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Old August 1st, 2008, 05:57 AM   #1
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When to Split Dialogue onto Different Tracks in Post Production?

I realize there are no hard and fast rules, but in general, when do you find it advantageous to split dialogue onto different audio tracks?

For example, I'm working with footage that has a large volume discrepency between the mother and the daughter. I've found a few solutions; one is to break the track into separate clips for each person's lines. So all the audio is still on A1, but there are edit points whenever the person speaking changes. This makes it somewhat easier to adjust the gain for each person's lines, since I don't have to use keyframes.

Another method I found was to move all of the daughter's dialogue onto a new audio track. I can then boost the gain on A2 in one fell swoop, and tweak each of her lines individually if need be.

I realize I can also use a compression effect, but sometimes compression sounds weird to me, so I've been looking for alternatives.

But I digressed a little, since my ? is more general in nature. When do you like to break up dialogue onto different tracks in post production?

Thanks much as always!
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Old August 1st, 2008, 08:48 AM   #2
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In any drama productions I've been involved, they've always put each character's dialogue into separate tracks. It gives you so much control over everything.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 09:18 AM   #3
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I will second this, I think what you're doing is the most practical & effective solution.
You could also send the offending audio (after it's all on the one track), to a sound editing program such as Sound Forge, make the necessary adjustments & import it back into your video editor.

RC.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 02:34 PM   #4
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When do you like to break up dialogue onto different tracks in post production?

When it's recorded that way. :)

If it's not, doing what you did is OK as long as the ambient noise isn't loud enough to be heard changing when you go from one person to another.

You can either try to apply noise reduction to the track to remove some of the noise, or add noise (room tone) to the better recorded track with the higher level to make the transitions unnoticeable. Or both.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 1st, 2008, 03:12 PM   #5
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If the dialog is consistent between two actors, I leave the dialog on one track, and adjust the volume as needed with envelope controls. If the dialog is inconsistent I split them.

With the two tracks split, you can push the gain on one or the other to make up for a weak speaker. With a good baseline, you don't have to constantly push the volume envelope up and down.

Also, with multiple tracks, you can EQ the actors differently, which might be helpful with, say, a man and a woman, an adult and a child, or a smooth vs. raspy voice.
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