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Distorted Sound Driving Me Nuts!


jonpais
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Another short rant. About sound quality. My recent preoccupations have been HDR and anamorphic lenses. During the course of watching dozens and dozens of webinars, listening to podcasts and watching sample footage, I noticed that they all have one thing in common - horrible, clipped, distorted and at times unlistenable audio. Crackling sounds when they speak. Dropouts. And many of the videos I'm talking about are produced by directors and professionals in the AV industry. You'd think they'd know how to adjust levels. But you'd be dead wrong. So it was refreshing to actually be able to sit through a video by Luke Neumann that has beautiful sounding audio without any of that nonsense.

As an aside, as much as I'd also like to be the next David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin or whoever, writing brilliant screenplays and producing dazzling short films, I don't get people who belittle those who enjoy vlogging. I grew up listening to talk radio, it was thought-provoking and engaging - and even though I don't see a ton of content on YouTube that could be remotely characterized as provocative, I think that can be attributed as much to the audience as to the vloggers themselves. 

 

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After too many hours I came to @IronFilm's conclusion.  Get the mic close to you lips.  Speak fully and stay below 0db and you're good.  Anything else, and audio goes south in a hurry!  What BLEW ME AWAY is how difficult it is to get good levels through your MIC on Windows.  I ended up downloading shareware/freeware from here http://www.darkwooddesigns.co.uk/pc2/meters.html

And the camera makers.  WTF x 1000!  Why don't they have a feature where, like white balance, you have the subject talk and have the camera analyze the sound and set the a value at 0db, or wherever you tell it to set max db.   Or allow different gains for each channel. UNBELIEVABLE.  Fck, rant coming on ;)

Setting levels on all cameras stinks!  I'm with sondreg, headphones can't be trusted. And why can't Panasonic have a way to integrate smart phone audio with the clip, or any of them.  We're still in the dark ages of audio recording when it comes to these cameras--even the professional ones.

@jonpais I'll go where you're polite to go.  Hey filmmakers, if you can't set audio in a low-budget vlog then check your fame-and-fortune delusions at the door :) 

 

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Just leave a big enough headroom (12-18dB) and generally gaining up won't introduce any noticeable noise. Generally I like to deliver my projects at -23lufs anyways. Also AGC on cameras have become pretty decent for talking heads. Annoying when there's a lot of background noise though.

 

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13 hours ago, maxotics said:

After too many hours I came to @IronFilm's conclusion.  Get the mic close to you lips.  Speak fully and stay below 0db and you're good.  Anything else, and audio goes south in a hurry! 


Just be careful you're not too close without a pop guard, as then you might get busts of wind while speaking. 

Which is what happened during the video OP shared. And was thus very annoying while I was listening to it, each time it happened. 

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