View Full Version : Help with sound

02-20-2014, 07:14 PM
Okay, I'm trying to produce something with at least an attempt at production quality, but my sound just sounds weird. echo-y is the best I can say. I don't know anything about sound.

I'm using an Azden shotgun mic, 3.5 plug in to a t5i or t4i, with the foam cover that came with it. It's currently mounted on the camera about five feet from the actors/puppets. I'm basically shooting it in my living room. I figured out how to get background hiss out but that's about all I have figured out. I don't know how to make it better. My understanding is the mic is halfway descent for a lower end model, so I don't know.

It's at youtube... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnF1CA151LE

02-20-2014, 07:16 PM
And yes, I know it's a weird thing with puppets

Vance Baryn
02-20-2014, 08:51 PM
The sound wasn't particularly bad. Actually, the biggest problem I noticed with that video was that the puppets mouths didn't match what they were saying. that was very distracting.

About the sound, though, since you are using puppets, it would be very easy to do the voices as ADR after you have shot it. Then you can set up anywhere to record audio, and not have to do it at the same time as the video recording. Mounting a mic to the camera is usually not the best choice for getting good audio. You just have to play with mic placement and room size and all kinds of things to get the audio sounding the way you want.

02-20-2014, 08:53 PM
Actually, we kind of figured out we weren't pointing the mic at the right place. We were going to try just putting it on a lower tripod pointed at where the actors are sitting. As for the puppets mouths moving... we're still mastering using them.

Does anyone else have advice? Or am I being over sensitive?

02-21-2014, 03:52 PM
The mouth on the puppet on the right wasn't moving to the words, the sound was a bit weak, the contrast was a bit high, and it wasn't uploaded in HD.

But not bad for starting out. Keep it up.

02-21-2014, 07:11 PM
The problem is... I know nothing about the sound, and am having trouble finding information to help me. Does anyone have a suggestion for good tutorials on the topic. not recording good sound (that I'm learning and know I can improve) but on editing/manipulating it?

02-21-2014, 07:19 PM

02-21-2014, 07:31 PM
Thank you for trying, but I'd done that search, and various permutations of it. All I know is people are telling me the sound could be better, or telling me it's horrible, but I don't understand why. It doesn't even sound that bad to me, my wife, or other people but I'm trying to do the best stuff I can with what I've got, and I am just not understanding this element.

02-21-2014, 09:23 PM
Mind if I download the video, do some adjustments, and post a private/unlisted video on my channel? You know, just to clean it up a little bit and make it sound a bit nicer, and I'll walk you through what I did? I can PM it to you or post it open on the thread once it's done. Just give me a couple days (editing some footage of another project I'm working on). I'd be willing to if you'd like.

02-22-2014, 05:28 AM
Wouldn't mind that at all. I'm trying to work it out myself, but sound stuff I just don't get and I'm not sure why I'm having a problem there.

02-22-2014, 03:29 PM
Actually, we kind of figured out we weren't pointing the mic at the right place. We were going to try just putting it on a lower tripod pointed at where the actors are sitting. As for the puppets mouths moving... we're still mastering using them.

Does anyone else have advice? Or am I being over sensitive?

When you say you were not putting the mic in the right place, do you mean you were not booming the mouths of the puppeteers? Get the mic as close to the puppeteers mouths as you can.

02-22-2014, 06:40 PM
I am actually working with Kevin on this project, and we were suspecting what ironpony was saying. The problem is hardly simple (we are beginners, after all), but I think part of it is that we're shooting in someone's living room at a distance of about 10 ft with a shotgun mic attached to the DSLR. We really do need to boom in as close as we can but we're still trying to figure out the best equipment/rig to use. I also suspect part of the problem may be we need sound baffling. Thoughts? I am inexperienced at movie sound recording but in my experience with music recording, the room used makes a huge difference. Obviously, a studio would be ideal, but we need a practical alternative at this point.

02-23-2014, 01:40 AM
What kind of shotgun are you using? It sounds like it supplies it's own phantom power of course from the video. You are saying their is too much reverberation on the sound then cause of the room. If that's the case then just get in closer. Sometimes shotguns can add more reverb though, depending on what kind, in an indoor type environment.

You know what you could do.... Since they are puppets, and you don't have to match up the dialogue with people's lips, you can just not record dialogue during shooting, and go do ADR in a more studio like environment afterwards. But if you are practicing to get better sound for people actors in the future, than I can understand why would want to get closer sound.

02-25-2014, 11:50 AM
Same problem for me too, I just did some practice video recording a puppet theatre, so glad it wasn't professional as the sound was poor and it would have been dreadful.
I used a rode shotgun, which has always been great but this time it struggled with a low vol female voice (at a distance).
Also my placement wasn't good because I had to shoot from the side so's not to block the audience, I've looked at different remedies but you can only do so much in post, cranking up the volume produces a hiss which then has to be removed but not too much or you get distortion, at least that's what I found.
I do have a radio mic but elected not to use it because the puppet lady was moving too much to use a lav mic and I would've just got clothing rustle, anyway I'm nervous of using radio in case of interference. What I came up with in the end was to use a sound recorder (Olympus LS 12) so from now on I can put that on stage somewhere and replace the camcorder sound with the recording from that. Of course if I had pro XLR inputs on my camera I could run a mic lead right right in there but the small jack inputs I have mean I would get a noisy signal from a standard lead that long.
Hope all this helps and if I've made any mistakes with explaining please correct me.

02-25-2014, 12:02 PM
Forgot to add, using duvet blankets, to kind of make an open tent to record in improves the sound a lot, try padding round the puppet theatre (off camera of course) and put a rug down to start with if you have a bare wooden floor.

02-25-2014, 02:04 PM
I think the best option is to still record the puppet's dialogue AFTER the movie is made, if you do not have someone to get in close enough with a boom, and if the radio lav mic is not working cause of clothes noise. If you are using the T4i or T5i camera, these camera's have crappy sound, because of the pre-amps, even with an external mic plugged in. But the video sounds like you are using some alternate phantom power supply. Are you?

02-25-2014, 05:19 PM
As it turns out, we were, without realizing it was a problem. We also worked out a Boom rig. We're learning, slowly. That's kind of what this project is about.

02-26-2014, 01:44 AM
If you prefer to take the sound in one shot you could always try the face mics that have the ear to mouth 'boom', but as ironpony says if you have the time then record dialogue after and replace the original sound track. Another advantage of this way would be that you can make multiple takes to choose the best one, trying different expression in your voices etc.

02-26-2014, 05:17 AM
Problem with ADR is the show's unscripted. Since we don't know exactly what's SUPPOSED to be being said, we're kind of stuck with what IS being said. We're currently looking into a separate recorder now. Thanks for the suggestion though.

02-26-2014, 06:34 AM
Since we don't know exactly what's SUPPOSED to be being said, we're kind of stuck with what IS being said.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see why this is a problem.
Once it's been improvised and recorded, you can transcribe what was said. Then the actors ADR using those words.

02-26-2014, 09:23 AM
Okay, I admit, that hadn't occurred to me.

03-01-2014, 01:42 AM
Me too, completely missed that!

03-01-2014, 12:11 PM
Another tip is, if you get over the shoulder shots of the puppets (look up OTS shot, if you don't know), then you can have the puppet who the camera cannot see the face of, say almost anything you want, since you cannot see the mouth move. This leaves you a lot of creativity to put in any line you want, if done right.