Producing Talk And Voice-Overs–Videos

Posted on October 15, 2010. Filed under: Acoustics, Audio, Communications, Digital Communication, Loudspeakers, Radio, Recordings, Sound, Speech, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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1. The production chain (in non-music production) generally begins with the talking performer and therefore involves considerations that relate to producing speech.

2. How speech is produced depends on (1) the type of program or production; (2) the medium–radio, TV, film–and, in TV and film, whether the production technique is single– or multicamera; (3) whether it is done in the studio ori n the field; and (4) whether it is live, live-on-tape, or produced for later release.

3. The frequency range of the human voice is not wide compared with that of other instruments. The adult male’s fundamental voicing frequencies are from roughly 80 to 240 Hz; for the adult female, they are from roughly 140 to 500 Hz. Harmonics and overtones carry theses ranges somewhat higher. (Ranges for the singing voice are significantly wider).

4. Speech intelligibilty is at a maximum when levels are about 70 to 90 dB-SP. Certain frequencies, particularly in the midrange, are also more critical to speech intelligibility than others.

5. Acoustical phase refers to the time relationship between two (or more) sound waves at a given point in their cycles. Electrical phase refers to the relative electrical polarity of two signals n the same circuit. When these waves or polarities are in phase–roughly coincident in time–their amplitudes are additive. When these waves or polarities are out of phase–not coincident in time–their amplitudes are reduced.

6. Evaluation of a microphone for speech includes at least four criteria: clarity, presence, richness, and versatility.

7. The closer a microphone is placed to a sound sources, the closer to the audience the sound source is perceived to be and the warmer, denser, bassier, drier, more intimate, and more detailed is the perceived sound.

8. The farther a microphone is placed from a sound source, the farther from the audience the sound source is perceived to be and the more distant, diffused, open, spacious, reverberant, and detached, and the less detailed is the perceived sound.

9. In selecting and positioning a mic, keep excessive sound that is reflected from room surfaces, furniture, and equipment from reaching the mic, or comb filtering can result. Choose a mic and position it to avoid sibilance, plosives, and breath sounds.

10. In monaural sound aural space is one-dimensional–measured in terms of depth–so perspective is near-to-far.

11. In stereo sound aural space is two-dimensional–measured in terms of depth and breadth–so perspectives are near-to-far and side-t0-side.

12. In stereo miking the angle or distance between the two microphones (or microphone capsules) determines side-to-side perspective. The smaller the angle or distance between the mics, the narrower the left-to-right stereo image; the larger the angle or distance, the wider the left-to-right image.

13. In disc jockey, interview, and panel programs, the participants should sound as though they are coming from the front and center of the aural space. With more than one participant, using individual microphones, the loudness levels for the participants must be similar if the sound is to be perceived as coming from the front and center of the aural space.

14. The overall sound of a radio station involves the particular music or talk format, the announcer’s delivery style, the production style of the spot announcements and jingles, and how tightly presented they all are.

15. The techniques used to mike speech for picture in television and film (and to produce sound, in general) may depend on whether the production is broadcast live, or live-on-tape, or is taped/filmed for showing at a later date.

16. In radio microphones can be placed anywhere without regard for appearance so long as the participants are comfortable and the mics do not get in their way. If the radio program is also televised, some care for appearance should be taken. In television, if a mic is in the picture, it should be good-looking and positioned so that it does not obscure the performer;s face. If it is not in the picture, it must be positioned close enough to the performer so that the sound is on-mic.

17. Generally, for optimal sound pickup the recommended placement for a mini-mic is in the area of the performer’s sternum, about 6 to 8 inches below the chin.

18. Hiding a mini-mic under clothing requires that the mic and mic cable are or can be made insensitive to rustling sounds and that the clothing be made of material that is less likely to make those sounds.

19. In television a desk mic is often used as a prop. If the desk mic is live, make sure it does not block the performer’s face, interfere with the performer’s frontal working space, pr pick up studio noises.

20.The handheld mic allows the host to control audience questioning and mic-to-source distance and, like the desk mic, helps generate a closer psychological rapport with the audience.

21. The boom microphone, like the mini-mic hidden under clothing, is used when mics must be out of the picture. Often one boom mic covers more than one performer. To provide adequate sound pickup, and to move the boom at the right time to the right place, the boom operator must anticipate when one performer is about to stop talking and another is to start.

22. Different techniques are used in controlling levels, leakage, and feedback of mic feeds from multiple sound sources: following the three-t0-one rule, moderate limiting or compression noise gating, or using an automatic microphone mixer.

23. If an audience is present, it must be miked to achieve an overall sound blend and to prevent one voice or group of voices from predominating.

24. Increasing audience laugher or applause, or both, by using recorded laugher or applause tracks adds to a program’s spontaneity and excitement.

25. Recording speech begins with good acoustics. Mediocre acoustics can make speech sound boxy, oppressive, lifeless, ringy, or hollow.

26. Recording speech generally involves either the voiceover–recording copy to which other sonic material is added–or dialogue. Voice-over material includes short-form material, such as spot announcements, and long-form material, such as documentaries and audiobooks.

27. Recording a solo performer and a microphone is a considerable challenge: there is no place to hide.

28. Among the things to avoid in recording speech are plosives, sibilance, breathiness, and tongue and lip smacks.

29. Three types of narration are direct, indirect, and contrapuntal.

30. It is often not so much what is said, but how is said that conveys the overall meaning of a message.

31. Voice acting involves “taking the words off the page” and making them believable and memorable.

32. Among the considerations a voice actor comes to grips with in bringing the appropriate delivery to copy are voice quality, message, audience, word values, and character.

33. Studio intercommunication systems are vital in coordinating the functions of the production team. Three types of studio intercom systems are the private line or phone line–PL; studio address–SA: and interruptible foldback–IFB.

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