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Arri 16S, Dealing with Camera Noise


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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 05:15 PM

Did some experimenting with the Arriflex 16S and camera noise. I don't have a blimp for the camera, or even a barney. I tried using an old leather jacket and just draping it over the camera on a tripod (not wrapping it tight, just hanging it over), and shooting with a 100 ft internal load. The camera and I were in a small room, 8 ft by 10 ft.

From the dozens of Arriflex 16S cameras I have used or serviced, this was about medium loud, not the quietest, not the noisiest. The sound was recorded with a decent Sennheiser shotgun mic on an HHB PortaDisc MiniDisc recorder. The voice on the audio is mine and this was just a quick and dirty set up to get some audio to play with.

I used three readily available pieces of relatively inexpensive software. The original Bias SoundSoap 1, which retailed for $99. The latest Bias SoundSoap 2, which also retails for $99. And Apple's SoundTrack Pro, which comes free with Final Cut Pro 5.

Here are the results:
Original Camera Noise

Noise Removed with Bias SoundSoap 1

Noise Removed with Bias SoundSoap 2

Noise Removed with Apple's SoundTrack Pro

Tim
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#2 Jan Weis

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 05:27 PM

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but none of your links work. Is this a marketing trick, Tim ? Because I'm getting pretty curious to hear your results!

/Jan
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 05:31 PM

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but none of your links work. Is this a marketing trick, Tim ? Because I'm getting pretty curious to hear your results!

/Jan


Sorry Jan, had a server glitch so I moved the clips. They are working fine now. Sorry for the confusion.

-Tim
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 06:44 PM

I'm impress by the original bias clip. It sounds like one could possibly make a proper fitting blimp, use that and have a near sync camera.


The other filters supressed the camera noise a great deal more but the harm it did to the voice quality is definately unacceptable.


Have you thought of making a proper sound cover for it? I think medium weight leather and quilt batting sewn to fit well would do quite well. You could even make it so it would only go up to the lens mount, with a seperate tube blimp for lenses. Sounds like some fun tinkering you're doing B) :D
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#5 Keneu Luca

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 07:23 PM

Tim, your unrelenting dedication to the exploration of this camera and the underappraciated piece of machinery it is continues to impress and amaze me.

ARRI should really hire you, perhaps put you in charge of some kind of Arri S revival campaign. I don't know...something like that.

Anyway, the clips were ok, but I agree, Im sure some kind of custom made blimp would produce even better results.

One thing I'd like to add, I was shooting MOS outsdoors a few weeks ago wih my Arri S, with the 400' mag, and the noise was almost non-existent...cuz I was outdoors, ya know.
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 09:19 PM

I'm impress by the original bias clip. It sounds like one could possibly make a proper fitting blimp, use that and have a near sync camera.
The other filters supressed the camera noise a great deal more but the harm it did to the voice quality is definately unacceptable.
Have you thought of making a proper sound cover for it? I think medium weight leather and quilt batting sewn to fit well would do quite well. You could even make it so it would only go up to the lens mount, with a seperate tube blimp for lenses. Sounds like some fun tinkering you're doing B) :D


Christopher,

I agree with you about the original bias clip. That is the original version of SoundSoap, version 1.0. For some reason it seems to be able to zero in on the noise of a motion picture camera better than the two following versions of the software, version 1.1 and version 2.0. Both of the newer versions effect the audio to a point that it sounds like it may be coming from a submarine.

As far as the sound cover goes, they are definitely available, but I am thinking of creating something that will let my hands hold the camera. Like a changing bag that is really sound deadening, because I love the feel of an Arriflex 16S in your hands. The way you can follow focus with the ears on the lens, the on off switch, the way the camera body nestles in my hands. So I don't want to cover the camera with a thick barney. Would rather cover my wrists and hands and the camera with something to quiet it down. Still working on that.

-Tim
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#7 Mike Welle

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 11:36 PM

First of all I can't believe you are able to pull the noise out so efficiently. Well done, nice use of the software! I noticed that the version 2.0 sound soap one had less camera noise in it than the version 1.0 recording. It must be impossible to completely remove the noise and keep the quality of your voice. The version 1.0 sound retained the resonance of your voice but also kept the camera sound (albeit, very slightly). I liked your demo so much that I went to the SoundSoap website and watched their flash video where they demonstrate how to use the audio program. You might be interested in this if you haven't tried it already.

Thank you Tim,
Mike Welle


Christopher,

I agree with you about the original bias clip. That is the original version of SoundSoap, version 1.0. For some reason it seems to be able to zero in on the noise of a motion picture camera better than the two following versions of the software, version 1.1 and version 2.0. Both of the newer versions effect the audio to a point that it sounds like it may be coming from a submarine.

As far as the sound cover goes, they are definitely available, but I am thinking of creating something that will let my hands hold the camera. Like a changing bag that is really sound deadening, because I love the feel of an Arriflex 16S in your hands. The way you can follow focus with the ears on the lens, the on off switch, the way the camera body nestles in my hands. So I don't want to cover the camera with a thick barney. Would rather cover my wrists and hands and the camera with something to quiet it down. Still working on that.

-Tim


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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 08:08 AM

Tim, your unrelenting dedication to the exploration of this camera and the underappraciated piece of machinery it is continues to impress and amaze me.

ARRI should really hire you, perhaps put you in charge of some kind of Arri S revival campaign. I don't know...something like that.

Anyway, the clips were ok, but I agree, Im sure some kind of custom made blimp would produce even better results.

One thing I'd like to add, I was shooting MOS outsdoors a few weeks ago wih my Arri S, with the 400' mag, and the noise was almost non-existent...cuz I was outdoors, ya know.


Keneu,

Thanks for the feedback. ARRI USA has been extremely generous in helping me put together the web site as well as helping me locate resources on these cameras. And Axel Broda, who is actually one of the ARRI engineers who hand made these cameras back in Germany, let me come down to California and apprentice with him so he could teach me how the cameras were originally made.

I have been able to track down all the original lubricants used (thanks ARRI USA) as well as the original German service tools on the cameras. And I just finished my sixth complete rebuild, setting up each camera the way they were when they came out of the factory. The only thing I don't do is repaint the cameras in the original black crinkle finish. I think their scuffs and wear give each camera character and I have not found any paint that is as durable as the original from ARRI.

The Arriflex 16S is a great hand hold-able, reliable, affordable 16mm camera that, when set up right, can make incredible 16:9 images (see film clips shot with Arriflex 16S, and these are not from a "Super 16" Arriflex 16S, these are from a regular 16 Arriflex 16S). I am now on a search to find a reliable, affordable way for low budget and independent filmmakers to solve the camera noise problem.

I'll keep you posted,
-Tim
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#9 Tim Carroll

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:56 PM

It must be impossible to completely remove the noise and keep the quality of your voice.

Thank you Tim,
Mike Welle


Mike,

That's the challenge. The software that does that the best is the original SoundSoap. It would be cool if Bias still made that available, maybe call it "SoundSoap Vintage". I actually used that to remove the sound of a Bolex EBM one time (and that camera is really loud). Wasn't perfect, but it didn't do too bad. None of the follow up versions have worked as well on that mechanical noise that motion picture cameras make.

-Tim
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#10 Matthew Buick

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 07:39 AM

Arri S revival campaign


ARRI 16S revival campaign?
WHOA WHOA Cool your jets please, start a revival by all means but wait until I've bought mine please,
I don't want to get to target price, and then have it double suddenly, so please wait until I've bought mine.

Matthew Buick

Edited by Matthew Buick, 02 July 2006 - 07:41 AM.

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Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

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Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

CineLab

Technodolly

CineTape

Willys Widgets