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(My post isn't showing up?) Sound effect muffles/is louder than the other audio layers

May 22, 2012 9:17 AM

I want to point out that the last time I posted this, the discussion was completely blank. This is a repost and hopefully it won't be blank this time

 

In my most recent short movie, I decided that I would focus a lot more on sound than I normally do, so bought a microphone, a recorder and a boom pole etc. I also decided to implement more sound effects (Bear in mind that I'm 16, not a professional).

 

 

Here's the video -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGkrFVZ0e5I (I think embedding the video was causing problems with posting)

 

Note that at about 0:10 seconds in, you can hear an alarm ringing, but also a sort of 'thump' sound (It's actually the sound of a vault opening/closing). You couldn't hear it normally, so I turned the bass up on it to 17dB. When playing it back in the timeline, it sounds perfectly fine, but when I export the video, much like the attached one, it's muffled and you can't hear the alarm or anything else.

 

 

Unfortunately I didn't have time to try and fix it, also that scene takes a while to export so I couldn't quite do any trial and error.

 

 

Now however, I'm going to enter the video into a small competition, so I thought I'd try and fix it...because it does sound terrible/unprofessional.

 

 

Any suggestions? Remember, it sounds perfect (In my opinion) when playing it back in the timeline. I'm using Premiere Pro CS5.5 on an 11,2 (October 2010) iMac running Mac OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.8, it's also being exported to a G-Drive FireWire 800 hard drive, not a RAID, perhaps that could be a problem?


 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 7:22 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    You're right, it isn;t showing up. Maybe try re-posting.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 8:35 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    When most people do action films, all the SFX are added in later from a stock library.  Real guns often sound hollow and puny when recorded on location.  You need some "Hollywood" effects, and just go in and replace each shot with a beefy, exaggerated stock effect.  Same thing goes for most "practical" sounds, like your alarm clock.  Watch any Sergio Leone western to see how sound effects impact the experience.  The opening scene of Once Upon a Time in The West is a good one.  Check out the other Spaghetti Westerns, too:  The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Fistful of Dollars, etc.  You can learn a lot by studying them. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 8:59 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    This is because you have too many Tags. This is an unfortunate unintended consequence of the New Skins, and is being addressed. In the meantime, use fewer, or no Tags.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 9:07 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    Sorry, no, I didn't listen.  I watched your clip with the sound off.  I was mostly addressing your comment about sounding unprofessional.

     

    I'm impressed that you did this at age 16, but that plane isn't going to fool anybody.  Tip: most planes retract the landing gear in flight, among other things, but I digress.

     

    I should have read your OP a little more closely.  What might be the cause of your "missing audio" is audio phase cancellation.  You can google it or look it up on Wikipedia.  Often, it rears it's ugly head when you listen to something in mono that you were previously hearing in stereo.

     

    Good start in your film career.  Keep making movies, and good luck in the competition.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 9:19 AM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    Hunt is correct.  I deleted the tags and now the posts appear as intended.  The other option for now is to maximize your browser window in order to see the hidden post content.

     

    Jeff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 9:48 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    Email notification is working here.  Maybe try disabling then enabling email notifications?

     

    Jeff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 10:28 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    Ae CS5.5 is not buggy or slow for me.  It's not a true 3D app. 

     

    Look into Blender if you want a free / open source 3D app.  I'm told it's very powerful.  Expect a steep learning curve.

     

    If by saying, "I disagree with illegal downloads," you are stating a position against piracy, then good for you.

     

    Your SFX could have been summed to mono even if you exported to stereo.  Or, it could have been played back in mono from your player.  Phase cancellation is the first thing I suspect when audio bits go "missing."  Operator error is another suspect.

     

    You don't sound stuck up.  If you remain civil on this forum, you'll get good feeback.  Frankly, your film has lots of problems.  I don't mean to embarrass you.  As I already said, it's impressive for the work of sixteen year olds.

     

    A lot of college films I see have two major weaknesses:  continuity and motivation.  No, three:  nonsensical story lines. 

     

    For example, your film is about plane crash survivors, right?  How come none of them are scuffed up or injured or traumatized?

     

    Why no girls?  Why aren't the local townsfolk or bad guys coming out to the wreckage to investigate?  I think I know the answer to these:  You made a film with the assets (and people) you had.  Nothing wrong with that.  Watch El Mariachi and read up on the background to the making of it to see a great example of a film being composed around what the film-maker had to work with.

     

    Before you think I'm hammering on you, try to keep in mind that most kids making their first films focus on technique, without a lot of regard to story.  That's OK.  Some successful movies are all style and no substance.  Mastering technique is good.  You gotta' start somewhere.  Nobody expects you to be Spielberg out of the gate.  But, hopefully you learn a little on each production, accept critque gracefully, and get much better with time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 11:19 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    Sliderz,

     

    Thank you for being bold enough to share your video. You've done an awful lot with very little resources... so great job on that. Shoot... when I was a kid, if I wanted a shot of a plane flying overhead I had to ride my bike to a spot near the airport and wait for one to fly over... Gunfight scenes were shot with cap guns and ketchup, and our 'animations' were drawings on paper which we had to move in front of the rolling camera by hand.

     

    As a sort of animatic series of related sequences, your piece is working quite well, considering where you're currently at in your career. One thing which is realistically within your reach at this time and could really help you on future projects is if you can come up with some sort of beginning, middle and end (or more specifically, a catalyst, central conflict and realization) to give those action sequences a reason for happening. The only way to do that is to spend a lot more time on the WRITING phase. Two good books to help you start: Lew Hunter's 'Screenwriting 434' and David Trottier's 'The Screenwriter’s Bible'. Trottier also offers a pretty affordable (IMO) correspondance course to walk you through writing a full feature -- I took it a few years ago and I did indeed get a full 110-pg screenplay out of it... not exactly oscar-worthy but something I'll always feel good about accomplishing, even if I take it no further.

     

    Once you have your first living screenplay in hand, I think you will find that most of the other film-making processes will fall into place a lot easier for you. Of course, you'll always be limited by budget and equipment, but if you can produce something that tells a good story, even if you can only take it to the level of animatic storyboard, then people will notice...

     

    But, then again, what do I know?... I don't make movies. Just software.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 11:46 AM   in reply to Siderz95

     

    I don't want to start making excuses...but production was awful; they seemed to feel it was more of a social gathering than something more serious...I soon got really tired of their rubbish and wanted to get it over and done with. I could go on and on about how awful it really was and why I don't want to start using stuff such as makeup just yet...but I don't want to look like I'm whining and I should be grateful that they came along in the first place.

     

    Hopefully next year in College I'll meet people who are a bit more serious about it...

    Yes, that's ALWAYS the hardest, and most discouraging, part it seems. Which is why most of my scripts exist only on paper. People that don't get it, don't get it, and they end up thinking that you're some kind of stressed out tyrant for wanting to take it seriously. Next year, in college, you should have easier access to acting students who will at least feel like TRYING. You may need to find some way to compensate them for their time though, so learn to bake if you haven't already... ;-)

     

    We do usally try to stay focused on the more technical aspects here, but without the passion and drive of a story, the technical aspects are just that... technical. So do yourself a favor and don't give up on that!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 11:47 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    For e-mail notification, there are several places to turn those ON, or OFF. You can also set some semi-global notifications, such as "All My Posts," etc.  One can also subscribe to just a thread, whether they initiated the post, or not. They can also subscribe to an entire forum, but that WILL result in tons of e-mail. This ARTICLE goes into more detail on e-mail notifications, and their locations. Note: there have been some recent changes in the forums, via the addition of skins, so all might not be located, or work, exactly, as before. However, they should give you an idea of where to look.

     

    As soon as the forums skins issues are resolved, I will re-write this article, and use more current screen-caps, that will relate 100% to the "new and improved forum." Also, that article was oriented to turning OFF e-mail notifications, as that is what most people wanted. In your case, you wish to turn them ON.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 11:58 AM   in reply to Siderz95

    Your SFX looks like a stereo file.  I can't draw any conclusions from it, however.  I'm sticking to my original theory.  Look into phase issues.

     

    I hear you about your "actors."  If you can't fire people, you're at their mercy.  Also, agree with SOPA, but we're getting really off track.

     

    You seem to have your head in the right place, Siderz.  If you take film in college, and your experience is like mine was, you'll find a lot of passionate colleagues who will give their all.  Hang in there!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 12:10 PM   in reply to jstrawn

    Utilizing fellow students from the Drama Department is a very good idea. Way back when, we recruited many, and the only compensation was footage for their "show reels." Now, with digital, that is much, much easier, and also much less expensive. Even when the lab would "cut us a deal," it still cost about as much to get demo reels to the actors, as the actual production costs.

     

    Also, most Drama Departments, that I have been around, would be overjoyed to have a film maker shoot their dress rehearsals, etc. - an easy quid pro quo.

     

    Friends doing the acting, is usually like the product manager attending a photo shoot. They show up, all excited, and expect something fabulous, with groupies, the press, etc.. When it's time to break for lunch, and only the first Polaroid has been produced, they get very bored, and find excuses to leave - having friends act, is often like that - they bore easily, and seldom find the film maker's enthusiasm infectious enough to motivate them. When they find out that there are no trailers, no catering department, wardrobe department and no gorgeous script-girl, they sort of mentally check out. "Take three?!?! What are we doing here? We could be hanging at the mall, and have more excitement!"

     

    @ the OP,

     

    Keep at it. Keep your vision. Have fun, and explore a wonderful world of cinema/video.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 12:14 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    I don't see any obvious problems from that screenshot either, but I've also had a lot of problems with free (or even cheap) sound fx in the past. If you have no way to capture your own quality sound, then you'll probably have to spring for a real effects library at some point. Which brings me (briefly) back to the writing thing:

     

    No one in film can over-stress the importance of it. It's also the only thing you can do on your own with very few technial or other resource limitations. Effects work is also pretty solo-friendly, but it requires a lot more hardware and technical expertise, as you're currently finding out.

     
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