Practical Sound Recording and Editing Techniques For Better Video
August 15, 2008
Here are some resources associated with my session, “Practical Sound Recording and Editing Techniques For Better Video” recently given at the 4th Annual New Media Expo held in Las Vegas.
Here’s a copy of my presentation slides, available in two flavors.
A PDF of the presentation slides (34MB).
A PDF of notes to accompany the presentation slides (236K).
Dialog audio clips
The following files are available for download as a zip archive: dialog.zip (8.7MB)
Recording made with an RE50 omnidirectional, handheld microphone, from three distances, 1 foot, 2 feet, and 3 feet. Note how the audio level falls off dramatically as we move farther away from the source, there’s also some background noise.
The above recording processed with Levelator, notice how bringing up the level of the second and third recordings brings up the noise level too. Keeping the mic close the source keeps the level of the voice well above the room noise. The farther away the mic, the less difference between the dialog level and room noise level. Levelator is a good tool for quick and dirty balancing of levels of an audio track, but can sound strange when the original recording is not perfectly clean. Note how the three recordings are progressively worse, since Levelator has to deal with more noise.
The baseline audio clip, recorded in a room with hard walls, note the reverberation that results, this is impossible to remove.
The Scott.aif clip processed through Levelator
The Scott.aif clip processed with 3:1 compression and +2dB gain, zero attack, gentle decay
The Scott.aif clip processed with 3:1 compression, zero attack, gentle decay
The Scott.aif clip without compression but +6dB gain
MS audio clips
The following files are available for download as a zip archive: MSdemo.zip (11MB)
The baseline clip recorded with an MS microphone, M in Ch. 1 and S in Ch. 2. See notes in presentation for more details.
The mid capsule (short-shotgun) only. This is also good demo of how a source to the side and in front of a short shotgun sounds, notice how the off-axis sound is not only muted, but it’s colored. See notes in presentation for more details.
The side (figure-of-eight a.k.a. bidirectional) capsule only. Also a good demo of just how much side-rejection a bidirectional mic is capable of. See notes in presentation for more details.
The M and S channels mixed.
The M and S tracks put through an MS matrix to covert Mid/Side to Left/Right, M channel given +6dB gain to emphasize the speaker in front of the mic.
The stereo MS-Stereo-M+6dB.aif track collapsed to mono. The +6dB gain added to the M channel messes up the stereo imaging a bit.