jgbsound

Workflow to match Lav feed with boom?

37 posts in this topic

Does anyone have a standard workflow they use when equalizing a thinner lav feed to the more robust boom? I'm assuming you probably use the spectral analysis in protools coupled with an eq. There used to be a bias app called repliQ that did an awesome job but they're outta business. It seems rather clunky to do it just by ear and I'm assuming those who have more experience know exactly what to do.

Any suggestions?

jgbsound

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Not sure I would call it a "workflow"...

trial and error

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not at all senator. why trial and error? i'd rather call it 'listen and decide'. there IS a workflow.

In any case, you should be doing it by ear. Any plugin application will probably cause processing delays. This has to be compensated by moving the waveform to match the other (unprocessed) one.

What REPLIQ and other such "spectral" comparative solutions provide do not do quite well with production dialog. Remember, these are more to be used on studio tracks (music recordings).

Just what i think, imho...

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Adjusting by ear is probably the best and quickest way to work.

Greg

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Adjusting by ear is probably the best and quickest way to work.

Greg

If you think doing it by ear is clunky, you might be in the wrong business.

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"why trial and error? i'd rather call it 'listen and decide'. "

OK

"listen, decide, repeat as needed"

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Yup, I agree with the above. "Hmmm, sounds like lav has a presence peek in the 5k range that the boom doesn't have..." Grab eq knob on the lav and lower around 5k...

I don't do much post, but I can't think of a faster way then just listening to what you have, deciding which frequencies are out of balance, and adjusting those freqs with an eq....

Using a spectral analysis tool is what seems clunky to me.

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If you think doing it by ear is clunky, you might be in the wrong business.

Have to agree.

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Just to be sure... you -are- putting lav on a different track, and also filling appropriate tone and adding mono reverb to make up for the additional boom distance...

One thing that helps a lot if you have to use both from the same take or at least same content, is make the transition on a syllable change within a word. The brain's word-sorting software helps hide the difference.

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That's a fascinating idea. I like the syllable switch within a word approach. Also a tiny bit of reverb to account for distance is a great trick. As far as getting both feeds to match in presence, so far, I've been EQing everything by ear and then looking at the Fourier Transform wave to see if I'm any closer. It's still time consuming and sometimes imperfect.

Though I do get little closer to my goal with each try; perfect, seamless, lav/boom merge so that the audience doesn't hear a difference between that CMIT 5 boom and the COS11 lavs.

John

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I believe both John Purcell's book Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures: A Guide to the Invisible Art and also Tom Holman's book Sound for Film and Television have specific sections on how to try to EQ lavs to match boom microphones. My memory is that Holman even showed some response curves showing how they EQ'd specific lav recordings to get closer to the booms. Not a 100% match, but surprisingly close. Both cite the importance of the mixer providing sound reports that cover what kinds of microphones were used during the shoot.

I would not trust an automatic EQ device. I think you can get there by ear and just doing A/B comparisons. Once you have a plug-in preset setting, you can save it and reuse it when a similar scene (or a similar microphone) comes up, and use that as a starting point.

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I wish I worked with editors that even knew what the hell EQ'ing is.

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Thanks Marc. I have Purcell's book. I'll don't remember reading that section so I'll review the text.

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Would using a sanken boom mic side by side with the sanken lav mic make the job somewhat easier ?

Though clearly they are individually designed for a different purpose, and each will deliver a different sound, it stands to reason in a simple mind like mine, that the engineers would use similar design rules with each resulting in a baseline sound that is similar at its root to each other and perhaps be somewhat easier to normalize between the two tracks....

Random thoughts....

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I would think that because the metrics of each mic as well as pickup patterns are radically different, they have completely different properties.

My thinking is that most shotgun mics are cardiod or hypercardiod, whereas the cos11D is omnidirectional. Also, the size of the diaphragm is so much larger in the shotgun mic, the coloration will be different as well as the presence of the mic. I could be talking out of my hat (which seems to happen with regularity) but just the difference in size and directionality, they would be, in my mind, fundamentally different animals.

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Voice Technologies claims that their "new" shotgun mic is designed to match the lavs they sell. I'm a bit sceptic about this, especially since that particular new shotgun is about the same as the one PSC sells for years now. As revealed in another thread here on the board.

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Would using a sanken boom mic side by side with the sanken lav mic make the job somewhat easier ?

Though clearly they are individually designed for a different purpose, and each will deliver a different sound, it stands to reason in a simple mind like mine, that the engineers would use similar design rules with each resulting in a baseline sound that is similar at its root to each other and perhaps be somewhat easier to normalize between the two tracks....

Random thoughts....

With any microphone manufacturer, the design of a lavalier microphone bears no similarity to the design of a directional condenser microphone. So, the simple answer to your question is no, using microphones from the same manufacturer will most probably not be any significant help in matching sound recorded using a lavalier mic and sound recorded using a directional condenser mic.

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With any microphone manufacturer, the design of a lavalier microphone bears no similarity to the design of a directional condenser microphone. So, the simple answer to your question is no, using microphones from the same manufacturer will most probably not be any significant help in matching sound recorded using a lavalier mic and sound recorded using a directional condenser mic.

Agree. One thing can never be another.

Don't forget you will have to sync the lav track to the boom track if you want to use both tracks together. If you don't you may get weird delay sounds such as phasing. I typically only use the boom in post unless for some reason the lav yielded better results.

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Of larger consequence than the difference between a top quality lav and a top quality boom mic is how, and where, the lav is placed, positioning of the boom, and the room acoustics.

Also, different lavs respond differently to placement. The DPA lavs, for instance, seem to need to be positioned next to a surface as opposed to free air, while the Sanken doesn't display as much disparity between the two.

I recall a particular hair mounted Sennheiser lav sounding so close to a boom, it was difficult to tell the two apart. I never had that experience with a chest-mounted Sennheiser lav.

Lots of "try this and listen" will reveal more than several hours of description here.

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I simply eq it to match.

...and sometimes it works better to make the boom sound like the lav instead of the reverse.....

phil p

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...and sometimes it works better to make the boom sound like the lav instead of the reverse.....

phil p

Yep.

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just to be controversial, I have used PRO AUDIO DSP's 'Dynamic Spectrum Mapper' for this task (match EQ), and had great results..

http://www.proaudiodsp.com

although mostly I also just use EQ and a bit of reverb and sometimes slapback delay

Jack

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.............. sometimes slapback delay

Jack

Is that for a job well done? :)

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