15 Replies Latest reply: May 21, 2012 2:29 AM by SteveG(AudioMasters) RSS

    Bleep tone?

    shooternz Community Member

      Is there a standard BLEEP tone as used for masking a spoken word?

        • 1. Re: Bleep tone?
          _durin_ Employee Hosts

          Typically, I believe this is a 1000Hz sine wave.

          • 2. Re: Bleep tone?
            SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

            Yes it's usually 1k (generally because it's easily available) but the duration is generally matched to the expletive, or whatever, so as not to disturb the flow of the 'speech'. Personally I tend to leave these in if I can, especially if there aren't very many of them - mainly because virtually everybody can work out what they are anyway, and also because I tend to represent what people actually said... but quite often that's not allowed, because of 'Nanny State' rules. How boring can you get? If it's potentially  libellous, of course, it's another matter completely.

            • 3. Re: Bleep tone?
              shooternz Community Member

              Thanx...I thought it probably was  1k.

               

              I am cutting 2 versions of the piece.  Its my preference to use and show  an un censored version because its part the humour plot.

               

              Next thing is...the beep is not totally masking the word.  Its kind of "transparent" and the word is easily audible. 

              Is there any other steps / techniques needed to make it  work better. 

               

              I have key framed the level down on the word but its still a bit clunky.

              • 4. Re: Bleep tone?
                Bob Howes Community Member

                Exactly how are you doing your bleeps?

                 

                I just tried it in Edit (Waveform) View by highlighting the word and then going to Generate Tones.  This completely overwrites the original so there's nothing left--since you want to keep a version with the swear words, make sure you do this with a copy, not your master file.

                 

                Or, in Multitrack, just use volume envelopes (I guess what you call key framing) to take the nasty word down to zero and to bring up a tone in an adjacent track at the same instant.  Working this way, you could leave a little or a lot of the word you're bleeping--I know I've heard this done to leave an initial consonant to give a hint as to what's being bleeped.

                 

                I'm sure there are lots of other ways too--it's whatever works for you.

                • 5. Re: Bleep tone?
                  SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

                  I don't think that offhand I can improve on the method - except that I find it less messy to have a single short instance of tone as a clip file, and just stick an instance of it where I want it, with trimming. So that's split the narrative file and trim it, inserting the tone in the gap, using a very short crossfade. But...

                  Working this way, you could leave a little or a lot of the word you're bleeping--I know I've heard this done to leave an initial consonant to give a hint as to what's being bleeped.

                   

                  This is what I find very irritating. If you can tell what the word is, what on earth is the point of doing it like that? It makes it even worse if kids or otherwise innocent punters watch or listen, because then they ask the supposedly responsible adult what the bleep word was. It does remind me of an amusing bit of family history though. When the kids were young, my wife was driving them somewhere, and one of them (at the age of about 3...) asked from the back of the car "Mummy, what's *******?" SWMBO thought about it for about a quarter of a second and said "I've told you before not to ask me questions whilst I'm driving!"

                   

                  (the word that gets bleeped by the nannies refers to **********)

                   

                   

                  [ edited by forum host - unbleeped explanation of bleeped word rebleeped for the same reason the original bleep was bleeped... ahem... ]

                  • 6. Re: Bleep tone?
                    Bob Howes Community Member

                    OT, but I personally find the whole idea of bleeping words a bit silly--everybody knows the words anyway and the tone just gives the word more emphasis.  However, I go as requested by producers or whatever.  I once asked why we were leaving in an "F" sound (or "SH" or whatever) and was told that they were "keeping the authorities happy but making it as obvious as possible what the original word was".  Sheesh. 

                     

                    I was pleasantly surprised by my move to Australia--little or no editing for language is done--and the most common phrase when American stars appear on chat shows here is "can you really say that on TV here?"!

                    • 7. Re: Bleep tone?
                      MusicConductor Community Member

                      Without digressing or devolving into a discussion of social etiquette and the decline of decorum or dignity, let me just say that with young kids not yet mature enough to know when not to repeat something, I'm grateful for the bleeps.  And with the world I live in, it's pretty important that they didn't learn those words any sooner than they have to.

                      • 8. Re: Bleep tone?
                        SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

                        Well I don't know how it works in the biggest nanny state in the world, but here in the second biggest we have a concept commonly referred to as 'the watershed'. Basic idea is that before 9pm (I think), supposedly dubious words are bleeped, and lip movements obscured. And of course there are other provisions too - one ludicrous one being that they have to warn everybody (even after the watershed) that there might be 'scenes of violence, and strong language used that some viewers might find offensive' before any programme that might contain it. Why is it ludicrous? Because they don't say this before the News, mainly!

                         

                        The BBC editorial guidelines are quite interesting to read - they explain the scope of this quite well, in not very many words. I'm going to provide a link to it, but in the spirit of the previous paragraph, I have to warn you that there are some specific examples in it (the bits in red) of language that a lot of people might find offensive.

                         

                        BBC editorial guidelines, section 5 (Harm and Offense - Language)

                         

                        The problem with the watershed, of course, is that it simply doesn't work. As a parent, you have to turn yourself into what amounts to the house gestapo if you are going to stop kids watching/listening after 9pm. The moment they think that there's something they shouldn't be doing, they'll do their damnedest to find a way to do it!

                        • 9. Re: Bleep tone?
                          Bob Howes Community Member

                          As a parent, I was always much more concerned with violence than words and, strangely, the biggest nanny state in the world seems unconcerned with large amounts of shooting and gore yet a "wardrobe malfunction" becomes front page news.

                           

                          In any case, over the years my kids have taught me far more swear words than I've taught them.  I'm a man of simple profanity.

                          • 10. Re: Bleep tone?
                            SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

                            Bob Howes wrote:

                             

                            As a parent, I was always much more concerned with violence than words and, strangely, the biggest nanny state in the world seems unconcerned with large amounts of shooting and gore yet a "wardrobe malfunction" becomes front page news.

                            Agree entirely. As a nation they've been bent out of shape for many decades now.

                            • 11. Re: Bleep tone?
                              Charles VW Adobe Employee

                              If you need to replace many words with bleeps, then here's a handy shortcut for you.

                               

                              1. Find the first word you'd like to bleep
                              2. Select the audio duration of that word
                              3. Go to the Generate Tones dialog
                              4. Select the tone settings you'd like (e.g. frequency, amplitude)
                              5. [ OK ]
                              6. Find the next word you'd like to bleep and select the duration for that word
                              7. Use the "Repeat Last Command (no dialog)" command.
                                1. Note: This command isn't in the menus by default, but you can find it in the keyboard shortcuts dialog and see the keyboard shortcut which is usually [ F3 ] or [ Shift ] + [ R ]
                              8. Repeat steps 6-7 for each additional word

                               

                              So this allows you to apply the same tone to each word, and it will be intelligent about the selection length.

                              • 12. Re: Bleep tone?
                                SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

                                  [ edited by forum host - unbleeped explanation of bleeped word rebleeped for the same reason the original bleep was bleeped... ahem... ]

                                Well I'm afraid that you've just reinforced the point about nanny states for me very effectively, and ruined the point of the anecdote in the process. Congratulations.

                                • 13. Re: Bleep tone?
                                  Dave Merchant CommunityMVP

                                  The rules about explicit language apply to everyone, irrespective of whether you're telling a joke or not. Your messages publish out to the email and RSS feeds, creating all manner of problems with syndication and corporate policies if they trigger a filter rule.

                                   

                                  SteveG(AudioMasters) wrote:

                                   

                                    [ edited by forum host - unbleeped explanation of bleeped word rebleeped for the same reason the original bleep was bleeped... ahem... ]

                                  Well I'm afraid that you've just reinforced the point about nanny states for me very effectively, and ruined the point of the anecdote in the process. Congratulations.

                                  • 14. Re: Bleep tone?
                                    Bob Howes Community Member

                                    So be it.  The rules apply to everyone.

                                     

                                    However, the point was that the American attitude to language is assinine and hyprocritical--and you've just proved the point completely!

                                     

                                    Thank goodness I live in a more enlightened and less puritanical country!

                                    • 15. Re: Bleep tone?
                                      SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

                                      Dave Merchant wrote:

                                       

                                      The rules about explicit language apply to everyone, irrespective of whether you're telling a joke or not. Your messages publish out to the email and RSS feeds, creating all manner of problems with syndication and corporate policies if they trigger a filter rule.

                                       

                                       

                                      Firstly it wasn't a 'joke' - and secondly what was edited didn't trigger a filter rule. The words were chosen specifically not to. So I'm afraid that I'm not sure quite what point you are trying to make here?

                                       

                                      Oh, and thanks, Bob!