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What is that brief phasey sound when returning from a TV commercial?
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UrbinSprawl
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10th June 2005
Old 10th June 2005
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Question What is that brief phasey sound when returning from a TV commercial?

I've never worked in TV, and have been wondering this for awhile. I assume someone here knows the answer:

It seems that with most TV shows that have a live audience, like Letterman or Dave Chapelle for instance, upon returning from a commercial there is usually a brief (1 sec?) moment of phasiness in the audio. What's up with that? Sounds like some sort of crossfade but I don't know what they would be crossfading.

Anyone?

Thanks
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10th June 2005
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I can't answer your question, but have also noticed the use of phase shifting on television lately.
Some shows and commercials are a lot "wider" than others...I mean out past the speakers. Then a local commercial comes on and it seems almost mono in comparison.

Sounds like those tv mixers are bucking up huh
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10th June 2005
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Can I guess...???

.... that it is the cross fade between close mic's on the guests and the audience mic's. Both sets of mic's for that split second will be reproducing the same signal, - the audience - and will blend momentarily during the cross fade, each having different phase may cause the odd sound at the 50/50 part of the crossfade.

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10th June 2005
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hmmn, I just did a mix of an artist who was on TV.... It was three people, two Acc. DI's and a singer in the center. I thought I'd be cute and pan the acc DI's barely to the left and right...When I heard the broadcast, the mix was pulling to the left, and whenever the singer would start singing it would bring the mix back to the center.

my guess is some type of Automatic Gain Control somewhere was doing this, oh well, more reason to keep it mono anyways....

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10th June 2005
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compensating for broadcasters processing is a bit like dealing with what radio stations are going to do with a mix, except the audio processing is not really geared to audio most of the time

as for the "phasey " sound,... most of the weirdness I get with broadcast is seemignly caused when the local affiliate switches from thier local advertising programmign to the national feed, which is often in High Def.. so not only are you changing sources, but you are going from Mono/sorta stereo to a folded down 5.1 mix alot of the time. I also seem to remember learnign that Hi Def programmign doesnt really sync the sudio to the video in a constant fashon , so there is often some drift over the course fo a program, I wonder if there is anythign going on after a commercial break to compensate for this?
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13th June 2005
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i've noticed it as well. in the united states, it is very noticeable during transitions, on the show "comedy central presents". It's annoying, but is it worth fixing for something that's not really part of the program, but merely the transition from commercial?
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14th June 2005
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It has to be crossfading between two or more sources. Like Jules said, likely ambiant room mics to the close mics. I wonder if there is simply no way around it or if they are lazy. Bugs the hell out of me too. tutt
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15th June 2005
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It's our wonderful new digital HDTV that employs tons of lossy data coding in program transmission. Among other problems, accurate lip sync is becoming a thing of the past.

Live NTSC analog actually eats it for lunch. We just never see that anymore.
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15th June 2005
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Similarly, listening to episodic TV or movies on headphones will often reveal a constant comb-filtering in the soundtrack
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16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
It's our wonderful new digital HDTV that employs tons of lossy data coding in program transmission. Among other problems, accurate lip sync is becoming a thing of the past.

Live NTSC analog actually eats it for lunch. We just never see that anymore.
Hi Bob,
Could you be more specific about what you're talking about as it pertains to my question? It went over my head.
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16th June 2005
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To get all them channels into the same pipe, broadcasters and cable providers are using digital transmission (as well as acquisition). Full-res digital audio and video take up a lot of space, so they use lossy compression (kinda like .mp3 makes your .wav smaller).

Analog Standard-Def still looks so great if it's set up correctly. I've recently made the jump to a post facility and what I see coming out of the analog component monitors looks really _really_ good.

The whole chain is one big mess. I bet it looks and sounds great when it leaves the origination point. It gets mangled as it passes through various distribution points and not only that, have you ever tried to set a consumer TV up to color bars? Virtually impossible - they have a hypey contrasty look and no dynamic range (not talking about audio here!). If the pix look that bad, imagine the unfortunate things that happen to the audio!

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