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How much work to put into low budget instructional videos/screencasts? Dynamic Microphones
Old 12th August 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

How much work to put into low budget instructional videos/screencasts?

I hope this is the right forum for this type of questions. I'm new to gearslutz. I did audio production in college, but I don't have much experience at all. I believe I understand most of the basic concepts, but I don't know too much about how things are done in the real world.

So, I'm starting to do edits for low budget instructional videos. Basically the objective is to get reasonable quality (say, comparable to those on sites like Lynda.com, e.g., https://www.lynda.com/Finance-Accoun.../547954-4.html) without too much effort.

The recordings are done in an typical office environment with an SM57, with a few absorption panels in the room but no real isolation/other treatment. I could give some suggestions on the recording end if needed, but given the location and budget, there isn't too much room for change.

Here are the unprocessed file and what I produced so far. Basically I'm slapping on a few plugins (gate, de-esser, compression, a little EQ, a bit of auto volume, and de-noise, etc.), and do loudness at the end. But I'm not really doing any fixes manually. I'm thinking that I should probably manually remove breaths that are too prominent, but nothing beyond that, given time constraints and the lengths of these videos (hours long series).

I'm hoping for some suggestions on the amount and kind of work put into this. Any issues you can hear that still need fixing? Does it sound reasonably good for the purpose (something like Lynda.com)?

Also, what do you think would be a fair amount of time spent on such editing? Does something like 2 hours for each hour of raw materials seem reasonable? Or should it be much less?

Thanks!

Here are the files: before and after.
Attached Files

after.wav (2.77 MB, 369 views)

before.wav (2.80 MB, 365 views)

Old 13th August 2018
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Personally, I think what you're doing sounds fine for the purpose you've described. It's possible to get too wrapped up in noise reduction and spend too much time trying to perfect the sound for an audience that won't notice the difference. My test is to play back sitting somewhere else in the room from the console (so I'm not tempted to correct things as they go by) and see if I'm paying attention to what the person is saying, rather than noticing audio problems, and if I can reliably concentrate on the content of the discussion, the audio is probably fine for this kind of project.
Old 13th August 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Airon's Avatar
 

If this is a regular thing, you can save a lot of time removing blemishes with Izotope RX.

The AFTER example needs a little reigning in with a compressor.

Here's my 2 minute version.

It's denoised and decrackled. A little softknee compression to shave off the top. I cut a little at 3.3k too and ran a makeshift deesser via ReaComp(Reapers compressor plugin). If you're going to listen to something for a long time, make it grate as little as possible without compromising clarity.

Removing guff gets a little easier with sophisticated tools like RX, but a lot depends on the recording. The better that is, the less time you have to spend on fixing it, and the cheaper everything gets.
Attached Files

after_airon.wav (1.86 MB, 221 views)

Old 13th August 2018
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnykeyes View Post
My test is to play back sitting somewhere else in the room from the console (so I'm not tempted to correct things as they go by) and see if I'm paying attention to what the person is saying, rather than noticing audio problems, and if I can reliably concentrate on the content of the discussion, the audio is probably fine for this kind of project.
Thanks for the tip! Never thought about approaching it this way. I was too concentrated on trying to go through it once, fix everything along the way as quickly as possible, and not go through it again.
Old 13th August 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airon View Post
If this is a regular thing, you can save a lot of time removing blemishes with Izotope RX.

The AFTER example needs a little reigning in with a compressor.

Here's my 2 minute version...
Thank you for taking the time to do it. I did use the de-noise in RX. Perhaps I pushed it a bit too much. I loaded your version in RX and see that you did it much more gently.

What's your thoughts on a gate? I used it primarily as a way to deal with breaths kind of automatically. But then with the resulting silence, the room ambience feels broken, which means I had to de-noise more aggressively. Then it leads to less natural sounds...
Old 14th August 2018
  #6
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Airon's Avatar
 

You're always better off creating a better source, whether that's a glass of water for the voice artist, moving the mic, placing some absorption around the talent(rollable stuff is great or SE Electronics screens are decent), or better insulating the mic from the ground or table. A good mic stand and a reasonably decent spider(what we in Germany call the thing you hang the mic in to insulate it) cost less than all the time it takes to fix recordings.

You can get away with noise. That's not the big issue. Distracting noise is the problem. Bumps, splittle, coughs, restarts, paper shuffling, outside noises and so on.

A noise gate can help if you only push stuff down, but I find it hard to get right. Live denoisers like the RX voice denoiser or the spectral denoising in RX can be used more gently to get to a level where people will just tune out the background when they're listening. Those denoisers do so well that can push them a bit, but then your source material is really the main culprit. Anything you can do to get better recordings is paramount.

You can hear a bunch of processing in this documentary I helped out with. YouTube

Those were noisy environments, extreme even in some cases.

Last edited by Airon; 15th August 2018 at 09:39 PM..
Old 14th August 2018
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airon View Post
You're always better off creating a better source...
Thank you again for the tip! Hopefully as I get more experience, I'll get more proficient.
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