Audio

Audio for filmmakers – Making a lav sound like a boom

Posted by | Audio, Tutorials | No Comments

Before I answer the question of “How to make a lav sound like a boom,” I’m going to assume a couple of things.

  1. You’re not an audio post professional, but more of a video guy/gal (filmmaker)
  2. Since you’re here, you know a little bit about the EQ module in your software of choice

You’ve probably seen the answers on audio forums, people saying things like “I EQ it to match.” or something similar, on how to solve the lav/boom problem. Now what the hell does that mean, specially to a person not an expert in EQ matching? It’s worse than greek to a filmmaker, or any person who’s primarily a video guy/gal, without the means to pay an audio post person.

Here’s what it means. The EQ signatures have to be similar. Typically, in my limited experience. The boom has more activity in the 4.5k-5.5k area. So what you need to do is:

  1. Take your lav audio and increase the DB around the 5K area, as in the picture below. (I’m using Izotope Nectar below, but you can use whatever you like. Adobe Audition is a fine tool for EQ matching).
  2. In the lav audio increase the DB around the 16K area also, but not by as much as in the 5k area

EQ-Lav-Boom

Of course if you want to be precise, then what you need to do is the following:

  1. Play your boom audio and watch how the graph behaves
  2. Play your lav audio and watch how the graph differs from the boom audio. Chances are high, there will be less activity in the 5K region.
  3. Adjust the EQ with the EQ knobs, until the frequency signature is similar to that of the Boom audio.

That’s what EQ matching means. Hope that helped. If you’re still confused, leave a message and I’ll get back to you.




Audio for Filmmakers – How to remove hum from your audio with Izotope RX4

Posted by | Audio, Tutorials, Uncategorized | No Comments

If you are a filmmaker, and you’re spending gazillions of dollars or pounds or deutschemarks on film and audio equipment, you need to start spending some money on audio software, or else there is a pretty good chance your recorded audio will still sound like crap. There is a plethora of software to choose from. I personally like Izotope RX4. Below is a video on how to remove hums like refrigerator noise or other background low frequency hums with RX4.

Enjoy!!

The currently installed soundcard driver does not support directsound input

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If you’re getting the following error from your DAW
the currently installed soundcard driver does not support direct sound input
Don’t panic.

If you want to you can reinstall all your drivers:

RealTek Drivers

Asio4All

But it’s probably not going to help. Or you can just do this:

For Pro Tools:
Go to Setup>Playback Engine Preferences
Select Asio4All v2, not the other Asio stuff or whatever else there is.

For Adobe Audition:
Got to Edit>Preferences>Audio Hardware
Under Device Class, choose ASIO.
Under Device, choose, ASIO4ALL v2

ASIO4ALL

If you don’t see the selections as I mentioned above, then try to reinstall your driver, and ASIO4ALL, and then go through the ASIO4ALL selection process.

For other DAWs, try to do something similar. I’m not familiar with other DAWS too much.

Hope this helped.

Izotope RX4 Connect for Pro Tools

Posted by | Audio, Pro Tools, Tutorials | No Comments

The primary reason to use RX4 Connect is to be able to use all the modules available in Izotope RX from inside your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), like Pro Tools, Logic, etc. If you’re using Pro Tools, then it’s extremely useful to be able to use RX4 Connect. While you may have access to individual plugin modules inside your DAW, you might sometimes want to do all the processing at once, and that is impossible to do when using a DAW like Pro Tools, which takes over your sound card and does not allow RX access to the sound card in your computer. So the trick is to connect Izotope RX to your soundcard, through an Aux track you set up in your DAW.

That is what the video below will show you how to do.

 

The video above is part of our Audio for Filmmakers series. If you are a filmmaker, and you don’t have access to all these audio tools, it might still be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the audio tools used in professional film production, just to know the possibilities with software today.

Audio for Filmmakers – How To Think About Audio

Posted by | Audio, filmmaking | No Comments

The problem most independent filmmakers have with audio, is that most of us lack experience. The other problem we have is that when we think about making our movie, we think about the visual aspects of filmmaking, how w’re going to light a scene or subject or how we’re going to frame a shot. Rarely do we consider, in our thinking, if say we’re going to shoot a scene at a coffee shop, whether the fridge noise is going to be an impediment on the day of the shoot. But these are the un-sexy things that we need to take into consideration when planning our shoot day. If we shoot near a train station, how will the noise affect our shoot? If we’re shooting outside, will the neighbors be mowing their lawns? How will the traffic noise affect a shoot by the side of a road?

The other thing to understand is this simple truth: If no one notices the audio, you’ve done your job properly. If the audio is bad, the audience will notice, and all the energy spent on perfecting the visual aspects of your film will be for naught.

So let’s think about that a bit more. If the visuals aren’t perfect, you can play with the color correction, maybe cut to a separate shot even. But if the audio is bad, all is lost. There can be no compromise on audio. It can’t even be a little bad. The audience is so accustomed to good audio that any deviation from quality will be noticed, and that is the death knell for your movie.

So, whatever it is about the visuals that excites you and motivates you to make your movie, the end is unattainable without the requisite time spent on perfecting the audio; not making the audio good, or better, but perfecting it. There are no two ways about it. Until we filmmakers get this through our heads, we’re only good for youtube, not for broadcast or for theater.

Audio for Filmmakers – RX4 Spectral Repair Tutorial

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This is just a first tutorial on the Spectral Repair Module in Izotope RX4. A lot of people wouldn’t really call it a tutorial as I’m no expert, but I made this video specifically to show the possibilities in RX4 to filmmakers who’re at their wits end when it comes to audio.

Most filmmakers I know, seem at some level, only superficially concerned about audio. I mean they’re concerned. And they talk about their concern, but I’m not sure they do very much about it other than spend money on gear, which is important. But by itself, gear is not going to solve audio problems in a film.

I don’t want to go into it much more in this post. I will in later posts, but for now, this video below should give filmmakers some idea of what is possible in post production. But know this, while you can get rid of a lot of offensive things in your audio file, it costs money or expertise or both, to do so.

Pro Tools No Movie Present

Posted by | Audio, Pro Tools | No Comments

If you’re getting the error, here is the problem. You probably exported your video in h.264. Well, Pro Tools, even though it’s currently produced by AVID, still doesn’t like most video codecs, and has an extensive history of bad behavior when it comes to h.264 files. Here are the solutions. The problem is that Pro Tools only supports QuickTime for video playback, regardless of the codec used.

Solution 1 (this is what I do):

  • Export your render to QuickTime.
  • Under Preset: Choose NTSC DV.
  • Under Video Tab, in Video Code, choose H.264

What pro tools does understand is QuickTime. So it understands H.264, as long as it is packaged in Quicktime. Any of the Avid codecs will work also, but won’t look as good for the same file size. If for some reason, this solution doesn’t work for you, here’s the second solution:

Solution 2:

  • Go to: Xilisoft.com
  • Download Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate (about 40 bucks)
  • Install Video Converter.
  • Then convert your previously rendered file into a DV file in the converter.
  • Then import that DV file into Pro Tools.
  • The video quality is going to suck. The Frame rate shouldn’t change. Check your sync pops!

 

How to Mix Audio Levels for Films & Movies

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Below is a great video from youtube channel bacontrees for all you filmmakers frustrated with planning for the audio for the feature film you’re working on. I’ve been apprised that a part two is coming soon. The video gives you a great insight into how to think about your audio post production.

I just purchased two monitor audios and an audio pressure meter. This video gives me a good idea on what to do with the pink noise, and how to interpret the sound coming from the speakers. Just watch the video. I’ll post part two when it’s online.