Writer, director, producer, editor, and actor Lynn Shelton died suddenly on Friday, May 15, in Los Angeles.
According to her representative, Shelton passed away from a previously unidentified blood disorder. She was 54.
Shelton was a beloved voice within indie filmmaking whose freewheeling approach to storytelling and comedy resulted in unique, low-budget mumblecore movies like Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister, and Sword of Trust, which were largely improvised.
She was born August 27, 1965, in Ohio, and grew up in Seattle.
Early in her career, she struggled to decide between acting and directing, later segued into photography and editing, and after this learning process felt prepared to take on her first feature. As an actor herself, she knew the pressures a cast could face and strove to create safe, supportive sets.
Shelton’s feature directorial debut was 2006’s We Go Way Back, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance.
If you ever shot interviews, you probably know that problem: your talent is murmuring, and suddenly, he starts talking much louder. In this quick tip tutorial I’m going to show you how to get a consistent voice level of your talent quickly. Let’s take a closer look at it!
Disclaimer: Let’s start by saying that I am not an Accusonus Ambassador. Like every other article on cinema5D, Accusonus, or any other brand, did not pay me to write this article. I bought this plugin with my own money, and this is my unbiased opinion.
Inconsistent Voice Level
Nearly every filmmaker that shoots interviews faces this problem one day or another: inconsistent voice level of the talent. The person you’re interviewing is a human, not a robot, so sometimes they talk louder than others. This is not a problem if you have a sound recordist with you, but if you’re a one-man-band filmmaker, you can’t adjust your audio level consistently. If you have a -6dB/-9dB difference in your audio recording, this is something you can fix in post.
However, you can’t fix an inconsistent voice level by merely doing an audio normalization of your track in your editing software. An audio normalization simply takes the highest-peaking point of your audio signal and put it at 0dB. It means that the parts of your track that are quieter won’t be at the same level as the others. You can adjust the level of each part individually, but it is very time-consuming.
Image credit: cinema5D
Using ERA-4 Voice Leveler
To save some time, I show you in this tutorial how to use a plugin by Accusonus called ERA-4 Voice Leveler. This “one-knob” plugin will automatically adjust the voice level of your talent by turning only one knob. The part of your audio signal that is quieter will get a boost, while the loud part will remain untouched.
For this tutorial, I show you how to use them inside of Adobe Premiere Pro, but the ERA-4 plugins work with every video and audio editing software that accepts VSTs like Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve, ProTools, Avid, Logic Pro X and so on. Working with the ERA-4 Voice Leveler plugin is easy: drag and drop it onto your clip, open the plugin, and start playing with the central knob.
There are a couple of settings you can adjust at the bottom of the plugin, including Breath Control and Emphasis. These settings are especially useful to tell the plugin that he should not raise the level of the parts that are silent and introduce unnecessary background noise. Of course, you can also run the ERA-4 Noise Remover after the ERA-4 Voice Leveler to fine-tune your result. I did an entire quick tip tutorial about the Noise Remover and Reverb Remover that you can watch here.
Pricing and Availability
You can try all the Accusonus ERA-4 plugins for free if you want to test them out and see if they improve your audio recordings. If you wish to purchase the ERA-4 Voice Leveler, you can do it individually at $59.00 per plugin, or get several plugins as a bundle. The ERA-4 Bundle Standard is $149.00, and the ERA Bundle Pro is $449.00. Alternatively, you can also buy them at B&H through the links below.
What do you think of this Quick Tip tutorial? Did you find it useful? Do you often do manual voice leveling on your projects? Let us know in the comments below!
Lynn Shelton, who wrote and directed features including Hump Day, Your Sister’s Sister and Laggies, and who directed numerous television episodes, died yesterday in Los Angeles of a previously undiagnosed blood disorder. She was 54. Long associated with the Seattle independent film scene, Shelton began feature filmmaking in her mid-30s, after working in a variety of other artistic mediums. She told Filmmaker in 2012, “As far back as I can remember I always knew I wanted to be an artist. Finding myself smitten with nearly every creative medium in existence probably made the fact that I ended up deeply exploring […]
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