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Sound (Excerpts from Summer A/V Workshop)

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  • 1. Audio / Video for Slidecasts & Podcasts
    Giving Life toOnline Media
    July 24, 2010
  • 2. The Signal Path
  • 3. The Signal Path
    The Signal Path (or Chain)
    The steps the sound must pass through to be played to your viewers
    the sound source
    the microphone
    the connectors
    the mixing and routing
    the digital recorder
    the digital compression
    The Signal Path is only as strong as its weakest link
    photo credit: Paul Graham Raven on Flickr licensed CC-BY-NC-SA
  • 4. Signal Path
  • 5. The Sound Source
  • 6. The Sound Source
    The Sound Source
    Best place to avoid poor sound quality
    Often the easiest overlooked
    The least expensive solution
    Listen first!
    photo credit: Maccio Capatonda on Flickr licensed CC-BY-NC-SA
  • 7. The Sound Source
    Ambient Noise
    “The pervasive noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from sources both near and distant.”
  • 8. The Sound Source
    We have an amazing amount of ability to mentally filter out ambient noise
    wind, traffic, refrigerator hum, light ballast buzz, computer fans, etc.
    As recording engineers we have to learn how to stop our filters and listen again
    photo credit: Barking Tree Frog by Brian Gratwicke on Flickr licensedCC-BY-NC
  • 9. The Sound Source
    Ambient noise we can sometime filter out in post-production
    Typically when it is a consistent frequency
    It can be useful to record a few seconds of “silence” with each shot to capture a “reference sound level”
    This can be used later to help eliminate ambient noise, or to cover up sounds
    Professional recording engineers also record a reference tone
    photo credit: Barking Tree Frog by Brian Gratwicke on Flickr licensedCC-BY-NC
  • 10. The Sound Source
    Excessive environmental ambient noise
    background, traffic, wind, flags
    Different environment
    Different time of day
    Close curtains
    Remove hard furniture
    Soften walls or ceilings
    Reposition microphones
    photo credit: LakeWentworth on Flickr licensed CC-BY-NC
  • 11. The Sound Source
    Excessive environmental transient noise
    dogs, sirens, aircraft, frogs
    Be aware of transient changes and re-record
    Wait it out
    Different time of day
    Buy the landscaping crew an early lunch
    photo credit: Barking Tree Frog by Brian Gratwicke on Flickr licensedCC-BY-NC
  • 12. The Sound Source
    Building and machinery noise
    HVAC, refrigerator, elevators, clocks, computer fans, light ballast hum
    Different time of day
    Know where the HVAC controls are
    Run HVAC hard then turn off
    Muffle vents
    Turn off & unplug equipment and lights
    Signage “Quiet Please!”
    photo credit: RomulusNR on Flickr licensedCC-BY
  • 13. The Sound Source
    Talent & crew noise
    fidgeting, clothing noise, mouth sounds
    Train crew to be quiet
    Avoid walking to avoid both creaky floors and creaky squeaky shoes
    Avoid noisy cloth, in particular silk, rayon, corduroy, especially on talent
    Readily available water between takes & green apple slices to avoid mouth noise
    photo credit: Diamond Geezer on Flickr licensed CC-BY-NC-ND
  • 14. The Sound Source
    Sound & video gear
    crackles, ground loops, camera noise, microphone pops, wind noise, phones
    Mark and discard bad cables
    Use balanced gear (see upcoming slides)
    Don’t use camera microphone
    Be aware of microphone placement
    Use a zeppelin or windsock on mike
    Turn off or Airplane mode phones
    photo credit: RomulusNR on Flickr licensedCC-BY
  • 15. The Sound Source
    Lost or bad sound
    microphone or recorder batteries dead, cable loose or unplugged, etc.
    Tape everything down
    Backup with Additional recorder
    “Plant” a digital recorder as a backup
    Use iPhone Movie★Slate to sync
    photo credit: tjmasiakowski on Flickr licensed CC-BY
  • 16. The Sound Source
    This iPhone / iPad app is a bit expensive ($19.95), but very useful
    Sync multiple audio sources
    If you keep volume of iPhone same, good reference tone
    Accurate time
    Good for making sure you have notes on all of your shots
    But remember turn on Airplane Mode!
    photo credit: PureBlend Software Movie★Slate
  • 17. The Sound Source
    Reference Headphones
    Use your headphones – many problems you’ll not spot unless you use them
    Anything is better then nothing
    But if you buy a good pair, you want“flat response”
    photo credit: Dale Gibert Jarvis on Flickr licensed CC-BY-NC-SA
  • 18. Questions? Feedback?ChristopherA@LifeWithAlacrity.com