The Owasso High School Percussion Ensemble performed a 1-hour concert at the Midwest Conference in Chicago in December, 2023. They purchased audio recordings, which were delivered via mail in CD format, and a family member had video-recorded the entire concert on an iPhone. One of the percussion directors inquired about our video editing services, asking that we combine the audio provided on the CD and the video from the concert. This is a case study demonstrating how detailed we are in our approach to audio and video editing, even with seemingly simple projects.
Audio Enhancement (1 hour)
Video Enhancement (1.5 hours)
As mentioned in the project summary, the audio provided came from a CD, from which the client uploaded and shared each of the 10 tracks (1 for each of the 10 pieces they performed) with us via Google Drive. The standard for CD audio is 16-bit, 44.1 kHz mp3. The audio capture was great, but the image was a little narrow. This is because live concerts in a convention center typically don't put the mics super close to the group,, to avoid obstructing the view of the audience (If we had recorded the group ourselves, the image would have been the same).
Adding Depth & Clarity
The first order of business was enhancing the master of the recordings. We do this using Izotope Ozone 10, adding effects such as Vintage Compression, EQ, and a Limiter. Listen to the sampels below (preferably with headphones on) to get an idea for how this changes the sound.
Enhancing the Stereo Image
After adding depth & clarity, we enhanced the stereo image...
To improve online delivery, we Normalized each recording to 85%. Audio normalization is essentially adjusting the volume of a song so that all parts, from the quietest whispers to the loudest beats, are at a balanced and comfortable level. It ensures that you don't have to keep reaching for the volume control when listening to different tracks, making your music experience smoother and more enjoyable.
Here's what the snippet above would sound like after 85% normalization:
Noise Reduction Processing
Lastly, for softer tracks in which the master increased the overall volume, the room noise was also amplified. We ran noise reduction over the recordings by taking a sound print of the few seconds of silence at the beginning of the recording:
After applying a combination of each of the above effects to each of the 10 recordings, we saved them as "Edits" began the video editing process.
As mentioned in the Project Summary, we were provided with 10 video clips via a Google Drive folder. For reference, this is what they looked like before applying any effects or enhancements:
Let's dive into the effects we applied to make this LOOK more professional...
After increasing the saturation, bringing the Highlights, Shadows, and Contrast levels way down, the image was already looking much better.
By cropping in on the image, the ensemble fills out more of the screen.
The next order of business was realigning the image to create more symmetry in the lines.
This is easily achieved using a 3D Swivel Effect:
With iPhone footage, in which bitrates are reduced and affects are burned into the video, making changes such as these can create lots of unwanted noise. This refers to the little dots around the screen creating a "fuzzy," unwanted texture in the video. By using Neat Video (dedicated noise reduction software), we were able to drastically reduce this noise while retaining sharpness and clarity:
Photoshop Generative Fill
While it wasn't necessarily asked for, we make it a point to go above and beyond for our clients. In the original videos, audience members can be seen at the bottom of the screen.
By exporting a screenshot and importing into Photoshop, these people can be easily removed using the Generative Fill Tool. This image is exported and laid back over the video, but only using the bottom 20% of the image so that the performers and audience members on the SIDES of the screen can still be seen moving around.
The headroom in the bottom left corner of the imitation wood was perfect for adding animated titles. The final step was adding simple fade ins and outs to each video.
As you can see and hear by the before and after examples below, the little things really do add up!
RAW mp3 Audio with RAW Video File
AFTER Audio and Video Enhancements
Just like any skill or profession, audio and video editing takes time, money, and patience to master. Hopefully this case study provides some insight into what goes on behind the scenes of a professional audio and video production/editing company. Our clients agree that it is MUCH easier to pay a professional to do work like this. They also agree that our prices are affordable compared to most agencies they've worked with.
Do YOU have a project that requires professional audio and video enhancement?
Are you interested in having your event recorded professionally?
Head over to our website to check out some of our most recent projects, or contact us using the information below!
Tallahassee Photo & Video, Tallahassee, FL