technique for placing sounds in environments

CDM wrote on 2/4/2006, 5:39 PM
Hey everyone -
having just come off a mixing/mastering job for a short film, I came away wishing I had a few more tricks up my sleeve for making certain sounds, whether they be voice or sfx, sound like they're in the same room or space as the actual sound. My current technique is often to use a combination of simple delay and reverb to make a sound less present and more "roomy". Sometimes I'll make c opy of the sound and offset it with itself to achieve that chorussy effect. But I know there must be certain reverbs or delays "of choice" out there, or other techniques and I'd love to know what they are, if you're willing to share... Currently, I find that I'm always wanting to make the final effect mono, because a stereo reverb on a sfx or voice just doesn't sound real to me in a film or video.

anyway, I look forward to your response(s).



JohnnyRoy wrote on 2/5/2006, 6:57 AM
I would use Acoustic Mirror. It comes with Sound Forge and uses files called Impulses that are acoustic signature of the actual room. It comes with an extensive set of Impulses and you can make your own (the documentation will show you how) but basically it’s a hand clap or other loud noise that is recorded on location and when processes the reverberation characteristics of the room are analyzed and stored. (so you do this on location). Then back at the studio if you have any overdubs you can apply the same impulse and get the same room characteristics as the original location.

If you don’t have Sound Forge to get Acoustic Mirror, you can try SIR which is free and works on the same principle (it’s a impulse response processor that PipelineAudio turned us on to in this thread alone with some other nice free reverbs).

PipelineAudio wrote on 2/7/2006, 12:52 AM

but if you really want to synthesize this

It really helps to have a good imagination and organizational skills to pull this off,.Completely lacking the second quality, I end up with some whacko junk :)
bgc wrote on 2/7/2006, 2:34 PM
I recently worked on a soundtrack for a film. One scene was in a club where the actors were back stage and the music, without processing didn't sit in well with the scene. I used a low pass filter and reverb and adjusted them until it sounded exactly like how the music should sound.
newhope wrote on 2/13/2006, 4:59 PM
I've been mixing sound for film and television for about 30 years now and there is no one trick to place your sound in an environment but as the others who have replied here have indicated it's a combination of EQ and reverberant space.

In the end the only measurement you have for those parameters are your own ears. Applying equalisation to the audio, be it voice or SFX, adding reverb or delay to match the acoustics of the original recording and adjusting the level so that it sits within the mix at an appropriate volume to the other sound components is really the only way to achieve what you want.

Of course with plugin presets you can get into the 'ballpark' a lot quicker. For instance if the scene is shot in a church then selecting a 'church' reverb preset may get you closer to the reverb characteristics but be prepared to modify the preset to match the actual original recording.

As far as EQ goes it's dependent on the original recording and the nature of the new SFX, dialogue or music you are trying to place within the environment.

I often notice that voice replaced by ADR is too clean and needs a little extra noise or mild distortion added, particularly where only a few lines of dialogue are replaced and need to be matched in with the original recording, I tend to add an aural exciter to the chain to reproduce this effect in addition to the EQ and reverb.

Hope this is of some help... yeah I get the pun :-)

Stephen Hope
New Hope Media
PipelineAudio wrote on 2/13/2006, 5:12 PM
+1000 !!!!!