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Quieting an MOS camera with barney and Software . . .


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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 05:15 PM

After Phil mentioned the compression issues with MiniDisc recorders (which I have used on a number of short films) and how the ATRAC compression on MiniDisc recordings can bite you when you try to sweeten the recordings with noise reduction, etc.; I went back and took a look at removing camera noise from my favorite Arriflex 16S camera.

Using a recorder that records in linear PCM (a "loss-less" audio format) I recorded the camera running with an internal 100 ft load and powered by one of Clive Tobin's TXM crystal sync motors ('cause what good is recording sound if the camera is not running crystal sync).

I wrapped the camera in a Barney that Lee at Custom Upholstery Products made for me last year.

I then used Bias SoundSoap 2 on a Mac to remove the camera noise.

This was just a quick test and with more time I would assume that the audio could be recorded better and the noise reduction could be finessed better.

The beginning of the take has the camera noise, "Four, mark . . . Arriflex 16S camera running in the background with a barney . . ." at which point I used the noise reduction software. The rest of the take has the SoundSoap 2 noise reduction.

It ain't perfect, but it shows the possibilities for sound sync work with an Arriflex 16S if it's barneyed and the sound is recorded loss-less, then sweetened.

Arriflex 16S sound reduction test

The file is a 276K Quicktime file so it takes a little bit of time to load and unfortunately it will not start playing until the whole clip is loaded, sorry. I compressed the audio clip with AAC, at 128 kbps.

-Tim
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#2 AdamBray

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 07:35 PM

Sounds like it worked.
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 08:02 PM

Would have to disagree with Mr Bray,

It lost tops and gave it a synthesized (mp3-esque) feel ...

keep up the experimenting though :ph34r:
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 08:53 PM

It did have an adverse effect on the voice, but I'm not an audio guy and it seems acceptable, though that might be dictated by the project. It's not optimal or ideal at any rate; it would add a lot of tweaking in post and headache potential (which, I guess, is there any way you cut it, short of a blimp). I'd probably still ADR to keep it genuine...or put the scene next to a waterfall so you don't notice the camera...
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 10:30 PM

It lost tops and gave it a synthesized (mp3-esque) feel ...


Taking into account that the camera was about five feet away from the microphone (a cheap Sony mic made for handicams and omni directional) in an enclosed empty room of 10 x 14 ft., and that the audio had only one sweetening effect added, and then had to be compressed to put it up on this web site, I would have to say that it shows potential.

Use a better directional microphone, add some room tone or ambient sound, sweeten it a bit more, and I think it could definitely be usable. And if nothing else, it would work very well for the scratch track to use for ADR.

-Tim
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#6 Nick Mulder

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:16 PM

Taking into account that the camera was about five feet away from the microphone (a cheap Sony mic made for handicams and omni directional) in an enclosed empty room of 10 x 14 ft., and that the audio had only one sweetening effect added, and then had to be compressed to put it up on this web site, I would have to say that it shows potential.

Use a better directional microphone, add some room tone or ambient sound, sweeten it a bit more, and I think it could definitely be usable. And if nothing else, it would work very well for the scratch track to use for ADR.

-Tim

I was comparing the before to the after - so what you're saying is that to make it better, you should record the sound better in the first place ?   So then we are back to the starting point - people have made near-on decent sound sync movies with MOS cameras without the use of sound soap or ADR for years ...  Yes mostly for student productions due to a lack of funding, but that factor is as redundant as the rest of the weird requirements for films to suspend our disbelief - A bit off topic but>> in other words, why even bother with removing it ?  sheesh

anyhoo's...

128 kbps AAC wouldn't have the mp3-esque feel I mentioned ...  

But like you say, has potential - keep up the experiments
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#7 Ian Marks

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 12:29 AM

Thanks, Tim... Very helpful. Makes me think there's hope yet for my ACL with Tobin motor!
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 03:09 AM

Have you got a B glass on the front of the camera?

You'll find that with most MOS cameras a lot of noise comes out the front through the lens. A B-glass is a thick optically neutral glass you can place in front of the lens.

They are cheap to buy. I have used a 3X3 with a clamp on 80mm matt box. Easy, cheap, done.

Also wrapping the camera in a heavy parka and clamping it in the front will block a lot more camera noise than those custom barneys. I tried those custom barneys on an Arri III, no good. The parka was 10X more effective.

B-glass + parka, will make your camera almost silent.

R,
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#9 Tim Carroll

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 08:39 AM

Have you got a B glass on the front of the camera?

You'll find that with most MOS cameras a lot of noise comes out the front through the lens. A B-glass is a thick optically neutral glass you can place in front of the lens.

They are cheap to buy. I have used a 3X3 with a clamp on 80mm matt box. Easy, cheap, done.

Also wrapping the camera in a heavy parka and clamping it in the front will block a lot more camera noise than those custom barneys. I tried those custom barneys on an Arri III, no good. The parka was 10X more effective.

B-glass + parka, will make your camera almost silent.

R,


Richard,

All great suggestions. I have found the parka trick works very well also. In fact, when I put this Arriflex 16S in the barney and wrap it in the parka, you can't hear it at all, but is makes shooting a bit more difficult.

For this test, I just put the barney on the camera with no parka and no B-glass (though I have heard that before and it is a great suggestion because the lens does throw alot of sound out the front of the camera).

This test was really about what could be done with the audio if there was camera noise present. As I mentioned above, I had been using a MiniDisc recorder for years with 16mm film, and was always unhappy with the results when trying to "sweeten" the audio with different noise reduction software. Always thought it was a problem with the software or that you just could not remove camera noise in post. Then Phil pointed out the compression issue with MiniDisc and not being an audiophile, it's something that I never took into account. So I did a quick test and tried what I had been doing, but recorded the sound with a linear PCM recorder, and tried the noise reduction software with that. And the results were totally different. It is not perfect yet, but I think it shows real potential.

-Tim
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#10 Richard Boddington

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 06:22 PM

For the record I thought your audio sounded fine. By the time room tones and music go in, it's better than good.

R,
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#11 Matt Pacini

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 02:05 PM

The other thing is, room acoustics plays a HUGE part in noise.
Get some of those furniture pads, hang them anywhere off-camera that you can, (walls, windows, etc.) to absorb sound bouncing around in the room.
And put them on the floor if it's not already carpeted.
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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 12:05 AM

For the record I thought your audio sounded fine. By the time room tones and music go in, it's better than good.

R,



Thanks Richard.

-Tim
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#13 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 01:58 AM

Yeah man albeit the criticisms I think it's great for pretty much teh first time you've done this and a test at that. I saw an Arri-made blimp on eBay for about the price of the camera. It looked pretty solid and in great condition. Wondering if you know what I'm talking about?
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#14 Tim Carroll

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 08:26 AM

Yeah man albeit the criticisms I think it's great for pretty much teh first time you've done this and a test at that. I saw an Arri-made blimp on eBay for about the price of the camera. It looked pretty solid and in great condition. Wondering if you know what I'm talking about?


If you find a blimp that is in good condition as far as the interior sound dampening materials, and it has all the attachments including the crystal sync motor, then it can make the Arriflex 16S completely silent. The issue with the blimps is that most of them are about fifty years old by this point, and are missing critical components that are needed to make them work. And the inside sound dampening materials are rotted or missing. The big shell is not going to quiet the camera by itself.

That is why I look to currently available technologies and products that will allow someone to still shoot with these wonderful cameras.

-Tim
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#15 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 12:58 AM

Here's one http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem
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#16 Tim Carroll

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 08:20 AM

Kenny,

ALERT: THAT BLIMP IS FOR AN ARRIFLEX 16M CAMERA. AN ARRIFLEX 16S CAMERA WITH 400 FT MAGAZINE WILL NOT FIT INTO THAT BLIMP

That auction shows exactly what I was talking about. Anyone looking at that blimp package would think they could buy that and be all set. And I have talked to the folks at Rochester Institute of Technology (the ones selling the blimp) about that package. The blimp itself is in very good shape and it looks complete, but in actuality it is missing two very critical components, parts of the eyepiece extension tube and the ARRI crystal sync motor. Without which, the blimp is unusable.

Parts of the eyepiece extension tube are there, but it doesn't appear that the whole assembly is included, which is needed to be able to focus and frame the image once the camera is inside the blimp.

And the crystal motor is missing. Some of the wiring that goes to the motor is present, but not the motor. The motors are very hard to find these days and unfortunately, a Tobin crystal sync motor won't fit inside the blimp.

So you must be very careful when buying a blimp for the Arriflex 16S, 16S/B or 16M camera as there are many parts of the package, and if some are missing, the package won't be usable.

-Tim
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#17 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 07:55 PM

Ah Tim, sorry if I came off as "Told you so". I didn't mean to challenge your vast knowledge in this feild whatsoever. I just wanted to give an example of what I was talking about, I had no idea there were such issues with available ones. I'd be interested to see one in perfect condition.

Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 16 June 2007 - 07:56 PM.

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#18 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:07 PM

There is now a page on the web site (with pictures and links) that covers how to quiet the Arriflex 16S camera with the use of a barney and noise reduction software. You can view it at the link titled, "Quieting an Arriflex 16S - Part #1" on the web page below:

Arri16S.com Home Page

Thanks,
-Tim
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#19 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:09 PM

You can view it at the link titled, "Quieting an Arriflex 16S - Part #1" on the web page below:

Heads-up >>The text isn't hyperlinked yet ...
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#20 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:22 PM

Heads-up >>The text isn't hyperlinked yet ...


Thanks Nick,

Wasn't trying to hyperlink that part, just hyperlink to the home page.

Thanks,
-Tim
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