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Lesson 3 from: Introduction to HDDSLR Cinema

Vincent Laforet

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3. Audio

Next Lesson: Video Gear

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Any other questions yeah I've got lots of them there um so what do you think experienced dps will appreciate most about these cameras of what the shallow depth of field the low light capability do you think they were going to embrace them oh they have I mean um there's several months stuff full feature full length feature films you're gonna be seen coming out next year uh that have been shot exclusively with these cameras seems an iron man to have been shot with it uh I believe uh it's next week this is against me have a look over it's a tuesday house uh the final episode of house is shot entirely with the five demark too what do you think is the feature that the most appealing to them for that one I would say of course that the field more so um I understand the form factor of the camera it's a panavision does not fit in a nook or crevice it is a huge thing you cannot I believe that the last series on the house is this what kind of first person p o v er episode and the camera really le...

ad itself to being that that wonderful angle that lets you feel what it's like tio have that first point first person point of view so think about it a major network television show the final episode it was a big deal of the season is shot one hundred percent on a twenty seven hundred dollars hd dslr camera. So for all the naysayers out there, wake up, that's. Amazing. Yes, um simon, from london would like to know if you're going to compare and discuss the limited, continuous record times on page, I think if you're shooting a wedding or documentary, you're going to run into some issues with these cameras. They have a two gigabyte buffer. Uh, in other words, you can't shoot more than two gigabytes at a time and there's several reasons for that there's conspiracy theories as well. But the long and short of it is that on average, you can shoot twelve to fourteen minutes per clip on all these cameras, because once they hit that two gigabyte limit, it has to cut so some cameras are doing much better, which they stop the clip and immediately start again. Uh, kanan has not done that, so you have to press record again. There's no delay, but this is not the ideal camera again to be shooting, eh long? Er, you know, wedding or bar mitzvah during a long period of time because it's going to cut off at a certain point and it's not going to tell you there's, no countdown timer, and invariably when you do the interview ah, you have to stop the interview at times in the middle of the best build up of a series of questions because boom, the camera just shuts off without any warning and that's a big deal. So again, you know, it's gonna look great, but it's going to create certain, um uh, technical hurdles for you, thank you, but but for me doing narratives or videos or what not? I mean, you never want to shoot a twelve minute scene is put that way, you know, it's, mind numbing? Yes, we had a lot of questions about the videos that you produced and, uh, one that kind of represents them in reverie. What was the most difficult technical challenge that you had to overcome? Um, not really. To be honest, I did you know, I was so amazed at what I saw at the time that I didn't look at it in terms of I've got to be careful, and I was careful about the rolling shutter because I knew that going into it would seem our sensors, but, um the most technical, um, challenge that I had to deal with not having any video gear, um at the time and try to make up make the film with what I had did you have to do things imposed to deal with the noise no uh reverie was released raw out of the camera so the version you see today has been grated or color corrected but for the first two or three months reverie was one hundred percent rot of the camera and it looks so good out of any you know, the camera people would call us liars they wouldn't believe that it was actually wrong they demanded to see the original footage so speaks to the camera and those built in picture stiles here in the audience yet you talked about setting the um picture styles and so like in a situation where I used to be in the old days you would use you know, graining film when you wanted something really grainy you said to turn off the picture styles so are you saying that the it's easier to add back crane but that look in post absolutely you could make something look like tri x film in post very easily same way with black and white you know uh or any sort of conversion the tools in the past decade I've gotten so good that it's almost almost being the key word foolish to try and make a decision saying I want to shoot this in black and white but I want to shoot us with this look um you might as well just shoot it in the raw native format that camera and do it in post black and white version the color version, the saturated version, a warm version of cool version and decide after the fact is the tools are absolutely fantastic. Um, that being said, we all obsess about these things. We talk about picture styles, reverie was shot in full auto out of the box. You know, we didn't know what picture styles were back that, yes, another question from chat I think there's some confusion is to the relationship between frames per second and shutter speed you maybe elaborate a little bit more sure frames per second is the amount of frames or pictures, if you will or images that the camera captures every single second, so twenty four francs for second means there's twenty four individual images that are played back at that same rate to give you the impression of motion, even though the actual obviously still frames are frozen in time. Uh, and um that's france per second versus was the confusion, the shutter spee cheddar sunder speed in the correlation between the two there's, no direct correlation between the two other than the fact that you can't shoot below a thirty for the second thirty frames a second, you can't shoot a fifteenth of a second, uh, at thirty frames a second, it stays up open twice as long he would only shoot fifteen french seconds that makes sense yeah let me little convoluted for people but there's no correlation directly between shutter speed and france for second uh although that you have to live in the technical limitations of the camera but shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter itself is open and closed and the shorter amount of time it's opening close a less light it lets in and the more it freezes the motion so um that's more if it applies to film but in film you live in a very small range in general between a thirtieth of a second to maybe one one twenty fifth in general so it's really you know three stops whereas the still photography have anywhere from hours to one eight thousands of a second so this is just my own question I something I thought the shutter stayed open when you're shooting video uh physical shutter does that's the difference when we were talking about uh you know when a degree er is that on motion picture cameras they have a physical shutter rotating through there on video cameras there's nothing moving it's the sensor that is causing the camera cycle at twenty four thirty french second sixty from a second and that's why you have the jell o because it's a software solution to what used to be a hardware issue that makes sense yes a lot of people seem to be asking about overheating yes, I have yet to have a problem with it. That being said, I don't shoot live tv shows with this hour's upon end. So today, I've never had a camera five d mark two or one day mark four shut down on me. However, after a certain period of time, they will shut down on you. Any sensor heats up over time and it's not like we're pumping dry ice in there. Um, not only where you get more and more noises you go, um on any sensor out there right now. Uh, cameras eventually shut down. Um, I haven't experienced it. It is not the type of shooting that I do, but it will shut down after a certain period time think his little is fifteen or twenty minutes in certain conditions, you know, and very hot conditions. Thank you, it's not should not be concerned for you for the five year mark to, uh, one demark for I haven't seventy enough to I think most people are asking about the seventy. I think they probably have more experience of that, you know, of shooting that way, but I've shot two or three days straight, you know, and and the the realities and narrative filmmaking, you have a certain amount of set up. You know that takes five, ten twenty, thirty minutes an hour before you do that one takes you always have a break whereas a documentary persons just shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting as a live person I don't do that much of that type of work so I'm not the best person to answer okay earlier there's a questions about whether or not you do anything in camera to reduce the noise no software is generally better uh to do in post again then in camera for noise reduction because you can change your mind and change the way the algorithms work in post so audio uh I will say that I'm you know, one of the last people in the world that should be giving a lecture on audio uh in that I respected tremendously and I respect people that live in that world um tremendously for what they do and I hire professionals when I work on any crew that uh basically spend their lives learning how to better record audio the best thing I can say about audio is you should challenge yourself to watch your favorite scene of your movie with the sound off uh or your favorite movie and see how long you can go without fading away and losing complete interest um the visuals have to be so incredibly striking toe hold your attention and audio is such a wonderful tool to nana on ly augment the experience also to hide a lot of the mistakes audio plays a very important role in setting in tempo uh and in covering up mistakes so a cut from this shot of that shot may feel very abrupt on its own. But if you use the audio in a certain way to cover that up, it's just it's good. A little trick is anything else? Um, as we said earlier, audio's fifty percent of the formula, so on average there's three different audio tracks is pretty basic cause you could have dozens if not hundreds, but there's the ambient sound. So you have to hear, you know, the street noises, the taxi's honking uh, the, um, birds chirping that's kind of, you know, that track of audio that makes you feel like you're not in a fish bowl, if you will, when you're watching a film, then there's obviously the narrative, the thie actors and their dialogue being recorded that in itself is incredibly important if you, you know, we've all watched, I think maybe a silent film, very, very different experience in terms of engaging audience and then, of course, there's the score there's a soundtrack to any piece where, uh, find me a good action sequence or a pinnacle part of any film, it doesn't have some sort of, uh audio piece to complement it and help augment the experience you know, for those of you that no one of the most famous composer john williams you know, done e t and and jaws you know those those notes donna dawn on on on the entire world within a few notes knows exactly what what you're talking about and then experience it's kind of visceral reaction to audio so um quick note we were talking about what a fully artist iss and a fully artist is someone who spends his or her entire career recording sounds so they'll go to onto the set not a foley artist but the full years will go and find sounds after the fact so that when an actor closes the door you can hear the door closing uh in your film same with the door handle being, you know, rotated er or the footsteps uh take all that fully artist jobs away from any of your short films and it just feels really kind of fake and un riel because you're not picking all that stuff up um and uh it's a pretty fascinating job to do and to really focus on that. Um, one of the most important key concepts about audio is not on ly to add information and layers to your film, so you're adding that other fifty percent it's about also eliminating unwanted sounds and I think it's the same as a photograph when I when I take a picture I concentrate on every single element that there is in the frame and I ask myself, does this element help add information to the photograph or distract from it? That's how I frame a photograph that's kind of a key pieces of advice I have to any photographers everything should be in that frame for a reason or you should exclude it visually the same exact thing applies to audio um you don't want to hear the truck across the street uh picking up the garbage during a very important narrative scene where the actors are saying a very important line so we'll get into today is talking about different types of microphones and tools that an audio technician has to basically narrow down our focus is like a telephoto lens uh the focus of that sound recording device that makes sense um let's go ahead and I'm gonna take the quicker and kind of jump into it. Um the first thing we're going to talk about is what we hit on a little bit before which is the idea of a dual system all right, so whenever someone asked me how do you do audio with the cannon hdgs? Lars, my answer is I do a dual system and that's kind of shorthand talk for saying that I record my audio separately I do not record my audio directly into the five year, seventy or one day mark four remember? I don't do documentaries, okay, but even if I were to documentaries, I've recorded onto a separate devices on the camera. All right? The reason for that is very simple. If you used the exact same microphone, a high quality microphone and you plug that single directly into your five d or one day mark four seventy and you will get a lesser quality, a recording from that still camera because it's compressing it, then from the exact same microphone plug into a different device. All of you have heard poor quality audio. He on an iphone, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You can't hear the other person on the other end. Uh, that's poor quality audio because being compressed and you've got a bad signal um same goes for this. You want the absolute best quality audio you can get so that's what a duel system it's means you recording into a separate device. So think about what that means. You now have one device that contains your audio file and one device that contains your video file. Someone at some point most often you, unless you work with a team, is going to have to marry those two back together, okay, and it's not like you're trying to raise yourself to hit start record on the camera the exact same time hit the button on the audio recorder obviously it's going to be some delay uh not to mention it's not practical and that's where that concept of time code comes in time code is simply a number it's running down just like the slate you see in front of me you can count to cut to camera one um this slate uh is basically uh pick it up now cut to are you guys on camera one live cool. So this late as you can see if it's him all the way in is just counting down the hours, minutes seconds and frames and at any point you can stop it and, um it will freeze. I'm not using it correctly. Uh you will it'll freeze thea the exact time on there so basically you're going to sink if you have an audio device that supports time code that clock onto this late this is a digital uh, time coach like this is a fancy thing while getting this in a second exact model number and price and whatnot but this is a very fancy way of solving this issue. This means that when I do a set of sticks, this camera records the exact time code as does that camera and more importantly, the audio recording device and when you come back into putting together in final cut pro, you simply enter the time code and automatically line up the two cameras together or three or four cameras and the audio channel onto that makes sense. I understand that in this room how many microphones do we have? We have eighteen microphones in this room we've got two cameras plus a video track ed who is insane is going to align all these things up every night every single clip we do think about the logistics of that and how trying to line up every single audio track at the end of the day is going to be just based on trying to hear it or match uh the sound of someone's voice to their lips you want to do a very hard exercise try to line up someone's voice with their lips and find it without any frame of reference it's close to impossible all right it's very frustrating so on the most basic level if you do use a dual system you're gonna want to use frankly your hands to clap and so you can the camera can physically see when your hands come together and you gotta match it up with a sound now there is a softer solution out there that really saves your, uh you're behind cloth called pleural eyes and we're going to go over that in a software section on day three okay, but plural eyes uh fru final cut pro software it's a plug in we'll take the ambient track off every can of five you mark too and find the spike in audio and analyze it and line that up automatically with other video clips from different cameras and the sound track itself that's a very elegant software solution for this problem so you don't technically need a slate that being said I bet you it's gonna work a heck of a lot better if you have that to go off because you could freeze your frame and slow motion and final exactly when that noise happens and look for the spike on the audio track do you think I need to talk a little more about time code or is that it kind of work do what? Clap it one more time. Okay, so that's what timecode is it's just a universal number that all your devices use now when you use the exit one or the vx two hundred they have time code built in. So does your audio recording device and you khun jam sink them together which means they share the exact same kind time code for each camera and device so that you never ever need to use a slate with a video camera? How often do you see documentary uh teams using slights? You know, this is kind of an anachronism in and of itself you don't need a fancy digital slate just need you know uh, old cardboard or plastic one and as I said, if you're really desperate you clap your hands or you don't have my iphone here for interference but you khun have little slates on your iphone to they're pretty cool that work fairly well they tend to be a little bit small but now with the ipad it's like a very fancy uh slate okay, so that's audio going into your dual system the first device and I will share with you that I happen to like very much is, uh zoom h foreign so, uh this I think is one of the most popular uh audio recorders out there today. Ah what's beautiful about is looking how small it is. Put this in your pocket. Ah, imported on your ah kind of handheld rigor your tripod mounted right there it's got two microphones it's all digital uh and it records to sd cards as well. Um it's got xlr inputs which are huge because every single microphone that's a professional grade microphone uh goes in this type of plug it's called x l r, right all these little stereo had sets that we use uh for laptops and ipods that's not a professional standard excel arias so you buy any microphone in the world you need have a device that takes in exile ours most camcorders taken excel ours it's a kind of a sign of professional camcorder um so that's what this joon h foreign does and it's a relatively straightforward you khun you know check it out on the way I'm not gonna give you a whole demo of the unit uh but you can do pretty much anything and the quality is absolutely fantastic. Um so that's what a duel system is it means that you will go out with your five demark too and your zoom and a good microphone or laugh set and you're ready to rock and roll all right? If you use plural eyes, you probably can avoid using a slate but if you're doing a film or production where it's really kind of, you know professional high and you're gonna want to eventually end up using a slate for a number of reasons um you can go from a zoo made for end to this significantly more expensive uh, recording device by sound devices um that is a seven forty forty, I believe and um it has a hard drive in here. It takes compact flashcards again it has to xlr inputs and a bunch of mini and puts a cz well um obviously on any recording device, we're gonna want a head fill in port you can adjust and you're gonna want tojust gain coming in and out and this is a professional level audio recorder advice um it's relatively small compact it's got rechargeable batteries I would hae recommend against buying any um recording device that has double a's and not rechargeable. The reason behind that is you'll hear is me called phantom power so that when you buy a microphone of any kind you will notice some of them like this one right here is battery operated a lot of them don't have a battery so they're actually drawing power out of your device so I bought another model once in a while and my battery kept dying every two or three hours was like what's going on with and I realised phantom power was turned on it was the microphone that was drawing all the juice out uh of the uh of the device so highly recommend um, rechargeable batteries for those devices that one is a four track recorder uh, you'll realise very quickly we have eighteen tracks going on in this room ah that's that's that's a lot uh but on a simple interview you're going tohave ambient noise and one or two at least almost always two different microphones coming in because you have the interviewer and the person being interviewed and mary the camera audio so right there you have three tracks of audio right tracks or just layers of audio each each device records one so very quickly um a divisive records at least four tracks was going to be kind of a minimum requirement for any professional production. Any questions so far? No yes on that zoom is that have more than one track and is it does it is the due time code I believe it's to right uh I haven't actually uses that much I just know that I've tested it out it's a very big popular um recorder for a lot of photo journalist out there is kind of the industry standard um and I would assume that has two tracks stereo um they might have more but I kind of doubt it. I know that seven forty forty which is the one I use has four tracks and you can buy a mixer if you have even more mikes. Yes, uh from chat room and I just definitely outside the scope of this class but five point one recording ortio jax I mean, hey, you know that's if you're doing hollywood films, of course but um that's like asking me do you want a cannon twenty millimeter or a zeiss master prime lens that it's you know, fifty to sixty thousand dollars uh just for the lands and comes in a set of five you know, there's five point one I don't think you know where it is short answers you don't worry about it unless you're doing high end cinema, any other questions now people off awfully quiet for the audio section um, maybe we're hitting all the good points. They're definitely discussing everything you're saying, but they're kind of working it out amongst themselves. A lot of this is new to people. I mean, you know, uh, I like I said, I'm not the most qualified person to do this because I other than having put a few headphones on and you have studied, you know, certain um, uh, basics and lessons about recording sound I I hire a sound technician on everything that I do that's their job it's a specialty. Aah! And my main issue is a filmmaker is making sure that my frame right on my camera matches their frame right on their device and that if we're using timecode there sink of than that, frankly, it's, not my problem, but as a producer, you need to pick your locations that you shoot in often based on the audio coming in. So if you're doing interview it's someone don't do it near a refrigerator, don't do it near an air conditioner, don't do it near a busy street because, you know, as the subject is giving you the best line of the day, you hear the guy was talking about going be be be beep or uh, the refrigerator turning on every twenty minutes on the on the on the dot so you'll start to really appreciate the art that is recording audio, no question in the audience ah, you had said about matching the audio from the actual camera itself and your external are you actually using, like, a roadie mike on the camera plugged in or you just using the mic on it just to do that? The sound matching toe up or to sound that's gets captured by these two or three little holes on your body, which is like a built in mike is more usually more than good enough to pay on how far the camera is obviously from your subject, you know, as we get into mike's, we'll talk a little about that, you know, is that as a subject of the mike and gentlemen want to be very far from where the audio is coming? Ah, you don't want to have much space or interference between it. Uh, so, uh, I think what you're trying to get to is will the onboard audio from your five d mark to be enough to use a plural eyes with a separate mike and the answers as long as your camera's not too far away from it, it it should absolutely be if you're on a gyro with rotating giro's on the camera they're very highly noisy. You don't wanna hear anything, so there it won't work that's where you'd have to use a slate, I think may be the last question from on audio from chat. Um, what about using logic or some other software and a laptop? Uh, well, logic is a piece of software to deal with audio and, uh, I have heard from people in the audio world that they prefer nothing better into record straight into a laptop. A digital device without any intermediary. Uh, again, that gets into the audio file world and that's. Not my area of expertise, but I have heard some people swear that the best way to record audio strains your laptop with some sort of a digital recording device and software. Yes. Okay. Have we really only spent thirty minutes on audio? That's? Cool. We're flying through it. Okay, cool. Good. You know, have to know how little I know about it. Then, uh, we're gonna go into there's de nikki. Uh, that's this very fancy digital digital time slate. Um, thirty hundred fifty bucks. I don't know many people who can afford that necessarily. And as I said, uh, I swear by it. I can't imagine doing any production without it but you can buy the first one I bought was a plastic one uh you can buy a little mini ones um all you're really trying to do is to have a visual reference that says scene one take one and uh that clapper the little marker getting that one little spike in the audio track individuals like here you go here's a uh fifty buck and even how much this cost you don't know how much this cost thirty dollars sonny bit very dollar plastic slate oh come on guys this is ok I'll stay this way that's all you need thirty dollars works perfectly what is it missing that fancy time code which can actually pretty valuable on a bigger production but you absolutely don't need to spend the money initially when you're starting off in video on this all right micro fellows get into more a little more audio microphones are recording devices for sound and they are just like telephoto lenses or wide angle lens is the best way to describe it a shotgun mic which we're gonna plug in my um marcus um and uh kind of do a quick example with you guys is a directional mic so omni is all over the place where his direction was obviously point in the direction what a shotgun mike does is are you guys live on this so this is probably to make a bit of noise you hear that about that? Um this is what a shotgun mike it's all right and the beauty of it is I want you go ahead and speak into the microphone and just keeps big count one to ten you you guys can hear that final eight jack yes because I can't hear what you're doing all right so now I'm going to rotate this mike away from him and I want you to speak at the same time and I want to do a b c d and just keep going you know you're seeing how the audio supposedly is getting louder and fainter depending on where I point it not the same time simultaneously count abc tio okay so hold on a second what we're hearing here in the audience and you may be picking up over the other microphone's is both if we have another shotgun that's all way should switch off the shotguns in the room okay and just using this one on lee and perhaps mine uh in the room are ears we've got two years ago stereo um we can hear both people talking in the audience they're supposedly if this works you should only be hearing either one two three year abc depending on where I point the mic so go ahead again are you hearing only him doing numbers both so kill this one too so the solution is to get this closer one two three four five six seven eight nine is that working? Okay finally good er again one, two, three four five q r s t right hopefully I have illustrated that is shotgun mic is directional as I was pointing it to you I can hear the one two threes versus the a b c's alright it's um every back on this only let's just go on ly this one not my laugh one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen working hopefully it's a good illustration it's directional so why do you think this thing is useful? Nice lights noise I can record just you even though it's a small jackhammer wouldn't really work uh but someone speaking to my right we're in a busy credit environment you've got street noise I'm gonna want to use a shotgun mic as you can see, a lot of the is actually a pretty powerful tool though. All right? So this is why this is very often on a boom and you'll notice that most dps and people in the lighting department hate people with booms because they're always casting shadows and they're wonderful light but you go ahead and extend this pretty far out over someone and what the boom operator tries to do is to place this boom immediately outside of the frames they're going to go is closest possible as they can to the actor or protagonist with that microphone while keeping that boom outside of the frame so one of the biggest amateur things you'll see sometimes in a film as you'll see the boom dropping in the frame you go whoops it's actually made into some you know, big budget films somehow um but that's what the audio technician does try to get that micah's closest possible to the audio source that they can that's a shotgun mic um I called us a dead cat is that fierce and call it a dead raccoon or whatnot? Um this simply goes over the microphone so hold plug your ears or shut this one down and what this is meant to do is tio attenuate wind hitting it. You've all heard the sweetest swedish movies are sure all the time these things can be very unforgiving and in a windy day so you put that dead cat around it um which just muffles the, uh the amount of air hitting it distracting that's what that weird thing is okay, so there's a shotgun mic on a boom uh let's go ahead and use the omni now the wireless on me we should all realize that on that moon was that xlr cable coming out of it at the end, right? So is obviously a cable running from the mic to the cable back here inside cables are great for what reason they don't tend to lose signal wireless you never know when a gremlins gonna creep in there someone's cellphone and the uh, gps cell phone creates a tremendous amount interference with labs, your wireless or wireless mac mike so they're very convenient in that there's no cords there's only one thing that sure about filmmaking with cords is if you have a wire to matter when you're going to trip over it forget your few tangle in, so while this is really convenient there's a potentially introduce um a lot more problems so let's, go ahead and look it up on the mike very simple example not goingto go, we're too much on the should not react as much to the direction of in which I pointed so one, two, three, four, five, six, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve uh somewhat directional, but this is something you would use if you're interviewing many people and you can't get that shotgun mic on the person not to mention the danger of a shotgun is if you get lazy if you don't have a person manning it um he's very easy to have absolutely no value at all as point the wrong direction that's an omni mike um then comes the last example, which is, um, put that down here, so obviously you don't want to put this on the mic down the glass because it's going to make a big bang sound so we have the phone and you always have to have the discipline of turning mike's off obviously, um because you can always pick up some very lot spikes no, I left that went on for them to do interviews. Yeah uh then there is what I have on me right now, which is actually up here. Uh so here's a lab mike, this is a sennheiser love mic set and I'm going I think I've fallen backwards on my slides so here you go out there for people um who may want to buy some of these? So this is ah, one of my favorite mikes out there that I'm not an audio expert but I have gone to actually being h sound booth they have a really cool boof in new york city where you can actually listen to every single mike in a controlled sound environment and that's how I chose the mike that I bought and I bought road microphones ah, that I really, really like over some very popular ones. Sennheiser is also very good mikes, but I tend to like the bass and the road's a lot more, so this is the model that I happen to own ah, very quick little but simple but important note microphones record mano audio this is something that every video person knows but photographers might forget one microphone is only one year you need two microphones if you want both years we did split signal into a left and right sick until left my channel on your recorder so you can buy a white cable which takes the one microphone not right now there's a train outside that's making lots of noise are you guys hearing it he can turn it up if you want but you know timing it the point is these mikes are pretty close to me for a reason they're on my person right near my my cheek so that they can pick up just that noise so that went everyone when shuffles in the background or the train is honking you can kind of cut that out so remember its sound is just about not only recording audio but eliminating other unwanted audio so there's the road mike this is another matter model which is kind of almost on the mic uh you can also buy different mikes that are all different tastes and specifications some that are better so if you're going to go out into a big crowd and you want to do interviews uh you're gonna want a shotgun mic uh because you don't want to pick up the fifty other people surrounding especially the protest if you want to hear anything you want me to discern the one person interviewing whereas if you're just placing a microphone down on a podium, there's only one person speaking into it. You're gonna want a nominee might for the most part so that as they move from left to right or further away from the the the podium, you're gonna have a chance of capturing them. Okay, this here is the sennheiser siri's of mike's. Uh, they, you know, pretty much industry standard. Ah, there too. Little recorders that one clips onto the person transmitting the signal. So here's a little microphone that clips on two someones lapel their shirt, and they make him different colors some of these air omni, whereas others are shotgun, different uses and that you'll see on some fancy shows they have white ones that kind of blend better with white shirts or skin colored ones. Uh, that, you know, this is just of much smaller version of those that transmits a wireless signal. This is the way you can always tell whether you're watching a real documentary or when it's more set up where someone has the little transmitter clipped in the back on the small of their back. So when you watch american idol and you think this is this very impromptu moment and you see someone with one of these clipped on their back you know it's there well aware they're being filmed and this is the receiver and you can have any number of these if you buy two serious they make two different sets on two different frequency sets uh you wouldn't want to buy two I think there sirius a sirius b uh because they're gonna crisscross in terms of signals but you can change the frequency on these the number one thing about any microphone transmitter that you'll see by lots of batteries you want to put fresh batteries every day every time you use them because that's how you start losing signals is by having a dead batteries in there and, um the last thing I want to do that's actually all we have for audio so I managed to catch up. Um is kind of the idea of having two crew members two volunteers walk over and pretend teo roll a camera and doing a slate um and kind of walk you through how that's done come on over the dead cat. Yeah. So boom is a stick that extends samana pod it's light so that someone can hold it out during a long take for entire day um and extend it and it's got an anti vibration thinks that when you do this if you do that I'm like that's hard mounted it's going to make a severe noise uh on the other end uh this is a k tech it comes a package out of being aged I bought this and uh I don't have it just now to be honest but it's just a boom arm you know, with an xlr cord that comes out on the other end and it's going through it and, uh this year part becomes part of the road kit I believe I have just one part of this this is a road attenuate er there. Okay. Um so do I have two volunteers to guinea pigs two of you come on over. Okay, we're going to this very simply and we're going to turn the camera on you're going to be the camera operator. We need a third person who's gonna be our boom operator radio and a fourth person is going to subject come on up. So and you're going to be doing this late? Okay, so you're the subject you're the boom operator stand right there and you're, uh, the person doing this late. Okay, so, uh, if you're part of a larger crew you'll have you know, we'll talk about rolls a little bit later someone whose job it is to do the slate, but in smaller crews, you kind of all share duties and what you want right on the slate is for visual reference uh the scene number and take number if you have time do so but definitely a visual reference in the time code so that, um again, if you're part of a larger crew, you can have someone who's taking notes call the script supervisor who's actually saying on scene three take six was the best take and if I wasn't bad for was terrible don't even bother looking at it it says you're tremendous amount of time in post to have notes so uh what we're going to do is we're going to be the first a c and you're going to do this late so what that means is the first thing you're going to yell is quiet on set and the reason you do that's such a simple thing to do is to get everyone's attention they were about to shoot a scene and everyone stops and freezes because what will kill you and on big motion picture sets we'll get someone fired on the spot is that if someone some big name actor is delivering a very important line and someone in the background trips over something or drop something they're gone I mean it's a very unprofessional thing to do it's disrespectful it's unprofessional so you'll yell quiet on set everyone knows on set this is the real thing everyone freezes and you remain quiet go ahead quiet on set and you'll go uh roll camera for roll audio one of the two you can pick just depends on your style the idea is roll means with the old motion picture cameras film they have to school the film up and get the speed all right it didn't start a sentence in an instant record with as we have a digital cameras same went with the audio technician who also had squeals of audiotape that had to roll so he wouldn't go rolling and the audio tech would say sound speed which meant the sound is rolling and going which is we have sound effectively for you guys and the camera operator will say or whatever part of the crew members that betting how big or small you are camera speed which means uh that you have sound going and then you have the audio video going and then you're going to go ahead and make a marker and this is so obvious but it behooves me to mention it you have to put this within the frame of where the camera is if you do a slate out of the frame of what he can see you're wasting everyone's time also the mic has people to pick it up so on a wide angle land you're going to want to be closer to the camera where it is a telephoto lens will be further because you can't have this filled the frame also very often require to change focus so you can see what's going on here that's where a first a c comes in someone who pulls focus all right, so go ahead, run through that again. Remember the order of things right on set everyone so yeah, you got it. Camera roll camera b sounds scene one take one slate that way you have the audio track that says scene one, take one so someone was all frame of reference. Here's scene one take one and going to see because we were on the video not the five year mark too, but old video camera, film camera there's no soundtrack whatsoever. So they're seeing scene one take one visually on the audio track here, scene one. Take one and then they look for that magical moment where the here the slate pullout away quietly, and then the magical word action and that's how the scene happens. How do you think this goes over in a documentary? Not so good. This is a technique used for commercials and narrative film. That's a setup environment. Okay, and I put you there on purpose because on a wide angle lens he would be in the in the shot. All right, so he's, always going to find out how close he could get without being in the shot and how close we can get that microphone to the subject without being in the shop so as you guys go over this tomorrow it's gonna be part of every single shot to do this part of the practice and you can see how this isn't just grabbing a camera and going out there anymore it's becoming much more involved people knowing their roles and what to do you want to have more time all right let's go for it right at that camera cameras big seems a sound speed sounds do you wanna take one mark frank and there you go uh think you may have noticed the past if you forget this slate because you're in a rush you can go ahead and do a tail slate and the way to do that visually is toe hold the marker upside down at the end of it so you bonehead classics so the personnel's when they see this that obviously on a spool of film it also you know where to cut this they know that this was the end of the cut okay and that's the way to signalling that you have a tail slate so a lot of this is a bit of an anachronism and with it hopefully a year or two when they have time code in these cameras if they ever do it we won't need all that stuff anymore but for now something we have to deal with uh one of the audio members and other roommate mention of how to hold your boom which is both arms up like that. There you go. Find out if you can get an angle of him. Uh, that is theme or professional way of holding a sound boom and, you know, again it's a matter of pointing that shotgun mike really towards the voice of that person and that, ladies and gentlemen, is basically the best introduction to audio that I could give um you will have numerous mike's going on. You may have lives on you. You may have mike's put all over the place and here is a very important point. Point two two also finish with um audio is something that is not always conducive to working with noisy cameras. So ah lot of the support systems were going to use whether it's a steady can you have someone breathing and running, whether it's a techno crane or a jib that makes noise of its own a gyro um, it's just it's impossible to record clean audio in certain environments because the camera is very far away from the subject, right? We're making lots of noise itself that's where the fully artist comes in. So when you're recording a scene uh, you very seldom worry about recording getting good audio the door close and you're not gonna have the sound operator holding the boom in the shot to get door closing you're either going to record it on set after you've shot you're taking everyone you know, quiet on set we're gonna do an audio take of this and he's going to record the sound of that creaky door closing three or four times. Also one very important thing is called room tone at the end of any shot that you do especially in an interview we're going to stop everyone in the room say absolute quiet you're gonna record thirty seconds of the ambient audio the reason you do that is you need that white noise or that effectively that existing noise to overlay on certain cuts because think about if you start mixing stuff some stuff in that doesn't have an audio track your ears gonna hear it immediately that it goes dead. You hear all this ambient noise stops just like you turn the audio volume off on your on your piece and also you can also use that actually to fight some ambient noise which some sophisticated software uh, I know that you know, soundtrack pro does that quite well, so there you go. If you guys wanna have a seat, thanks very much. Um thirty four minutes. That was my goal. Trying make up some time uh, any quick questions about about audio I mean it's it's almost shameful they were spending thirty four minutes on what effectively takes a fifty percent of the film. Um and you know, frankly, my advice is, you know, the first person you're gonna hire, uh, when you do anything is someone who does this for a living that has the equipment, but, you know, if you're starting off zoom h foreign is fantastic. Yes, yes, which is as a producer of web caf audio here's something I don't understand, but I know it's one of the things that really separates a good online training environment from a mediocre and people online I've been listening to it don't here it but, you know, there's, a lot of trucks driving around here, this is not a quiet room by any means. Um, and our audio guy has tried to, you know, bring mikes to you that they're going to just let us focus in on your voice, and most people don't pay attention to that on for online training. Now they don't you don't pay attention to it until it doesn't work. That is the rudest wake up call you will get in your initial films as you'll see how terrible the audio is that you captured and the worst thing in the world besides losing audio all together, there's no way to make up not having good dialogue is having poor dialogue. Our poor audio so you have a fantastic actor delivering lines incredibly well and guess what? You can't hear them. You can appreciate the tone in their voice. And like I said, it's what differentiates a hollywood production from an indie very often is not a slave. The visuals as much as the audio quality. All right, so, uh, let's go ahead and do some q and a from the chat room. Uh, we have a couple questions that are related to recording the audio in camera. Yes. So, uh, won the five to five demark, too, doesn't allow for headphones with a wireless or a laver. Is there any way to monitor the quality? Uh, the best way is to have a duel system where you have a separate device monitoring it. I know that beach tech uh, makes a device that allows you to plug, excel ours into, uh, the stereo mic of the five d and he listened to it with headphones. I just don't recommend that direction because the quality audio you're getting off the five years compress. Why would you want that, uh, it's equivalent of, you know, taking blurry images the whole time on purpose, putting vastly in front your lens, you want the best quality audio um and there I believe magic lantern has not on ly audio meters on it the firm where you mentioned the hack that will show you audio levels and when they spiked when they go into the red zone as a bad thing when they don't exist that's also bad thing is not being recorded um and it also allows you to correct the game. One quick trick that I would share with you about audio is the other advantage of taking a model mike and splitting it with a y splitter and to the left and right channels is to put the left channel on high gain, which means it listens for very subtle noises and the right channel no turn that down so that if something falls on the ground uh it's it's gonna clamping down the sound so you can kind of switch between the two depending on how soft someone's voice or how loud the environment is is that cool little trick? Yeah, we're related to that another question was if you do recording camera does that affect the video compression or the quality of the video? Not that I know so it's a separate it's recorded separately you can record in the end of the camera people do it all the time uh, I think the biggest rule to understand is that when you have a microphone on your camera it's picking up all of your movements as an operator so as you zoom in on her out on your lands it's picking that up vividly as you change you know you click those little dials on the front and back of the camera click click click click click click click click it picks it up because it's a few inches from the censor and in general unless the person is talking right up to your camera the further the person is away from the mic the less effective it isthe so one of the lessons I didn't do which I hope I don't really have to run through but I guess I could is that if you were talking to me if I hold the mic closer go ahead talk hello how are you doing today? Uh good talking to myself I guess you can seethe our ways from hamlet last picks up and it's gonna pick up everything that's in between hit needed just you know they're they're devices and they have limitations so ah little I mean I've done test where I've bought a road little mike that you slide on the hot shoot and when you compare that I did it in times square to a shotgun mic in times square it is absolutely night and day because you could pick up every single sound from your camera and the ambiance location with an on camera um uh microphone it's much better to try and work with labs uh external mic second device and uh it makes your production go from amateur to professional like that having good audio yes another question from chet do you have any recommendations for ah person on a budget for shotgun mikes is there anything you can recommend again ah how much is the shotgun here? Two hundred bucks to fifty um they have all that you know under the camera wasn't like I said that's the one area I can't because I'm not an expert in this I can tell you that's an excellent microphone so jack check out being a teacher you know whoever you need to check out to find out the best quality all devices and frankly you should go to someone who does this for a living you know uh it's they'll know immediately what mike's osteria tours yes um someone is asking if you were still a journalist how would you handle sound and would you still he's a dual system without a sound guy? Yes. So if I were a journalist I would do two things I would have a road uh started to ride the zune h for in either in my pocket mounted on the hot shoe or on these little handheld rigs that will talk about tomorrow and I would have the audio being picked up by these two microphones and I would have a, um one of these lab mike's hooked in on my subject also going in there so that they're always mike no matter where they go the only potential problem there's interference but this would be picking up the local ambient noise with these two stereo microphones and it would be picking up the noise coming right from them as close as I can get to their mouth and you know as they go away from you unless you have an audio technician running after them, you want a wide shot or a telephoto shot. Your audio is shot, if you will. Where is if you have a lab mike on them at all times you on on an audio level regain continue continue having that connection with your subject as they speak to someone else or as you hear the ample noises very important, nothing worse than having your subject walk away from you and have the audio drift away with him. That's why? Lab mikes are really, really fantastic and I don't know a single, uh, audio technician of filmmaker doesn't have a set of lab mike's it's kind of like, you know, one on one stuff. Yes, that's doing documentaries that is just zoom allow you to monitor while you're recording absolutely and monitor, you know, just to gain up or down. And a martin with head tells me there was a question in chat what is gained game is just like opening up your aperture or closing it, letting more light in or less your you're making the microphone mohr less sensitive so in a very not noisy environment not turn that game down so that you only capture the highlights or the very loud sounds close to it. Whereas if you're very quiet environment gonna crack that up to capture as much information as you can like levels? Yes, it sounds like there's a confusion in the chat room here about the rate that you record audio at versus your frames per second. Could you explain that rate kilohertz is a quality setting? The higher the number, the more information it's recording uh and it's like mega pixels. Ah, the frames per second is just the speed at which it records it. So how many frames a second. Just well, at the risk of over complicating it. Set the same frames per second on your audio device that your camera's recording if your cameras your auto device can only do thirty, you must shoot thirty with your camera, you can't shoot twenty four or twenty five and pal or sixty you can get away with sixty cause you khun long story, but uh the point is match the two together. I hope that clears in confusion, but the killer hertz is a different setting it's the quality setting, the higher the killer hurts, the better amount information coming in is that correct? Not at all your guy? Yes. Good. Right? Okay. And then thinking it up together in editing is that done with time code? Or is that done? If you have time, ko that's a fantastic way of doing it. You hit enter tempting number everything lines up magically. That tends to be a bit more high end than what most people have access to. So if you don't have time code as I mentioned, you can always purchase plural eyes which will get into we'll get a demo of on day three and you'll see how it works and does its magic uh, you know it's looking at the formula of the sound wave when the sound waves literally spikes and valleys uh, and you can kind of mash those up over several devices and, um, it's pretty amazing how it does that or if you do it the old fashioned way, which is with a slate find the exact time the slate comes in contact together to make a mark and line them up for the spike on your audio track. And if you have absolutely nothing, you can always do it. The old fashioned way wishes to listen and try to line them up the hard way and you realize that someone's talking like this and the voice comes out half a second later and they're gonna move in closer together and it's kind of painful way to do it but it can be done if you have nothing at your disposal yes in your productions dio record the ambient noise or do you use fully uh post that playing on the production fully? I think if I understand it correctly and I will make a mistake but fully to me he's always done after the fact so on set is a sound technician whose recording a live sound that's there they're recording environmental noise they're also responsible for recording uh the, um the dialogue and perhaps if they have time on production the actual objects that you're using but um most of the time it's very expensive time on set with the amount of people you have it's much easier to to have a full the artist on another day match up the door with uh the sound of with the video not to mention that sometimes the door you're using as a prop it's not a real door, it doesn't sound that good that's the magic of film making going to find this really old creaky door that's really scary that's some foley artist is going to go find and find the exact amount of oil to put on the hinge to create the creepiest noise possible it's an art form it's just not a matter of just matching sound to it it's about creating this experience you know, mixing is a term that refers to the artist that takes all these different sounds from sound banks that they have you know of, you know, thin tires screeching and of doors opening and closing to add layers of information to your final film if you look at a short film I did the cabbie um almost every single thing in the cabbie is fully I know there's no ambient sound whatsoever except for one line of it it's all done by an artist after the fact who matches sounds up it's pretty fascinating to watch it absolutely adds life about any single piece out there I think the nature the question was more do you spend the money to hire are fully understand your productions or do you just to go with I think on a narrative film it's expected um whereas on documentary probably not and on a commercial almost all commercials are either dialogue uh, of course I have some fully but especially music and stuff like that. So yeah, it depends on the type of reduction you work on absolutely it's all a question of money it always is. How much money do you have to have someone you know go ahead and do that? Yeah, I think that's it we move on all right, that's it for audio

Class Materials

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I would recommend this class to anyone needing a refresher on video in a DSLR world, but I would imagine that some of the technical topics might be a bit too much of a deep dive in an introductory course like this. Not everyone is going to be creating staged events and so the attention paid to blocking and focus might be less interest. Overall, for someone who graduated in film/video a while ago, it was great to get up to speed on today's cameras and hardware.

Marvin Løvenfeldt

Seems like an update to this class is needed. he talks about the Canon 5D mark II. Several better cameras have come on the market since including several other brands, many better options in 2017.

Johnnee Lin

Why should I buy the class again to see it since I have bought the package ?

Student Work