How To

Sound for Video Session: Set Audio Levels From Recorder to Camera with Tone

In this week's Sound for Video Session we demonstrate how to use the an audio recorder to send the audio directly to camera. This way you get the better sound quality of the dedicated audio recorder and the sound is all synced up while shooting so you don't have to sync in post.

This requires that your camera have an input, that your audio recorder has an output and that your recorder can generate a tone (sometimes called slate or slate tone).

There are some other nuances that we cover in our production sound fundamentals course on line vs microphone level and the need to match between the camera and recorder.

For details on powering your MixPre-3 or 6, please see the tech notes over at Sound Devices:

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Audio Recorder/Mixer (the little brother)

Sound Devices 633 (Pro level recorder used to record my voice for this session)

Oktava MK012 Microphone (used to record my voice for this session)

Panasonic GH5 Camera - My second camera. Love this little thing!

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Louder Dialogue Audio with Audacity We’ve done a lot of tutorials on processing audio and sound with Adobe Audition but many have asked how to do the same things in Audacity, which is, of course, free. The trick with Audacity is that it lacks certain features that can be critical for getting consistent results, namely, loudness processing and metering tools. But when you’re first starting, you may not yet have the budget for an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. So if I were in that situation, here is how I would use Audacity to sort of accomplish the same thing (though not as consistently). Make your dialogue audio louder (without being too loud).

You can download and use Audacity for free - no strings attached, its open-source.

How to Mix Dialogue with Music for Film and Video I’m mixing a scene from a feature length film and one of the challenges is that the dialogue and music in this romantic scene are sort of competing with one another which makes for a rather distracting experience. To help the two get along, I ended up using a technique that almost every music mixing engineer uses all the time: EQ. I just cut some of the mid frequencies from the music track to make room for the dialogue because the mid frequencies is where most dialogue sits. And now, they get along so much more nicely. The romantic scene feels romantic!

Check out for details on their upcoming film, Conflictus.

Audio Hiss Noise Reduction Sometimes I find that my audio has audible hiss in the background. This is often what is described as a noise floor and is the hiss produced by your microphone, preamplifier, cable, or possibly other things. In any case, it isn’t an awesome sound.

In this episode we look at one way to reduce that hiss in your dialogue audio without affecting the dialogue and we’ll use Adobe Audition CC (2014) to show you how.

The clip with the hiss was recorded with a RØDE NTG-2 shotgun microphone, compressed and loudness normalized to -19 LUFS (since it was a mono file, this is the perceptual equivalent of -16 LUFS for stereo files). I hadn't really noticed this much noise in this mic in the past. And this was all recored as I'm starting to evaluate the new RØDE NTG4+ which I received a few days ago. So far, I'm wondering if maybe there's something wrong with my copy of the NTG4+. RØDE is arranging for an engineer to contact me so we can figure out what's going on with this new mic so it may be a few more weeks before we can publish that review.