no definitive answer. So, how do you go about mixing sound to picture? I'm glad you asked!

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Sports: Audio for Remotes

BasketBallLayoutThe types of microphones being used and microphone placement is determined during the planning phase.

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DIY BoomPole

How does $25 for a boom pole sound? 

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Sync Sound

The miracle of film and television is a result of a perceptual phenomenon known as "persistence of vision."

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Do-it-Yourself Hoop Windscreen

WS01It's time to record the narration for your next video production. You want to produce the best audio quality possible, keeping your narration free of plosives, but can't bring yourself to part with $30 to purchase a hoop-style windscreen like the pros use.

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Sync Tanks

SyncTankImageThe credits for John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946) include Wyatt Earp as technical consultant but only one person responsible for all of postproduction sound (the composer). The credits for Lawrence Kasdan's Wyatt Earp (1994) list the names of thirty-nine people who worked on postproduction sound. The difference is not simply a matter of expanding egos or credits.

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How To Achieve “Million Dollar” Sound Without A Million Dollars

A few months ago, I was watching an episode of Family Guy.

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Sync Tanks - Part Three

SyncTankImageWith soundtracks much more dense than in the past, the present generation of moviemakers has seen an exponential growth in the number of people who work on the sound after the film has been shot. Last month in the second installment of Elisabeth Weis' articles we explored ADR and beyond.  In this, the final installment we pick up scratch mixes and temp tracks.

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Introduction to Wireless Mics

Wireless microphones have become increasingly popular as their sound quality, reliability, and cost have improved. This article is intended for people who are using a wireless microphone for the first time, or who are trying to decide which model to purchase to suit their particular needs.

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Sync Tanks - Part Two

SyncTankImageWith soundtracks much more dense than in the past, the present generation of moviemakers has seen an exponential growth in the number of people who work on the sound after the film has been shot. In this, the second installment of Elisabeth Weis' articles we explore ADR and beyond.  Next month in the final installment we pick up scratch mixes and temp tracks.

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Is it Possible to Record Decent Audio In-camera on a DSLR?

There is obviously a need to use external audio recorders when you need to record more than two channels or when you need the absolute highest quality sound.

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Ten Things You Should Take With You When Field Recording

Recording in the field is like camping: you only have the supplies you take with you!

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Lavalliers, Shotguns and Handhelds, Oh My!

So, you've got a small budget and you finally believe that the audio you capture for your project is just as important as the video, (we told you so!) but you can only purchase one mic.

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That Same Ol' Audio Question

Audio00It was dinner on the seventh 8am-midnight work day in a row. 

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Layers of Sound

The audio part of a video program is usually built up from several different sound tracks. These individual components can vary considerably in both their level of reality and their function in the overall sound track.

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The Boom Mic

The boom pole is a extendable pole used to position a microphone in the proper proximity above the actors on set.

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Location Recording Techniques

LocationRecordingThe primary objective of the production sound mixer and the boom operator is to capture clean dialogue on set.

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The Physics of Sound

Learn the attributes of sound, how we hear, measure and record sound.

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Mic Types

Has the selection of microphones offered by your favorite electronics store ever overwhelmed you? Have you stared in awe at the vast array of silver or black, big or small, expensive or cheap micro­phones available to you?

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Tune Your Room

0You knew it was possible to tune an instrument, and you've certainly fine-tuned graphics and audio plug-ins, maybe even tuned up a car, but did you know you could tune a room?

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Microphone Pick-up Patterns

There is a region around each microphone called the pick-up pattern, in which sounds are best captured. 

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What Works for You? A Guide to DSLR Audio

If you gather ten sound engineers in a room and ask them what’s the best way to record something, don’t be surprised when you get ten different answers.

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Monitoring the Soundtrack

HeadphonesA cameraman would never judge composition and good lighting based on what he or she hears. Likewise, a soundperson would be a fool to record audio based solely on what they see.

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Wireless Audio Recording Systems

Demystifying On-Camera Wireless Systems

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Monitoring the Soundtrack - The Boom

Booming00Last month, Fred Ginsburg talked to us about the importance of monitoring the sound track during our shoot. This month, we continue with the special needs of the boom operator.

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Wireless Mics Demystified!

A good wired microphone is perfect for reliable high quality audio, but sometimes the wires get in the way.

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