Audio for filmmakers – Making a lav sound like a boom

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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


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.

Mocha Tutorial for Beginners – Replace a Billboard

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Have you sat through Mocha tutorials, only to find that when you apply the techniques, it doesn’t work or track properly? Have you searched for “Mocha does not track” and “Mocha doesn’t work,” and “Mocha does not work with After Effects,” and wondered “what am I doing wrong?” Well then watch the video below. It will work as the very first tutorial every beginner should watch just to get an understanding of how to After Effects and mocha work together for beginners.

The experts know how to use Mocha. And I’m sure they know workarounds for issues. But what they don’t know is how to talk to us beginners. And this tutorial will show you at least one way of how to make Mocha work for you in After Effects.




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

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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.


Izotope RX4 Connect for Pro Tools

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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.

Easy Chroma keying / Color Keying in After Effects for Beginners

Posted by | After Effects, filmmaking, Tutorials | No Comments

If you’ve been trying to use Keylight in After Effects and find that your footage becomes grainy or unusable after using keylight, this video is for you.

Below is a video tutorial for green screen color keying in After Effects. There are lots of chroma keying or color keying tutorials already on the web, and I made yet another one.

In my opinion there are two kinds of color keying tutorials, the one for the beginner that doesn’t really show you how to key your footage and make it look good, and the one for the intermediate user that may be a bit too advanced for the neophyte to keep his/her concentration over.

So I made the one below, that while it won’t make your key perfect, it’ll make it look pretty damn good.

If you watched the video keenly, then you noticed that if you look hard enough (sometimes not even so hard enough if your eyes are trained for it), then you’ll see unacceptable levels of spillage on the skin and clothes of the subjects. If you are a perfectionist and want to get rid of those also, then you cannot rely on the Intermediate Result option. You will then have to use the matte as a luma key. It’s a more advanced procedure, but it gets rid of all the green. Andrew Kramer shows how to do it in one of his videos, I can’t remember which. If you’re unsatisfied with your key, and you really want to know, drop me a line and I’ll do a video on it.