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Tinkering with Audioblocks

 
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HeatherMasters
Contributore Level V


Joined: 03 Sep 2015
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Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:40 pm    Post subject: Tinkering with Audioblocks Reply with quote

I am nearing the end of training with Nancy Wolfson (whom I adore) and will soon have my long awaited commercial demo. In the meantime, I have been experimenting with adding some music beds to narration work I've done with the thought that maybe, along with learning new skills, I might be able to cobble some of my work together to create a workable narration demo (as my last narration demo was awful).

I have absolutely no training in mixing music, so I'd love thoughts on this piece as well as perhaps some tips on how to mix properly.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i4jpi5p0dokauov/Whole%20Foods.mp3?dl=0

Thank you!!
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Philip Banks
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People will buy you from what I've just heard. Stop over thinking.
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Lance Blair
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is some very fine self-produced demo work there. Well done! You even hit the points in the music for timing.

Tips for mixing:

Sometimes in real commercials the voice doesn't stand out as much as the music or SFX - but in a demo it needs to do so a bit more. The moment you think the music might be too loud, it is to loud. That said, it's good to have a variety of levels so that it doesn't all sound the same.

EQing the music can help. Bring down the music EQ between say 2 and 4 kHz about -3db to give space for your voice to stand out in those frequencies. Also, taking a little off the bass around 300 Hz can help to keep the mix less muddy too.

After you EQ, run a gentle compressor over everything in the mix. A multiband compressor would be ideal. Make sure it's not reducing anything by more than -3dB. 8 to 10 ms attack, 80 to 100 ms release, and around 2:1 ratio to taste in each band should do the trick.

Then try a little bit of a limiter to bring up the whole volume. Set peaks to either -1 or -3 dBFS. When it sounds too aggressive in its gain settings dial it back.

But as Mr. Banks said, you've got the voice. Be you. Go with your gut. Good luck.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a lovely soft, intimate read. Looking forward to hearing what all you do with Ms. Wolfson.




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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i like it!
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Eddie Eagle
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds good to go!
Very natural sound
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DenaliDave
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lance hit some good points, music and SFX can often times wash out or make human voices harder to hear.

Even though we aren't singers, some cue's and tips from how sound engineers get vocal tracks to "sit in the mix" can be applied to human speech.
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HeatherMasters
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Joined: 03 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. That just made my day. Thanks all! You hear so often about the importance of a professionally produced demo, that it gives the impression that such things are out of the realm of possibility for mere mortals. Not that I think this one track proves I can whip out the rest, but it gives me hope that perhaps, with a little dedication and practice, I may at some point be able to create a narration demo that serves my needs. And that is hugely encouraging.

Lance, you've given me enough meat in that post to really sink my teeth into, and I look forward to putting all that info to use. I've also stumbled on your blog post in the gear section and am just about giddy. I have spent so much time looking up info to try to improve my tech skills. Most of the time, I can't even understand the tutorials. Your "DO THIS" approach is so unbelievably helpful and refreshing for people who are not audio engineer oriented.

Thank you
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Lance Blair
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome. I've just compiled the best tips from engineers when they say "this is what I do". Then you're free to play with alternatives, but you have a base of something that works.
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Bish
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good choice of music that brought the whole thing together... the points made above about EQ are well made... depending on what DAW you are using, you may want to look at some auto-ducking with a side-chain compressor... but, to be honest, on short pieces like this, manual ducking is usually much better.
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ricevoice
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HeatherMasters wrote:
You hear so often about the importance of a professionally produced demo, that it gives the impression that such things are out of the realm of possibility for mere mortals.


For commercial, promo, imaging, broadcast narration... yes, a pro demo is the way to go. But for non-broadcast corporatey narration, as long as you have a modicum of production ability a self-produced demo should be fine. And this example sounds great.
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