When is post production editing too much?
Working from home has given me more time for personal violin projects. I recently recorded (separately) all four parts of the 1st movement of Vivaldi's Concerto for Four Violins, and have been spending time learning how to use iMovie to do the post production video editing -- layering all parts together and making audio tweaks where certain parts did not quite sync up.
Every time I created what I felt was a finished version, I would listen to it and decide there is one more passage I could tweak to sync things better. I ended up creating 7 versions of the video, each time syncing the audio parts a bit better (although I might be the only one who would be able to notice the difference, at least from one version to the next).
Once I had that 7th and final version, I discovered that you can use iMovie to easily add sound effects and clip filters. So, I created a version 7b, where I added an echo effect and what iMovie calls their "Flashback" filter.
Here is version 7:
Here is version 7b:
Let me know what you think of version 7b. Have I gone too far by adding the echo and clip filter? Maybe I crossed that threshold much earlier?
UPDATE on November 2: After reading some of the feedback, I created a version 8 of this video, with no altering of the sound.
It's known as "Graphic Equalizer Syndrome." (As soon as you get a 10-band graphic equalizer for your stereo, you're never happy with your sound ever again, because in principle you can always tweak it to make it "better.")
Paul -- Thanks for the detailed response! I was hoping to get your opinion of version 7b of my video, however! :-D I'm more interested in feedback on the sound (after adding the echo effect) rather than the visual aspect. Do you like the sound better with the echo effect or without it?
Is the echo effect the same thing as reverb? I think a bit of reverb/echo effect is nice. However what actually bothered me more was the quality of the audio. It sounds like the attack and the articulation of notes may have been modified in editing, which may make it sound unnatural. When it comes to editing it is important to sync the parts up well. However it's best to try not to mess with the attacks and arsichklations as a result of it. Maybe it's the quality of the mic? I'm not sure, but it just sounds... a bit off.
Hi Ella -- Thanks for your feedback! Yes, the echo effect is similar to reverb. I recorded all the videos with my iphone, so the quality of the audio is only as good as the iphone mic. I am also new to extensive video editing and I'm learning how to do it by trial and error.
Sounds good. I've done similar projects and edited and mixed them (orchestral in fact) but they were all audio only so I don't know much about the video side. IPhones have a decent mic so it is more likely to be the issue of rendering and compressing things multiple times, but I have no experience to back it up.
There is something about both versions that I find very unpleasant sounding (not your playing!), that I can't seem to put my finger on. I don't know if it's the mixing or something else. I think Ella may have been hearing the same thing.
Yeah exactly. I don't know what it is though :(
Thanks for the feedback, Christian and Ella. My wife described the sound as a bit unnatural. I guess I didn’t want to believe it lol. Maybe that’s enough experimenting for now. I’ll leave that sort of thing to the sound engineers! :-)
First off my comments are not about the playing -- that all seemed fine to me. And I congratulate you for undertaking such a project and being willing to share it with us for comments -- that's a brave thing to do!
Hi David -- Thanks for your response. I'm not planning on buying any new recording equipment or apps right now, but maybe in the future. Your comment about doing an A/B comparison with the original and cringing at the edited version makes a lot of sense.
Frequently, phones are preset to capture audio by compressing the dynamic range, thus making the entire recording sound like it was played at the same sound level. This is great for most of the situations people want to capture, but for violin recording, it is the opposite of what one would typically want to do.
The less effects you add, the better, the more pure and the more authentic your sound will be. But... there's a huge problem: you are gonna have a really tough time trying to record an acoustic instrument, specially a traditional one like the violin. It's almost guaranteed any microphone you use in your home made studio is gonna kill your violin sound. The problem with the violin or any bow string instrument is that it's one little single voice, that sound fantastic in real life, but that gets killed really easy by a microphone. If you try to record your voice, you will notice it as well.
I like No. 7 better than 7b or 8. I agree with David about the lack of "richness" and I also suspect it's your microphone. Instead of reverb what you need -- more than reverb -- is the kind of equalization you might get in a decent channel strip. There is probably a plugin that you can get for your app that will do this.
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