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I'm working on a feature film production and trying to figure out how to deal with off axis mic recordings. Any help?

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4 Answers 4

If you are talking about isolating the dialog or pfx - removing room sound from the recording:

Ive been trying out NML RevCon-RR recently. There is another called DyVision Reverb Remover.

If its a pfx (production effect like someone touching, moving, dropping, etc) on set and the boom mic was not pointed at it --- I wouldnt worry about it. Foley or SFX guys will cover it. The sound editors will mute out the production track and replace it with a foley/sfx recording and then the mixer will worldize (place it in the room with reverb etc) upon mix stage. If its an ok sound, or a good layer - then the editors will sweeten it, or fill in the missing sonic characteristics. Im probably just spouting stuff you are familiar with by now.

Best solution is to rag on the production team and let them know theres badly recorded sound - JUST KIDDING

Let me know if those plug-ins help!

-C3Sound

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I'll have to check those out. I was talking about isolating dialogue. –  Chris Nov 24 '10 at 20:32
    
Where can I get DyVision Reverb Remover? I know, look on the internet and find it. But maybe you know of a place where I can down load it for free. –  oinkaudio Nov 25 '10 at 8:19

I'm also not super clear about what you're asking. What I'm doing right now (or should be doing instead of surfing SSD) is an EQ automation pass on my dialog tracks. I have everything automation enabled on my EQ and have set it to write mode. I go through sentence by sentence and word by word and try to make everything sound consistent. When I'm done the EQ dances.

If there's a bit of dialog that's off mic and not just off axis then that's another matter. In the past, there wasn't much that could be done about this other than ADR, or finding another take. Now there are plugins which claim to be able to remove reverb. I haven't tried them myself but remain skeptical.

If you're asking about PFX then C3Sound is right. They should all be split out onto separate tracks and either left as is, sweetened or replaced.

If you're wondering what to do about noises that can't be easily split out well...so am I. I just asked that very question and hopefully answers will be pouring in soon. :)

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Can someone define off-axis mic sounds? I thought it was a mic that wasn't pointed towards the speaker and my imagination was putting together phasing tricks in order to align the audio.

Now that I remember though, off-axis mic sounds are just sounds that aren't supposed to be in the recordings and that is an easy fix or hard fix but its knowledge that I have.

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Off-axis usually refers to what you said first, sounds recorded with the mic at an angle. In the case of production dialog, it's up to the boom op to keep the mic pointed straight at the talent. If for one reason or another the mic is not on axis, the frequency content of the voice will be different and will have to be fixed in post with EQ automation. I would call sounds elsewhere in the room off-mic. –  Brendan Nov 25 '10 at 1:12
    
ohhh ok, very clear now –  Chris Nov 25 '10 at 2:33

To me, off axis and off mic are the same: sounds that are outside the pickup pattern of the mic and therefore weaker in certain frequencies, regardless of whether they're signal or noise. C3Sound has some good ideas for improving on this.

If you're talking about undesired sounds over dialogue, it's better to fix this with editing/ADR than processing. Going through alternate takes is a good first step, then spotting and recording ADR.

"Audio Post Production for Film and Video" by Jay Rose has a pretty cool chapter on dialogue editing.

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