Sound

This page is dedicated to articles about audio and contains videos, links to discussion threads, one-sheets, and general information about recording + mixing sound.

Browse the tabs below for sound tutorials . . .

D1320 Qu-16 Digital Mixer Setup – Quick Start Guide

  1. Press the “Scenes” button on the right of the screen on the Qu-16
  2. Select on the touch screen “01 BasicRecording” and then tap “Recall” (This loads the Mixer to its default state for recording).
  3. Press the green “Processing” button on the top-right of the screen.

  1. On Channel 3 of the mixer press the green “Sel” button near the top of the channel (Now you have selected channel 3 in the display), then ensure the lower ‘Layer” button is selected. Look for a sticker labeled “Inputs.”

  1. Go to the Live Room (D-1322) and insert the mic into input 3 on the rack in the corner. You can now have your recording subject test the mic in the live room. To adjust the recording level, move back to the Control Room. Set fader #3 to the “0” position. This is your reference point. Then use the “Gain” knob on the top left of the mixing board to set a level while your subject is speaking/singing/generating sound. The faders (or sliders) on the mixer are for fine adjustments to level. The Gain knob is for coarse adjustments.

  1. Follow the same process for any other channels you want to record into the computer.
  2. Now follow the “Recording Studio Pro Tools Setup” tutorial (in the tabs at the top of this page). To set your DAW to accept inputs from the mixer, select the “Qu-16” as the Audio Hardware in the “Preferences.”

Note: Channel 1, [Returns Layer], adjusts the playback volume for audio coming from the computer. Channel 2 is for the Avid Omni. Channel 3 is for the stereo mini cable sitting on the desktop (for laptops, etc.).

 

Recording Studio Pro Tools Setup

  1. Connect a source (microphone) to the black box in D1322 (Live Room) by plugging into one of the 16 inputs. Usually, input #3 has a mic plugged in with Phantom power engaged (red light), so choosing this input is the quickest way to get sound into the computer.
  2. Launch Pro-Tools and immediately hold “N” on the keyboard to bring up the Playback Engine window,  for recording and mixing with the QU-16 digital mixing board follow these settings, and for mixing (stereo or surround) with the Pro-Tools HD OMNI hardware use these settings, 
  1. Create a New Session, select “Blank Session” template (or ‘Open from Disk’ for existing project)
    Make sure settings are,
    File type: BWF (.WAV)
    Sample rate: 48khz
    Bit depth: 24bit
    I/O Settings: Stereo Mix unless working in surround: 5.1 Film Mix
  1. Create some tracks to record onto by going to the Track menu and selecting New Track. Make mono tracks for individual mics, or stereo tracks for pairs of microphones.Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 5.27.49 PM
  1. Select inputSet the input(s) of each track to correspond with the physical inputs you plugged into on the black box in Live Room (D1322). If you created multiple tracks, ensure that you set each input to its appropriate channel. For example, if you have three mics, plugged into the first three inputs, you must set the tracks’ inputs to match in Pro Tools. See the little red arrow in the image to the right? On each track, that must match the inputs you chose in the Live Room.  Note that the inputs are listed as pairs, not sequentially. So in our case we would set mic 1’s input to be “Channel 1 In/Channel 2 In.L (Mono),” mic 2’s input to be “Channel 1 In/Channel 2 In.R (Mono),” etc.

For Output, set to 1-2 as normal.

  1. Raise a fader (same number as the input on silver box) on the physical mixing board up to the “0” Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.31.38 PMThen adjust the gain (volume) on the top-left-most, silver knob. The image on the right shows a good level; around 2/3 up the meter. On the left, you can see a potentially clipped signal, as the little red light has been lit. Also, the signal meter shows only around 5 dB of headroom; 15-20 is better. Think of the topmost knob (gain knob) as your coarse adjustment of volume. The fader (slider) at the bottom of the board is your fine adjustment. You can ‘ride’ the faders while recording to make adjustments if your source(s) gets suddenly loud or quiet. Remember that the 0 mark on the mixer is your point of reference. Anything above that mark will add volume, anything below will subtract volume.
  1. Record Enable the track you want to record onto by clicking on the small CircleScreen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.43.27 PM within a Square icon in the Pro Tools Mix Window. Once clicked, the button will flash red, indicating that the track is now armed and ready for recording. If you want to record onto multiple tracks, just enable those additional tracks in the same way. Once you start rolling the recording, the buttons will light solid red instead of flashing. The S and M buttons below the Record Arm buttons are for Solo and Mute.
  1. To actually start recording, you must first press the Record button, then the Play Once both buttons are pressed, they will light solid, instead of flashing, indicating that the transport is rolling and you are recording. Press the Stop button to end recording. REMEMBER TO SAVE – OFTEN ! ! !Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.43.57 PM

To learn more about our studio configuration visit this page.

Useful Lynda.com tutorials on post-production film sound
login via https://myec.ecuad.ca

Course: Pro Tools 12 Essential Training: 101 – 4hr 30min
https://www.lynda.com/Pro-Tools-tutorials/Pro-Tools-12-Essential-Training-101/533108-2.html?org=ecuad.ca

Course: Adobe Audition: Mixing a short film – 1hr
https://www.lynda.com/Audition-tutorials/Mixing-Short-Film-Audition/111779-2.html

Course: Pro Tools: Audio for Film and Video – 5hrs
https://www.lynda.com/Pro-Tools-9-training/Audio-for-Film-and-Video-with/77862-2.html?org=ecuad.ca

Tutorial: Learning iZotope RX 6 (De-noise and restoration for audio noise issues)
https://www.lynda.com/RX-tutorials/Learning-iZotope-RX-6/585215-2.html

Tutorial: Working with Foley – 1hr 20min
with Pro Tools: Mixing a Short Film
https://www.lynda.com/Media-Composer-tutorials/Working-Foley/111780/121764-4.html

PDF notes ECUAD’s Microphone collection and basic specs

Microphone Notes

What do Different Microphones Sound Like?

Ever wondered what the difference is in sound from mic to mic, but you don’t want to get bogged down with technical drawings, specs, and theory? Then grab a pair of headphones and check out this video to listen and compare for yourself . . .

Roland R26 recorder workshop– Check out this simple, touchscreen recorder; records up to 6 channels and sounds great! Just pause to actually read the slides…

 Restricted Mics Workshop

Restricted Mic Workshop

A.V. has a number of mics which are restricted to either FVIM courses, or students who’ve passed the workshop. This workshop covers the basics of microphones, selection, polar patterns, etc.

Wireless Mic Workshop

This workshop covers the setup and proper use of wireless lav microphones.

Tascam DR-60D Audio Recorder

A very flexible 4 channel recorder. This quick tutorial goes over settings and features. (Use arrows or click to advance slides.)

 LCR for DCP

The new format for cinema playback is DCP and requires a specific audio format outlined in this LCR Mixing Tutorial

Moving Pro Tools Session Between Computers

If you’re working on Pro Tools at the school, chances are you don’t have enough time in any one edit room to complete the project.
Likely, and hopefully, you’re carrying around an external hard drive which will serve as a backup, and the new location of your session folder. If you don’t follow the procedure for copying the session, Pro Tools will get confused at the new computer and be unable to find some or all of your files. For example, if you just try copying the files manually (dragging your old session folder onto your external drive), the allocation of your files will get corrupted and things won’t work properly. The solution is simple: in Pro Tools, go to the File menu and select “Save Copy In . . .”Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 2.26.38 PM

You’ll see the following window:

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 2.26.57 PMEnsure that you’ve checked the appropriate tick boxes in this window. Under Items To Copy, select “Audio Files” and “Movie/Video Files.”  Click “OK” and Pro Tools will create a new session folder containing everything in your session and save it to your external hard drive. Now use this newly created session on a different computer.

Click on image for higher res version to save for making patch sheets (use markup tool in preview on a mac)

Infomation on the system here, https://pittsburghmodular.com/lifeforms-foundation-evo

To start exploring modular synthesis on your computer check out,
VCV Rack – Open-source virtual modular synthesizer

This is the best video I’ve found on the subject of performing and recording Foley for building up a soundtrack. It’s neat that we’re using the very same mixer as they are!

How loud should I mix?

The thread in the link below is a good read. It explains how complex sound mixing is when we start asking the question of how loud we should be mixing; or how quiet. It may raise more questions than answers, but is very informative and illustrates the minefield that is audio post-production. The two sections below show how to look at audio levels graphically. The first method uses a radar type display and shows level over time. This is a hidden gem within Adobe’s Audition. Click below for more info . . .

How to Read Audio Meters

Look in Adobe AuditionsEffects Rack under Special for the Loudness Radar Meter or Adobe Premiere’s Audio Track Mixer (FX Inserts) and under Special for the Loudness Radar Meter. The TC Electronic Loudness Radar meter is very helpful for achieving proper levels for your final sound mix. This style of meter shows a history of audio levels over the length of your program material and at a glance, one can easily see where in time the problems occurred. It’s a bit like an aircraft radar unit in that it displays time in a circle, volume as a radiant — loudest sounds appearing at the outermost edge of the circle. Anything that crosses the second circle from the outside will be crossing your determined threshold. For example, in the pic below, you can see I’ve selected -23 LKFS as my desired target for my finished mix. That means I want my average level to be sitting on that second circle. It can go above and below that, as long as the max True Peak is < -2 dBfs. Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.14.46 PM

In this image, you can see the waveform of the same audio we looked at in the Radar view above, just expressed horizontally (the way most DAWs display it). This displays the peak audio level at any given moment, but does not display True Peak or Loudness Range. It is best used for editing purposes.Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.14.58 PM

An ironic digital cloud hovers over the feature film audio industry. Many producers, directors, and studio executives are demanding that engineers mix movie sound tracks louder than ever before, even as theater owners are turning the volume down. Read the article here.

  • Audio exports should always be 48 kHz, 24 bit uncompressed stereo .WAV files
  • Audio levels must be mixed to the following guidelines:
    • -24 LUFS (Program Loudness of Mix)
    • average levels around -20 dbfs
    • peaks (loudest sound) no higher than -6 dbfs
    • dialogue normal (average talking) levels around -23 dbfs
    • dialogue peaks (shouting) no higher than -10 dbfs
  • QuickTime files must contain:
    • 48 kHz, 24 bit uncompressed audio
    • Stereo, LCR or up to 7.1 channels (according to your final mix)
  • Students submitting DPX image sequences must also include either:
    • A single stereo 48 kHz, 24 bit uncompressed .wav

OR

Multiple, discrete .wav files for LCR or 5.1 (Surround)

      • each discrete channel must be a mono, 48 kHz, 24 bit uncompressed .wav file
      • representing either 3 channels for LCR (L, C, R) or 6 channels for 5.1 (L, R, C, LFE, Ls, Rs)
      • each channel must be clearly labelled according to its channel (doe_j_L.wav, doe_j_C.wav, doe_j_R.wav)