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General tips for downward expansion in dialog?


jgbsound
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So I have a feature that has a fair bit of outdoor shots that were filmed on location at a catholic school on E Colorado with traffic driving by. They won't ADR so I'm going to try and do a little multiband expansion to tame that noisy beast.

i also have run rx2 on a few of the noisiest sections to try to at least get the noise floor to match a little betters making other fades between cuts a little more seamless.

Now I've never really used waves c4 so I'd appreciate some general tips you guys have for me.

Tell me how you like to use this tool?

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Use the "rumble and hiss reducer" preset. Turn on all 4 bands, and adjust the threshold of the bands.

But use your eq, to cut a few DBS of the most offending ranges of the noise. Also, use some narrow band notch filters in the first spot of your chain to cut down constant tones first. Check out Equick by DMG audio for this. As well as their Equality eq plugin.

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Dealing with noisy dialog, is never a one step solution.

I notch, eq, compand, denoise, more eq and ride the fader.

Chipping away every step of the way, to get to a point where once BG's are added, you don't hear any pumping, and the dialog doesn't sound pinched.

Sometimes this means, for interior scenes, I'll add a touch of mono room verb as well.

Oh, and this is all using automated plugins, in real time. So making adjustments to any of the processes is easily done.

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Thanks gents.

I've got it massaged pretty well so far but I think it needs that little extra love to help with the background noise. I do eq to roll off high and low frequencies and I bump up a little bit Right around where the dialog sits so its more intelligible.

Any stray (hummable) frequencies I notch out of course.

So what settings are you normally setting your c4 to? dB reductions, triggering thresholds, attack times, and releases?

John

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I've got it massaged pretty well so far but I think it needs that little extra love to help with the background noise. I do eq to roll off high and low frequencies and I bump up a little bit Right around where the dialog sits so its more intelligible.

 

The problem with rolling off highs is that often, this is where a lot of the vocal transients live, and they sometimes help improve speech intelligibility. The dynamic filter within iZotope RX2 (or Cedar DNS-One) would probably be preferable and do less damage to the dialogue.

 

John Purcell's book Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures (coming soon in a new edition) goes into quite a few strategies for minimizing background noise from dialogue -- up to and including ADR!

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Thanks Marc,

I'll keep an eye out for the new edition of John Purcells book! The previous edition has been invaluable to me.

I should probably qualify my earlier comment by saying that I do roll off the high end, but only when needed. I'll look into RX2's dynamic filter more. Thanks for the tip.

And thank you all for the suggestions so far!

J

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