Voice-Over problem in Liquid Edition

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Sir Awl, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. Sir Awl

    Sir Awl Guest

    Hi folks,

    Just looking for a little advice here, and hope someone can help.

    When I try to add voice-overs in Pinnacles LE, irrespective of the
    microphone used, the resultant sound file is always marred by what is
    almost certainly the whine of the several fans built into the base unit.
    If I capture sound via the firewire port or from the Cd/dvd drive there
    is no background noise.

    I am running a custom built dual xeon system, using a Supermicro X5DAE
    motherboard with on-board sound, in a Supermicro case. There are
    numerous fans in this case, not all operative, but with the CPU fans
    there are probably some 5 in total operating all the time.

    What I would like to know - b4 I go and spend more money - is whether
    the fitting of a dedicated Sound Card rather than using the on-board
    sound would reduce the level of interference.

    Has anybody had a similar experience?
     
    Sir Awl, Feb 2, 2004
    #1
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  2. If it's audio noise, no, changing the sound card won't make any
    difference.

    If you're picking up electrical noise, the fans are unlikely to be the
    problem.

    The microphone inputs of most computer sound systems (up to and
    including the various SoundBlaster models) are of consistently lousy
    quality. They are designed to accept crappy high-impedence
    microphones, good enough for voice-recognition and web-phoning but no
    use at all for quality speech or music. Attaching a better
    microphone, which will almost certainly be low impedance, will
    actually make matters worse due to the impedance mismatch.

    Line in is usually much better, but won't accept a microphone
    directly.

    Try this. Connect a known good source (a tape player, etc) to Line In
    of your sound system. Is the recording good? If so, go to your
    local music shop and buy a small sound mixer. Behringer is the main
    supplier in this price range - probably less than £50. It will
    interface with your Line In. It will have 3-pin XLR sockets for one
    or more microphones. The Shure Prologue range represent about the
    bottom price point for acceptable quality. Or, if your mixer provides
    phantom powering, there's recently appeared a very affordable range of
    condenser mics from Samson and others. Retailing at around £40,
    they're well worth a look.

    So, for around £100 you've got quality audio for your films. Much
    cheaper than getting quality video, isn't it? :)
     
    Laurence Payne, Feb 2, 2004
    #2
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  3. I used to run Liquid Edition on a Supermicro board in a Supermicro
    server case. Last time I counted there were 14 fans in that case
    including the tiny ones in my CDROM drives. I had no onboard sound and
    used a Lynx soundcard (www.lynxstudio.com) which is reputed to be one
    of the best and most interference free. It has no mic inputs but it
    does have balanced analogue and balanced digital inputs. I also have
    some good mics and a Sony mic amp. This is not bragging, I'm just
    trying to stop you wasting money! :)

    There was no way I could stop the noise of the fans getting into the
    system. TBH, voice over is a facility I can live without, there are
    less convenient but higher quality ways of killing that particular
    cat,
     
    Malcolm Knight, Feb 2, 2004
    #3

  4. Don't despair. My system is designed and mostly used for multitrack
    music recording and editing. This stresses my drives and other
    components, and I like to keep them cool. There are several fans,
    anything but silent :)

    Nonetheless, I manage to make high-quality recordings using
    microphones in the same room as the computer. Long microphone leads
    are cheap. Soft furnishings between computer and microphones make a
    lot of difference. As does careful positioning of directional
    microphones. I can put the mic in the next room with the door shut
    if I want to!

    It can be done. And routinely, is done.
     
    Laurence Payne, Feb 3, 2004
    #4
  5. I have a range of pairs up to 50 metres. :)
    I have difficulty in squeezing two office style swivel chairs into my
    edit room. :-(
    If you can't see the screen it makes the voice over facility less
    convenient as I said. To be more serious for a moment, my NLE has a
    four channel audio mixer linked to it so that you can ride the
    existing audio track levels in real time as you speak. It has a
    proprietary connector and it is no more than two metres long. :-(
     
    Malcolm Knight, Feb 3, 2004
    #5
  6. OK. You've set up a system where computer noise wins. I've set up a
    system where it doesn't :)
     
    Laurence Payne, Feb 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Fortunately my line of work is not very varied and doesn't require
    voice over. :)

    If that changes I'll make the appropriate changes. :))

    Not been very helpful to the OP have we? I wonder what his problem is,
    computer hash affecting his soundcard or a surfeit of fans.
     
    Malcolm Knight, Feb 3, 2004
    #7
  8. I tried to be helpful in my first reply :)

    Not sure what you meant by:

    "voice over is a facility I can live without, there are
    less convenient but higher quality ways of killing that particular
    cat"

    If you wan't a commentary on a video, you have to record it, don't
    you? The process is commonly called "recording a voice-over". How
    else would you "kill that cat?"
     
    Laurence Payne, Feb 4, 2004
    #8
  9. Possibly you are considereing the generic and I the specific?

    Liquid Edition has a Voice Over facility whereby you can specify a
    section of video and it repeatedly (if necessary) plays it back while
    allowing simultaneous audio recording (on my particular version with a
    hardware mixer) and allows the levels of all existing recorded tracks
    to be individually adjusted to match the voice input in real time. I
    have no idea how common that sort of arrangement is because it is a
    long time since I used software other than the products derived from
    the old FAST Studio line.

    I assumed that as the Subject line included "Liquid Edition" that
    that particular inbuilt facility was being used. All my comments have
    referred to that. Hence my opinion that "I can live without it".
     
    Malcolm Knight, Feb 4, 2004
    #9
  10. Sir Awl

    Tony Morgan Guest

    In message <bvq353$v0i82$-berlin.de>, Malcolm Knight
    That's why I didn't respond.
    A couple of points based on my "amateur perspective" (that may or may
    not be relevant - but have nothing whatsoever to do with Liquid Edition,
    for which I apologise).

    I (extensively) use a tiny Sharp MiniDisk recorder which gives excellent
    quality with Vegas 4 (now). Vegas 4 comes with SoundForge built-in
    giving, with Vegas's layers, frame-accurate synching and level/mixing
    controls.

    I've even thought about building a Clapper-Board to aid synching, but
    that would mean another bit of kit to cart about (and also looks a bit
    ostentatious and might gather crowds when out-and-about shooting) :)

    --
    Tony Morgan
    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice,
    there is." - Yogi Berra
    http://www.camcord.info
    http://www.rhylonline.com
     
    Tony Morgan, Feb 4, 2004
    #10
  11. Sir Awl

    Sir Awl Guest

    Thank you all for your input, if nothing else you have saved me from
    wasting money on another sound card.
    All I want to do is simple voice-overs - with LE as that is the main
    package that I use.
    Unfortunately, the use of something like the Sharp Minidisk or even a
    basic cassette recorder is not possible as I still get a 'noise' pickup
    (loud enough to drown out the voice recording and non-filterable) when
    connecting via line-in.
    This is why I was thinking of using a PCI sound card instead of the
    on-board one.

    However, opinion seems to be that it will make no difference, so I'll
    revert to my old method of recording voice overs to the camera,
    importing the clips, and jettisoning the video. But it really is a pain
    when the software allows for you to just plug in a mic and go.
     
    Sir Awl, Feb 4, 2004
    #11
  12. I agree that what should be a very nice software facility is not
    always a practical solution.

    Is your room big enough to allow you to view the video while standing
    well back from the PC and speaking into your camera's mic with it
    connected via a long audio lead to the line-in of the soundcard? You'd
    need the help of someone sitting at the PC to operate the mouse etc,
    though I suppose you could go the whole hog and use an infra-red
    system. ;-)
     
    Malcolm Knight, Feb 4, 2004
    #12
  13. Sir Awl

    Sir Awl Guest

    Two problems there Malcolm........................................

    Using line-in I believe I still pick up the fan noise, and the present
    room is not big enough................................. but it may be
    when my Loft Conversion is completed in about 6 weeks time.

    Ah well, it is something to try later.

    Just a small clarification. The 'noise' that I am picking up appears to
    be more electrical/mechanical picked up by the hardware than wind noise
    heard by the microphone - I suspect I did not make this very clear in my
    first message.

    It may be that just one of the many fans in this case is causing my
    problems, I'll have to try swopping them with some 'new' spares that I
    have.
     
    Sir Awl, Feb 4, 2004
    #13
  14. A simpler way might be to pull the power plugs on all but the
    processor fans for a few minutes.

    My case has got two 5 inch fans, maybe 6" I've forgotten. Noisy
    blighters anyway.
     
    Malcolm Knight, Feb 4, 2004
    #14

  15. Unlikely to be the fans, then. Are you sure you're using a quality
    microphone, interfaced correctly with the computer? You'll recall
    my comment that soundcard mic inputs are generally impossibly noisy.
     
    Laurence Payne, Feb 5, 2004
    #15
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