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TheatreGuy
10-09-2006, 07:43 PM
Okay, okay... I need help to find books or reference material for creating/maintaining/achieving SOUND while making a film.

This has got to be my weakest link.

Anyone have suggestions, besides hiring a soundman. I am a do-it-yourselfer kind of guy and I love to read techno-jargon stuff (that I can understand). I will hire a sound man when the budgets and projects allow, but for now... I would just like to know what the hell I am doing! :huh:

(because obviously just lowering the little knobs on the camera until the red level indicators disappear IS NOT ENOUGH! :) )

Thanks!!!

Ted

Brandon Rice
10-09-2006, 07:58 PM
Get a sound guy :) No seriously, when dealing with dialogue, you want a good sound guy.... it's pretty key IMO. Then, if you don't mix it... get a great sound designer... you will be happy.

Kyle Stebbins
10-09-2006, 08:54 PM
the key? wear headphones and plug them into your dvx100. sample sound -- the only way to get good audio is to listen to it live from your dvx. -- that is, if you use a boom or the onboard mic (sort of not recommended by me, but... what can you do?) -- i dont know much about sound, but the headphones are a fantastic place to start.

i guarantee you knew this already, too. i just had to post. =)

Geoff_R
10-09-2006, 09:04 PM
I second what Brandon is saying, sound guys are really necessary. Even if you buy the basic sound gear (boom, shockmount, hyper, xlr, headphones); you still need someone to operate it efficiently. There's nothing worse than having a decent microphone but since your 'friend' is booming for you, it sounds like shi*.

Technique is crucial as the number one rule with sound tends to be proximity, the closer you are to the source, the better, more clear your audio will be. Typically you use Hyper-cardiod mics indoors and shotgun mics outdoors. You'll want a good shock mount which differs depending on what kind of microphone you're getting.

There are some really great threads in the audio section that cover sound. One I distinctly remember is 'Everything I know about Mics so far', I believe it was written by MattinSTL; he has a lot of great sound posts and has given a lot of great know-how to the community here.

VersuS
10-09-2006, 09:13 PM
To be honest I agree with Brandon. It's not like some fx,props,makeup that you can easily get by by yourself if you try hard and improvise along the way. Sound is so hard and essential at the same time that to get it right without burning 1.000.000 brain cells along the way, should be made by someone whose craft is sound. I can point you to a few books my brother has fro Sound in films and digital video but I am afraid that all you ll end up is a pretty clear theoretical approach of sound, a know-how about equipment...but sound is something more than knowing the theory and having the tools. Sound is something that needs an EXCELLENT EAR and PERCEPTION. Again I ll speak about my bro. He can listen to sounds I cant. He can understand some stuff by listening a song or a movie that even when he breaks them down for me, I cant fully understand how'd he knows/understands.
Sound is a lot harder than editing. Editing is mostly the tools (which you can learn to use as you can learn to use a sound editing tool) and then good footage and perception of what is right and wrong for a movie. Sound however is more than that. And when you sound design....well.....lets just say that I left my brother the movie and said 'you know where to put any sounds and how they should sound so I m going to bed now...'.........

Anyway, Ted, I have faith in you, your inner drive and talent in general. If you want it, you will be able to learn and sound design/record nicely. But If you want to have a weight off your shoulders, learn the theory, get the equipment if you must, but when shooting day comes or editing find a pro to help. I would never trade my brother for a real actor, or a lights guy. NEVER!

TheatreGuy
10-10-2006, 04:00 AM
Well, then... a sound guy it is!

Thanks guys for taking the time to reply. And Geoff, I will check that out!

I pretty much knew that a sound guy would be the ideal situation, I was just hoping that there was some tips to sound when you don't have a sound guy available.

Next festival, I will make this a priority. Until then, I want to practice and play with this. It is my weakest link and always has been. Not just here on a camera, but in the theatre world. I can do everything... but I don't touch a sound board!!!

I thought that I was doing good just having a wireless on me. Gotta keep on learning and improving!

Thanks again!

(and yeah, Kyle... headphones! Asbolutley key! :) )

Ted

VersuS
10-10-2006, 04:16 AM
If you ever need anything concerning software,plugins and equipment feel free to ask me and I will pass anything along to my brother or do whatever I can on my own. :)

TheatreGuy
10-10-2006, 04:32 AM
Hey man, thanks! I feel really stupid in this department. I wish that I could learn it. It boggles me. It's like there is nothing tangent to put my finger on!

And I thought that I was doing good when I got my wireless lav! That only opened up a whole new element to tackle that I don't know anything about!!! :)

VersuS
10-10-2006, 04:38 AM
Wireless is a very neat piece of equipment to have but from what pros explained to me it requires much more effort to use it wisely and effectively than your standard shotgun/boom. There are so many things with sound...sound is a science of its own...it goes way beyond the boundaries of getting a mic wireless or not and pointing towards the sound source. Sound is also hard because it breaks down into 2 parts, sound your record and sound you edit/design. With video,sometimes you can do wonders, you can light a shot, you can darken a shot, you can put a vfx to cover some crappy shots, you can place some music or foley to distract the viewer. However, if you fail to get the right sound from location shooting or you dont really know how to do a sound design...then that's just about it. I think that with your sound you did perfectly well for someone who was on his own and had no background in sound!

jeremytuttle
10-10-2006, 02:20 PM
Here are some links that I've found helpful and hope to us on future projects:

http://www.filmsound.org/production-sound/openletter.htm (This one like you have a huge production crew... but you can take the tips and apply them to a small project)

http://www.jamesarnett.com/guidebook/3-4.html (This is a real basic guide... probably useless to anyone who knows anything about production audio... but there are some neat tricks and tips spread through out)

zenbarai
10-10-2006, 08:28 PM
I do audio post production as my living (10 years now running a 5-studio facility in Burbank), so if you guys would like to know anything about getting good sound recordings while you shoot, or doing sound editing or sound design during post, I'd be happy to help.

Recording good sound is really not too complicated, less complicated than capturing a great image in a camera. Just realize that a mic doesn't hear sound like your ear does, any more than a camera sees the world the way your eye does.

The simplest things to do to improve your sound are:
1. Eliminate any and all noise in the room. Actors tend to speak softly, so any hum or buzz will kill you. And if your actors could speak up, that could solve a lot of your problems. Just keep a close eye on your recording level.
2. Get the mic really really close to the actors. Hide it near them, use lavs if necessary, but any time the mic is far, especially in a reverberant room, you're basically screwed.
3. The better the mic, the better off you are. Shotguns are great, because they're designed to focus in on their subject. But the trick is you've got to have them pointing at the people who are talking. And use a wind sock outside to reduce wind noise.
4. And just like you do with your camera, do experiments to see what's working and what's not.

All the best,
Ben

Magicchildfilms
10-10-2006, 10:06 PM
Yeah, a sound guy was key for us! also a good mic (or decent mic) :)

except when he bumps the boom into the wall and feedback shoots through your ears a mile a minute!!!

Brett
MCF

TheatreGuy
10-11-2006, 06:05 AM
Here are some links that I've found helpful and hope to us on future projects:

http://www.filmsound.org/production-sound/openletter.htm (This one like you have a huge production crew... but you can take the tips and apply them to a small project)

http://www.jamesarnett.com/guidebook/3-4.html (This is a real basic guide... probably useless to anyone who knows anything about production audio... but there are some neat tricks and tips spread through out)
WOW! Some REALLY great info here!!! Especially on ADR. Never really knew what that was.

Bookmarked for future reference!!!!

Thanks!!!


I do audio post production as my living (10 years now running a 5-studio facility in Burbank), so if you guys would like to know anything about getting good sound recordings while you shoot, or doing sound editing or sound design during post, I'd be happy to help.

Recording good sound is really not too complicated, less complicated than capturing a great image in a camera. Just realize that a mic doesn't hear sound like your ear does, any more than a camera sees the world the way your eye does.

The simplest things to do to improve your sound are:
1. Eliminate any and all noise in the room. Actors tend to speak softly, so any hum or buzz will kill you. And if your actors could speak up, that could solve a lot of your problems. Just keep a close eye on your recording level.
2. Get the mic really really close to the actors. Hide it near them, use lavs if necessary, but any time the mic is far, especially in a reverberant room, you're basically screwed.
3. The better the mic, the better off you are. Shotguns are great, because they're designed to focus in on their subject. But the trick is you've got to have them pointing at the people who are talking. And use a wind sock outside to reduce wind noise.
4. And just like you do with your camera, do experiments to see what's working and what's not.

All the best,
Ben

More useful tips!

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it.

It is funny, that I did concern myself with the sound but obviously not enough.

I am so grateful for the feedback I received on my film short. The emphasis on creating better sound WILL NOT GO UNNOTICED in my next film!

Thanks to all! :thumbsup:
I will check back in this thread to see if others have input. :dankk2:

VersuS
10-11-2006, 06:17 AM
Any sound will kill you, even the refrigereator humming can screw up a scene and you ll only notice that in post.

hvxabuser
10-11-2006, 07:39 AM
advice get someone who knows sound and does sound and knows your camera if you going in.

TheatreGuy
10-11-2006, 07:42 AM
:thumbsup: Yep! Noted!!! Will do for future serious work! Seems to be the consensus. :)

Weston
10-11-2006, 08:05 AM
Hey this is all some great advice. Sound was the biggest weak point of my film so I'm really liking all this. Good idea making this thread Ted.

and by the way....sometimes even if i get good sound recorded initially...i have alot of trouble getting the mix right and everything nice and sounding good between music, dialog, and sound effects. Any general tips on that?