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Old 02-03-2018, 04:54 PM   #16
Alcove Audio
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Originally Posted by C9_Pizzaguy View Post
Interesting that you changed your gear around the one mic so much.
That's because, as we have pointed out, a quality mic will last for years. Studio engineers at the "big" studios bid furiously for mics that were made in the 30's, 40's and 50's.

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Originally Posted by C9_Pizzaguy View Post
Which type of mic is best for recording ambient sound?
A mic specifically for recording ambient sound would be a poor choice for recording dialog. When I record ambient sound I use a stereo mic or a matched pair of mics. (BTW, I rent those mics, the field recorder and mixer; I don't use them enough to justify the expense to my business.) As far as a mic for production sound a short shotgun or a hypercardioid are the usual choices; short shotguns are primarily used outdoors and hypercardioids are primarily used indoors.

As far as not being able to afford to retain someone to do production sound, I'm sure there are a few sound types in the Netherlands who would love to work on your project(s) in order to gain experience in exchange for a good meal and a token stipend.



If you really want a cheapo list, here goes:

Audio-Technica ATR6550 Shotgun
Zoom H1n recorder
On-Stage MBP7000 Boom Pole
Audio-Technica AT8410A Shock Mount
Pro Co Sound MasterMike XLR Male to XLR Female Cable - 30'
Sony MDR-7506 Headphones


I take no responsibility for the quality or usability of any of these products as I have not used any of them with the exception of the MDR-7506 cans.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by C9_Pizzaguy View Post
audio is mostly about technique and style anyway
That simplifies things in the beginning.
I hope you become so good later that you go beyond that & place equal importance on the audio.
But I like your thriftiness. I put off buying most things until I finally need it so I can save money for food & bills.
Work on making those 1 min. videos great & then get incrementally longer. Focus on great content & subject matter until you find you really need better equipment. I have terrible attention span so I look forward to your 1 min. videos

I’ve been using the Rode VideoMic Pro. It’s better for dialog than my camera’s built-in mic, which gave me a lot of background hum/hiss. There’s a used one on ebay for $150, they’re usually around $200. I got it because many YouTube creators recommend Rode mics as cheap but decent.

I got the more expensive VideoMic Pro instead of the regular VideoMic & VideoMic Go because of a switch on the back that lets you record at +20 dB, which lets you set a lower record level to avoid hum/hiss. I haven’t used it with a boompole so maybe someone here can tell you if it’s okay with that. I’ve mostly used it mounted onto the camera & in ADR to fix dialog I recorded with my built-in mic, before I learned how much time it saves to use a boom on the shoot. If your actor doesn’t move around a lot you can put the boom mic on a C-stand & point it the way Alcove Audio said.
Keep in mind I’m no expert like others here.

Last edited by buscando; 02-03-2018 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:38 PM   #18
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A mic specifically for recording ambient sound would be a poor choice for recording dialog. When I record ambient sound I use a stereo mic or a matched pair of mics. (BTW, I rent those mics, the field recorder and mixer; I don't use them enough to justify the expense to my business.) As far as a mic for production sound a short shotgun or a hypercardioid are the usual choices; short shotguns are primarily used outdoors and hypercardioids are primarily used indoors.
Thanks for that advice. Really gives me a bit more of a clear idea in what I need to use in the situation.
Will also read that book where I should find more of this type of information.

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As far as not being able to afford to retain someone to do production sound, I'm sure there are a few sound types in the Netherlands who would love to work on your project(s) in order to gain experience in exchange for a good meal and a token stipend.
I'll see what I can do as an 18 year old with little to no experience and not living around Amsterdam
I will try though. Who knows.

Quote:
If you really want a cheapo list, here goes:

Audio-Technica ATR6550 Shotgun
Zoom H1n recorder
On-Stage MBP7000 Boom Pole
Audio-Technica AT8410A Shock Mount
Pro Co Sound MasterMike XLR Male to XLR Female Cable - 30'
Sony MDR-7506 Headphones


I take no responsibility for the quality or usability of any of these products as I have not used any of them with the exception of the MDR-7506 cans.
Thx for the cheapo list. I'll look around a bit more and see on what parts I want to spend more.
Or maybe add a lav mic to it. I wouldn't know how to record (Extreme) Long Shot audio
without it. Maybe in post.
And I'm sure the products will be fine, unless I get a bad copy.

---------

Quote:
That simplifies things in the beginning.
I hope you become so good later that you go beyond that & place equal importance on the audio.
I feel like I'm placing more importance on audio than I've done on any other part of filmmaking.
Maybe it's still not enough. We'll see. And I likely won't become any good. Just mathematically
speaking.

And what I meant by that 'technique and style are mostly what matters' is that I've heard cheap
mics work when used right and within the right style of movie. Sure, it's listening to it with my
bad quality, branded, over-expensive headphones. But that's what most consumers have.

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But I like your thriftiness. I put off buying most things until I finally need it so I can save money for food & bills.
Work on making those 1 min. videos great & then get incrementally longer. Focus on great content & subject matter until you find you really need better equipment. I have terrible attention span so I look forward to your 1 min. videos
Thanks. And I'm sorry you need to save up so much for food and bills. I'm greatly
privileged from that perspective.
And I'll be sure to post my stuff once I find I don't have to puke when pressing the play button.

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I got the more expensive VideoMic Pro instead of the regular VideoMic & VideoMic Go because of a switch on the back that lets you record at +20 dB, which lets you set a lower record level to avoid hum/hiss. I havenít used it with a boompole so maybe someone here can tell you if itís okay with that. Iíve mostly used it mounted onto the camera & in ADR to fix dialog I recorded with my built-in mic, before I learned how much time it saves to use a boom on the shoot. If your actor doesnít move around a lot you can put the boom mic on a C-stand & point it the way Alcove Audio said.
Keep in mind Iím no expert like others here.
Heard a lot of good stuff about it on YouTube as well. I'll probably just get something cheap
with stuff to customize and start shooting. Something from Alcove's list. Different settings.
Different pop filter. Different set-ups, like distance. Different situations, like rain. See how
it goes and what it does. See what that specific mic is best for.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:01 AM   #19
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I wouldn't know how to record (Extreme) Long Shot audio without it. Maybe in post.
Extremely wide shots rarely use sync sound. The camera is too far away and framed way too wide to get a boomed mic in there, and wireless lav systems just donít sound right for a wider shot anyway. The actors are also generally so far away from the camera that lip sync isnít an issue. How many wide shots come in behind the actors? With their backs turned, sound can go anywhere.

In these cases, dialog from an alternate take is used under the wide shot.

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Originally Posted by C9_Pizzaguy View Post
I feel like I'm placing more importance on audio than I've done on any other part of filmmaking.
Maybe it's still not enough. We'll see. And I likely won't become any good. Just mathematically
speaking.
Mathematically speaking? What does that even mean?

Practice makes perfect. Great sound isnít easy, but itís not difficult to get to a functional level just by getting hands-on (ears-on?) and learning from mistakes and experimentation. Sound deserves that extra effort.

Camera work and lighting are also intense artforms, but the difference there is that you can see them immediately. Theyíre visually tangible. Sound? Not so much.

You can get an ultra-cheap kit now and struggle to get something you want out of garbage gear. At that point, you may give up just because youíre struggling to learn on stuff that isnít worth learning on. Get something just a little bit better that may still be classified as disposable technology but will still have a bit longer of a shelf life and yeild much better results. No need to sink $10K into a full audio kit now, but maybe stretch just a little past your $200. As Bob said earlier in the thread, form good habits now.

The Tascam DR-40 is a good starting place because itís a functional multitasker. XLR inputs mean that you can use it to record from your boomed shotgun. The on-board stereo mics mean that you can use the recorder by itself to record ambient sounds, SFX, etc.

Iíd suggest this as your starting kit:

DR-40 with furry windscreen for the stereo mics.
Audio Technica AT-875 shotgun mic kit with boom pole, shock mount, and windscreen.
Two 15í XLR mic cables (never, ever go out with just one cable... if one goes bad, youíll have a backup)
Sony MDR-7506 headphones.

And some sort of case/bag. Strut makes one for the DR-40 that actually has the furry windscreen sewn on. Includes loops for a neck/shoulder strap.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:51 AM   #20
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Extremely wide shots rarely use sync sound. The camera is too far away and framed way too wide to get a boomed mic in there, and wireless lav systems just donít sound right for a wider shot anyway. The actors are also generally so far away from the camera that lip sync isnít an issue. How many wide shots come in behind the actors? With their backs turned, sound can go anywhere.

In these cases, dialog from an alternate take is used under the wide shot.
Interesting. I wasn't sure on how to do those type of shots. So you would, in most cases, record the dialogue from really wide shots on location after the take or maybe in post. And let's say it's a normal conversation (no dreamy/nightmare theme or anything) you would just make the sounds a bit softer, right? That way you can reflect the distance and make it sound more natural, right?

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Mathematically speaking? What does that even mean?
That only a small percentage becomes ''good''. So the odds are against everyone trying to become good. It refers to a certain sentence which said: ''if I become good''

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Practice makes perfect. Great sound isnít easy, but itís not difficult to get to a functional level just by getting hands-on (ears-on?) and learning from mistakes and experimentation. Sound deserves that extra effort.

Camera work and lighting are also intense artforms, but the difference there is that you can see them immediately. Theyíre visually tangible. Sound? Not so much.
You're right. And I do need to pay special attention to sound, as pretty much anything recording not on the camera's mic sounds good to me. If that's not the case for everyone, that's a point in which I need to become at least as critical as my audience.

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You can get an ultra-cheap kit now and struggle to get something you want out of garbage gear. At that point, you may give up just because youíre struggling to learn on stuff that isnít worth learning on. Get something just a little bit better that may still be classified as disposable technology but will still have a bit longer of a shelf life and yield much better results. No need to sink $10K into a full audio kit now, but maybe stretch just a little past your $200. As Bob said earlier in the thread, form good habits now.
For one, I will need the headphones so I can actually hear the stuff I'm recording the way it actually is. So that's gonna get me up me to $280. I didn't budget for headphones. I reckon I could go to around $450 to get all the stuff you recommended, but do it in little steps.

Not like I can learn the in-and-outs of 2 devices at the same time anyway. So I would start with the audio recorder and get a storage card with that. Then learn that stuff, until I feel like I can produce the sounds with it that the device is meant to produce. Then get the boom pole with shotgun mic and learn that.

Quote:
The Tascam DR-40 is a good starting place because itís a functional multitasker. XLR inputs mean that you can use it to record from your boomed shotgun. The on-board stereo mics mean that you can use the recorder by itself to record ambient sounds, SFX, etc.

Iíd suggest this as your starting kit:

DR-40 with furry windscreen for the stereo mics.
Audio Technica AT-875 shotgun mic kit with boom pole, shock mount, and windscreen.
Two 15í XLR mic cables (never, ever go out with just one cable... if one goes bad, youíll have a backup)
Sony MDR-7506 headphones.

And some sort of case/bag. Strut makes one for the DR-40 that actually has the furry windscreen sewn on. Includes loops for a neck/shoulder strap.
Thx for the list. I'll look at this post a few more times so I know what to get.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:21 AM   #21
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Interesting. I wasn't sure on how to do those type of shots. So you would, in most cases, record the dialogue from really wide shots on location after the take or maybe in post. And let's say it's a normal conversation (no dreamy/nightmare theme or anything) you would just make the sounds a bit softer, right? That way you can reflect the distance and make it sound more natural, right?
Assuming the scene has a wide establishing shot, that shot will be recorded MOS (a fancy industry term for “without sound”). The actual dialog scene is shot several times: once on a wider shot, and 2-3 times, or more, with varying close-ups, over-the-shoulder shots, etc. Dialog is recorded with each take. The final edit is a composite of the best audio and video from all takes.

The establishing shot will utilize dialog from one of the other shots, layered with ambient sound beds and other SFX.

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That only a small percentage becomes ''good''. So the odds are against everyone trying to become good. It refers to a certain sentence which said: ''if I become good''
Putting yourself into a box like that is giving up before you even start. Snap out of it, dude. Odds mean very little if you actually practice and work to learn and improve.

There was another (now former) member around here who wasted everyone’s time for years because he always had a reason that any piece of advice given wouldn’t work. It didn’t matter what we said. We’d get, “Okay thanks. But...”

Don’t be that guy.

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Originally Posted by C9_Pizzaguy View Post
Not like I can learn the in-and-outs of 2 devices at the same time anyway. So I would start with the audio recorder and get a storage card with that. Then learn that stuff, until I feel like I can produce the sounds with it that the device is meant to produce. Then get the boom pole with shotgun mic and learn that.
But... learning to use the recorder with the boomed shotgun is part of learning the recorder’s ins and outs. It’s about learning to gain stage your mic, which is a function of the recorder. It’s about learning to set proper recording levels. This is the overall dialog recording process.

And you aren’t going to get anything useful other than ambient sound beds and SFX with the recorder by itself. If you try to get any kind of on-camera dialog recording with just the recorder then you have dropped yourself right in the middle of forming bad habits up front.

By the way, which camera are you using?

Last edited by AcousticAl; 02-04-2018 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 02-04-2018, 01:50 PM   #22
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I'll take your advice and see how I can improve.

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By the way, which camera are you using?
Currently using a Nikon D3100 camera.
Got the camera from someone passing away in the family, sadly. It rebooted my interest in filmmaking though. I didn't own a camera outside of a webcam and phone before and never really bothered.

So far I've only spend around $140 to get 2 books, a Nikon battery and a SD card. So I guess I'll splash some cash on my audio gear. And I'm looking to invest in an extra lens cap and small tripod.

Likely won't be doing much more outdoor shooting until Saturday. Busy week coming up. I hope I can order the gear online around Tuesday, so I can play with it and ask some questions if needed.

I'll do some camera experiments with small toys and objects if I find time before Saturday.
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:57 PM   #23
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Currently using a Nikon D3100 camera.
Sorry you came into the camera under such circumstances, but glad that it has given you some inspiration.

The D3100 has no connection for external audio, so your only option to record even halfway-decent sound is to go with a second system (separate audio recorder and microphone). DSLRs in general have terrible sound capabilities, but it’s not even possible to start there with your camera.

So we’re back to the mic and recorder. Bob has mentioned earlier that you should retain a sound specialist to take care of your sound recording. That’s great advice, and even on an extremely beginner hobbyist level it may be worth recruiting a friend who also has interest in learning to make short films and may want to learn sound. It’s impossible to boom a mic and run a camera at the same time (impossible? At least clumsy and highly ill-advised...). A stationary mic on a boom stand doesn’t cover blocking in a scene unless the actors stand perfectly still.

Seriously... if you have some friends who are interested in this stuff, form a small crew of beginners. 2 or 3 people to work behind the camera. It’s more fun with a team, anyway.

Last edited by AcousticAl; 02-04-2018 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:46 PM   #24
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I reckon that would be because you know all the ins and outs of audio.
I have some experience, not as much as Alcove. I'm still learning.

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You may have a studio headset. You would maybe never like the audio from a Zoom H1.
I use a H1 to record place holder audio until we record with gear that better suits. My suggestion comes from a place of experience, not elitism.

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The average movie watcher wouldn't mind as long as you use the gear well.
I wholeheartedly agree, how you use the gear matters more than the gear itself. This also assumes you're talking about gear that hits minimum requirements for the task at hand.

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So when audio gear gets me a 5% bigger audience, I'm not willing to spend +200%. I basically just need audio gear that can do more than close-up speaking, which is the only thing that the in-build camera mic can handle and sound half-decent after editing. (Sure, not cinema level, but average at-home watcher level)
If audio from the camera up close is as good as you need I'm going to suggest something a little different to Alcove. It might be just what you need, but you really need to take into consideration what you're planning on shooting. This suits more typical youtube videos as opposed to more serious narrative films. Look at grabbing a Rode Lav mic for about $50-$100, plug it into your iPhone and click on record. See if that gives you the audio you need. I think you'll find you'll get about the same quality as you'd get with your H1. You'll have to work out a way to get around clothes noise and other challenges (like monitoring etc). It'll get you about 50-60% of the way, but that might be the spot you're aiming for.... and for a bonus at a fraction of the price.

If you need to step up your gear, you'll want to consider investing more than what you're looking at right now.
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:35 AM   #25
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I'll do some camera experiments with small toys and objects if I find time before Saturday.
Okay, let's all step back for a moment.

You have to understand, Pizza, and I'm sure that it's painfully obvious, that directorik, indietalk and Sweetie are passionate about audio. From our handles - Acoustic Al & Alcove Audio - it's a baseball bat between the eyes obvious that we are obsessed with sound-for-picture and sound in general.

I get it, you're funds are extremely limited. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. So keep it simple. You can do "silent" films. You can get a free DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Audacity. There are some usable free plug-ins out there, as well as free sound libraries. Load in an image you've taken and give it a new atmosphere, or try to recreate from your sound library something like a passing vehicle or a dog. I guess what I'm saying is work at sound the other way; see what you can convey with sound and visuals only. Picking between three different car passes that all fit but sound entirely different can be a real education and that's what you're looking for.
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:53 AM   #26
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So weíre back to the mic and recorder. Bob has mentioned earlier that you should retain a sound specialist to take care of your sound recording. Thatís great advice, and even on an extremely beginner hobbyist level it may be worth recruiting a friend who also has interest in learning to make short films and may want to learn sound. Itís impossible to boom a mic and run a camera at the same time (impossible? At least clumsy and highly ill-advised...). A stationary mic on a boom stand doesnít cover blocking in a scene unless the actors stand perfectly still.
I'll get one or two friends to help me out behind the camera. (Hopefully someone is interested ) Even if they have no experience at all, I do agree with you that's its better to have a regular setup so it's not as clumsy. And while filming your friends will get better too.

Sweetie
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I have some experience, not as much as Alcove. I'm still learning.
Yeah, I figured one can criticize the quality of audio by putting the volume up and listening to the noise. And I learned that within a movie, sound must follow certain obvious rules, like consistency. So it would be important to get a mic that picks up audio consistently. Probably many others things you can watch out for that I've never heard of. Tell me if I'm wrong or if I'm missing something.

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I wholeheartedly agree, how you use the gear matters more than the gear itself. This also assumes you're talking about gear that hits minimum requirements for the task at hand.
Right. And is it true that better gear can be used in more situations? I do get that pretty much everything cheap is produced in such a way which causes noise/unrealistic capture/inconsistency.

Quote:
If audio from the camera up close is as good as you need I'm going to suggest something a little different to Alcove. It might be just what you need, but you really need to take into consideration what you're planning on shooting. This suits more typical youtube videos as opposed to more serious narrative films. Look at grabbing a Rode Lav mic for about $50-$100, plug it into your iPhone and click on record. See if that gives you the audio you need. I think you'll find you'll get about the same quality as you'd get with your H1. You'll have to work out a way to get around clothes noise and other challenges (like monitoring etc). It'll get you about 50-60% of the way, but that might be the spot you're aiming for.... and for a bonus at a fraction of the price.

If you need to step up your gear, you'll want to consider investing more than what you're looking at right now.
I do want something a few levels up on camera mics. It only starts to sound half-decent after editing, and that's only when dialogue is recorded from close to the mouth, without being outside as the wind would cause tons of noise.

So something 1 level up on the Rode Lav mic. Pretty much the best piece of gear at around $150 to $200. Looking at a shotgun mic and a recorder. So around $350 for the recorder + shotgun mic together. And then getting all needed accessoires for those. I reckon I could do with that for a few years.

But thanks for the recommendation anyway, and I may just pick up something really cheap to see how bad it is. I guess I could return or resell it afterwards. And if I can't, I don't lose much and have some personal practical experience with it.

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You have to understand, Pizza, and I'm sure that it's painfully obvious, that directorik, indietalk and Sweetie are passionate about audio. From our handles - Acoustic Al & Alcove Audio - it's a baseball bat between the eyes obvious that we are obsessed with sound-for-picture and sound in general.
I do get that. I think what I'm trying to say is that at this stage it's too much of a risk to get the better gear, but getting the worst stuff will just be painful to listen to. I need a balance. Gear that I can work with for a few years at most until I upgrade or have a sound member. Gear that, with the right technique, can make sound that casuals love, sound that the passionate will be okay with, and sound that the experts won't like but are willing to listen to if the story is good.
I think that gear is the stuff that you two recommended. Not the cheapo list, but the stuff around $150-200 per piece. Would you agree with me on that?

Quote:
I get it, you're funds are extremely limited. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. So keep it simple. You can do "silent" films. You can get a free DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Audacity. There are some usable free plug-ins out there, as well as free sound libraries. Load in an image you've taken and give it a new atmosphere, or try to recreate from your sound library something like a passing vehicle or a dog. I guess what I'm saying is work at sound the other way; see what you can convey with sound and visuals only. Picking between three different car passes that all fit but sound entirely different can be a real education and that's what you're looking for.
Right. I do think it's important to see your limitations and be creative around them. For the project I'm working on right now, I did download some 'free for commercial use' sounds and play with them. It's just that certain sounds like footsteps are hard to do the same to and still have it sound good. Dialogue isn't part of my current project.

I do have Audacity for sound editing. So far I've only really used it for editing dialogue from my Blue Yeti, which I already own a few years now. (I don't plan on using it for filmmaking, apart from for small camera experiments with toys.)

But I'll look into the free sound libraries and play with them. See what different versions of the same type of sound do for the feel of the scene, as you recommend.

And someone gave me the tip to tell a story just through sound, so I'll try that with the free library, and then later, with my own recorded sound.

----

Once again thanks for all the feedback, tips and opinions. It really has helped me to understand audio better.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:50 AM   #27
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And someone gave me the tip to tell a story just through sound, so I'll try that with the free library, and then later, with my own recorded sound.
Watch silent films. Check out the pre-"Toy Story" Pixar shorts (all with no dialog) and Wall-E (which has limited dialog). Check out YouTube for videos on Sound Design. Ben Burtt, Randy Thom, Walter Murch and Gary Rydstrom are a few guys to start with.

Here's a few videos to give you some inspiration:





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Old 02-05-2018, 01:41 PM   #28
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I'll be sure to post my stuff once I find I don't have to puke when pressing the play button.
Good luck & have fun. You seem to have a healthy attitude.
And don't underestimate those pukey videos. A poison treatment center may be able to use them to help induce vomiting with appropriate victims haha
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:00 PM   #29
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Watch silent films. Check out the pre-"Toy Story" Pixar shorts (all with no dialog) and Wall-E (which has limited dialog). Check out YouTube for videos on Sound Design. Ben Burtt, Randy Thom, Walter Murch and Gary Rydstrom are a few guys to start with.
Thank you very much. Watched the first video and I'm already inspired (and scared). I think that's a good thing.

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Good luck & have fun. You seem to have a healthy attitude.
And don't underestimate those pukey videos. A poison treatment center may be able to use them to help induce vomiting with appropriate victims haha
Thanks. And that's a good joke. Chuckled me up. May just use it in one of the pukey movies, or on a movie on movies, which every filmmaker seems to do at some point.
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:02 PM   #30
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The other option is to find someone in love with sound and pair up. That way he gets your visuals and you get his sound.
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