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JamesP

Production Mix Structure

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JamesP   

Hey all! 

 

So it's been a chaotic first week, we've been put through our paces to say the least. We're dealing with noisy locations, noisy wardrobe, an unconventional shooting style that leaves us without the coverage we need half the time, last minute script changes and a tense atmosphere on set as everything is behind. Tho joys of low budget film-making! 

 

Good news is is the sound department is having a great time despite the challenges and we're doing as good a job as we can! I'm getting plenty of opportunities to practice mixing and I'm starting to get the hang of it. Fader moves are sounding smoother every day and I'm getting a good feel for how things should sound. My boom op is an absolute beast and is fighting for every inch and our second is learning super fast. We're all hoping we get to work on some better organised projects in the future! 

 

Went for a mono mix track in the end, feel much more comfortable that way and everyone seems happy with the results so far!

 

Thanks again for the amazing discussion here guys, really appreciate all the advice. 

 

J

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9 hours ago, JamesP said:

We're dealing with noisy locations, noisy wardrobe, an unconventional shooting style that leaves us without the coverage we need half the time, last minute script changes and a tense atmosphere on set as everything is behind. Tho joys of low budget film-making! 

 

That's not low budget film-making, that's film-making

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VAS   
7 minutes ago, Constantin said:

 

That's not low budget film-making, that's film-making

 

Agree with that statement.

My favorite article so far from Cinephilia & Beyond is for Terrence Malick's, "The Thin Red Line"

 

I don’t know if this will make sense the way a normal film does. Terry’s wildly intuitive and impressionistic. He wrote a script based on the novel, and he’s making a film based on the script, but he’s not shooting the script. He’s shooting the essence of the script, and he’s also shooting the movie that’s up there on the hill. He’s trying to transcend the book and the script and himself. He’s just out there. He’s a wild cat. — John Cusack on Malick

 

Terrence Malick is oblique. He would start shooting the scene, but watch the sky. And about six, when the sky was just right, he’d say ‘That’s enough of this scene, let’s revisit the scene we shot the other day.’ Nothing will match, but that’s fine. He was finishing the scenes in golden light. He couldn’t tell the studio he was only going to shoot in golden light, they would have freaked, so he would hold these scenes off. The actor didn’t get to do what he wanted to do, John Toll didn’t get to photograph it the way he wanted to, and Terry didn’t get to shoot it as he’d written it. All those elements were thrown out, and the only new element was this light that’s what it was about. — Nick Nolte on Malick

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mikewest   

Hi Tom great post!

 

A split mix plus ISO tracks is the way to go

 

A lack of time and rehearsals is dominant so true mixes are just luck

particularly if actor stick to the script, timing etc as in the day when I mixed to a mono Nagra.

 

Have seen several great TV dramas on Netflix where an ambience/acoustic boom is used

to render all the lavs true to a wide shot by adding some acoustic.

 

Times have changed, more lavs, less true boom work (maybe close-ups).

 

Regards

 

mike

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On 15.9.2017 at 10:45 AM, mikewest said:

 

 

Have seen several great TV dramas on Netflix where an ambience/acoustic boom is used

to render all the lavs true to a wide shot by adding some acoustic

Could you please name a few?

 

4 hours ago, JamesP said:

Interesting, I've been trying that in wide shots and it definitely makes the Lavs sound more natural. 

Isnt the boom in a wide shot kind of an ambience mic anyway?

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mikewest   

Hi Veit,

 

Gee I've watched so many British series in the last two months that I cannot be specific.

You do need to listen on a good speaker system or headphones to evaluate the approach.

 

Well a boom in a wide shot gives ambience but it does not offer the voice detail that lavs give.

In using a boom for just ambience it should be pointed at the ceiling and certainly away from the actors

so that it picks up clean ambience, not mixed with the lavs but captured on an iso track.

Then the rest is up to post production!

 

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/the-cul-de-sac/episodes/s2-e5

This is a link to an episode of a series that I recorded

The scene about 9 minutes in was shot in a very large empty space

with two cameras and I used lavs in the actors and an ambience boom.

There may have been more echo added in post.

 

mike

Edited by mikewest
Example link added

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James, Mike, Veit:

Common practice in post to take a boom (master), pull the lav into precise sync and phase, then mix according to available elements. Thus getting a general balance across scenes which have both the 'omph' of the close lav and the 'ahh' of the natural boom.

 

Outside of narrative (ie daytime tv style) I'm well aware of blending to get a similar result (especially where lavs = the bulk of the sound) but this is something which is fairly easy to achieve (and importantly not FU the tracks permanently) in post with the boom mic ON AXIS. I wouldn't be surprised if folk (especially folk used to mixing fast turnaround tv) are blending, but I would say it's a trick made obsolete by today's narrative ISO delivery for a careful post balance.

 

Jez

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7 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

James, Mike, Veit:

Common practice in post to take a boom (master), pull the lav into precise sync and phase, then mix according to available elements. Thus getting a general balance across scenes which have both the 'omph' of the close lav and the 'ahh' of the natural boom.

 

 

Jez,

this is pretty clear to me. I also do dialogue editing on features. I am still wrapping my head around that ambience mic. Okay it is off axis vs on axis on a boom in a wide shot. But on an interior scene how will the ambience mic ever be without the actors voices? Pointed to the ceiling or not....

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Been doing it like mike westgate has described for years as well. Basically using the boom mixed into lavs to get it to sound like it looks on the wider shots. Whether post uses it or not is a mystery.

 

CRAIG

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mikewest   

Thanks cstauffer.

To Veit, well it's simple as all interiors have an acoustic excited by actors voices unless they whisper.

If you have clean tracks of the lavs and an iso track of the ambience boom you can add acoustic

on the wide shots to in effect produce perspective, I think my example posted yesterday shows that

 

mike

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Okay I think I am piling up misunderstandings...

I am just saying a boom in a wide shot or a so called ambience mic don't differ. They both

add acoustics of course. I would never not boom any scene ever (so why record an additional ambience mic esp in a wide shot). I am still onto this ambience

mic which Tom mentioned very very early in this post. All answers I am getting are about

101 of production sound recording and how they mix it in the post. I know all that, so I think my posts

are being misunderstood.

 

Cheers

 

On 17.9.2017 at 10:06 AM, Veit Norek said:

But on an interior scene how will the ambience mic ever be without the actors voices? Pointed to the ceiling or not....

To this, how can the answer be this:

12 hours ago, mikewest said:

To Veit, well it's simple as all interiors have an acoustic excited by actors voices unless they whisper.

 

:huh:

Feels like a superweird pingpong

Answering with the most basic 101 acoustics

I don't get it, sorry

 

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mikewest   

Sorry you don't get it.

 

I do not understand your comment " I would never not boom any scene ever"

 

If you've ever recorded music in a live space say an orchestra it's a similar process

 

Use a stereo pair close to the orchestra to get detail

Then use a mono or stereo mike pointing at the back of the venue

 

Then in post mixing you can achieve a balance of close and ambience

This particularly is useful if multi camera shooting covers wide then close shots

Just like dealing with actors!

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