Tag Archives: Audio
Video

Audio Basics for Podcasts – PART 3: Basic editing

18 Jun

So now this is the (for now final) part 3:

I just want to show you some basic ideas in terms of audio editing. This its just a quick overview, you might have your own style and way to do things. Also your application might have different Tools. But this is just a “reminder” so to say of what might be essential to get good edits. Now, i’m usually a bit better, faster & more precise at this kind of editing but i really just wanted you to show some “hints” so you can start to get stuff done or might think about your workflow and stuff.

If you have any question, let me know … I’ll make sure to get back to you or even make another tutorial to answer your question.
Also here is the Link to the Blogpost from Vashi Nedomansky about 5 Audio EQ Tips for Filmmakers:

http://vashivisuals.com/5-eq-audio-for-video-tips-for-filmmakers/

Video

Audio Basics for Podcasts – PART1 SETTING STUFF UP!

17 Jun


So this is the fist part of three. Its the basics about how i set up my edit-session in Adobe Audition. I talk a lil bit about Levels, Normalization and why its not helping that much if you have not the best recordings (like with a lot of spikes and plopp-sounds and whatnot) or all kinds of level changes and stuff. Its not that exciting… ;)

I promise the 2nd part will be a bit more practical but longer as well…. 

cheers!

stay tuned for part 2 …. you can find it here!

Review: Studio Speakers – Samson Resolv A6 vs. M-Audio BX5

20 May


IMG_8516

I’ve used quite a few Speakers in the last 12 years (or so) I’ve been working on Audiostuff. I started with some passive Tannoy’s (not so much a fan of those) but over the years i also used:

- Yamaha MSP 7 (great speakers) – around 1000 EUR for a pair

- EMES Black TV HR Active (unique / rare / kinda good but you really have to get used to them / technically a good concept tho’) around 1400 EUR for a pair

- Genelec 1032a (they are good / really analytic – don’t like the overall sound tho’)  around 1800-2000 EUR for a pair

- ME-Geithain RL 904 (unique german brand but quite common / really analytic / don’t like the overall sound tho’ you really have to get used to them) around 2500-3000 EUR for a pair

- Dynaudio BM6A (really loved them , great speakers) around 1300 EUR for a pair

- Fostex pm 0.5 (meh … not so good but better than any common, random plastic PC speaker) around 150-180 EUR for a pair

- KRK RP6 RoKit G2 (one of best speaker I’ve used esp. in that price range … great over all sound / powerful, quite balanced, good low-end, analytic but not too much, you actually can kinda enjoy listing to stuff) around 400 EUR for a pair

and i also used some KRK RP5 RoKit G2 on smaller workstations and as Surround speakers – around 290 EUR for a pair

So i really loved the last setup i had: a KRK 5.1 setup with 3x RP6 ‘s and 2x RP5’s. I used that the longest time and really got familiar with it … enjoyed using it.

But then I changed my Job, I did go freelance (as you might know I work for all kinds of projects and people now – like for ScruffyTV (a lot of Podcast work there in addition to other stuff) and even more so on more audio based / orientated stuff) So anyway, I kinda had to leave my beloved KRK setup at my old workplace.

Anyway … now i thought, well lets see how good the cheaper stuff really is – since i got asked a lot what cheap Studio-Speakers people should get, people who just get started. I did quite some research and it seemed that most small and “cheap” speakers (like most 5″ speakers) are not so good for accurate and have not so good sound reproduction for any sound stuff, esp. if you have a pro’ish approach to / for your work. At the end of the day I was kinda left with really only two “low-priced” options:

The quite common M-Audio BX5 and the Samson Resolv A6 both of which got good some notes (so to say) for the low price they go for.

So i got both for a test-run

IMG_8511

First of the Samson Resolv A6. The price in Germany is around 175 EUR for a pair, which is actually quite cheap for a pair of 2-way 6.5″ speakers. And for that, they are actually surprisingly good. Keep in mind of a pair of KRK RP6 (same size, almost same spec’s) you pay around 400 EUR (and even that is considered a lower priced speaker). Now they have a lil bit of a lower end issue in terms of not quite power full and precise in that range (so really not like the KRK’s) But if you have a not so good room that actually can be good (if u have a good listing spot and get used to it)

also they are missing a bit in the higher mid range and maybe a little bit of too much emphasized in the 150-300 Hz area but that really shows only in a few tracks (and if u don’t have a perfect placement of the speakers). Over all they are quite good sounding. They have an open sound. For the price range analytic enough to get pro work done. The Stereo-filed is ok, actually good for a Studio-speaker in that price range. I actually was surprised how much really i can hear single instruments in some tracks / mixes.

They have a lil issue with some white noise in “Standby” but that actually should be not a big issue for mixing at all. You only will notice that when you have nothing playing. And if you want to dial in stuff like “noise reduction” on some audio recordings you always could use headphones to make sure its it ok, but really it’s not that bad at all – really just a little bit white noise.

Now, these speakers are quite big and kinda heavy, so for smaller rooms and for people “on the road” a bit too much maybe.

So for a common Edit-Suite setup it might e bit tricky to get a good placement. They are not as uncomplicated to place to get a good sound out of them. I always had the feeling the placement of the KRK’s was less “complicated”. It kinda was like the KRK’s sounded good everywhere. Anyways, sometimes its better to get smaller speakers (like the KRK RP5 RoKit’s – in that size really nothing comes close in the price range). But I did read that the smaller Samson Resolv A5 are not as good as the these bigger Resolv A6. So that is not really an option.

So, over all quite good speakers for the money. Are they as good as KRK RP6 RoKit’s? …not really. But the Resolv A6 are really usable esp. if you just get stared and have to keep your start-investment costs low. If you get experience with them, get to know them – so to say – you really can get work done!

Technical specs are good: a 2-way 6.5″ woven carbon fibre woofer with 75W, 1″ silk dome tweeter with 25W, (so overall 100W) frequency response is in the 40Hz-30kHz, there are XLR and 1/4″ balanced inputs and unbalanced RCA inputs its AV / magnetically  shielded and solid MDF case construction. There is a High Frequency adjustment knob that can be helpful if needed and actually is rare in that price range of speakers. The volume knob is a bit tricky to adjust in lower volume levels so it might take a lil while to get both speakers set to the same level but in the end it works. Oh BTW the low frequency port is on the front … what in my experience is better esp. if you don’t have “perfect” placement of the speakers. (too close to a wall / in a corner)

IMG_8691

The other candidates are the M-Audio BX5 – 177 EUR for a pair – (i got the older version so the newer BX5a might be a bit better but overall these are the same). The BX5’s are well made and actually have a good size for smaller rooms and the usual editing suite setup.

In terms of Sound, I’m not so sure. Even though they are quite powerful for the size and have a good strong low-end for the size, they really have a noticeable lag in the mid-range, so they really don’t sound open at all. if you have an orchestral track (movie score) for example there really is all the “wood” and open sound missing… you really have a hard time getting the room and clearness of a mix.

The high range is actually good, maybe a bit too “fine” but quite analytic with a somehow odd “rolloff” tho’. It sounds too sharp in a way.

So in the end I have to say they are not as good as the Samson Resolv 6A. One good thing is tho’ that these speakers are quite common in home studios and even edit suits so people are used to them and it might be possible that you “have to” / might use them at some point.

Technical specs are ok: it’s a overall 70W speaker with a 5″ woofer and 1″ tweeter, magnetically shielded, balanced XLR and balanced/unbalanced TRS inputs, volume control (that actually works good and smooth). The low frequency port is on the back of the speaker  … what in my experience is tricky / not so ideal esp. if you don’t have “perfect” placement of the speakers. (too close to a wall / in a corner) so i kinda noticed a bit of a low end “overload” for some tracks i played … not too bad just something you might keep in mind.

In conclusion: If you don’t have the funds, have to save some money you really could get away with the Samson Resolv A6. They really sound good/ok for the money. If you have the funds go with the KRK RP6 RoKit G2 tho’.

I really would not recommend the M-Audio BX5(a) even though they are common (oddly ;-))  and small they really just sound not right / not good enough to compete with the SAMSON’s or even more so with the KRK’s at all.

At the end of the day – if you really want to deliver a good mix – you really should check speakers for yourself – listen to your reference tracks on them.

As for all speakers  – even the expensive ones – you have to get to know them, you have to get experienced with them (so to say). But don’t get any random audio speaker that doesn’t sound “right” for you.

Audio101 – Quicktip – Audio in Premiere

20 May

These are some quick tips for more precise audio work in Premiere Pro …
Setting up your workspace and switching your sequence to Audiounits so you can line up audio clips better in your sequence.

THIS IS THE VIDEO I WAS WORKING ON IN THAT PROJECT: vimeo.com/66087839

blog: film-sound-color.tumblr.com

music (via VIMEO MUSIC STORE):
6th Sense

Voice-Over was recorded with the SAMSON G-TRACK …. test & review will be online soon

sound references

1 May

Well to make a long story short after todays “discussion” about the sound of trailers especially the kind of bad sound of the latest Batman Trailer here are some of the as i call them reference trailers for good sound design & sound mix. But let me talk about some of the issues I’ve heard – especially today – real quick. There are several things going on that result in a real issue in terms of sound that in the end kinda demolish the whole trailer experience (since many filmmakers say sound is 50% of a movie … well that is also true for the trailer, now isn’t it?!)  The First issue is maybe a not so good recording of an dialogue or / and not the best edit or cleaning up of that (maybe even no ADR done yet). Second issue is a some sort of bad mix. Loud Music & too much Sounds playing at the same time. And 3rd … after all that / on top of that a kind of poor encoding at the post facility but also on YouTube.

There also was a lil discussion about how stuff is viewed / listened to … like on Phones or iPads or Notebooks and whatnot… but in the end it should not matter that much, it should sound good on almost every device, shouldn’t it?
I talked a lil bit about that on that blog post a few days back.

But as i said there are some examples of really good work out there that are actually really good.  Listen to that and “extract” some “knowledge” about the sound for a film, movie or Project out of all this. All that kinda applies  not only to a mix for a big movie or an awesome trailer. So all i want to do with that is to invoke people to care more and think more about sound… that’s all:

http://vimeo.com/23021586

oh and BTW that is the Batman trailer that i was talking about … really makes me kinda sad bcuz the trailer it self (pictures and stuff) really is great and so will be the movie in the end (hopefully)
but that is (kinda) just a bit embarrassing especially for a big Hollywood movie.

BTW also take a look at some of the awesome work soundworkscollection is doing with great BTS of the sound work for great movies … here are some of my favorites:

also if you want to see & hear more about sounddesign & soundpost & sound-mix & stuff
join the  “its all about audio” vimeo group

Audio Monitoring and Levels

9 Apr

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Well first of all this post is not for top-notch post facilities or audio studios. Its more for the one man shop or fellow that is just getting started with audio and/or video production at a home “office” or a smaller “simple” facility. So keep that in mind … I also will not go into room acoustic or Monitor placement (you can find some info in the KRK manual).

It really is more about how you can get the most out of an – maybe not so perfect – situation. Of course you also can translate this to any other “top-notch” post production situation. ;)

Lets get stated: Regardless if you have a 5000 bucks or a 200 bucks audio monitor system you have to get used to them. Listen to stuff you like, watch your favorite Movies/ TV Shows and whatnot, that should help a lot judging sound with your monitors in the room you work.  At the same time you also setup your “monitoring level” (volume/output levels of your workstation / your Audio-interface). That is an essential part you always should have the same monitoring level especially in a final mix situation. It has to be a comfortable loudness so to say. If your monitoring level is too quiet, you will miss things you will mix too loud so to speak. If you have your speakers on too much power (too loud) you will mess up the signal that you hear, frequencies will kinda get mixed up, cut out, stuff like that (so to say)

It really is important to have that (good) base level. Re-check every now and then, also re-check with some reference tracks so that your ears can “tune in” so to speak. Nothing is worse than questioning your monitoring situation / loudness like “is that too loud or what is going on…?!”

You can use headphone for editing (actually you can be more precise with them) but don’t use headphones for the final mix. The Stereo-filed is way bigger than with normal Speakers and you have a different much stronger (wrong) “feeling” of loudness with headphones because they are much closer to your ears and there is no room in which frequencies can reflect and stuff like that. Belief me your headphone mix will sound much less exciting and less powerful on speakers.

Try not to use your video editing app (NLE) for sound mixing. Editing (Interviews and stuff) might be ok, you also can “layout” / arrange sounds and music or even do a pre-mix for the rough cut but always use an audio software like ProTools, Nuendo, LogicPro or even SoundtrackPro or Adobe Audition for the finial mix. You have more options, better plugins, better precision, more quality in these apps. Play with EQ and Compressor or even with Reverb and stuff like that to make your mix more exciting but don’t overdo it ;). (more about plug-in’s and settings after NAB / end of this month) Yes AVID MC6 has pretty good audio options with great Plugins now but if you want the best possible outcome you should use a dedicated audio software.

Last essential part (for today’s post) are levels. That can be tricky if your audio interface doesn’t have any kind of level-meter like the RME DIGIcheck. But you also can use and trust the level meter plugins in your audio software like LogicPro or ProTools. (the level-meters in the channel strips are kinda unprecise). SoundtrackPro and Audition have pretty good built-in level meters. Now what dB range is the best? Well if you work for broadcast that can be tricky because every broadcaster has his own rules / requirement but usually -10dBfs is the most safe way to go (broadcast level) but you really have to check with the broadcaster. If you do stuff for web-delivery or client DVD’s you should go for 0dBfs (or -1 for safety haha) That said it should not peak at 0dB all the time. Make sure u have some dynamic left. (your level meters should be between -20 and 0db …that is fine ;)) On that note: Level-meters in NLE’s are not that reliable, even though they are good to make sure you don’t clip your audio master. For anything more than that I wouldn’t trust them.

On last thing: Try to check your mix not only with your Studio Monitors also check it on stuff like your MacBookPro/ Laptop or your TV/Stereo at home or – as many music fellows like to do – in your Car. These are all “listening-situations” you are kinda familiar with. So u can hear if your mix sounds good even there and you can make changes if for example the VO is getting lost in the music or the other way around (most common issue).

So that’s it. Most important get experience by doing stuff, test stuff, re-check with reference tracks. Keep in mind that all this is only some sort of guideline. I do this for a little over 13 years now and I still learn new stuff with every new project ;)

If something is unclear (might got lost in translation) or any questions are coming up please let me know and use the comments-section.

Oh, one little side note: Please don’t ask your audience to crank up the speakers or headphones … your mix should sound great no matter what ;) (just saying)

UPDATE: it’s all about audio

8 Apr

UPDATED APRIL 8, 2012 – (original post date: Aug 25, 2010)

Well, what can i say that’s where i‘m coming from … 13 years ago ( or even more ) i started in radio broadcast / radio production … and did lots of things with sound … i don’t want to talk about that work now … i want to talk about some essential gear you need to work with your sound.

…. read more

Desktop Backgrounds for Sound Designers

8 Apr

Well …since i want to concentrate more on sound & audio post production…here are some desktop backgrounds & stuff for sound fellows:

surround_desktop_02

Surround_Wallpaper_iPad

Surround Wallpaper for iPad

for iPad

for iPad

for iPhone

for iPhone

and if you like there are some Tee’s as well! :)

ROCK ON! TEE EU/GERMANY version
ROCK ON! TEE US/International version

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