Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

If listening on a wide range system (ie: good fidelity) very boomy, bassy voice, especially the interviewee on our left. It's crying out for some EQ to make it sound more natural, intelligible and easy to listen to. Compare the seaside interview (14:33) where the voices are clear and natural sounding, even accounting for the room contribution.

Maybe heavy Denoising has wiped out much of the speech highs, leaving the remaining bass too strong by comparison.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by ChrisFelixstowe »

Thanks, all. TBH, I though it worked out not too badly - at least the audience could hear what was said! :D
Will move the mics up as suggested, and see how that goes.
There has been no sound treatment on the room, although the owners are thinking about what they want to do - the level of echo is simply too much for people in the room.
There's no denoising or any sound treatment at all in the system - I don't really know what this means other than on a post editing system like Vegas.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

ChrisFelixstowe wrote:...There has been no sound treatment on the room, although the owners are thinking about what they want to do - the level of echo is simply too much for people in the room.


OK, it might have helped if initially you had mentioned that the venue has such severe reverberation problems.

As mentioned initially, standard directional stage vocal mics on desk stands, aimed at the speakers' mouths, and reasonably close, have a much better chance of giving good speech clarity and minimising very bad venue noise as you obviously have there.

Lavs are at somewhat of a disadvantage because they miss much of the clear, direct sound from our mouths, often being placed in a kind of voice shadow. Plus they pick up chest vibrations which tend to obscure the speech clarity as well. Targeted EQ can be improve things but lavs are always at a disadvantage re more direct micing. Much of the problem is the compromised placement.

Also if the lavs are directional, they will pick up less room noise than if omni directional but they need to be oriented with their directional end pointing the right way of course.

ChrisFelixstowe wrote:There's no denoising or any sound treatment at all in the system - I don't really know what this means other than on a post editing system like Vegas.


To my ears it's either a Denoiser or a very low bitrate recording or perhaps a bit of both.

I use Vegas. I think it has a Denoiser or perhaps a Noise Gate always open on audio tracks. The first thing I do when I get into effects plugins is to switch it off.

You certainly have a tough acoustic to work in. All the best with it.

Tim.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Mike Stranks »

Hi Chris!

Just had a quick look...

As has been mentioned, get those mics up higher... 1st shirt button! :)

First suggestion: apply a high-pass (lo-cut) filter at about 100Hz with a fairly steep curve... there's nothing below that frequency in the human voice that's of the slightest interest.

Second suggestion: get some acoustic treatment in that room. I'm a great believer in these:
https://www.studiospares.com/acoustics/acoustic-panels/acoustic-panel-1200-x-600mm-beige-465230.htm Various sizes and colours available in that range.

There's more that could be done, but you're well on the way! :thumbup:
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

There is nothing in the interviewee's voice below 100 Hz. The voice (and the room resonance) is boomy from above 100 Hz up to the 500's, perhaps higher. I would gently roll off bass starting from roughly 1000Hz. Maybe 5 to 10 db down at 100 Hz.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by AlecSp »

Tim, I think you missed the early part of this thread, where we covered a load of this, along with the original video that was almost unlistenable to with too much room.

The latest version is oodles better, and just repositioning of the lav mics (free and quick to achieve) will probably get close enough.

We know the room is nasty. Cheap acoustic panels will do a lot (modest cost), as would a couple of hung duvets (free) - though the mic placement has delivered most of what's needed.

Point taken on the EQ on the lav mics - there's no problem on the kind of kit most people will use for content like this, though., though - if you have a HPF (high pass filter, a.k.a. low cut) on the mixer channels, press it in. If you don't have a HPF, then maybe it really isn't worth worrying about.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

AlecSp wrote:Tim, I think you missed the early part of this thread, where we covered a load of this, along with the original video that was almost unlistenable to with too much room.


I was in on the thread from the start.

AlecSp wrote:The latest version is oodles better,...


It's not the lavs themselves that are reducing the room reverb.

Any closer placed mic will sound better than it did further away.

We have not heard what stage vocal mics would have sounded like close to and in front of the speakers, only the lavs closer. Not a fair comparison.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Mike Stranks »

Tim:

I think you may not be taking full account of the fact that this is audio for video.

While it's undoubtedly true that using directional mics close to the speakers' mouths will ameliorate some of the room effects, they will also detract from the 'video experience' for the viewer.

IME experience audio-for-video is nearly always a compromise between what would be best/better and what looks good and non-intrusive on camera. I was shooting a significant video on Sunday. I had to compromise significantly on mics and placement, which I would not have had to do if I was just concentrating on the audio side of things.

And a general point for all video-makers, community radio people, podcasters with guests etc etc etc.:

We take sitting at a desk - or wherever - with a mic and associated ironmongery in front of us as a given. And that's not to mention all the other gubbins often associated with capturing sound. To the average 'studio' guest it's often both a bit bewildering and somewhat intimidating. They're already nervous, and plonking them in front of gear only ratchets that up. Unobtrusive is good if it enables the guest to give of their best. Somewhat simplistically, quality of content allows comes before pristine audio.

Chris: You're doing well; you're on the right path; keep up the good work! :thumbup:
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by blinddrew »

Just a big +1 for Mike's last point about nervousness.
We've got a director at our place who's a great public speaker; confident, amusing, outgoing, sociable, with nice clear diction to boot. (Shame about the Yorkshire accent ;) )
He regularly does little straight-to-phone updates for his area of the business and you can see he's relaxed and confident doing them.
Just before lockdown we needed to do some filming for an external video, so it was a bit more formal: lights, 2 cameras, separate mic. Nothing fancy by the standards of many here, but he walked into a room with half-a-dozen bits of kit arrayed in front of him and you could see him visibly tighten up.
I set the cameras going and it then took me about 10 minutes to get him to relax enough for a couple of takes.
And then I did the old, "We've got a couple of good takes in the can so I've got plenty to work with, fancy doing one more for luck?" Which was, of course, the one we used most of. ;)
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

Mike Stranks wrote:Tim:

I think you may not be taking full account of the fact that this is audio for video.

While it's undoubtedly true that using directional mics close to the speakers' mouths will ameliorate some of the room effects, they will also detract from the 'video experience' for the viewer.

IME experience audio-for-video is nearly always a compromise between what would be best/better and what looks good and non-intrusive on camera. I was shooting a significant video on Sunday. I had to compromise significantly on mics and placement, which I would not have had to do if I was just concentrating on the audio side of things.

And a general point for all video-makers, community radio people, podcasters with guests etc etc etc.:

We take sitting at a desk - or wherever - with a mic and associated ironmongery in front of us as a given. And that's not to mention all the other gubbins often associated with capturing sound. To the average 'studio' guest it's often both a bit bewildering and somewhat intimidating. They're already nervous, and plonking them in front of gear only ratchets that up. Unobtrusive is good if it enables the guest to give of their best. Somewhat simplistically, quality of content allows comes before pristine audio.


Mike: When you initially recommended lavs and nothing else, solving sound quality problems was all that was being discussed. Contrary to Chris's first preference, using lavs was the best way, you seemed to be saying, to reduce the room reverb.

Your points here about the visual aspect and nervousness are perfectly valid I think and maybe something Chris would appreciate and even agree with, but their appearance here in the thread just after my comment that any mic placed closer to a speaker will reduce room reverb, may also be perceived by some as having been interestingly timed and argued.

I agree that "quality of content always comes before pristine audio" but in the context your comment might also be perceived as debating a straw man. We all agree with Chris that the venue has huge reverb issues. Did anyone say or imply that in that venue the audio could ever be pristine?
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Mike Stranks »

I'm not going to be drawn Tim... we've been round this loop too many times...

Chris is inexperienced and looking for advice. I'm trying to give him pros and cons of various miking techniques and the broader picture...

If you think my comments were a 'pop' I apologise... but they weren't intended that way.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Tim Gillett wrote:OK, it might have helped if initially you had mentioned that the venue has such severe reverberation problems.


:?: Huh? He did, and you recognised the issue yourself when you said in one of your early responses:

Tim Gillett wrote:The room echo would diminish greatly.


Tim Gillett wrote:
AlecSp wrote:The latest version is oodles better,...


It's not the lavs themselves that are reducing the room reverb.


This feels like an unwelcome return to the pointlessly argumentative Tim-of-old. Please don't fall back into that bad habit.

The latest video is massively improved, and it is the change of mic technique that has brought about that improvement. Yes, technically it's because the mics are closer to the contributors, obviously and other possible solutions employing the same tactic would have achieved similar improvements.

We have not heard what stage vocal mics would have sounded like close to and in front of the speakers, only the lavs closer. Not a fair comparison.


Fair comparison? There was no comparison required or needed.

The OP had a plan, his ideas were confirmed as a practical way forward within his budget. A worthwhile improvement was obtained achieved using an industry-standard approach.

I think it is self-evident that stage vocal mics on stands in front of each speaker would have given a similar (or perhaps even better sound quality under ideal conditions)... but it would also have looked ugly on screen, it might well have been intimidating to the contributors, and it would have been difficult for the OP to manage if the contributor shied away from the mic, as so often happens.

Had I been in the OP's situation, drawing on my professional experience as a TV sound recordist, I would have selected personal lav mics over any other option, too...

The OP wanted to try lavs, and that is a perfectly workable solution, as the result clearly show. There are further things that could be done as others have said, but for a very modest outlay the quality improvement has been massive and the OP is rightly pleased with that.

Rejoice in the success, instead of whining that your suggestion wasn't adopted.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by ChrisFelixstowe »

Interesting discussion! TBH I do seem to have got most of what I want from the discussion so far, and will raise the mics a bit, but that's where I'll stick, I think, on this one.
The owner is pretty keen to a resolve the echo issue, and I think they'll get some pro advice, which will help when they do. That should sort most of the venue probs.
I have to say that I do find big clunky mics that many vloggers and other use seriously unattractive - they mask half the face sometimes, and I think they look awful . . . I will try the mic I used the first time, run through the Podtrak to increase the line signal, just to see how in works.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
...I think it is self-evident that stage vocal mics on stands in front of each speaker would have given a similar (or perhaps even better sound quality under ideal conditions)...

...than lavs in typical lav positions?

What about in very poor conditions such as in Chris's venue?
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Tim Gillett wrote:What about in very poor conditions such as in Chris's venue?


What about Chris's venue? It is what it is.

However, he has usable audio now where he didn't before. The camera shots haven't been compromised. The contributors aren't intimidated. The dramatic improvement cost very little.

What's your point?

If you're trying to say that there'd be even less room acoustic if the contributors worked close to stage vocal mics, then yes, you'd be right... but it's not a viable solution in this situation.

My comment about ideal conditions could have been clearer -- it wasn't meant about room acoustics, I meant working with a contributor (and host) who knows how to work a close stage mic and could maintain a consistent on-axis delivery and distance... which is not likely in the OP's situation, even if it was visually acceptable... which it isn't.
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