I posted much of the text below on the video lounge section. Someone suggested I post my question here in case some audio engineers have any thoughts.
I've been googling like mad for a frequency chart for sounds like a door slam, car horn, compressor rumble, etc (including human voice). Things that you might want to isolate and diminish from a location sound track (we do lowbudget documentary in developing countries). All I can find is instrument frequency charts. I know sounds can vary, just trying to get a visual ballpark idea. Especially to see how the human voice can potentially overlap other location audio sounds. Any thoughts?
BTW, we are now on CS6 Prod Prem, but have not ventured into Audition yet. We are new to Premiere, Audition, etc. Most of what I try to do with audio is to stay in Premiere for now, using EQ filters, etc.
Most of the sounds you are talking about are basically noise, which is why you won't find charts related to them. And noise invariably has a pretty wide bandwidth, which is why you generally can't EQ it out, and why Audition has a Noise Reduction (NR) plugin. But Audition's NR only works effectively on continuous noise, which can be profiled and effectively decorrelated. You'll almost certainly notice the effect of it though, and you probably won't like it over a long period of time.
But things like car horns can quite often be removed or reduced quite effectively - you just locate them in Audition's Spectral View (they are all different, but are still easy to spot), lasso them, and heal them out.
But none of this really addesses the real issue here. You say you are doing low budget production - well that's fine, but that doesn't mean your techniques have to be low budget, does it? What you'd be far better off Googling for would be sensible information about how to record location sound effectively - which has nothing at all to do with your budget (apart from you'll need a mic on a boom pole) and everything to do with technique. To do this effectively requires your sound guy and camera operator working as a team - that way one gets good pictures, and the other gets the boom mic as close as possible to the action. Because absolutely the best way around most of the problems you are almost certainly experiencing is to fix them at source.
I spent a long time working on low-budget sound back whenever, and I know first-hand what happens. And I also know that it's pretty much curable... especially now, as even low budget equipment is way better than some of the pro stuff back then, certainly in sound terms.
Steve mentioned the Spectral View in Audition for finding and removing a car horn. But it is much more useful than just for that. With a bit of experience you will soon begin to recognise the spectral signature of voices, noise, wind, rumble etc. and then be able to use the tools Audition provides to help remove or reduce some of the unwanted sounds.
I think he has to walk before he can run! And it remains resolutely true that you should fix these things at source if you can, and you learn to do that first. Fixing it in post should only be for when you're desperate.
Definitely appreciate the, fixing it at source rather than in post. I was trained that way for video/audio. Though I have learned a lot from audio seminars, colleagues, etc over the years, audio has always been more challenging for me to wrap my head around. Really appreciate the tip on the Spectral View. I've always found audio programs a bit daunting. Used Sound Soap and Sound Track Pro years ago for removing noise from interviews recorded with noisy mic pre amps, but not for much else. Currently using EQ in Premiere.
For interviews I mic with a lav (B3 Countryman), usually on the shirt below the chin, monitoring with a good pair of headsets. For a lot of general b-roll, I'm a one person crew most of the time, so the shotgun (budget Sony & Beyerdynamic, $300 range) is mounted on the camera. For interviews I normally stop when there is some ambience that is even slightly problematic, but sometimes you get a fantastic soundbite that just isn't repeatable. So I'd like to fix these if I can. In the past I just didn't use them.
In general I'm just trying to learn more. Thought seeing a visual frequency chart would help me. Took a location sound workshop at NAB this year. I was suprised the audio guy did not recommend using a shotgun (even on a boom pole) indoors. Apparently they use lavs almost exclusively indoors. Had never heard that before. Said it has something to do with reflective sound challenges, if I understood correctly.
Really appreciate you guys taking the time to post your comments. Any other tips are most appreciated if you have them.
Took a location sound workshop at NAB this year. I was suprised the audio guy did not recommend using a shotgun (even on a boom pole) indoors. Apparently they use lavs almost exclusively indoors. Had never heard that before. Said it has something to do with reflective sound challenges, if I understood correctly.
If you can get away with it, lavs are generally better, simply because you can get closer to the sound source - and it makes it easier for the camera operator, who isn't dodging a boom pole all the time. I suppose the idea is that if you're shooting indoors, you've planned it and therefore you can get the lav on whoever it is you're shooting.
Shotgun mics can have nasty rear lobes that are frequency dependant. Therefor booming overhead is likely to get nasty reflections off the ceiling. If you have to boom indoors use a good cardioid mic instead.
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