Short Film Audio Evaluation
For this project we had to take audio from our Genre Film and use the program Audacity, to edit the audio, making it clearer or distorting it as necessary, this is my evaluation on that project.
I decided to edit Stephans audio for my film as he had been quite quiet throughout the film, so I removed background noise to make him more clear and then raised the volume of his audio track, however this didn’t help much as Steven had been so quiet that even with all of these changes you could still barely hear him.
Another thing I decided to do was to ad music over my track. This helped to keep the movie from being boring. Luckily I didn’t need to open the music track in audacity as there was nothing that really needed to be fixed about it. The only thing I needed to do was to open the music track in Premiere Pro and then lower and raise the volume using key-frames as appropriate, though there were moments when the audio was still a little too loud.
I think that the editing of Stephan’s audio went well because even if I wasn’t able to fix it entirely, it did teach me what I needed to do in the event that some audio needed adjusting. If there were anything that needed to be improved then I would say that it would be Stephan’s audio, from the film, as even with all the editing I did I was unable to make his audio clear. This meant that no matter what I did, you wouldn’t have been able to hear Stephan in the film.
Overall I think that my Audio editing went quite well, even if it didn’t turn out as well as it could have because I was able to learn quite a bit about how to edit audio and what to do if there is audio that needs cleaning up. So overall I think the project was very helpful.
For my Short film audio I had to choose which parts of the audio needed to be changed, removed or added. This meant listening to my film several time over and identifying which parts needed to be changed. Once I had ascertained that something needed changing I had to decide what needed to changed about it. Aside from making changes to the audio I also had to decide what music I wanted to add into the background. This meant surfing Youtube and other sites to find a fitting track.
For this project we had to create a project, this could be based on whatever we wanted (Within reason) For my podcast I decided to do an interview with several quests, similar to what you’d find on a talk show.
To begin with I had to create a script to work from. This wasn’t too much of a problem as I had already had practice because of the Genre film project, however I found that coming up with questions to ask the guests was a little troublesome as I wasn’t entirely sure what would make a good, interesting question that they could speak a lot about. I was able to come up with the questions eventually but I still wasted too much time thinking of them.
Actually recording the podcast went quite well. It only took one take to get the podcast recorded so that mean that I had a good amount of time to do the editing in. However before we recorded the podcast we had to set up all the equipment for it, this is where we encountered trouble as for a little bit the computer was not recognising the microphones we had plugged in and it wasn’t recording when we ran tests to see if it worked. It meant that we had to wait until help arrived before we could begin recording.
The people who I worked with to record the podcast were mostly compliant, however I did have a few issues where one team member would get a bit distracted. However it wasn’t too bad. One more major issue I had was that one of my team members answered the questions very quickly. They didn’t explain them much. This meant that my podcast ended up being only half as long as it should have been and that I had to bring in someone else in order to fill out the rest of the time.
With all of the recording done I had to move on to editing. In general there was not too much work that needed to be done. However I did find that my microphone had picked up my team-mates voices and vice versa. I solved this issue by cutting and deleting my team-mates track in the places where I began speaking and then doing the same to my audio track when my team-mates began speaking. This solved the issue of the echo. Once that was done I just needed to add some music to play in the background. I found a nice relaxing song and then placed it in the track. I lowered it volume and raised the volume of my team so that they could be heard over the music, next I looped the music so that it would run over the entire track. Overall I think the editing went quite well.
I think if I had to improve anything then I would perhaps put more planning into what questions I was going to ask beforehand, I would also chose team-mates who I knew could give detailed responses to my questions, rather than one word replies. I think I would also go over what to do to set up the equipment more thoroughly as we ended up getting quite lost as to what to do because we weren’t sure how to work the equipment. As for editing I think that for the most part that went ok, however I want to perhaps be careful of the proximity of the microphones in the future so that I can avoid the echo effect that occurred when I did the recording the first time around. In the end however I think that my podcast went extremely well for a first attempt. Aside from a few errors here and there, there were no major problems and everything went rather smoothly.
In our latest project we had to make a podcast. We looked at various different kinds of podcast and then decided what to do; we had many different things to choose from. I decided that for my project I was going to work on an interview style podcast. This was because I didn’t like the idea of having to act a role while being recorded.
First of all, similar to my movie, I had to develop a script. Unlike my movie however the script this time around would not be based around a scenario. Instead the script will feature several questions that I will ask various participants. The questions themselves are based around a piece of media that the interviewee has personally enjoyed for the most part. I ask them what they enjoy most about the piece of media that they have chosen. I also asked them what they thought could have ben improved and what they would create if given the opportunity.
I got a lot of interesting responses from the people I interviewed, they spoke about some personal gripes that they had with the media products that they enjoyed, how they wish the person who had created them had done something different with the series. Unfortunately I needed to reach a minimum time limit for my podcast, this meant that the answers that the people who I was interviewing had to be as long as possible. This was an issue as one of the people who I interviewed only gave me very short responses to my questions, barely touching the surface of what he could have. It meant that my podcast lasted about half as long as it should have done and I had to get extra people in to help pad out the length, which meant that precious time that could have been spent doing other things was instead spent ensuring the podcast would reach the minimum time limit.
When I came to edit the podcast, I found that the there was an echo from my microphone when the interviewees began to speak. This was due to the volume at which they spoke compared to the proximity of the microphones. To combat this I used the razor tool to cut the audio into different pieces when someone new would begin talking, I would then delete the segment of the person who wasn’t speaking. This eliminated the echo without compromising the other person’s audio.
Once I had sorted out the echoing problem I needed to add a backing track to the podcast. I went onto YouTube and had a look at various different songs that I felt could fit the podcast. These mostly consisted of instrumental songs that had no singing or vocals over the top. It took a bit off time but in the end I was able to find a song that I felt fit well enough to add to the Podcast. I added the track to the logic project and then lowered its volume so that you would be able to hear the person over the top of the video. I also had to boost their audio a bit as I could only lower the volume of the song so far before it would become difficult to hear.
Short Film Audio Research
For one of our projects we had to take the short film that we made earlier in the year and then editing the audio to the best of our ability, this would include things such as adding a soundtrack to the film in post or messing around with Noise Reduction to make someone’s voice easier or harder to hear depending on what you want to do for your film. You could also add in sound effects or distort voices so that they don’t sound like they usually do.
For the research part of this project we need to look at various different films and see how the audio has been changed in post. This was so that we could get a better of the work that goes into the film industry that we often don’t notice on the big screen.
One common aspect added to almost all films shown in cinema’s is sound effects. These can range from gunshots to animal sounds, cheering to a Wilhelm scream. On TV and movies, a lot of this can go unnoticed by the audience (aside from the Wilhelm scream, everyone notices that) For example, almost all the cheering heard in the popular TV series ‘Robot Wars’ is actually sound effects that have been added in post.
Noise Reduction is a very important part of audio editing, while plenty of equipment is used on set, such as high quality microphones and Booms, to help reduce the amount of background noise, it can still become an issue, luckily thanks to post process audio editing the background noise can be significantly reduced. They do this by finding a section on an audio track that has an undesirable sound on it, this could be a plane or the wind; what they then do is to highlight this segment of noise and find out what frequency it is playing at. Once that is sorted out they then tell the track to remove sounds at the same or similar frequency. This clears up the audio track and makes it easier to hear the person speaking. However, if not done carefully the editor could end up accidentally deleting some of the actors’ dialogue making him or her harder to hear.
Before technology advanced to a significant level, a lot of sound effects were created with objects that someone could find around the house, bangs and crashes were created using dustbin lids and other metallic objects that would produce a good enough sound when hit. While this is still sometimes used today, it has mostly been replaced with more versatile technology. A famous example of this type of audio use was The War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles, which was apparently so convincing that there were people who literally though that an Alien species was invading the planet Earth. It was so bad that he had to apologise on air because too many people had tuned in mid broadcast and had started to panic. It’s a powerful example of how simple sound effects can be very effective.