Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work: at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 20th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #1
Sync Sound Cinema
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 7
Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

sync.sound.cinema: Han Duo
Christian Dolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2013, 01:19 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

I'm shocked.

A person who does sound, railing against the factors that typically diminish the budget for sound on projects.

I'm idly curious as to why sound (which I firmly acknowledge is critical to the communication value of any audio/visual production) should be immune from the same factors that have affected the visual part of the process?

We accept the solo operator who maintains focus when we can't budget for a dedicated focus puller, right? We expect the DP to pitch in and hang lights and set stringers when we can't budget for a full lighting crew. And we obviously accept the fact that the "producer" or "filmmaker" might be the person writing the script - why? Could it be because everybody who can competently write, believes that they are also a "screenwriter" and that less and less, we want to pay the full ticket price of hiring an actual professional one of those.

In other words, explain to me why sound is so much different that it needs to be elevated above the many, many other production arts that ALSO benefit from dedicated attention on the set.

I don't think sound is LESS than these other areas. But I wonder if it's actually MORE.

If you think it is, make your case.

But understand that perfectly valid argument could be made that that great sound recording of a mediocre SCRIPT does a lot more damage to a project than a less than ideal signal to noise ratio. So why not divert those same dollars into scriptwriting instead of sound recording?

The truth is, we live in a time where both quality equipment and operational knowledge is easier to obtain than ever. So some of the "specialness" of the old "I need a qualified specialist to do everything" is breaking down.

We all have to deal with that.

I'm not against what you're arguing. Just a realist to thinks that any craft that feels that their contribution is somehow "more special" than the others is adopting a position that's asking for trouble.

Just another way of looking at things.
__________________
Classroom editing instructor? Check out www.starteditingnow.com
Turnkey editor training content including licensed training footage for classroom use.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2013, 04:14 PM   #3
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

I definitely think there is a threshold where a single person handling everything is asking for a disaster (more than a few people talking simultaneously that need to have their levels constantly ridden--all of this while you're also trying to shoot is one instance), but obviously you can't just make a blanket statement that a one man band doing audio "doesn't work". . .likely thousands or tens of thousands of people are pulling it off daily.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2013, 04:59 AM   #4
Old Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 3,528
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

Timeout - "T" . ..

Where's this going guys?

G
Graham Bernard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2013, 05:20 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

There are a lot of circumstances where I couldn't have a soundman. Just no room for anyone else on a small boat, for example.

Then there are times where I wish I had a budget to hire a soundman.

I've done a job where I ran two GoPro's to get two other angles for an event that had no budget. And then I've had jobs where I had a team of people and still not enough to handle all the duties comfortably.

"Never" and "always" are too absolute in this business. Sometimes we should never say always....

How things are done depends upon the nature of the task and available resources. and it often demands some inventive solutions.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2013, 07:08 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
... explain to me why sound is so much different that it needs to be elevated above the many, many other production arts that ALSO benefit from dedicated attention on the set..
For a while, one of my signature lines, based on experiences in the broadcast world, was: "Audio without video is radio. Video without audio is dead air." In other words, there are orders of magnitude more cases where audible (or even written) communication is the more important communication channel vs. cases where visual is mandatory.

Certainly, audio standards are slowly being eroded by unscripted "reality" type productions. But even there, there are probably more and more complex (although not necessarily more expensive) collections of equipment dedicated to capturing the audio than there are for video. Of course "reality" and "shaky-cam" push the envelope away from high production-value visual as well.

But I would propose that poor audio is perhaps the #1 or 2 immediate indicator of compromised production quality. Even more than the visual element.
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2013, 08:59 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: new york city, new york
Posts: 574
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

i very much appreciate Bill's comments as to how market forces have changed the entire landscape of production and that includes the line item, "sound person".

that said, an audience will forgive slightly soft images before they forgive poorly recorded sound.

ymmv.

be well.

rob
smalltalk productions
nyc
Rob Katz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2013, 09:46 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast, UK
Posts: 4,121
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

Usually when I'm working on a two person crew, the sound recordist is helping with the setting up lights etc. They're not a specialist in that they only do one thing. I would say that generally there's a lot more compromises being made when there's no sound recordist than when there's one on the production. Sometimes it's tough enough getting good audio having the sound recordist and the audio needs you to have the microphone in the right spot.

I wouldn't do any mixing when doing one man band, just lay the audio onto separate tracks.
Brian Drysdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2013, 11:15 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

I would concur with Brian

"I wouldn't do any mixing when doing one man band, just lay the audio onto separate tracks"
- This too can also be a huge challenge for an inexperienced OMB.op.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2013, 07:57 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,706
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Certainly, audio standards are slowly being eroded by unscripted "reality" type productions.
Don't see how, considering they are both scripted and have an audio person on "set".
Gary Huff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2013, 07:19 PM   #11
Sync Sound Cinema
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 7
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

"I'm idly curious as to why sound (which I firmly acknowledge is critical to the communication value of any audio/visual production) should be immune from the same factors that have affected the visual part of the process?...

We accept the solo operator who maintains focus when we can't budget for a dedicated focus puller, right? "

Hi Bill, my intent was never to elevate sound above anyone else. My point is that on shows where there isn't a solo camera operator, there has been the expectation of a solo mixer. I say that there should be proportionality: when it's a solo camera department, then a solo sound department is appropriate (documentary, reality tv, etc ). But when you walk onto a *film set* and there's a DP, 1st AC and a 2nd AC, then production expecting a solo sound person is a mistake. This article is intended more for UPMs and directors (the ones who, in my experience, have been making this request).

Again, this is about filmmaking, where other departments (that need it) have proportionate numbers crew members, and the sound department is being asked to go it alone.
Christian Dolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2013, 08:19 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 289
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

Tv without sound is surveillance.... :-)

One man band...well it depends who that one man is, does it not?? I for one put myself as above average when it comes to sound, and I multitask very well. Some of my associates, not so much. My vote is that as long as the overall project is happy and progressing, don't bother me with the size of the crew... To each their own, because there is no one size fits all in this biz!
__________________
Broadcast Audio Mixer / Owner - www.MambaFiber.com
Greg Bellotte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2013, 09:03 PM   #13
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

See above. Guess we all missed the boat on that one.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2013, 06:51 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

Budget considerations aside, there are only so many tasks a person can do at any one time before all of them begin to suffer from lack of attention. Camera operation requires the full and undivided attention of the camera operator if it's to be done correctly. Audio recording and mixing requires the full and undivided attention of a sound operator if it's to be done correctly. That's not to say that on a minimal crew the soundie might not set lights or whatever. But when the shot is rolling, there must be enough hands, eyes, ears, and brains focused on the various jobs to get all the pieces done correctly. All too often when people are required to multitask too much, the result is nothing getting done properly and the world is treated to yet another waste of bandwidth on YouTube..
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #15
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
Re: Why "One Man Band" Sound Mixing Doesn't Work:

I think he was saying that even if the sound guy concentrates ONLY on sound, one person can't do the job alone on a film or reality show. That's what I read above.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:02 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network