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Background noise after normalisation
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
Background noise after normalisation

Hello everyone,

I am currently working on a short film using Adobe Audition.
It's mostly dialogue but the actor's track is much quieter than the actress track.

When I use the Match loudness feature, his voice gets louder, but so is the background noise (probably air conditioner noise).

As you can imagine, there's a difference between cuts, and you can hear his background noise being much louder than hers.

When I use room tone, I can only match it with one of the actors (louder for him or quieter for her) so there's not really a way to create the "Room tone Fade" to keep the sound consistent.

What would be the best course of action in this situation? Am I missing something obvious here?

1) Should I add a consistent room tone throughout the whole film?
2) Should I add background noise underneath the actress track so as to keep it consistent with the actor's background noise?


Thank you in advance for your help!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I’m sorry to be blunt, and I hope I do not sound like a donkeys butt, but that is called dialog editing.
You edit it to get it to work.
There is no single right way to answer you.

First: Loudness standards is what you work towards, not what you start with.

I would never use match loudness on dialog for TV or film. It might be usable for an audiobook or a game where assets need to have similar loudness. Otherwise I would not do that. It’s putting the cart before the horse.

You create fill or room tone to be able to go between the lines. Sometimes you work around the noise and the lines, sometimes you add fill/room tone to mask, some times you you use noise reduction (if the re-recording mixer is ok with the editor doing it and ONLY if you know how to do it without hurting the actual dialog, noise reduction is almost an art form in itself).
Sometimes you can use simple volume graphing and eq to Solve an issue, sometimes you need to replace the dialog with alternate takes, and sometimes you need to replace it using ADR.

Edit: and do not over obsess with noise. As long as the change In noise level and character is smooth and feels natural it is likely to work.
Don’t over-process or kill the sound by over-reducing noise. It is rarely needed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
Thank you for your reply, that was very useful.

I understand that there is obviously a lot of work to do and that there isn't an absolute answer for everything, but I was hoping for a general guideline regarding this particular issue.

If I want to make the overall dialogue consistent, I think I need a sweet spot where I want to keep my dialoge (let's say for example between -24 and -12db)

In order to make the overall dialogue consistent, if actor 1 is louder than actor 2, would that mean that I have to:
a) Reduce the volume of actor 1, therefore making the overall dialogue lower
b) Increase the volume of actor 2, but also increasing background noise


Thank you for your help!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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dr.sound's Avatar
 

Johnny,
It's called mixing. I have never in my 40 years mixing used "normalization".
Instead, clean up the tracks, eq, de ess the tracks, limit / compress ride the fader and mix! It's a time consuming Art and it's lot's of fun!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1992 View Post
I understand that there is obviously a lot of work to do and that there isn't an absolute answer for everything, but I was hoping for a general guideline regarding this particular issue.
Erik and Marti are spot-on. There is no simple general guideline because there are so many situation-dependent solutions to any one given problem. Even when you say "well one is louder than the other; so do I lower the one or raise the other" the answer is still "It depends"...

Really your best bet is hiring someone who does this for a living, and if you want to learn how it's done ask if you can sit in and watch.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Or you can try to figure it out yourself. It’s not rocket science but it does take some time to become Really good at it. And I do not mean hours or weeks but more like years.

As I said earlier. Loudness is not a starting point, but it may be what you aim for eventually (way after you have learnt how to edit). You edit and level to create the illusion of a smoothe and great sounding sound track.
So wether one voice should be raised or the other lowered has nothing to do with loudness and everything to do with how it sounds in context in the scene.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

A Dialogue editor once told me that the best result is where all the edits are smooth without having to adjust clip/volume gain.

There is a book by Purcell that would be worth reading.

Ranadll


Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikG View Post
Or you can try to figure it out yourself. It’s not rocket science but it does take some time to become Really good at it. And I do not mean hours or weeks but more like years.

As I said earlier. Loudness is not a starting point, but it may be what you aim for eventually (way after you have learnt how to edit). You edit and level to create the illusion of a smoothe and great sounding sound track.
So wether one voice should be raised or the other lowered has nothing to do with loudness and everything to do with how it sounds in context in the scene.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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TVPostSound's Avatar
When I edit dialogue, Ill match background levels across clips, THEN proceed to mix.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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Mundox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
When I edit dialogue, Ill match background levels across clips, THEN proceed to mix.
This.

You don't need the noise across the whole thing. You can gradually bring up the bg noise at each cut so it's not jumpy.

Also, try WaveRider Tg which now works with Audition. That will help you match the levels naturally, without being drastic like normalization or loudness match.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundox View Post
This.

You don't need the noise across the whole thing. You can gradually bring up the bg noise at each cut so it's not jumpy.

Also, try WaveRider Tg which now works with Audition. That will help you match the levels naturally, without being drastic like normalization or loudness match.
Not to brag here but after over 600 hours of editing and mixing cooking competition shows, I don’t give bad advise about “noise
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Guru
 

Sick of sizzle yet?...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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iluvcapra's Avatar
In the Fairlight page on Resolve, there's an option in the loudness/normalize tool that is essentially "relative" or "absolute" and one does each clip by itself and the other calculates one offset for all the clips you've selected and applies that same one to all of them. The latter is usually what you'd want if you were actually preparing dialogue, I'm not sure if Audition has this option as well, it seems like without it, the a normalization feature wouldn't save you much time.

Pro Tools-specific pet peeve of mine is how if you have a bunch of clips with +20 gain, and then you iZotope one of them for lip smacks or something, that one will now have a clip gain of +0 because Pro Tools has now rendered the clip gain hard into the file, so now a bunch of clips have to have different clip gains in order to sound the same level, you can't bulk delete them or set them without screwing something up, etc. There are ways to avoid this but it's easy to forget to do them, takes an extra step.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Sick of sizzle yet?...
I just add more!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
I just add more!!
lol...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.sound View Post
Johnny,
It's called mixing. I have never in my 40 years mixing used "normalization".
Instead, clean up the tracks, eq, de ess the tracks, limit / compress ride the fader and mix! It's a time consuming Art and it's lot's of fun!
Yeah. WTF is with "Normalization.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 

If you have terrible mismatches and noise in your dialog, you often have the actor(s) re-do their vocals in the studio and dub those voices into the film. It is called ADR (automated dialog replacement). It's difficult to describe why the word "automated" is there, because there is nothing automated about this. It is labor intensive and done on a case-by-case basis.

If your background sound is useless as well, you then artificially create it with sound effects. It's called foley. There are certainly scenes in movies where 100% of the audio has been re-created after the fact. All the dialog, all the car sounds, all the bird chirps, all the footsteps, all the rain sounds. Outdoor film audio is difficult.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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dr.sound's Avatar
 

If one can not smooth out Production Dialog in the edit then what makes you think they can make a believable scene with ADR and Foley and make it sound like Production? We have great tools these days that allow us to create smooth sounding dialog along with bringing our skills to create seamless sounding Dialog in the mix.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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minister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearstudent View Post
If you have terrible mismatches and noise in your dialog, you often have the actor(s) re-do their vocals in the studio and dub those voices into the film.
Or, learn how to properly dialogue edit, then mix (judiciously using EQ and NR tools).

For the benefit of those newer to this work:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearstudent View Post
It is called ADR (automated dialog replacement). It's difficult to describe why the word "automated" is there, because there is nothing automated about this. It is labor intensive and done on a case-by-case basis.
In the film era, they would create film loops of the scene that would play over an over so the actor could keep trying takes efficiently. It was often called "Looping". Then they started using computers to "automate" the process of looping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearstudent View Post
If your background sound is useless as well, you then artificially create it with sound effects. It's called foley.
No, it's called "sound editing". Cutting backgrounds is not foley. Foley is recording sounds you make while watching picture.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post

For the benefit of those newer to this work:

In the film era, they would create film loops of the scene that would play over an over so the actor could keep trying takes efficiently. It was often called "Looping". Then they started using computers to "automate" the process of looping
It was called ADR way before computers entered a studio, so no it doesn’t have anything to do with computers automating it.
What it actually means? I honestly do not know.
Maybe the dr does?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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Henchman's Avatar
Pretty sure it stands for "Awful Dialog Replacement"

AKA

LISTEN TO YOUR ****IN' SOUND MIXER WHEN HE SAYS THERE'S A PROBLEM.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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Mundox's Avatar
My theory on what ADR stands for is "Automatic Dialog Replacement"
"Automatic" being "self acting".
So the actor is self-replacing their dialog.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Automatic being the loop automatically shuttled back and forth creating a loop until the operator stopped it.

Being in an old school ADR session with Magna Techs was amazing. My first and only one was at Gomillion sound 30 years ago!!
The actor just kept repeating their line until satisfactory, then the engineer stopped the loop.

Similar to loop record in protools with head and tail playback.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Head
 

He is using loudness normalization which is perfectly fine and helpful. Of course the noise level goes up and that presents a new problem but it is a useful function especially if using LUFS to compute.
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