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itry3d

How to fix a audio track after the shoot?

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Hi guys I really need your help. Our videographer recorded the entire conference without checking the sound and it came out like this https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dvDKJut8-03Y5feTn6khk9dXG48G1Ctf/view 

 

Basically the client is wanting to cancel their contract with us and I don't blame them but do you guys think there is a way for us to salvage the audio? 


Does anyone know how we can fix something like this?

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+1

 

Every time a client tries to cut corners, it starts with sound. A choice that will hurt their project more than they know. This is usually the result. Lesson hard learned but common sense says:

 

pro camera guy for video

pro sound guy for sound

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With all due respect. You can't polish a turd, and that my friend is a turd. 

 

-possibly there is another recording of this event floating around somewhere, and if you can find a copy and sync it up, you might salvage your contract. 

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I once had the mis-fortune of having to repair audio from a documentary where they mis-matched the levels from the mixer to the camera. They were travelling far from home and never bothered to check their recordings - which I cannot understand to this day (spoke to the recordist many times, but still no conclusion). 

The audio was distorted and the levels very low. I got the production company to buy the pro Izotope RX suite for me (this was when it was still fairly new) and went to work. Managed to make it bearable at least. So that might work in your case.

 

Hire a pro to try to fix this for you. If your client is important enough to you dcontact Cedar Audio and ask them if they can clean it up. If they can’t, I don’t think anyone can. But this will be expensive. 

And please make sure that you have learned your lesson. 

We all make mistakes sometimes, but never checking the audio feed is just stupid 

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In this case it sounds like they were taking a board feed at line level fed into a mic level input.  In that case (after you've first tried Dalton's suggestion), I would think that Izotope RX would have a better chance of having a process that might help than Cedar.  Keep in mind that this challenge is akin to baking a cake and then trying to remove the eggs from it.

 

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Honestly I wouldn't hire that videographer again.  While it's great in these situations to have a sound mixer with all the right tools to properly interface with the equipment on site, there is a sound mixer there doing the real work.  However it's not that mixers job to check your cameras feed.  Wearing headphones is as important for the solo videographer as looking at the monitor.

Unfortunately you and your client probably won't be happy with the end result here.  Best of luck to you.

 

 

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Hi All,

 

Reading this subject with interest as I quite often do one-man-band camera and audio for corporations, not-for-profits, etc. I'm also very interested in learning more about how to deal with clients when something bad happens and how to creatively repair the customer relations, if not just the bad audio.

 

Quick question : I am seeing 2 camera angles in your clip - did you feed audio to both cameras?  If so, was the audio on both cameras coming from the same source? Board feed or on-board camera mic on one or both cameras?  Was the audio distorted on both cameras? Were the cameras DSLRs? Since I find myself shooting these kind of events more and more, I'm ditching the DSLRs and going back to dedicated camcorders that can handle live event shooting more readily.

 

These 1 or 2 camera live podium shoots, especially in front of a live audience (and unrepeatable live events in general) can be challenging for a lone camera operator who is trying to attend to video and audio on the fly.  The fact of just having just a single audio recording device,  if strictly on the camera itself, is nerve wracking for capturing live events. I get twitchy even just having a single camera from a video capture perspective too - a second camera with operator rolling for safety helps to take some of the worry away, as anything can go wrong with the video, audio or both.  DSLRs without headphone jacks are scary as you have no idea what's being recorded audio-wise.  Having a pro mixer/recorder running in parallel with an operator is the best solution though.  

 

As an alternative to investing in the high end versions of wireless/recording units right now, I've been thinking of at least adding these super affordable life saver tools to my kit to have an additional level of emergency backups in case something goes wrong with camera audio, wireless, recorder etc. :

http://www.tascam.com/product/dr-10l/

http://www.tascam.com/product/dr-10c/

 

At some live events, with everyone in the audience packing cellphones, the interference is very bad and can happen at random, so even a wireless mic on the presenter could be dicey. These Tascam units might do the trick of being a decent backup if you don't have a dedicated mixer/recorder.

 

I guess you could also put a small handheld recorder rig on the podium, independent of the camera too. The problem is that the presenter will often wander away from the podium to click on a Powerpoint remote or engage the audience, so a body mounted device travels with them.

 

One last thought on a business level, in order to make it up to your client, perhaps after humbly apologizing for what went wrong, offer to re-shoot the whole presentation as a studio shoot.  If you're not seeing or hearing the live audience response anyway, it may not be a disservice to her content to re-shoot in a studio or more interesting location. On the contrary, I think you could make this lady's speech look and sound 100% better and be more dynamic.  With your help she could relax and feel more at ease. She seemed a little nervous in her delivery.   

 

Another idea might be to re-shoot it as a sitdown interview with a personable host asking the lady questions about her experience, cutting away to related video/photos.   Maybe less corporate and more talk show style?

 

The lady presenter could then deliver her content in a controlled environment. You could do 2 or 3 pre-planned improved camera angles, light it in a flattering way, get only the best audio, edit in her Powerpoint properly, adding B-roll, music, titles, graphics, etc.  You could offer to prepare the finished program for upload to their website, YouTube, etc.  

 

Most decent people will respond favourably if you ask to make it up to them. I'd offer to do it for free if you want to generate good will and keep them as a client. Yes, you will absorb the re-shoot time/costs but the upside is you will have improved client relations by exceeding their original expectations. You would also end up with something good for your demo reel which can then be used to get more gigs.  Aside from just examining the audio issue, I think there are other equally important lessons with regard to creatively repairing client relations.

 

Anyhow, I feel your pain on this one. Thanks for sharing, as it helps to learn. I have a feeling that you can still turn this into a win-win scenario :-)

Please let us know how you handled the client.  Wishing you the best.

 

Cheers,

Dave

 

 

 

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1: is this really really the only audio recorded?  like the PA contractor didn't roll anything?  the camera person didn't have a camera mic on another channel as well?  did the presenter record herself on her phone?  anyone else?  Was anyone else rolling video (like with sound)?  Many venues have built-in cameras that roll everything in a compressed format--could not hurt to ask.

 

2:  sound that bad can be made differently bad, but can't be made to sound like it has no problems.  The solutions have their own issues and artifacts--someone desperate for this recording might find the fixes more palatable, but if I were the client of this project I would not put any version of this out.

 

3: there are people who perform small sound miracles every day, often with proprietary technology.  When I run into must-have audio in documentary post production that is beyond my abilities to de-gnarlify I call these folks:  https://www.cedar-audio.com/bureau/bureau.shtml.

They are very helpful and will run a demo of what they can do for you so you can decide if their fee is worth it.  Call them today.

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Izotope will help, BUT... you will need a well experienced operator. It will take time, and will cost $$$.

 

Lesson learned methinks - hire a pro.......

 

Good luck, sb

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Make your money back by chopping up the samples and selling it is a library to Edm producers 😜

 

seriously though, check with the company that ran sound and see if they recorded it, or if you also got better audio from the internal camera mic. Sry that happened to you

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I would be surprised if there's not another recording of the audio somewhere. Call around for sure. Unfortunately I'd guess the only recording of the headset mic is the one you have. The podium mics will have her going on and off mic a lot, which might be better sounding in terms of quality, but very distracting and also not very professional.

 

If I were the client, I wouldn't pay either. And although the camera person should have been listening, it likely wasn't their decision to not have someone responsible for the sound. If that's not the case (this isn't my area of expertise), I wouldn't hire that person again either. It's a serious mistake.

 

Fixing this will only make it sound differently bad, unfortunately. As others have said

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My god.. that's freak'n awful, even with RX Advanced, it's not going to sound very good, unless you get hold of a decent recording done by a third-party. (if there is one).

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On 4/28/2018 at 1:48 PM, itry3d said:

Hi guys I really need your help. Our videographer recorded the entire conference without checking the sound and it came out like this https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dvDKJut8-03Y5feTn6khk9dXG48G1Ctf/view 

 

Basically the client is wanting to cancel their contract with us and I don't blame them but do you guys think there is a way for us to salvage the audio? 


Does anyone know how we can fix something like this?

I use Izotope a lot and have the latest version.  I'm sorry but as others have said there isn't a lot that can be done with this.  It can be made less painful to listen to but I doubt your client will ever be satisfied.  As others have pointed out you need to find an alternate recording if one exists. 

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And I just did a quick test and wasn't able to do much at all with the audio.  I tried the tool for clipping and it did almost nothing to improve things.  I tried some other tools too with no success.  Zooming into the wave form the I can see the distortion on the peaks of the wave form.  They aren't just squared off, they angle down with a dip so they look almost like two peaks.  Its not salvageable I'm afraid.  At least not with these tools.

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On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 5:52 PM, Constantin said:

 

We all make mistakes sometimes, but never checking the audio feed is just stupid 

 

This reminds me of my first freelance gig in the US some 20+ years ago.  We were shooting political ads all day on a soundstage in Austin , TX. I was feeding linelevel audio to the machine room via tielines. On the other end the tapeOP took my feed into a betacam deck. At the start of the shoot I sent 0 VU tone at line level and stated so VERY CLEARLY. The tapeOP lined up his VU meter to zero and during the course of the day I repeatedly inquired about the sound quality only to be told it sounded "fine". It was my first day and I wasn't going to second-guess the experienced tapeOP, BIG MISTAKE, he had set the inputs to mic-level and lined up tone to zero VU by barely opening up the input trim. He either didn't listen or he was deaf, it sounded just like the OP's recording.

We had to reshoot the entire day. I couldn't believe I was even hired back or even worked again in that town but the takeaway for me was 3 things:

1:  Always monitor what's being recorded yourself at least once.

2:  Never assume it sounds good because someone tells you it does or "the meters look good"

3:  If the meter shows reference level ( 0 VU, -20 dBfs or whatever) in manual mode with the trim not somewhere in the middle of the scale something is most likely wrong.

 

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