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Old October 9th, 2004, 01:43 PM   #16
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Re: Re: Re: What about the "Film Sound"?

<<<-- Originally posted by Cliff Hepburn : <<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : One way is to pan the background sounds to the left and right. -->>> -->>>

What does this statement actually mean? It sounds too simple and I don't understand how it can help isolate the dialog track.
Thanks
-Cjh -->>>

I guess you'll have to try it and listen to the results. Obviously you cannot try spatial tricks in mono but it does work in stereo. Douglas Spotted Eagle taught me that trick.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 02:39 PM   #17
 
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>>>I would recomend anyone here getting a book called "The Art of Mixing: A Visual Guide to Recording, Engineering and Production" by David Gibson. <<<<

Indeed a GREAT book, with awesome illustrative examples.

Film sound is a combination of making frequency holes, dead space, compression, panning, fades, and a LOT more. Good monitoring tools are the first critical point. Good room is next CRITICAL point. However, every time I bring up good room practices in here, seems to be met with some sort of remark, so I've given up on that particular discussion.
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Old October 10th, 2004, 11:41 AM   #18
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I'll go for the room issue, cause it's critical. Maybe this will help, maybe not, just some ramblings from hobbyist/fool....

I like to sail. While I have many of the electronic goodies that make it easy, I get the most enjoyment from navigating traditionally with chart and compass. The compass had two flaws when using it variation and deviation. Variation is the difference between true north and magnetic north. This is easy to account for given where you live on the globe and applying some simple arithmetic to compensate. We also adjust our compasses so that the variation is as little as possible - like calibrating a monitor. Deviation is different. Deviation is the effect the boat (or metal/magnetism on the boat) has on the compass. There isn't a whole heck of a lot you can do about it. You can relocate the compass to a more suitable position (usually not much of an option), you can change the structure of the boat to minimize its effects (often difficult as well) or you can do a lot of testing and record your findings in a deviation table which allows you to again apply some simple arithmetic to compensate (easiest and most used method).

Monitoring audio is very similar. The best solution is to have a dedicated room tuned to monitoring audio. Bad (ok not BAD but lesser) equipment in a good room will often produce better results than good equipment in a bad room. Unfortunately for most of us, this solution is impractical. I know how to make a good mixing room and if I can't build the perfect room I know how to modify an existing room to work very well (ok, to be honest I have a rudimentary understanding of it, but I do know the right people to bring in to do it). The problem is I don't have a room I can dedicate to mixing and the cost of living in my area prevents me from getting one right now. I think most of us who are hobbyist, or students are in the same position. So we need to think more in terms of deviation as opposed to variation (variation being setting up the room). Yes we should make our monitoring and mixing environment as good as we can within our given limitations, but once that has been accomplished our job is still not done. We now have to account for the deviation that exists because we are mixing in a less than perfect environment.

How? Well first we do lots of testing. Import recordings you like into your mixing environment and look at what setting you need to make it sound correct. Make several mixes of different kinds and play them everywhere you can. I listen to mixes on my boombox, my computer, my home stereo, friends stereos, my car, friends cars, clubs and, most importantly, studios with professional mixing environments. I write down settings, impressions, changes. All of this provides me with a "deviation table" of sorts. No, it's not a problem that can be solved with simple arithmetic, this is subjective after all, but it gives me a good starting point for know what changes I'll generally have to make. For example, if I'm mixing a pop song, I know I have to mix the vocal track lower than what sounds right in my room. I also have to use less bass than what sounds right in my room.

Is this a perfect solution? No, but it does get me WAY further than if I didn't do it at all.

Just some random thoughts while I drink my coffee....

Matt
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Old October 11th, 2004, 03:50 PM   #19
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I am gearing up to do the sound on my short film (building the sound studio, etc.) What would you recommend as the top 3 books to get me started?

Also, when setting up your studio (in a spare room in my house), what are a few key things to make it sound better?
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Old October 11th, 2004, 04:04 PM   #20
 
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You might want to read my brief article on this subject. You can find it on the VASST site.
Click the login link below, and it will transport you to the tutorials pages. It's called "Get In Tune."
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Old October 11th, 2004, 07:18 PM   #21
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If I were going to the expense of building a mixing room (sound studio) I would bring in a pro (after I read Douglas' article). I'd like to know what Douglas thinks about that first though...

I'm not suggesting that you hire someone to build your studio for you, I mean more of a consultant. Sure you can read a lot and that will get you going in the right direction, but there's a reason those guys do all that studying...

You could probably get a cat from a local university that would do it. Even if you hired a regular firm what I'm suggesting wouldn't be that much. Get them to look at the room before you rebuild and ask what them how you should handle the build-out. Once that's complete, they can tune the room for you and add (or tell you what/where to add) and absorption, diffusion, reflection, etc. These guys will also recommend speakers, placement, etc. Yeah this will cost you more in initial set-up, but then you're done and you know it's right and that's one less thing you never haft to worry about. Compared to the price of gear, their time will be a small investment in a great sounding movie.

I have read many books on this subject and while I mostly "get it", I would still hire someone. But hey, the dice are yours and I don't have a bet on this particular pass line...

Matt
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Old October 11th, 2004, 07:23 PM   #22
 
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Keep in mind that for reasonably 'standard/simple' rooms, Auralex usually designs/recommends for free, especially in pre-build stages.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 07:29 PM   #23
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Douglas, I have a question. What about for those of us that have been able to commandeer one half of a bedroom, without our SO strangling us in our sleep. I can't keep the monitors away from the wall (or bookcases to their sides for that matter). I've thought of selling the dining room set and setting up there, but I'm too young to die...

What do you recommend in a setting like that?
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Old October 11th, 2004, 07:30 PM   #24
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By the way, I hope you don't mind my ramblings in this thread...

I'm often lonely....

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Old October 11th, 2004, 07:33 PM   #25
 
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If you can't get the speaks away from the wall, then isolate them as much as possible. Put Mopads beneath them and dense blocking devices behind them. That will kill most resonance hitting the wall. If it's a hollow sheetrock wall, it will still conduct the lower frequencies in the wall, however.
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Old October 13th, 2004, 02:04 AM   #26
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Thanks for the reply. I checked the article--it was great! That really helps me!! I am working in conjunction with my university, so I am hoping to get some more experience in on this short. But I have to go ahead and get started alone in case no one wants to help. :) I still wish to start learning (as much as I can) about the art of sound--any recommendations on books?
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Old October 13th, 2004, 08:21 AM   #27
 
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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...639590-4019259

These books all have quality audio information. The last is a shameless plug for my most recent book, which has 2 chapters dedicated to this subject.
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Old October 13th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #28
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Thanks Douglas. You gotta make a living you know!!!
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Old October 19th, 2004, 06:29 PM   #29
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I've been working on doing the audio for a film noir short which has orchestral and jazz music along with the DV audio track and I thought I would follow up here with some of what I've been doing. Maybe it will help, or maybe it's all just rubbish, I'll leave that up to you (or David).

The first thing is I probably spent three to four hours working on the dv audio track before doing anything else. I filtered the track to remove unwanted noise (hiss) and then captures plain ambient sound from the various scenes. Once I did that I spent a lot of time going through the wave form and adjusting the gain of each event. Not a lot, maybe 5 db here or there, usually taking a bit away. For sound that had too much of a reverb trail (opening and closing a crystal carafe for example) I adjusted the gain and faded the sound out. I removed some door squeaks and added in a minimal amount of foley (light switch). I try to adjust gain instead of "silencing" part of a track but if I do, I add in the ambient sounds as a floor.

Once I have the events in the proportional levels I would like, I go through it again to make any eq adjustments I might want at different spots. I then look at the dynamic range and compress if necessary. I tend to keep this track centered although if there are sounds I want somewhere else in the stereo field, I'll isolate them into their own track and pan and add reverb accordingly. If the panning is dynamic, I'll automate that function.

Then after I do this and I know where the dv audio will lay, I start writing the score. In this instance it's not to detailed but still I write the music and mix it knowing what I'll be writing around. Then I do all the stuff we already talked about to make the audio present in the mix. I mix the hole thing using automation until it sounds how I would like it to.

The first few hours spent processing the audio (and this was for five minutes of video) was the most tedious, but it is, to my mind, the most important step.

Hope this helps,

Matt
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