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Thread: part 2 is this better or worse than the first?

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    Tim, thank you for voicing this opinion about the music. Your insistence made me check in detail.

    I listened to the first min or so on 4 devices, cheap desktop speakers, 5” studio monitors, decent consumer headphones and 50mm studio headphones. And I’m not hearing the problem at all.

    I find the mix reasonably tasteful. The more I hear it with intention, the more I hear the careful work that went into trying to keep the sound balanced and friendly. For the most part the music is about as loud as the voice was, and the location sounds like the waterfall. In fact, I think the waterfall is louder than the music. And then when the voice comes back the music ducks.

    I find your opinion very useful here as a reminder that everyone’s experience is different with artistic/subjective things. I you hadn’t said something, I would have gone to assume that everyone else found the music perfectly acceptable as well.

    To me the music choice sounds a lot like a program I would watch on TV (like Departures). Not necessarily my choice of song but not offensive in any way. And I do have an issue with some modern trends of music. I find this whole dubstep movement frankly offensive. It is permeating into mainstream music to the point I sometimes have to skip online radio songs when the dubstep noise kicks in. So I can completely relate to finding some aspect of modern music repellent.

    What music would you have used for this type of video?

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    RE: Color Grading
    I didnít notice the grading at first. Noticing that the footage was made with small cameras I just assumed these were the colors that came with the footage.

    Iím far from an expert on video color grading. I would say that you may want to keep one rule in mind: The world is a range or orange and blue, because thatís how we see sun light, which is the only natural light in the world (other than misc like fire, volcanos, bugs and such). During the day the light feels bright and white, but it is always some shade of orange or blue. At strong dusk & dawn it comes in orange because of the angle of the light. In low light situations it comes in diffused and blue, either on a cloudy day or at night bouncing off the moon. This concept of orange-to-blue is how we make light bulbs too, because we are trying to make them feel natural like the sun.

    So, unless you are going for something specific, staying in the orange-to-blue range will always look some flavor of natural. Orange says bright, sunny, exciting, animated. Blue says slow, sad, distant, stuck. Thatís all I can offer on the subject of color for storytelling.

    The only other ideas is to make sure you donít go too far as to alter the expected color of things. Keeping skintones looking like skins is very important. Also, things that have clearly defined colors in peopleís minds, like a red bus or stop sign. If you have a sad scene and apply a strong blue cast, your bus and stop sign will be purple and people will feel thereís something wrong with your colors. So the color grading is secondary to making sure your footage colors feel real.

    Here is a nice overview on color grading ideas:

  3. #13
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    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochicago View Post
    Tim, thank you for voicing this opinion about the music. Your insistence made me check in detail.

    I listened to the first min or so on 4 devices, cheap desktop speakers, 5Ē studio monitors, decent consumer headphones and 50mm studio headphones. And Iím not hearing the problem at all.
    Maybe not to you, Jo, we're all different, but to check this out I downloaded a copy of the video and stuck the audio into SoundForge.
    As my ears told me, those dense patches are the music. The less dense patches, which have plenty of peaks above that of the music, are the voiceover. But that's just pictures, what matters -as you imply - is how we actually hear it. I've listened on PC speakers and decent headphones. On both the music "sounds" to me much louder than the rest of the audio. I agree it sounds like it has been worked on but It does not sound "balanced and friendly" to me. This is nothing to do with the more subjective matter of taste. The voiceover and ambient sounds comfortable, the music is intrusive.

    I think this is possibly part of a bigger issue as I, and an increasing number of people I speak to, find the balance between the audio we need to listen to, be that voiceovers or dialog between main characters, and ambient audio and background music on mainstream/cable/subscription TV increasingly poor. Many series I find I have to watch with subtitles, simply because the background sounds are so loud in comparison. I've put this down to 5.1 being mixed down badly for stereo, and I may be right, and maybe there's now a generation growing up used to that so music/ambient drowning our the main dialog is acceptable. This doesn't appear to be a deterioration of hearing thing as watching older series presents no problem.

    As for the taste in music, it's not really relevant what I'd have used for this video as it's not about me or my family, but if I had made such a film, I'd probably look for something much more organic - probably mixing in some traditional Costa Rican music and, as it's a family holiday, some child-like music.

    But what do I know? I made a documentary about refurbishing a church bell tower and (after protracted discussions here and elsewhere) the controversial point was I used heavy metal music to accompany the removal of the old bells - because the work was dirty and industrial and I associate heavy metal with the dirty and industrial midlands of England - from where the likes of Black Sabbath, Slade, half of Zep originated.

    [Edited to remove half of jochicago's post which I'd inadvertently left in]
    Last edited by TimStannard; 05-07-2018 at 06:23 PM.

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    Thanks so much!

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