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HELP phasing issues with lavs
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the_deadnotes
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12th December 2012
Old 12th December 2012
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HELP phasing issues with lavs

I recently started working on post production audio for a web series which regularly has a two lav set up for interviews. Their studio calls for the talent to be 3 feet away from each other and I've been experiencing phasing issues when I'm editing it.

Two obvious solutions are:

1. Riding the faders while recording (Live solution)
2. Drawing volume envelopes in a DAW (Fix it in post)

My problem with number one is there is no real engineer in the studio, only the talent is present. Now unfortunately number two is not an option either because its a weird situation where the content must be edited and upload two hours after it was recorded and the episodes are an hour long.

So since I'm the guy who has to fix it in post and due to time restrictions need some way of automatically doing this what are my options? Would I perhaps use a gate on each of the lavs to achieve this and would it sound natural?

Thanks!
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12th December 2012
Old 12th December 2012
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Do you need to have lavs? Would the picture framing allow for a mic overhead on a stand? You could try a coincident one-point miking with two MKH416 for example, if you need their reach, crossed at where the diaphragms are and pointing at one person each (using a shotgun indoors might bring other problems of course).

The diaph. being very close together will minimise phasing when panned to mono.

Of course, expanders could work also. I wouldn't gate completely, as that would result in dead silence. But you might have too much bleed, so that the expander would open on both mics no matter who is speaking.

Hope you get it solved soon!!
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the_deadnotes
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12th December 2012
Old 12th December 2012
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I actually don't have any say in what equipment is used during the recording process they use what they have already purchased. My luck is that they have such a cozy studio and bought omni directional lavs. But ya I think an expander is my best bet as of now. Thanks Andrew!
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12th December 2012
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12th December 2012
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12th December 2012
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You have 2 hours to mix a one hour show? Not much time to do anything either than something brute and/or automatic.

The choice of omni-directional lavs is pretty common, it is less common to have cardioid lavs. And with them 3 feet apart probably wouldn't make much difference.
Andrew's idea about a downward expander is a good one, though again, with them 3 feet from each other, you may have a difficult time setting a threshold that is meaningful.

You can try the Time Align plugin if you are in Pro Tools. There must be something similar in other DAW's. Or slide the stuff manually.

Or, for phasing -- which is where certain frequencies (not all) are not aligned (but others are) and different from time alignment -- you can try the UA Little Labs IBP.

Little Labs® IBP Phase Alignment Tool Plug-In | Universal Audio.

2 hours won't give you much time to dial in anything, but maybe you can deal with the worst offenders.
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12th December 2012
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Dan Dugan auto mixer. Helps if you could have a "Pre-Dugan" iso as well though in case someone gets Dugan'd.
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12th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timsplace View Post
Dan Dugan auto mixer. Helps if you could have a "Pre-Dugan" iso as well though in case someone gets Dugan'd.
I'm going to guess a Dugan costs more than the whole budget for this web series

But that is the ticket if you have the money. Otherwise your only hope in that turnaround time is an expander. And it won't be perfect but you should be able to dial it in to help enough. I think fooling around with any sort of alignment tool would kill too much time.
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13th December 2012
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How about making the studio a lot deader? Then at least you'll have only one unwanted sound path.

And get those lavs as close as possible to the talents' mouths - collar or hair is better than lapel, and next to the mouth with a head mic is better than either - so inverse-square can be your friend.

If the production company says 'no money for treatment, no visible lavs', then forget it. They expecting something that'll either take a skilled engineer at the shoot, or more time for post.
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15th December 2012
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i'd play them a clip with both lavs open, then play the same clip with the each lav simply muted when the speaker isn't talking and perhaps a version all polished.. tell them the cost/time differential for each version and let the client decide... then don't look back...

cheers
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15th December 2012
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I used to be in the same situation with an investment show -- 3 stock experts and a moderator going straight to tape. With lavs it was a disaster. What ended up working great was to have them all sit at a small table -- card-table size, but sturdier -- with an omni mic duct-taped to the center of the table so it behaved like a PZM. It sounded really nice, and nobody had to disconnect themselves to go to the bathroom.

If you're stuck with the lavs, it'll help some if you bus the 2 mics together and limit the bus (but don't compress or limit the individual mics). Set it so the limiter's pretty much always working, and when one person is talking the leakage into the other mic will get ducked. It might not sound super-pretty, but it should be better than what you have now.
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16th December 2012
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I would recommend Wave Rider but the bleed is probably too loud to get away with anything automatic if you're getting phasing.
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16th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundox View Post
I would recommend Wave Rider but the bleed is probably too loud to get away with anything automatic if you're getting phasing.
I do not know how waverider works in this situation, but automixers work fine to reduce/get rid of phasing.


How about using cardioid lavs btw?
the_deadnotes
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23rd December 2012
Old 23rd December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfyou View Post
I'm going to guess a Dugan costs more than the whole budget for this web series

But that is the ticket if you have the money. Otherwise your only hope in that turnaround time is an expander. And it won't be perfect but you should be able to dial it in to help enough. I think fooling around with any sort of alignment tool would kill too much time.
You know I told them about getting a Dugan and they weren't outright against the idea even after I told them the price. I think they might just end up getting RE20s which I know will sound better but it will look odd in the shot.
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24th December 2012
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If they don't want to give you more than 2 hours for a one hour show,I wouldn't worry abut it.
They obviously don't care about quality.
You shouldn't care more than they do.
If they can't find a way to allow for more time, then the only solution is, bang it out. Cash the check. Be happy.
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24th December 2012
Old 24th December 2012
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Have you tried using the same Lavs, if you use different models with wireless units they can often be out of phase.
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24th December 2012
Old 24th December 2012
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Little Labs

Great unit, now all you have to do is rehearse with it enough to "ride the phase" ;-)
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