mediacollege.com (No Date) ‘Sound Waves’
This week we are focusing on another audio skill, specifically recording voices for specific situations. I will also be completing two practical tasks this week to put into practice what I have learnt about recording voices in different situations. I will make sure to focus on different problems that I may face throughout the task, and evaluate the solutions that I have managed to come up with. I am really interested to learn about why and how recording audio changes depending on location, situation and reason for filming.
Soffar, H. (2016) ‘What is the difference between the transverse waves and the longitudinal waves’
Longitudinal waves are was where the vibrations are along the same direction as the direction of travel. Longitudinal waves move along using ‘compression, and ‘rarefactions’
Transverse waves have vibrations that are a right angles to the direction of which it is travelling.
Here is a short, informative video explaining both Longitudinal and Transerve waves. This video helped me to solidify and improve my level of understanding of these types of waves:
Doodle science (2013) ‘Transverse and Longitudinal Waves | GCSE Physics | Doodle Science’
SmugMug (No Date) ‘amplitude of sound waves’
The amplitude measures how loud the sound will be. Amplitude is measured from the crest to the trough of the wave. As you can see by the illustration above, the bigger the gap between crest and trough, the louder the sound.
Here is a short video that talks about wavelength and amplitude. This video helped me to understand in slightly more details the steps that are taken to measure amplitude, as well as giving me even more knowledge and understanding of wavelength and amplitude:
Thenewboston (2012) ‘Physics Lecture – 37 – Wavelength and Amplitude’
The frequency of a wave depends on two variables: the amplitude and time. The higher the amplitude and the shorter amount of time, the higher the frequency. The frequency of the wave is measured by the number of waves produced by a source each second.
The Human Audio Spectrum
The human ear is able to hear (in general) 20Hz – 20kHz. Other animals, such as dogs, can hear a lot higher than humans. This is why we cannot hear dog whistles, as they are of a higher frequency than what we can actually hear. To explain this further I have found a video that shows the human audio spectrum. As you get older, the range at which you can here can reduce, this is because as you get older, some of the hairs that pick up the sound waves vibrations have been damaged.
adminofthissite (2012) ’20Hz to 20kHz (Human Audio Spectrum)’
Recording voices in different situations:
When recording audio, there are a variety of factors that need to be considered to make sure that you are recording the highest quality audio possible. Some of the most important factor to consider when recording voices in different situations are as followed:
R Nave (No Date) ‘Moving Microphone Closer to Source’
One of the most important factors that must be considered when recording audio is the distance from which the microphone is from the person. If the microphone is too close the the person or object in question, then the audio can become distorted. On the other hand, if the microphone is too far away from the subject, then the song will not be picked up enough, and therefore the quality of the piece will be every reduced. Also, if the microphone is too far away from the subject, then unwanted ambient sound could be picked up, which will also distort and ruin the shot.
Kroll N (2015) ‘Scoring Great Film Locations On A Budget’
Another important factor that must be considered when thinking about recording voices in different situations is the location in question. If the location in question ins extremely loud, then a microphone with a small pickup pattern may be something to consider. IS the area in question even suitable to be recording the audio in, or will the audio itself have to be recorded separately?
Another thing to consider when trying to capture audio is would you like to record audio for a certain amount of time to just pick up the ambient sound of the room. This way, you can make sure that the audio makes sense when it comes to the area that the scene is set in. For example, if you were filming in a resterant, the voices of two individuals would not be the only thing that you could hear. Adding ambient sound can help to add to the overall atmosphere of the scene, so this is another really important think to consider.
Bloguje, S. (Not Date) ‘Chora’
Another thing that often gets overlooked is what is the purpose of the audio? if the audio is for an interview, then you would want to film audio in a really loud area. You may want some background noise in an interview, as otehrwise there is only a single isolated voice. This may be slightly bland for the audience, adding other elements of audio can hel ti keepy the audience interested in the audio itself.
RadioShqip (No Date) ’48 inch TV led ?’
Yet another extremely important element to think when thinking about recording voices in different situations is what microphone is best to use. Some examples of microphones that could be used include:
- Dynamic Microphones:Dynamic microphones are versatile and ideal for general purpose use. By this I mean that they use a reasonably simple an affective design that doesn’t have very many moving parts. This means that overall it is quite sturdy and furthermore good for rough handling, so if you needed to move it around a lot when you are on set.
- Condenser Microphones:Condenser microphones actually require power from batteries, or another different external source. This is a negative aspect of a condenser microphone. Condenser microphones are also more sensitive to sound, meaning the audio signal is stronger than that of a dynamic microphone. This can be both a positive and a negative attribute of the microphone. This is due to the fact that, because condenser microphones are much more sensitive to sound, that they are not ideal for high volume sounds because if the sound gets too loud it will become distorted, lowing the quality significantly.
- Lapel Microphone:Lapel microphones are much smaller microphones that you use when you want ot use to isolate sound to a specific person. For example if you were performing on stage in a Christmas Pantomime, each main character could have their own lapel microphone so they could all move around the stage and talk to each other whilst being heard.
polar pickup patterns
Los Senderos Studio (2014) ‘Microphone Pickup Patterns’
Polar pickup patterns are also another important element to consider when thinknig about filming voices in different locaitons. Polar pickup patterns are the range the microphone can pick up sound.
picks up audio equally well from all sources. It records ‘Ambient’ sounds, able to record more than one person talking.
Different areas where wthis polar pickup pattern would be the most benificial:
the type of microphone that only picks up sound from a specific direction or side of the microphone.
“Heart Shaped” pattern which can also be considered as unidirectional. Most sensitive at the very tip of the microphone. It picks up sound within 120 degrees or the direction the microphone is facing in. Very little sound is picked up from the sides.
- Hyper Cardioid:
Hyper Cardioid has a slightly narrower pick up than Cardioid. It is very similar to Cardioid with a little background ambience. It has a tighter, 100 degree pick up. To put it simply, it rejects more sound from the side but a little more from behind.
- Super Cardioid:
Super cardioid microphones have a little narrower pickup than a cardioid microphone. This is because Super Cardioid have a greater rejection of ambient sound. Unfortunately though, Super Cardioid microphones do have some pickup at the rear of the microphone, so you have to be very careful to be quiet when recording others. Super Cardioid microphones are perfect for recording just one source as they are the most resistant to feedback.
- Figure of eight (Bidirectional):
Bidirectional microphones have a figure of eight polar pickup patterns. This means that the microphone picks up sound from both sides of the microphone (the front and the back of the microphone but not the sides.)
problems and solutions
Ring, S. (2015) ‘DON’T BRING ME PROBLEMS … BRING ME SOLUTIONS’
The final factor that I wanted to talk about is problems and solutions. Problems often occuser when doing practical tasks. The important part to this is taking a step back, and working out reasonable solutions in a short amount of time. To reduce the amount of problems that take place in production, things such as a location recce should take place in pre-production. This was, there will be less problems relating to the location in which filming is taking place to record the voices.
Another common problem can be technichal problems with microphones. To reduce the risk of this happening, a solution to this could be to test all of the equiptment before leaving for filming.
An example of recording a voice in an office:
An office interview
Jakobsen. M. (2016) ‘Why It Might Be Time to Abandon the Office’
Problems you may face:
- Ambient sound: The ambient sound could be a problem when filming an office interview. Although, you don’t want there to be no ambient sound. This is because ambient sound helps to set the tone and helps set the scene of the environment. If there is only the sound of the individual being interviewed then this can seem out of place, and pull the audience out of the interview.
- Find a slightly quieter location in the office
- record audio of the office separately so you can easily change the level of ambient sound compared to that of the person being interviewed
- Find out if there are any systems you can turn off. For example, if you are doing the interview near a printer, you could find out if you could turn it off whilst the interview is taking place. This will ensure that you are not disturbed as much when you are recording your audio.
What Microphone and polar pickup pattern would you use:
You could easily use a lav microphone to record the interview. lav microphones are much smaller microphones that you use when you want to isolate sound to a specific person. This would be practical for a close up office interview, as the microphone would not be present in the shot, and would isolate the sound the specific person. One problem of using this microphone is that it can rub on the clothing that the person is wearing, distorting the sound.
Possible Polar Pickup Patterns:
“Heart Shaped” pattern which can also be considered as unidirectional. Most sensitive at the very tip of the microphone. It picks up sound within 120 degrees or the direction the microphone is facing in. Very little sound is picked up from the sides. This means that unneeded ambient sound wont be pickup as much, and therefore you will be able to focus on the voice of the individual being interviewed.
picks up audio equally well from all sources. It records ‘Ambient’ sounds, able to record more than one person talking. This pickup pattern would be practical if you wanted to pick up noise from both the individual being interviewing as well as the person interviewing.
First Audio Task:
For this weeks first practical task, we were challenged to use three different microphones, and to record some audio in three different environments:
- Inside: quiet and enclosed space
- Inside: Open environment
- Outside area
I am really interested to learn more about different types of microphone, and to discuss and evaluate how affective each microphone was in each environment. The quality of the sound in a film in said to be, in some cases, even more important than the visuals. If the quality of the sound is low, then the whole production then automatically seem cheap and poorly made. This is why I think it is incredibly important to ensure that I am educated and informed when it comes to audio skills.
I will make sure to note down any problems that I have when recording my audio, and discuss and evaluate the solution that we came up with.
The microphones used in this task:
Top Found Footage Films (No Date) ‘Rode NTG 2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone – Discover The Sound’
Shot gun microphones are directional, and they must be pointed directly at the subject in question. They are commonly used at conferences and speeches, as they would pick up the speakers voice, but not pick up other soudns that may disrupt the main speaker. It is most useful when the person is beng filmed close up, as the microphone needs to be directly pointing towards the subject ot pick up the audio effectively.
Califone (2017) ‘Electret Lapel Microphone’
Lapel microphones are much smaller microphones that you use when you want ot use to isolate sound to a specific person. For example if you were performing on stage in a Christmas Pantomime, each main character could have their own lapel microphone so they could all move around the stage and talk to each other whilst being heard.
Samson (2017) ‘Q7 – Professional Dynamic Microphone’
Dynamic microphones are versatile and ideal for general purpose use. By this I mean that they use a reasonably simple an affective design that doesn’t have very many moving parts. This means that overall it is quite sturdy and furthermore good for rough handling, so if you needed to move it around a lot when you are on set.
Evaluation of the first audio task:
- Shotgun microphone in an outside environment:
This shotgun microphone has actually picked up a large amount of background noise. This could have been because of the area that the piece of audio was filmed in ( an outside environment is busier and has more background noise). Although the background noise does not interfere with the clarity of the recording, this could become irrigating if the audio that was being recorded was meant to just be isolating the speakers voice.
- Lav microphone in an outside environment:
The Lav microphone sounded very similar to that of the shotgun microphone in an outside environment, although the background noise is slightly quieter. The Lav microphone, in my opinion, was slightly more affective than the shotgun microphone, but in no way was is as affective as the dynamic microphone.
- Dynamic microphone in an outside environment:
Personally, I think that the Dynamic microphone is the most affective in this environment. There is no background noise noticeable at all, and the audio of the person talking is very crisp and clear.
- Shotgun, Lav and Dynamic microphones in an inside open space:
All of the clips in this environment sound almost identical. Each microphone picks up a large amount of background noise because of the environment that we recorded the audio in. There is an echo present in the environment that is also picked up from each microphone. If we wanted to record audio without an echo, then this environment would not have been suitable to film in at all.
- shotgun microphone in a quiet corridor:
The shotgun microphone was extremely crisp and clear in the environment, it picks up the sound of the person perfectly, and there is only a very low background noise, which does not ruin the audio at all.
- Lav microphone in a quiet corridor:
The quality of audio from the lapel microphone is extremely clear in this clip, and the quality of the persons voice is very high. Although, the sound of the persons voice in the background is also picked up extremely clearly. This was a quiet environment, but we were unable to avoid some interruption, so this could be a case of poor location choice. IF we had time to re record, we would have tried to find a quieter area to record in.
- Dynamic microphone in a quiet corridor:
The quality of the dynamic microphone is this environment is also very high. The background noise picked up is also extremely low, similar to the level of that picked up from the shotgun microphone in this area.
Second Audio Task
After having some experience of using different types of microphone, we will be conducting interviews incorporating recording both video and external audio. We will be syncing the audio and video in avid, and so we will be improving our skills in avid as well throughout this task.
Where the clips must be filmed:
- Exterior- medium close up, long shot
- Interior- Open space- medium close up, long shot
- Interior- Closed space- medium close up, long shot
The Final Practical Task:
Overall I am reasonably happy with how the final product turned out, although we did come across and variety of different problems that I will now evaluate and discuss.
For each medium close up shot we decided to use a shotgun microphone. We decided to do this because the shot is close enough to the individual for the microphone to be out of shot. This means that the shot isn’t ruined by a microphone being in shot.
One problem we did come across using the shotgun microphone was getting it to start recording. At first we struggled with the more technical elements of the microphone, but after getting a clear explanation we felt my educated and able to continue. We made sure that the levels were correct and then continued on with our project.
For each long shot we decided to use a lapel microphone. We decided to use this type of microphone because it would pick up the individuals voice and you can hide to microphone. This means that the shot isn’t ruined by a shotgun microphone being in shot, the audio is of a high quality, and the microphone can be hidden.
One problem we came across was hiding the microphone. At the time, because the task was to do with microphones, we did not think about hiding the mic. But if we were to do another task using a lapel microphone we would ensure that we had hidden the microphone well. We would make sure the the mic was not ruffling next to any piece of clothing and ensure that the sound quality was high, crisp and clear.
Other Problems and Solutions relating to this task:
One problem I have now noticed was the actor talking into the lapel microphone in the outside long shot. This means that the audio suddenly increases in volume.
to prevent this from happening in the future, I would make sure to discuss and talk to the actress more before filming begins.
Another problem that we faced was not positioning the Lapel mic correctly. We faced this problem on the interior, closed space long shot. The audition this shot did not turn out successful because the microphone is not facing towards the speaker, and so the audio is not being picking up correctly.
The solution to this problem would be taking a moment to stop, rethink the situation, and replace the microphone. If I was going to complete this task again I would make sure that we completed a variety of test runs to make sure that the microphone is in the best place possible, and is picking up the best possible sound. I would also make sure to recheck the mic just before the take to make sure noting has changed from the microphone setup to the take beginning
The final problem I will be discussing is picking up background noise. This was apparent in the interior open space and the exterior areas. Some background noise is unfortunately unavoidable because of the area we are filming in. Another problem we had due to location was echo. Echo can distort the sound and can ruin a take if this is not the sound you are going for.
The solution to this problem would be to either change locations, or try to record when to noise levels are lower.
Overall this week has been really interesting and informative. I have learnt a huge amount about different microphones and what types of environments are appropriate for them. I think that this week has really helped me develop as a creator, and has helped me to further understand the importance of audio in a production.
SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDBACK:
I managed to get over 50 likes on my post this week. I decided to experiment this week by leaving the link to the video and a screenshot, instead of the video itself. I definitely think i am more likely to receive feedback if I post the actual video, as it is a lot less effort for the viewer. I will do this from now on when possible.
I received three comments this week, all of which are rather simple, and don’t really give me any criticism or good feedback. I am going to try to follow some more filmmakers and creators. y doing this a will be showing my work to a wider audience,e as more creators and filmmakers have the chance of stumbling upon it.
I am really disappointed with the feedback on my twitter page this week. I only got one like on the spot this week. reflecting on this, I think that It would have been a lot easier for my audience if I had enabled my followers to just click and play the video. Making the post more visual would have allowed people to spot my post quickly, and therefore they would have been more likely to watch it and give me helpful feedback. I will make sure to do this in the future.
mediacollege.com (No Date) ‘Sound Waves’ Available at: http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/01/sound-waves.html (Last Accessed: 30 January 2017)
Soffar, H. (2016) ‘What is the difference between the transverse waves and the longitudinal waves’ Available at: http://www.online-sciences.com/the-waves/what-is-the-difference-between-the-transverse-waves-and-the-longitudinal-waves/ (Last Accessed: 30th January 2017)
MHS Chemistry (No Date) ‘Light, Waves and Energy’ Available at: http://www.dbooth.net/mhs/chem/lightenergy00.html (Last Accessed: 30th January 2017)
SmugMug (No Date) ‘amplitude of sound waves’ Available at: http://need-media.smugmug.com/keyword/Sound;amplitude/ (Last Accessed: 30th January 2017)
tutorvista (No Date) ‘Wave Frequency’ Available at: http://physics.tutorvista.com/waves/wave-frequency.html (Last Accessed: 30th January 2017)
Jakobsen. M. (2016) ‘Why It Might Be Time to Abandon the Office’ Available at: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/269498 (Last Accessed: 30th January 2017)
DesktopDocumentarires (No Date) ‘Different Types of Microphone’ Available at: http://www.desktop-documentaries.com/different-types-of-microphones.html (Last accessed: 30th January 2017)
R Nave (No Date) ‘Moving Microphone Closer to Source’ Available at: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Audio/pagi2.html (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Kroll, N. (2015) ‘Scoring Great Film Locations On A Budget’ Available at: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/scoring-great-film-locations-on-a-budget/ (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Bloguje, S. (No Date) ‘Chora’ Available at: http://salomeadzwonek.blox.pl/html (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
RadioShqip (No Date) ’48 inch TV led ?’ Available at: https://www.radioshqip.info/category/other (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Los Senderos Studio (2014) ‘Microphone Pickup Patterns’ Available at: http://lossenderosstudio.com/newsletter.php?issue=52 (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Ring, S. (2015) ‘DON’T BRING ME PROBLEMS … BRING ME SOLUTIONS’ Available at: http://www.destinationleadership.ca/blog/dont-bring-me-problems-bring-me-solutions/ (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Doodle science (2013) ‘Transverse and Longitudinal Waves | GCSE Physics | Doodle Science’ Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LkLj8TS9VI (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Thenewboston (2012) ‘Physics Lecture – 37 – Wavelength and Amplitude’ Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00OiptDj40w (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
adminofthissite (2012) ’20Hz to 20kHz (Human Audio Spectrum)’ Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNf9nzvnd1k (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Top Found Footage Films (No Date) ‘Rode NTG 2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone – Discover The Sound’ Available at: http://topfoundfootagefilms.com/rode-ntg-2-condenser-shotgun-microphone-discover-the-sound (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Califone (2017) ‘Electret Lapel Microphone’ Available at: http://www.califone.com/products/lm319.php (Last Accessed: 3rd March 2017)
Samson (2017) ‘Q7 – Professional Dynamic Microphone’ Available at: http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/microphones/dynamic-microphones/q7/ (Last accessed: 3rd March 2017)