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mixing...telephone music?
Old 23rd July 2007
  #1
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hw2nw's Avatar
 

mixing...telephone music?

Hey all, I've got a cool job on my plate, I'm redoing the voiceover/hold music for a company since it's over 10 years old. It'll consist of basic instrumental in the back and male voice work talking about the website/services/etc. I'm wondering if any of you have advice for perfecting the mix to sound the best it can on a telephone line (taming frequencies, mixing ideas)? Certainly not a normal task, but exciting nonetheless. I don't think I'll have any test runs to try it out so I'd like to get it as optimal as possible.

Thanks!
Old 23rd July 2007
  #2
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Good mix is a good mix. Telephone, Genelec speakers, Pa system at a bad venue, does'nt matter. Good luck checking for bass response over a telephone.

Just make sure it sounds good on your system, convert it into an mp3 and check it on a laptop.
Old 23rd July 2007
  #3
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Maybe try monitoring through an Altiverb or other convolution telephone?
Old 23rd July 2007
  #4
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minister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hle144 View Post
Good mix is a good mix. Telephone, Genelec speakers, Pa system at a bad venue, does'nt matter. Good luck checking for bass response over a telephone.

Just make sure it sounds good on your system, convert it into an mp3 and check it on a laptop.
i don't fully agree with this.

when i do phone prompts, i often make the audio a bit brighter than i might normally -- but not TOO bright.

best thing to do it is get on the phone or voice mail

take a gander at this :
Interfacing Audio and POTS
Old 23rd July 2007
  #5
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The telephone bandwidth is roughly something like 300Hz to 3,3KHz. Mix with such filters on your masterbus maybe? Kinda the same idea as using a telephone impulse response, but maybe faster to set up and almost as good
Old 23rd July 2007
  #6
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As one of the other posters mentioned - a good mix is a good mix.

There are some things to keep in mind:
1) any digital conversion (T1 lines etc), audio playback will be at 8kHz 8 bit.
2) the frequency on a phone line will be limited between roughly 300Hz and 4000-z

So once you have your mix for the MOH sounding good, set up an EQ on the master bus and steeply roll off everything above 4k and everything below 300hz and see if the mix falls apart. If you are using a music bed with a male voice-over then dip the music slightly (1-2db) around 200Hz. For female dip around 500Hz. Also watch the sssss and Ps. When the phone system codecs convert the audio a lot of line noise will get introduced and make any lower frequency sibilance that much more noticeable.


Depending on the quality of the phone system's codecs you may want to test bounce a version with the EQ already filtered and see which one sounds better through the phone equipment. Most new IVRs and Auto-Attendants have pretty decent filters and converters built in so that any well mixed music/VO will sound decent.
Old 23rd July 2007
  #7
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Something else I thought of... make sure your audio sounds good in mono. You might just want to mix/bounce it mono to begin with.
Old 23rd July 2007
  #8
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Best advice that works for me:
Roll off below 200hz and above 9,000hz. Bump slightly at 2,000hz.
Compress and limit the heck out of it.
Yes on the mono file, too.
Processing steps for telephony voice prompts...

Willie E.
Vocal Impact Media

Last edited by jowillie; 23rd July 2007 at 04:04 PM.. Reason: added search link
Old 26th July 2007
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Hello,

Try to mix this through a phone.

When I do on hold messages, I'll get it close on the Genelecs. Then with a Gentner hybrid phone box, I'll tweek the mix while monitoring through the telephone speaker.

More often than not, the music needs to drop because with such limited bandwith, the music and VO are fighting for space.

good luck!
Old 27th July 2007
  #10
I think making sure that you get rid of any sonic information that will absolutely NOT be reproduced through a phone's speaker ( IE-anything below 100HZ) and boosting the top end just a touch (as someone previously said) will definitely help out. And I agree 100% with playing it back on crappy, tiny speakers. Laptop speakers, as someone suggested, rule for this purpose.
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