Record one long shot.
Split it from the half.
Put one half to the right channel and the other to left channel.
Export a stereo file.
This way you will get a very wide stereo image that is hard to get from a stereo field recording and your sounds in the front will be clearly distinct from ambience.
Do not just transform to stereo. If you do that, you will ...
Usually a change in the crowd density/textures, as well as underying tones (such as a fridge compressor type sound up by the bar maybe, and over by the exit play with tones for the fluorescent lights (if thre are any), or sounds evocative of a bathroom offstage. Usually for something like this I'll cut a continuous A side with all of the global tones/sounds ...
I had a scene in a short film I did last year where I did something fun.
The film is a period piece, so no modern sounds anywhere. A woman is sitting alone in a room contemplating a potion she's in the process of making that will kill her unborn child - saving it from her abusive husband.
I put a clock in the room (even though there wasn't one ...
Proper stereo image is also important. One of the reasons many exterior BGs don't seem to work at first for interior locations is that they're too wide. If you pull them in quite a bit (maybe even mono all the way for some) it helps a lot. Same with distant car passes and the like.
Record 2 mono claps/pulses/shots, however you're generating it.
Move the mic from one side of the room to the other for each, keeping each at the same distance from the source.
Match up the initial claps later, save as stereo.
It won't be perfect, but no-one except you will ever know ;-)
It's not impossible to record ambiences that are near-silent, if you choose to go that route. You'll have to go out of your way to find them, probably very late at night or very early on a Sunday morning when the urban noise is at its lowest, but it can be achieved.
Even with a pristine recording of a silent background, you're going to have to manufacture ...
Offstage exterior "bleedthru" sounds I believe are one of the great challenges of backgrounds - up there with wind, ocean/beach textures, and rain. In terms of how to paint it sonically so it pops, but doesn't draw unwanted attention to itself, while also not sounded like a muddy mess of frequencies with a lack of clear intent.
The hallmark to doing this ...
I absolutely agree with what Jay says, but it's also worth noting that using the sound from the interior of the vehicle even during lengthy external shots is a little used but effective technique. Most audiences will naturally connect the sound of the interior with the external shot of the car, but if you use this technique carefully it can really force the ...
While I have never been before so I don't know first-hand, this may be helpful as a very general jumping-off point:
And then cross-reference that against this for some samples (ideas): http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search
I don't know for sure regarding insects, so hopefully somebody can chime in ...
If you mean just the dialog, you'd do better starting from the 5.1 audio as a source. The centre channel should be dialog only.
If you want to include the music, or if you only have the audio as stereo, then it's not possible.
You cannot unbake a cake.
There is now the very good yet very expensive Izotope RX which has a "Music Rebalance" plugin ...
Youtube is a great starting place for reference material for just about anything. I've found a few useful bird-centric clips from Iraq in amongst the many war-centric videos.
Bird chatter in a park:
Different birds chirping away in a tree:
Collection of photos and names ...
Really depends on the tone and mood of the scene. There may be times when it's appropriate to cut perspectives like that, but more often times than not the sound should be supporting the dialog, which is happening inside the car. But again, there are no rules - only conventions.
Reversing is an easy, tried-and-true method that usually yields acceptable results. Or you could copy some non-discernable english from another part of the clip and use it as fill. Both approaches are standard.
I wouldn't advise leaving holes in your track; they might sound like dropouts and flag a QC kickback.
Keep in mind that the composite BG track is ...
recorded at what I believe to be the right perspective in terms of distance
I believe this is why you are hitting a roadblock. Just because something was recorded according to reality does not mean it will translate in a mix the same way. In cutting BGz, 95% of the time this has proven true for me. We 'cheat' sounds all the time. It's all "what sounds ...
This is not my forte by any means, but a few thoughts come to mind...
Air traffic. Planes, helicopters? You did mention planes though...
Music? playing in passing cars, out a window
Utilities? steam vents, transformer buzz?
Street vendors? calling out wares etc.
Not sure how many of these would fall under the 'anxiety ...
Ding dong! Metro/subway/train doors opening, is one of my favorite city sounds.
But I'm assuming you're dealing with exterior shots based on the ideas you've thrown out already.
How about that muffled bassy thump that you can hear in a passing car or outside a club? That's the "pulse" of the city, and it's never far away even in the middle of the day.
My short answer would be that it is virtually impossible but depends on how good results you expect.
The solution your intuition draws you to, and which would work in certain cases, is phase cancellation. Basically, if you have two sound sources, exactly the same, and reverse the polarity of one they will cancel each other out.
The simplest example of this ...
If the two characters' dialog is panned centre in the mix then it should be possible.
Separate the song into left and right channels, then phase reverse one channel. When you sum the audio back together, you'll cancel any material that previously appeared in both the left and right channels equally (i.e. hopefully the centre panned dialog).
Now hopefully ...
Each of those numbers is the main frequency that you can change the volume of. You need practice (with your ear) to figure out what freq does what in your case, you just need to know that you only change frequency levels and nothing more (for start, Ι assume that if you don't know what those numbers are, you probably don't try nothing more complicated). You ...
I think what you're looking for is only to be found in CSI [city of your choice] not in real life.
Izotope is about as good as it gets, but it needs a reasonably constant noise-floor to suppress.
You could try a multi-band compressor to lift everything to the same level, but you'd be unlikely to be able to push the foreground conversation back far enough ...
To answer your questions:
1) Yes you can pan BGs with the surround panner. Many mixers for example will pan a stereo ambience slightly into the center channel. Check your mixes in mono if you are concerned about phasing issues. It's also better to cut with well recorded stereo ambiences (without any stereo phasing issues) in the first place.
2) M/S is ...
I have always love David Lynch's choices for BG's. The low end drone in Bill Pullman's house as he walks down the hallway into the darkness or the CCTV footage outside his house. Also, the sound of Rossellini's apartment building is truly haunting and unnerving. Great stuff.
The scene in Barton Fink where Fink arrives at the hotel for the first time. The previous scene of waves crashing dissolves over the lobby shot but we still hear the waves.
Didn't have any luck finding a clip on youtube but there's a clip here http://www.avclub.com/articles/barton-fink,33399/
Interesting article too.
Hope that helps! :)
I wish there was a 'standard' way of dealing with this. It really is a case by case basis. Sometimes reversing the section works as long as it is short and doesn't sound too weird. Other times you can usually find a section of the track that you can copy and paste over the discernible dialogue. What we usually try to do is have our BG editor try to cut ...