How best to match sounds from different mics

Posted by chill 
How best to match sounds from different mics
July 15, 2005 06:48PM
I have spent the last couple of hours to trying to match up some audio, but have yet to find the right combination of effects in Soundtrack Pro, so I'm hoping someone can help me. I have to cut two scenes together from the same shoot but the problem is one scene was recorded using a Sennheiser shotgun and the other scene was recorded with a different mic. Unfortunately the scenes have to be bumped together. Any suggestions on what filter I should try? I assume this is a pickup pattern/frequency and distance issue? Am I on the right path?

Re: How best to match sounds from different mics
July 16, 2005 10:14AM
The true purpose of any microphone is supposed to be to pickup ambient sounds without any coloration or manipulation of the sound.

That leaves mic placement as a variable.

What was the condition of each mic's placement or what is that actual problem? I am assuming that the Sennheiser was a camera mounted mic?

Sound level? noise?
I fear you have a big challenge- the chances that two different mics will make a seemless cut on continous dialogue is slim- even if the mics are very similar in design and purpose and almost hopeless if their placement was not identical.

That said- a pretty solid understanding of sound and the STP toolkit is badly needed. If your project is anything but a hobby, you might drive yourself crazy- experimenting with audio is fun when you know what your doing- its maddening when you don't.

STP has an interesting little tool- spectrum analyzer- I believe it is called. If you are so lucky as to have the same dialogue recorded from both mics, you might be able to anaylize "visually" what is different between the two.
If this line makes sense and you have the same dialogue from both mics, try it and see if you can "see" the difference and make the needed adjustments- it will never sound identical because- it's not.

Your best hope might be to "tweak" both mic tracks to a "middle-ground". By that, I mean effect them both in a way that they sound similar. The hope of making A sound like B, or B sound like A is slim, maybe you can make A and B sound kind of like C.

STP is awesome but it's not a replacement for a consistent, quality-minded location audio person with good gear.

Last thought- any hope of ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement, I think)- or calling your talent in to "revoice" this portion of the show? This is the process of putting talent in a booth, playing back the scene on a monitor and letting them revoice the scenes in question.

Hollywood, and some of us, do it all the time. It can be tedious but is most effective.

Good luck,

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