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Did the World just stopped caring about good Audio?
Old 30th June 2020
  #1
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

Did the World just stopped caring about good Audio?

With every production and semi pro podcast having to be shot in poeples houses...

Seems like they just have the iPhone mics and thats it. Not a clip on mic, or a proper mic nearby.. nothing... just the echo from the room and lo fi mic capture.

From Late night shows and so many podcast... soooo many...

And no one seems to be complaining or mention it in the comments... everyone just seemed to accept it ... pandemic and such.

yeah its a little cumbersome to do proper audio... but these shows have audio guys that can help remotly . have youtube videos showing how to do it.. even with cheopo amazon setups...

Could be the simple reason that new phones with exelent video camera does not have a hook up for a 3.5mm mic input that used to be so convenient. and bluetooth mics suck from what i gathered.

Joe rogan and folks already doing more of the radio podcast thing still made it work or understand the importance of audio. otherwise poeple rather ditch good audio troubleshooting and gain a mic free environment.
Making it Zoom video is all good and understandable... for profesional shows.

And if everyone is enjoying the shows like this... did we need good audio to begin with? or care sOOO much about good audio?
to me its very off-putting watching these shows w terrible audio...

Just bitching... not tryig to find a why or a solution.. just an observation.

If any podcasters here then i suggest making a video about a quick guide to good audio for podcasts and home tv shows... have a good amazon affiliate link... and bamm. get some good money.
Old 30th June 2020
  #2
I live in a college town. Before the pandemic I saw students walking with others, a single earbud in their one ear, a cell phone glued to their other ear and talking with friends. Do they care about "good quality audio" I kinda doubt it. People go to COSTCO or Best Buys and plunk down a lot of money for a giant screen HD 4K TV and then buy some $99 "sound bar" for their audio. Do they care about "good quality audio" I kinda doubt it. My mastering clients are listening to my "refs" on two inch Macbook speakers and making decisions on the mastering. Do they care about "good quality audio" they should but using their Macbook for a standard says reams about their need for "good quality audio". Why should TV sound be any different??? The average person will complain bitterly about poor video quality but be content with terrible audio. It is just how things are at present. FWIW
Old 30th June 2020
  #3
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Among the many many changes that have fallen on us in the last few months is one item that has NOT changed, and that is the need to educate clients about what quality audio is and why it is important. I have the same number of these conversations that I had before the virus, but the stakes are higher now since often the piece we're making is the ONLY output this artist or org. has right at the moment. That is part of my argument. Another part of it, as usual, is that while many people and orgs are satisfied with low quality audio, many of my clients competitors have made real efforts to bring good sound to their audience, especially when that audience is being asked to PAY for seeing the program we're making or the piece is representing the org. in an international level. Performing arts orgs., currently shut down but trying very hard to figure out their near future will face a much more competitive environment when live shows start up again--loss of venues, audiences that have drifted away, residual fears about attending a theatre, huge additional debt to manage and so on, so what they produce NOW is what is going to get them real gigs in the future, and those pieces need to sound as good as we can make them sound thus.
Old 30th June 2020
  #4
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edva's Avatar
There is still some "good audio" happening in the world. But, there is also a flood of "bad audio".
Some of the "at home" video productions I've seen and heard since the "pandemic lockdown" have been pitifully embarrassing, or should be, to the musicians and singers who made them, regardless of how big a "star" they might be (or might have been, prior to the pandemic).

In their defense I guess, the level of disruption to all areas of life being caused by current circumstances was unforeseen by almost all, and has proven to be a bigger challenge than many could have imagined, only a few short months ago. (I confess, I did see it coming, and am not surprised by any of it, unfortunately.)

What I am hoping is that the trend toward lower-quaity audio will slow, or ideally reverse, as people once again begin turning to recorded music for a pleasurable at-home listening experience. "Hope" is a long way from reality though, I realize.

Some of us have always listened to music that way, and speaking for those of us lucky enough to live through the 60's, 70's, and 80's, the greatest period in the history of recorded music IMHO, back then many if not most of us listened to music that way, i.e. at the highest quality we could obtain, and when we listened, we listened intently, deeply, and fully.

Of course, I don't expect we will ever see the "universal" appreciation for high quality audio that was extant back then, but any improvement in the current situation would be a step in the right direction. As such, I do believe there is value in pursuing high quality in your music-making and production efforts. IMHO. Good luck.
Old 30th June 2020
  #5
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pethenis's Avatar
 

It's the smiley curve of audio life today: low end productions - nothing - high end productions.
That smiley curve is found everywhere by the way, housing, politics, the economy
Old 1st July 2020
  #6
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Even certain networks accept lower fidelity in these times.
I have a show completed before the shut down, but the network demanded certain lines be replaced.
I get iPhone ADR in a closet. Nothing can be done to fix it.
QC passed them!!!
Old 2nd July 2020
  #7
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We are all just trying to stay employed anyway we can. If that means mixing a show that was recorded on an iPhone, I do it and do the best I can with it.
Old 2nd July 2020
  #8
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Even certain networks accept lower fidelity in these times.
I have a show completed before the shut down, but the network demanded certain lines be replaced.
I get iPhone ADR in a closet. Nothing can be done to fix it.
QC passed them!!!

its just wierd. i mean, shows like conan, daily show, late night etc...
these poeple can easily get better equipment and setups.

worse is that seth mcfarlen variety show from peacock tv.. that guy in an adr studio almost all day for years.. has tons of money.. and cannot get a better
mic setup?

all of these sound like its a mic on the camera and thats it. right? i could be wrong.
Old 3rd July 2020
  #9
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edva's Avatar
On a positive note, I am enjoying "Amazon HD" music streaming, far better sounding than mp3 etc. IMHO. Using a Radial BT Pro V2 to play back through my system. Working like a charm. So there is still a niche for high quality audio in the world. I hardly ever, almost never, watch TV anyway, except for streaming concerts on youtube etc.
Besides inconsistent audio, the problem with TV is that it represents so much of what's wrong in the world; and, with "social distancing" and such, there are less opportunities to counteract or balance all the "insanity" that TV does so well with periods of what used to be "normal" social interaction with real live people in person. Not healthy IMHO to let TV occupy a larger role in society. Has turned out to be a very harmful and destructive invention, despite the best intentions of its inventor. (BTW, anybody ever get taught in school who invented television? Ever wonder why not? That's a topic for another discussion, I'm already pretty far OT here...)
Anyway, I'll stick to music, especially in high res. YMMV. Good luck.
Old 3rd July 2020
  #10
Geez I dunno man. If it's podcasters and youtubers you're talking about, I don't see so many with iphones or whatever...I see stacks of people even at the low end of the popularity scale with 39 subscribers or 60 subs and they're rigged up with pop shields, huge condenser mics on massive swiveling boom arms, Sony camera rigs, Canon, lapels, flashing lights...you name it.

It all sounds the same on a laptop anyway, so who cares I suppose.
Old 3rd July 2020
  #11
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
Among the many many changes that have fallen on us in the last few months is one item that has NOT changed, and that is the need to educate clients about what quality audio is and why it is important.
This is the inherent problem right here. People don't know what quality audio actually is. We have younger people who have never heard live concerts of acoustics music, perhaps have never heard any audio that hasn't been perceptually encoded. The folks distributing audio aren't helping; when I started out you would see a Fisher receiver and maybe a KLH turntable and a couple AR speakers set up in the office of the label A&R guys... now I think they listen to everything on cheap computer speakers or earbuds (the few A&R guys that still exist that is).
--scott
Old 3rd July 2020
  #12
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
This is the inherent problem right here. People don't know what quality audio actually is. We have younger people who have never heard live concerts of acoustics music, perhaps have never heard any audio that hasn't been perceptually encoded. The folks distributing audio aren't helping; when I started out you would see a Fisher receiver and maybe a KLH turntable and a couple AR speakers set up in the office of the label A&R guys... now I think they listen to everything on cheap computer speakers or earbuds (the few A&R guys that still exist that is).
--scott
So true.
Old 3rd July 2020
  #13
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I take note of how things sound on the remote talking heads zoom and WebEx casts - people sitting in corners and worse, with their backs against reflective walls almost guaranteeing a festival of comb filtering as differing delayed and direct audio times crash into the mic together, nulling and reinforcing some frequencies, smearing others. It’s heard as a tinny hollow sound.

Perhaps sound techs on the shows have sent them basic guidelines, but as per the op’s question, it’s likely not an issue of caring, but rather ignorance.
Old 7th July 2020
  #14
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
I take note of how things sound on the remote talking heads zoom and WebEx casts - people sitting in corners and worse, with their backs against reflective walls almost guaranteeing a festival of comb filtering as differing delayed and direct audio times crash into the mic together, nulling and reinforcing some frequencies, smearing others. It’s heard as a tinny hollow sound.

Perhaps sound techs on the shows have sent them basic guidelines, but as per the op’s question, it’s likely not an issue of caring, but rather ignorance.
im guessing poeple that been doing it for a while like joe rogan will easily just get close to a mike thats the shows format.

but ive seen many radio DJs or podcasters that used to do that format in a studio and on the house podcast they are on a sofa laying back or have a mic in the middle of an empt-ish room.
they have to know... and but not care that much?

could it be that there is still no easy standard solution? everyone just grabs their smartphone.. but now that apple and samsung/google decided no more headphones /mic those clip on mics sold in amazon for low prices are not available and blue tooth mics are not the best..to say the least.. in terms of sound and connectivity.
Old 7th July 2020
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
could it be that there is still no easy standard solution? everyone just grabs their smartphone.. but now that apple and samsung/google decided no more headphones /mic those clip on mics sold in amazon for low prices are not available and blue tooth mics are not the best..to say the least.. in terms of sound and connectivity.
There is never a standard solution. Some people are going to be in one kind of room, some people are going to be in another. Some people are very comfortable with a headset mike, others are horrible P-poppers. Because there is no one solution for everything, people have to use their ears and listen. That thing is what is missing.
--scott
Old 7th July 2020
  #16
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loujudson's Avatar
A big part of the problem is that Zoom does not let you hear what you're sending out. And audiences are not telling them that they sound terrible.
Old 7th July 2020
  #17
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I recorded edited and mixed a jazz trio for the online replacement to the Mondavi Winery "Summer Sundays" series (usually a lavish in-person concert played outdoors), which was streamed from YouTube last Sunday. I listened with headphones and was very pleased with the translation of the mix through YouTube's technology, so it can be done. Props to the Mondavi folks for letting us do a good job for them!
Old 8th July 2020
  #18
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I can provide some insight...

The podcast editing community is made up of mainly self taught bedroom diy types, that is a big issue.

Podcasting has been great for the diversity of voice in media, but audio quality across the board has taken a hit due to the rise in popularity.

The good news is: there is a number of "actual engineers" breaking into the podcast editing scene (I am one of these said engineers), charging higher rates, producing superior sounding content and educating our clients and the wider podcasting community too.

I am a part of Podcast editor facebook groups, and I can say wih certainty - most of them have no f*cking idea how to make anything sound good. They instead focus on silly over-editing of every single vocal discontinuity - "um" and "you know" - which makes no sense to me when a podcast is supposed to represent people talking in a "natural way" - at least the majority of podcasts are. None of them know how to use a compressor properly, instead they share "one size fits all" settings that they personally use, not understanding the underlying audio theory AT ALL. Same goes with EQ, most will use presets and most will only boost. I dont even think theyd know what an exciter is...let alone an expander...

It is frustrating, but I try to educate where I can and spread the "good audio" word. The editing community is starting to run conferences too, of which I'm trying to get a speaking spot at... I really like podcasting and I want to try my best to lift the tide.

I am fully aware that is a losing battle though...so pretty soon I may just be happy quietly pumping out my fancy shmancy sounding podcasts for a half decent rate and continue living my life
Old 9th July 2020
  #19
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So even with the earbud/mic thingy iphone used to have had at least some decent sonic capabilities but then they transmit via zoom or whatever app that mushes into very low grade mp3... which makes sense for internet bandwidth... but no one seems to know or care to capture the audio in wav and send that. its the "its good enough" sort of mentality... which might affect future shows and audio gigs imo. These examples at least are sort of interview, close mic format, but others ive seen sitting on a couch or putting the mic far away on the side are even worse.
I think its the consecuences of apple removing the headphone jack... and other big tech companies not having a way or product to rely on audio while the emphasis, as usual, has been more ****ing random camera lenses that now it looks like a freaking spider eyes... but audio is even worse than the old dialed phones!

https://youtu.be/5bNnHQB1oao
Old 9th July 2020
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post

So even with the earbud/mic thingy iphone used to have had at least some decent sonic capabilities but then they transmit via zoom or whatever app that mushes into very low grade mp3... which makes sense for internet bandwidth... but no one seems to know or care to capture the audio in wav and send that. its the "its good enough" sort of mentality... which might affect future shows and audio gigs imo. These examples at least are sort of interview, close mic format, but others ive seen sitting on a couch or putting the mic far away on the side are even worse.
Zoom uses 32kbps M4a 44.1 - I have to convert them to 16 bit WAV for editing.
Old 12th July 2020
  #21
On ABC Good Morning America this Sunday they had a remote from some "doctor's home" The video was great the audio was distorted, frequency limited and had a lot of "swishing" sounds in the audio. How can they do GREAT video and lousy audio?
Old 13th July 2020
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
On ABC Good Morning America this Sunday they had a remote from some "doctor's home" The video was great the audio was distorted, frequency limited and had a lot of "swishing" sounds in the audio. How can they do GREAT video and lousy audio?
There are people out there who still care about good audio. But video people have NEVER cared about good audio.
--scott
Old 13th July 2020
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
On ABC Good Morning America this Sunday they had a remote from some "doctor's home" The video was great the audio was distorted, frequency limited and had a lot of "swishing" sounds in the audio. How can they do GREAT video and lousy audio?
In a time of lockdown there is only what you get. Which is usually built-in camera and microphone on a laptop. People are trained to look good, but have no idea at all about how to get good sound. And the way Zoom and all that does not let you hear your own sound gives them zero chances of getting it right!

And even "great" corporations cannot send an audio person out to set up mics and mixers and acoustic treatment. They should be embarrased. But they don't even apologize!

I've given up even trying to listen to musicians performing for their cameras at home on zoom. Even people I like a lot sound like garbage. except for a few jazz people who really care!
Old 13th July 2020
  #24
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
In a time of lockdown there is only what you get. Which is usually built-in camera and microphone on a laptop. People are trained to look good, but have no idea at all about how to get good sound. And the way Zoom and all that does not let you hear your own sound gives them zero chances of getting it right!

And even "great" corporations cannot send an audio person out to set up mics and mixers and acoustic treatment. They should be embarrased. But they don't even apologize!

I've given up even trying to listen to musicians performing for their cameras at home on zoom. Even people I like a lot sound like garbage. except for a few jazz people who really care!
Yep.
I think some of the "news" people actually like bad location sound, like it gives them more cred or something
But, it has been a disillusion at times to see/hear certain musicians.
The "fourth wall" is crumbling, and that might not be a good thing.
IMHO. Good luck.
Old 14th July 2020
  #25
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i've got to say I'm not sure people ever cared about good audio - they care about good entertainment
the entertainers cared about quality audio cause that got their message across better

i'm not sure the small shop entertainers of podcasting, youtube and such have the luxury of solving for good audio yet, their still scrambling to figure out how to keep the audience -
and the big players are fine getting away with what they can because the competition is pretty fierce with the new formats

i think it all gets better as everyone learns what is really valuable to getting the entertainment across - but the tech is certainly going to change how that is done (one click and you can sound like npr or fox news or ... )
Old 15th July 2020
  #26
I dunno... any show I've been on during this has been working very very very hard to get the best audio possible.
In the beginning of lockdown you literally couldn't get any equipment. Everything was sold out. Now it's just a battle having talent set things up. You can have the best equipment in the world, but when talent is the one setting it up and running it in an untreated space... all bets are off. Things are running smoother now, but it takes a lot of people and a lot pf coordination. The other option is we all just don't work for months.
And yes, it's NOT as good as when we do it in the proper environment and with the proper staff... we should all be relieved!!!... because if it all sounded great wtf would they need us for?!?
Old 15th July 2020
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sventeck View Post
And yes, it's NOT as good as when we do it in the proper environment and with the proper staff... we should all be relieved!!!... because if it all sounded great wtf would they need us for?!?
Now that's a thought. Let's just hope they welcome us back and appreciate us more! When this thing is over...
Old 15th July 2020
  #28
For voices? The only thing that matters is clarity and that the performer can convey what they need to their audience. But that doesn't mean there aren't any expectations, the audio has to match the image. So if you showed a glossy show recorded in a studio and it sounded like it was recorded with a phone it would be off-putting, the same is true in reverse, something clearly shot on a phone would feel weird if it had studio quality voice recording on it. It's the same reason that in drama's when your actors are in a forest or cave you have to add fake reverb.
Old 15th July 2020
  #29
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I think people are going with getting content out first then dealing with improving later.

I know the first few Seth Myers sounded awful then they improved. (Looked bad too).

Most of the stuff I have been working on in post has been small crews with maybe a sound guy. But maybe the grip holds a boom somewhere near the person talking. Or they get a Lav mic in there but at what volume no one cares.

This is mainly because the pandemic has forced crews to be really small.

Mostly corporate training stuff. It used to be pretty good quality. But current times call for "Get the job done" times.
Old 16th July 2020
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiogeek1 View Post
Mostly corporate training stuff. It used to be pretty good quality. But current times call for "Get the job done" times.
When I started out, corporate training stuff was mixed in a small dubbing stage, maybe 250 to 500 square feet, over wide range monitors from mag tracks that frequently included a small live orchestra playing the musical cues, narrator, dialogue, and effects tracks, and sometimes even real foley.

I remember working on a film that started out with a long shot of a military funeral... slow sad orchestral background throughout (music roll A only)... rifle salute (rifle shots on effects roll A, walla on effects roll B). The camera turns, trucks in toward the funeral party. Close up of the young widow from above. She pulls back her veil and looks up at the camera as the French horns play... looks up and says "If only he'd checked his density altitude!" Cut to a shot of the grave. Music tapers down and we fade to a studio cyclorama with a narrator in front talking about density altitude.

Corporate training stuff hasn't been "pretty good quality" for years.
--scott
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