I'm interested in learning some basic foley techniques. Does anyone have advice on how to get the following effects:
Talking inside a car. I don't mean the engine or ambient sounds -I can easily add those. I want to know how to get that effect on the voice of being in a confined space - the inside of a car has a particualr, dull sound that I want to create. Is there an Audacity effect I can use for that? Any other ideas?
Voices outside. I've recorded some dialog but I want it to sound like it's outdoors. I know I can add the ambient sounds but how do foley artists create the effect that the speakers voices are outside - especially after they've been recorded?
Distance. I know I can just move away from the mic but are there any other techniques? I have already recorded the dialogs and I want one person distab]nced from the other.
Also, I've downloaded Anwida reverb plugin for Audacity but I find all the effects are basically the same - or very similar. Am I missing something?
Any feedback would be really appreciated.
First things first. You're using word "foley" without knowing what it's used to describe.
Foley - what wikipedia says:
Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects which are added in post production to enhance the quality of audio for films, television, video, video games and radio. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass. The best foley art is so well integrated into a film that it goes unnoticed by the audience. It helps to create a sense of reality within a scene. Without these crucial background noises, movies feel unnaturally quiet and uncomfortable.
It's always good to imagine the situation and the reflections/coloration that occures.
Outside (open space) - no reflections mostly, just one from the ground and that's often included in your recording from the studio. There could be some reflection from the far (buildings, plants, mountains...) that wil come back after longer time with almost no feedback, possibly very blured (by scattering) and filtered (by distance).
Outside (street type) - so now you have some pretty fast reflections from the side(s), some amount of feedback (it pings a few times, progressively more filtered and blured).
Car - very close reflections that go into the combfiltering range which change alot when people move. There are some impulses that can simulate the static version of it.
Distance - don't record too close is a must, voices get more midrangey (roll off some bass and highs) as they are from further back and more wet. What kind of wet depends on what space you want to simulate.
Obviously if you want someone to sound like he is outside, you can't record in very reflective room. There is no way how to get rid of the reflections after the fact.
Don't forget to play with the width too. Mono reverbs are very powerful and you don't always need 100% wide one. Early reflection engines of the reverb plugs are sometimes the most important part of the sound as they give you the scattered echo... combine delays/early/filtering...
For your outdoor dialog you can use the freeware vst "proximity" to simulate moving away from the mic, it's really quite useful- http://www.tokyodawn.net/proximity/
It also helps to compress the dialog a bit (as long as the original track is dry) and play with volume automation to mimic the on-screen movement of the characters.
matucha's post is pretty spot on!
u aren't asking about foley at all really.. more like mixing or premixing..
inside of a car, can be achieved with a small reverb, try putting an EQ on the reverb to accentuate mid range perhaps?
outside, I find a thin echo can be useful to simulate bounce back, i usually use a prefader send, so can use less direct sound to simulate distance..
in general I find proximity effect to be the big give away in dubbed dialog, a low shelf is pretty much in my dialog channel preset.....
I use artsacoustics reverb, its pretty cheap but usable, has some presets like car and small room etc..
Thanks for this, guys. I can see I have a long way to go, but this helps.
Any suggestions on where I can read up on these mixing and editing skills?
Thanks so much. This is really helpful.
As a place to find all sorts of tips on recording and mixing, try:
The sound of spaces depends of 2 things: wich frequencies reverberate and for how long and which frequencies get attenuated. It is actually much more complex, as effectively what happens is that sound bounves off surfaces and the reflections interact with the original sound too.
To simulate these effects we use EQ and reverb.
There are essentially 2 kinds of reverb plugins: physical model and Implse Response (IR).
Physical model reverbs use equations to model what is hapening when sound reverberates. Usually you can tweak several parameters to affect the type of reverb.
IR reverbs use special recordings made in actual spaces to replicate the reverb of those spaces. Many IR reverbs allow you to load IRs (you can find these on the web, paid for lybraries or even make them yourself if you have good quality equipment and learn the techniques of how to do it).
A good free IR reverb is SIR. I am not sure it works on Audacity, but try it.
You will need to load an IR for the plugin to generate an effect.
You can look for IRs of the spaces you are trying to simulate.
As others have menrioned, you need a dry recording to begin with. If you recorded in a room with lots of reflections (e.g. a toilet) you will not be able to remove the reverb from the recording afterwards.
The smaller the space and the closer the listener is to the sound source the higher percentage of dry sound. The further away rhe higher % of wet. There is also a pre-delay on the reverb sound.
Another idea is to put a good quality speaker in your wardrobe and re-record the sounds to get the 'inside the car effect'. You can also try recording the sounds to CD, playing in your car stereo and re-record that way.
A good free IR reverb is SIR. I am not sure it works on Audacity, but try it.
Audacity is quite a good tool, but very limited. Its just very difficult to get the timing right when trying to create a sound, but for free music tools, its definitely one of the best ones around. Does anyone know any good music sofwares which are cheap? or just mixers?
IMVHO, the quickest way to overcome Audacity's limits is to use DAW programs, some of which are not just cheap, but free. To name just a few examples:
Ardour (Linux, Mac) http://ardour.org/
Qtractor (Linux) http://qtractor.sourceforge.net/
LMMS (Linux, Windows) http://lmms.sourceforge.net/
Ableton Live Lite 8 (Windows, Mac, Linux via WINE) https://www.ableton.com/en/products/live-lite/
cool, thanks for the advice! i will check them out. Think I might invest in some other sofwares which will create better sound, heard of logic and cubase, but have no idea which is best. They may be too expensive though, know any cheap decks by any chance?
I'd say none of them is absolute best at making sounds. Why? Because besides the instruments and effects eventually available within the DAW (LMMS, Ableton) you can add any external instruments and effects you want, obtaining the same sound on all those DAW when not using the built-in ones.
What do you exactly refer to when you say "creating sounds"? Synthesis? Sample processing? Both?
You might want to whet your appetite by taking a look at VST and VSTi databases like these
to see how much sound creating power you can add to any DAW.
The best tool for the job is, well... the best tool to do the job!
For quick recording and editing, it is difficult to beat Audacity (especially if looking at free software only).
If all you are doing is working with recorded sounds and samples, it should still be possible to get the timing right using Audacit: it has a timeline and is possible to move sounds freely and align them with that timeline. Make sure you have the latest version of Audacity.
It is also possible to do automation of parameters in Audacity, but I have only used it for fairly simple taskes (e.g. volume, panning or filter cut-off)
If you are trying to do something more ellaborate...
Say you want synth sounds in there, play a midi sequence on your keyboard, do automation, or apply effects to the sound directly as you record it -> Then a DAW will serve you better.
In terms of free DAWS, you should try Reaper. Comes with a wide selection of instruments and effects and loads up VST instruments and effects too.
For other more specialized tasks (for example, noise reduction, audio restauration) you are probably better off using specialized software.
So the best tool really depends on the job. No single program is best at everything.
thanks for the advice guys, really appraciaten it. ive heard of midi controllers, not too sure how on earth they work. Like i said, im new to this music editing, and trying to brush up on my knowledge so i can invest in the right stuff, or potentially get the stuff i want from free software. i will check out those links you suggested, can u guys reccomend any midi controllers then?
I've never used Audacity before, but this week someone drop by asking for help with audacity... and while it can do certain things ok, I wouldn't even consider using it for anything slightly complex. It just can't do many important things.
Protools / Logic / Cubase / Nuendo / Samplitude / Sequoia / Sonar .... and some new breed like Reaper / Studio One ... oh there are so many .
You need versatile multitrack with versatile mixer/effects. Othervise you spend lot of time and get nowhere.
Big disclaimer: I have no direct experience on hardware midi controllers, anyway...
The VST and VSTi earlier mentioned are software effects and instruments in a specific proprietary format (there are others, like AU for Mac).
They generally have a graphical interface with knobs, sliders and other controls you can set with mouse/keyboard. Those controls are usually mapped to specific midi messages, so that you can control them also from the DAW interface, or from an external hardware controller, even live as the DAW is playing. You can also record those live parameter changes in the DAW in what is called an automation track (or you can graphically compose them in the track editor).
There are generic controllers, and some specifically made for a particular DAW (e.g. Ableton) with controls often matching the screen layout.
Hardware midi controllers might not be exactly cheap, and some might say, at least for their own workflow, they'd not be worth the price as they can do everything with mouse/keyboard anyway.
Their main advantages are: we generally have 2 hands (and hey, there are foot controllers too ) but only 1 mouse, so we can tweak more parameters at a time on a hardware controller.
Of course, we might record 2 separate passes, 1 per parameter, but we wouldn't be hearing the combined result while doing the first, it'd be slower, and it'd only work for offline composition. If you need to do that in a live performance, the mouse won't be enough.
Besides, some are more comfortable twisting physical knobs rather than using mouse, that's highly subjective.
I'd suggest to work for some time with one or more DAW to find the one that best fits you, and once you're fluent you'll notice by yourself how much a hardware controller can help/ease/speed up your own workflow.
If you have a smartphone or tablet, you might want to try midi controller apps like these:
I could reccomend M Audio. Ozone or Ozonic.
You get midi keyboard, controler and sound card. All in one product. Mic and instrument inputs and outputs. Really good sound quality. Little home studio.
And for software, I always trust Steinberg. Cubase or Nuendo.
Vsti: Steinberg Hypersonic and Tone2 ElectraX
yes ive heard of m audio before, cool advice guys! yeah i guess i should start experimenting with different free audio editing softwares before i jump in at the deep end and purchase something, just my parents keep asking me what i want as a birthday gift, they know i wanna make music but they are even more clueless with dj equipment, maybe ill just go for the midi controller that madeon uses! looks so cool, and cant be bad! if it fails, ill just take it back lol. what u reckon guys? any of you have a midi controller?
This thread seems to have 'moved' a bit: from foley into music making and mixing. But OK
You need to ask yourself what it is that you want to do.
1) if you are mostly planning to play music (like on a piano) you need a keyboard controller
2) if you are planning to do mixing, you want a controller with faders and knobs to control volume, pan and EQs and filters (inside your computer as VST effects)
3) for DJing there are specific controllers and software
Electronic musicians often do a bit of 1) and 2) so a controller with a midi keyboard and some knobs/faders is what fits most people.
There are also controllers which have buttons/pads and are to be used to play/program rhythms. Although these are nice, I do not think they are essential - a normal keyboard can be assigned to play drums. Just use the keys instead of pads.
I'm not sure How to do these either but i'd really like to know also.