Sunday, 4 November 2012

Week 3 Of University (Wed 24 & Thurs 25 Oct)

I put these togther because both deal with the same concept, Sound:

Wednesday
Today, I had a workshop on Sound in Editing. Using a short film set in a cafe as the basis, the class imported it into Final Cut Pro and from there, looked at the sound part of the film,and experimented with it, altering the levels, seperating the layers from each other and then, exporting one of the sound segements into Soundtrack Pro and altering the pitch to make it less harsh before exporting it back into FC Pro. This was a relatively short workshop, so aside from having to share my computer with anther student (who was very cooperative and paitent), there isn't as much to comment on.

My thoughts on this are that, while the lecturer was not as charismatic as some of the others (like Eddie or David Cottis), he was very helpful and took his time, and the work in and of itself was very straightforward and easy to understand. Additionally, I had used FC Pro before, so I was able to get on with the work fairly quickly.

Thursday
Today, we had another workshop on sound, though this focused more on the actual recording of it, using items like the radios mics and the shotgun/boom mike (and looking at the importance of the Signal-Noise ratio, with Signal being the actual 'good'/wanted sound, and what should be more dominant in the ratio).

We also looked at how sound is measured (in decibels, as well as dB FS, for the pressure level, and, in terms of the actual recording, the two settings, Bit Depth (16 or 24 bit, with the latter being the ideal one) and Amplitude (loudness). Additionally, in order to capture good sound, you must record at double the sample rate (if you want 40, you must record at 80) and the range and types within:
  • 0 - Threshold of Hearing
  • 20 - Quiet Room
  • 65 - Normal conversation
  • 75-80 - Film Conversation
  • 120 - Jack Hammer/Jet Engine 
Also, we looked at what was the ideal range (never go to 0: much too loud and ruins recording/overmodulates. The headroom should be between 0 and 10, and the reference level should be about 20). Afterwards, we went out in groups of four and shot a short piece using a scene from Little Miss Sunshine, spliting up into two teams of two: one for acting, the other for camera and sound, using the boom mic. The sound recordist and cameraman worked closely to ensure the sound was not too strong, though when I took on sound duties in my team, I didn't track with the actors, so I ended up losing them.

My closing sentiments are that this was probably the most fun I've had thus far with any of the workshops: the group activity was very straightforward and it was good to finally get some hands on experience with the equipment and feel closer to being in a more professional working enviroment.

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