BoroParmo

Removing rough sea and wave noise?

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Hi all, I'm currently helping a friend out editing sound for his short film and there is a couple of scenes shot on and around a beach, we are struggling as one of the actresses speaks quite quietly and is conflicting with the sound of the rough sea and waves, just wondering if anyone knows a fixable solution to either lower the background noise of the sea, effects in audition or premiere that might be helpful or how to raise her voice without raising the full track so it doesn't conflict as much, ADR isn't an option really so it's got to be something we can fix In the edit if we can.

Thanks in advance 

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There is no easy solution here.  Waves are very difficult because they are broad spectrum and fluctuating.  Some Izotope/de-noise work and automated eq will do something, but ADR is probably your best bet.

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This is tricky, just had the same situation recently. Noise reduction might not get you very far, particularly with a very quiet voice. You want to retain as many frequencies in the voice as possible. The one benefit of the fluctuating nature of the waves is that if you have access to alternate takes and shots, you could be able to find different quiet spots in each one and piece them all together. 

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jgbsound   

ADR it.  You'll spend less time doing it and you'll need to process the crap out of it to try and save it.  Steve hit it on the head.  the sound fluctuates, (it's not a steady state sound which can be more easily be fingerprinted by BNR programs) .  the amount of processing you'll wind up doing will make the audio sound terrible.  Re-record it and drop in a beach SFX.  That way you can control the ocean.
 

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A better philosophy on location if you're surrounded by background noise is to wait for a break (or the end of the scene), then take the actors as far away as possible from the noise -- like the ocean -- and record a series of wild lines, just in the hope that the sound editor might be able to use those instead of the live dialogue. 

On Lost, I was often impressed how the crew would get the wide shot actually in the location, but then on the close-ups, they'd pull the actors back on the beach and shoot the scene in such a way that you weren't aware they were no longer standing in the ocean, and they'd point the mics towards the actors and away from the waves. The sound was often amazingly good, given their challenges. (Overhead jet planes were also occasional issues.)

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WILD LINES: 

I have done MANY MANY wild lines. They are a life saver (for SOUND DEPARTMENT) only because we dont want ADR to come in. 

Having said this - wild lines work or do not work only based on the ACTORS - their concentration, their performance. 

Most of the time, requests for wild lines are ignored by direction department and get delayed 'till the end of the scene', etc. 

The sooner a wild line is done the better. And in this day and age, 57640 takes happen of a shot. Digital domain... However, if there is a problem with take 1 of the 57640 takes, and IF it stays that way over all takes, obviously a wild take needs to ameliorate this problem. 

I remember a film i did in 2005 - period piece (1857 AD) being shot in the most inconveniencing locations for sound. NYC based Producer was a moroness who came up to me on Day 1 of the shoot and did not want me to wire up actors because 'this is not TV! you need to use boom mics!' 

After i relaxed for a day of shoot after this "instruction" from the producer - i felt pangs of dissatisfaction. so i started asking for wild takes. 

The entire film - wild takes, wild takes... 36 days of shoot... wild takes wild takes... Not one or two, but at times MANY... heh

Later - no one thanked me for this, but i heard the film was done MOSTLY because of the numerous wild takes i had done on location. 

-vin

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