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Post production sound
  • So, I was sitting at a table at a pub tonight with some fat , arrogant cunt that insisted on the idea that unless one was using a particular software it was simply not possible to achieve a professional post-production audio result for their video work. I respectfully disagreed and, following an absurd discussion on the stupidity of software dogma, would like to assist my fellow indie filmmakers struggling with audio on their film productions with some basic workflow/strategies/techniques to achieve the best possible results in so much as audio is concerned . Having said that, I have no desire to do this unless I know there is some kind of demand for such information. Should this be of interest to you, please reply. I'd be happy to share my knowledge/ideas. If there is enough demand I'd be glad to make some videos to illustrate the methods I use.

  • 39 Replies sorted by
  • I'd be very much interested

  • Me too, I've appreciated some of your comments on this subject in the past.

  • I´m, also, very interested. I think the community will be, as well. Please, do it.

  • I'm always looking to improve so please share. Thanks in advance for your time and thanks also to the c#nt that motivated you. :)

  • I'm interested in discussing multiple channel sound production for Digital Cinema Packages (DCP). That said, it would be good to cover basic workflow, effects for dialogue (Limiting, Equalization), and multi-track setup for the final product.

  • @spacewig Great idea - I'm very interested. Much appreciated - thank you.

  • Me too, I'm old, but still learning every day!

  • Count me in.

  • Yes! Sound is my weakness. I would be happy to know what it takes to do a great sound mix.

  • Nice idea.. count me in, thanks :)

  • This is a great topic that I frequently discuss with my local filmmaker circle... First off... Garbage in, garbage out. You're not going to get great post production audio if you didn't capture great production audio. Most of the local films I've seen haven't really put the production effort in... audio is typically an after thought. From there, knowing basic EQ and Compression techniques (no need for fancy plugins... the built in stuff can get the job done)... you're 99% of the way to a professional sounding audio mix for your film.

    I absolutely endorse you sharing your knowledge Spacewig! It's imperative that filmmakers understand audio.

  • Please share your wealth of knowledge as I am eager to learn ;-)

  • Yes but would be good to keep it in the affordable realm, accessible to indie film makers and small live event capture.

  • I'm all ears Space!!! =)

  • <--interested

  • go for it

  • Aloha, everyone. Didn't expect so much interest but ok, let's do it. I need to reflect a little on how to approach this so that the info doesn't flow erraticly.

    @Rambo Agreed, my target audience is the indi-filmmaker that doesn't have huge money to spend on gear. I still can't figure out why, when someone explicitly states that they don't want want to spend more than X on a piece of gear, some people will nonetheless go ahead and suggest gear that costs 10X. However, I also fully agree with bmorgan83: if you're going to rent a Zoom H4N to record dialogue using the built-in mics, don't be surprised if the tracks sound like shit. You'll often see posts and discussions about lenses, resolution, sharpness, sensors, dynamic range, and yet it stuns me to find out some of those people so interested in visual aesthetics will happily capture their audio from their kid sister's ipod. Please understand, sound is 50% of the sensory information we're getting from a film, so we should treat its acquisition with appropriate respect.

    Anyhow, I'll start posting this week with an overall workflow list and then delve into each item. I want to make it absolutely clear that there are definitely better and more competent people to explain this topic so I make no claims to absolute knowledge or techniques but rather draw on my own experiences since I have more than just a passing interest in audio. I therefore encourage anyone with relevant experience to share their tips/tricks/insights. However, please do not conflate FILM PRODUCTION AUDIO with MUSICAL RECORDING TECHNIQUES which are different disciplines. Mic'ing a piano and capturing dialogue from a boom mic are not the same thing and cannot be approached the same way; so please, do not confuse readers by posting your compressor/EQ settings for smooth jazz vocals, etc.


  • Anyhow, I'll start posting this week with an overall workflow list and then delve into each item.

    Cool. Everyone will be waiting.

  • Sign me up! Another datapoint is always appreciated.

  • Count me in.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Looking forward to reading this topic.

    I think that one reason why people give recommendations outside a person's price range is that there are typically distinct jumps in quality that happen in sound gear and they could happen just outside someone's stated price range--so it's worth mentioning. It's really cheaper in the long run to but decent gear that you can use for years rather than having to regularly replace.

    I'm often surprised that filmmakers will drop $1,000 on a new lens that expands their capabilities a little yet balk at spending that kind of money on a quality sound recording kit that would make an enormous difference in their overall quality.

  • I'd love to hear your advice. I'm just finishing up editing on a no-budget feature we've been working on for a long time. Our one short coming is audio, which is a very important part. So any info that can help us better our audio is very much appreciated.

  • I'm still amazed how many AD's will allow the DoP extra time to nail a shot but will treat the sound department as little more than an annoyance often refusing to allow even a few seconds to fix the lead talents radio lav when it drops out just as you're about to roll.

    If that happens to you especially when working on low/no budget shoots try this line...

    "Oh I didn't realise we had such a large ADR budget! So we don't require location sound? Is that what you're telling me?"

  • Will be posting shortly, have been meeting deadline for recent gig.

  • Looking forward to it.

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