Removing background sounds

  • Removing background sounds

    Post-production Group lewis updated 2 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 5 Posts
  • Post-production Group

    lewis

    Member
    2021-11-08 at 5:16 AM

    Hi all.

    This is my first post on the site. I’m a filmmaker but currently I’m editing another persons project.

    In a certain scenes there’s a lot of background noise. I’m not sure if they used lav mics or what but it’s set down a canal, and I can hear lots of birds, flowing water, wind, which changes with each shot.

    Using premiere pro, I’ve added a highpass plug in and denoise plug in to the audio track to minimise the background sounds and added two wild tracks found on Freesound to disguise the changing environmental sounds, but they’re still present.

    Is there anything else I can do?

    Thanks,

    Lewis

  • Post-production Group

    Bart Weiss

    Member
    2021-11-08 at 11:02 AM

    Hi there, this is not uncommon. Many first-time filmmakers do not prioritize getting good sound. My first thought would be to do ADR (dubbing) if you can bring the actors in and can do it. That would give you the best sound.

    Depending on where you are, I would look for someone with sound editing skills to fix this There is software from companies like https://www.izotope.com/ that have great plug ins. They are not inexpensive and do take some skill to use. if you can afford them give it a try.

    it is very important to fix this, you can’t send a film out that people cannot hear.

  • Post-production Group

    lewis

    Member
    2021-11-08 at 11:09 AM

    Hi Bart.

    Thank you for the reply. It is appreciated. I didn’t realise that such plug ins were available to buy. It’s great to have this website at hand for such time I can buy these for future projects.

    The actors can be heard in the film, it’s just the superficial annoyance of these environmental sounds changing between shots.

    For my own reference, if I’m shooting outdoors how can I just get the dialogue without the environmental noise? I’m not on location with these filmmakers but I can imagine that perhaps they are trying to boom rather than use lavs… or perhaps the lavs themselves are not of good quality.

    Maybe even the Gain on the lavs is too low and so it’s picking up things it shouldn’t? or have I got this one wrong?

    Let me know your thoughts on the matter.

    Thanks,

    Lewis

  • Post-production Group

    Fred Ginsburg CAS PhD

    Member
    2021-11-08 at 2:19 PM

    As Bart mentioned, Izotope is a powerful tool for removing bg sounds and evening out inconsistent dialogue levels. Yes, the software is expensive. However, they do offer major discounts for students or faculty. They also offer a free trial period, so that you can use and try the software first before you decide to purchase. The trial software is fully functional without watermarks, etc. Many of my students have used it to complete their films. Izotope has a lot of tutorials on their website; as well as many on YouTube made by other users/instructors.

    As for the live production sound recording part of your question — it is not a quick answer. We spend months training students and novices in the craft of sound recording. I do not know what mic techniques you used on the set, so it is hard for me to pinpoint where you made your mistakes. But I stress that CONSISTENCY is the key! Learn to adjust your mic distances rather than playing too much with the faders in order to correct for changes in dialogue level. If you mess with the faders, your bg will go up and down like a roller coaster. Instead, play the positioning of your boom mics. As for lavs, once you achieve a decent working level, the bg should not change much unless you have an overactive auto gain control.

    • Post-production Group

      lewis

      Member
      2021-11-15 at 11:51 AM

      Thank you for your thoughtful response, Fred.

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