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The audio analogy to the difference between video & film... Plugin Bundles
Old 15th April 2008
  #1
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MrVelvet's Avatar
 

The audio analogy to the difference between video & film...

That's something that bugs me for a while now... I was wondering about the effect that some recordings sound "too real" and upfront, while others have that "surreal" touch, they have this cinematic "unreal" distant sound.

I'm not talking about effects, just the general feeling.

It's the same with video vs. film: Video is so real, it won't let you slip into a fictional story, cause it could have been recorded next door.

I know the difference here is 24 full frames (film) to interlacing two fields (video). The film technique causes that abstract effect that makes art so special.

What is causing this difference in audio? Couldn't point my finger on it.

In the past, I thought it's compression, then tape... but there's been so many examples that showed the opposite.

I thought it was a big desk with great summing maybe, but that's not it either...

I thought a big part for that "abstract" and "surreal" sound is the mic and the preamp - but there's so many TV documentaries or what have you that use a great chain and have the "realistic" sound...

I'm getting the "abstract" sound myself, but I don't really know what is causing it in the end...

Any ideas?
Old 15th April 2008
  #2
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Many video cameras shoot at 24 frames a second these days. They still don't look like film. Film rules movies just as tape rules the very best recording studios.
Old 15th April 2008
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Many video cameras shoot at 24 frames a second these days. They still don't look like film. Film rules movies just as tape rules the very best recording studios.
That's changing as well. 24p is only one small part of the equation for creating a filmic look.

New 2k and 4k and soon 5k digital cameras are changing the landscape for film makers, and 35mm film will (sooner than later) no longer be the norm
for shooting features, probably within the next 5 years.
Old 15th April 2008
  #4
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Well if you're referring to red cameras my friend owns a red system and he doesn't think it looks as good as film. Maybe that will change. All I know is even the 40 mega pixel phase one backs for still cameras still don't look as good as film, mostly because of the way they capture color, especially the way they handle highlights, (dynamic range). They still have that pasty digital look that I can recognize from a mile away...
Old 15th April 2008
  #5
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Squawk's Avatar
More so the si2k, which we use. Lenses are also a factor, and lighting etc etc. No, I didn't claim that digital was "as good" as film (yet), just noting that things are rapidly changing, and red has a 5k on the horizon also.

Cheers
Old 15th April 2008
  #6
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Mark1353's Avatar
 

Tube camera: YouTube - hitachi tube camera demo

heh
Old 15th April 2008
  #7
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I agree film will always be film. I shoot for broadcast (regular and HiDef) and even with HD, the highlights still have a tendency to 'white out', even when in controlled circumstances.

Film is funny in that it is softer to look at but at the same time has greater contrast range and greater beauty in how it deals with this contrast. The newer Red or the Panaflex offering may offer improvements on this for video.

Psychologically, film removes the viewer just enough that you remain an observer to a story, not so much a participant.
Look at older concert films (like Springsteen from '72), compared to the multicamera video productions of today, and you have much more of a documentary feel to everything, even if it were intended as 'straight' concert coverage.
Even if it is shot the same, the film just takes you 'out' of the event enough to judge it as much as just being part of it.

Tape....same thing, combined with different older production approaches. A good room, recording folks together, bleed, a little distortion....makes for a tasty stew for the ears. To me, 'perfection' is just the right combo of good technique and happy shortcomings in service of the song.

I just listened to 'Last Kind Word Blues' by Gechee Wiley, from 1930. A million dollars of gear could not replicate the power of that recording, poor as it sounds by modern standards. Because you are a LISTENER and not a CONSUMER of the song and the recording. It forces you back to the basics because of its shortcomings, and the price of it is that you either pay attention or turn it off. No in-between.

Sorry for rambling; hope some of this makes sense

Claus.
Old 15th April 2008
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
That's changing as well. 24p is only one small part of the equation for creating a filmic look.

New 2k and 4k and soon 5k digital cameras are changing the landscape for film makers, and 35mm film will (sooner than later) no longer be the norm
for shooting features, probably within the next 5 years.
Plenty of theatrical release and televised programming are already shot on digital formats. We're in the midst of these changes already.
Old 15th April 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispick View Post
Plenty of theatrical release and televised programming are already shot on digital formats. We're in the midst of these changes already.
These changes are mostly driven by dwindling budgets and easier workflow during post-production. It'll take a pretty long time for the film industry to accept anything other than 35mm as the gold standard though. Unfortunately we can't say the same for the music industry and 2" tape.
Old 15th April 2008
  #10
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macc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Closet View Post
... different older production approaches. A good room, recording folks together, bleed, a little distortion....makes for a tasty stew for the ears. To me, 'perfection' is just the right combo of good technique and happy shortcomings in service of the song.

I just listened to 'Last Kind Word Blues' by Gechee Wiley, from 1930. A million dollars of gear could not replicate the power of that recording, poor as it sounds by modern standards. Because you are a LISTENER and not a CONSUMER of the song and the recording.
Great post man.thumbsup
Old 15th April 2008
  #11
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Quote:
It'll take a pretty long time for the film industry to accept anything other than 35mm as the gold standard though.
There already are a lot of films done in digital.

As much as I prefer LPs to CDs, I prefer DVDs to VHS tapes!!!
Old 15th April 2008
  #12
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hmmmm interesting question.

I believe the main (or one of the main) reasons that film looks better than video is the depth of field effect that is achievable with 35mm lenses. i.e. the effect where your subject is in focus but everything else is out of focus. One can achieve tis effect with several thousand dollars of adapters and some 35mm lenses but consumer video cameras don't come with this ability. This is what makes video look odd when compared to film. In digital video pretty much everything in a scene in addition to your subject is also in focus. (There are techniques around this but this is a subject for another forum).

Bottom line is that I think film looks better becasue the depth of field effect is similar to how our eyes work.

Perhaps this is the same with audio. Close miccing is "unnatural" as it's impossible for our ears to be plastered up against the guitar amp, the kick drum, the snare, etc. all at the same time.

Perhaps the scenario you describe has to do with the extent to which a recording was recorded in a manner more closely matching the way our ears work?
Old 15th April 2008
  #13
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needlz's Avatar
 

I have been drooling over this since I read about it:

RED / SCARLET

The quality of Indie film making is going to change radically in the next few years - Like the home recording thing... there is going to be a ton of high quality **** available for download.
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