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Production Mix Structure

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I think that trying to correct timing with a moving boom and moving actors is best left to post,

because the timing relationship of the boom and personal mics is always changing anyways.

my 2 cents

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15 hours ago, Jim Rillie said:

I think that trying to correct timing with a moving boom and moving actors is best left to post,

because the timing relationship of the boom and personal mics is always changing anyways.

my 2 cents

 

What Jim said.

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20 hours ago, Jim Rillie said:

I think that trying to correct timing with a moving boom and moving actors is best left to post,

because the timing relationship of the boom and personal mics is always changing anyways.

my 2 cents

Totally agree. A complex production with a budget will get the opportunity to do this, whatever I do with delays, as there are the isos from which they will work. Less budget, less chance of decent PP, they still have isos and I'm still doing what i think sounds best for a mix they may well use. If delay makes blending the boom with radios sound better to my ears (n cans) and I'm not making a 'destructive' decision in doing this (aside from isos, I usually mix boom and radios on 1 side of the mix only, so there is also a 'dry' radio mix to which they can add as much boom whenever they want), what is the risk? My attempt will still sound better than a summed (without delays) boom/radio split. Most times i'm using delays it would be in a locked off situation and easy to manage. If I'm 'booming' and mixing/tracking (OMB) a complex dynamic shot (which should have a boom op but doesn't), the chances are i'm pretty reliant on the radios. The boom will be 'loose' for 'contextual air' (and smoothing) so I think about isosceles triangles :-). If you're running digital/hybrid radios, latency and delay is already a factor, 3ms equates to a differential distance of c.1 metre (3'5"). On the 633 you can increment delay by 0.1ms (which equates to 34mm), I'd rather monitor a mix of blended mics with as minimal time difference as possible (achieved through visual and audible estimation in the field) than monitoring a very phasey mix and wonder how well it'll sound after the 'magic' of post. As QC monitor, it'll give me a better idea what can be done with my tracks in post and probably makes me more adventurous with the (non-destructive) mix, Eg. add more boom (air) whereas before i'd back off much sooner, as the phasing exaggerates the feeling of air (in a bad way).

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4 hours ago, daniel said:

whatever I do with delays, as there are the isos from which they will work.

 

Just fyi most recorders have only an input delay (this includes the 633 and the 788), so you are very much affecting the isos and potentially creating a hell of a mess for post

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On 9/2/2017 at 3:31 PM, Tom Visser said:

It is also helpful for post sound in that they can utilize this non-dialog specific track for many things, for pseudo-room tone, to "learn" noise reduction tools, for improving mix transitions,

Have to say as a post person, mostly, there is an extremely small chance I would use anything from this track.  But maybe a video editor on some slam it on the air show might find it useful?

 

The reasons are that as others have pointed out it will be useless for Noise Reduction, or Room Tone and it is not going to sound like the location of the story.

 

A lot of folks think that you can record ambiences on the set, but as a rule that is not any use to post.  The set is hardly ever in the location, or world, that the story is taking place in so it does not sound right.  Mostly it sounds like a movie set so unless your story takes place ON a movie set the only thing I will use from production is the dialog.  Room Tone is not to provide "ambience" it is to provide filler for places where non dialog sounds have been cut out of the production tracks.  On even a small budgeted film the dialog editors will cut out anything that is not dialog.  They will in most cases put things like door closes etc. on a PFX (production FX) track.  But that is used only for reference.  With very rare exceptions everything except the dialog will be added by the sound post team.

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On 9/19/2017 at 3:07 AM, mikewest said:

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!

 

Maybe on some TV shows but feature films don't generally do this.  Mostly because as I mentioned the sound of the space your shooting in is almost never the sound of the space the story takes place in.  So boom/ lav mix to give a more natural tone is done but using "ambience" from the set is almost never done.

 

Now in music yes that makes sense since the "story" is the same location as the "set".  I could also see it for documentary shoots being maybe useful.

 

So it depends, as most things do, on what you are shooting.  On a narrative post I'm not even going to listen to "ambience" tracks as a rule.  Maybe if the location has a unique sound to it.  But realistically IF the director wants to use sound from the location they should have brought on an FX recordist to do the location, when there is no crew around so you can get a clean version.  I have often gone to locations after the production crew is long gone to cover the ambiences of the location, as opposed to the sound of the set.

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1 hour ago, Noiz2 said:

 

Maybe on some TV shows but feature films don't generally do this.  Mostly because as I mentioned the sound of the space your shooting in is almost never the sound of the space the story takes place in.  So boom/ lav mix to give a more natural tone is done but using "ambience" from the set is almost never done.

 

Now in music yes that makes sense since the "story" is the same location as the "set".  I could also see it for documentary shoots being maybe useful.

 

So it depends, as most things do, on what you are shooting.  On a narrative post I'm not even going to listen to "ambience" tracks as a rule.  Maybe if the location has a unique sound to it.  But realistically IF the director wants to use sound from the location they should have brought on an FX recordist to do the location, when there is no crew around so you can get a clean version.  I have often gone to locations after the production crew is long gone to cover the ambiences of the location, as opposed to the sound of the set.

Yes, the sound of the set! But good to have a reference for the (FX) sounds you'll replace. Some of us know post folk who pretty much go straight to the isos to build a mix appropriate to the (now locked) picture which means the location sound mix is very much about picture editorial, on set monitoring, QC and rather less about trying to do (any meaningful) post production on set with a pair of headphones. imho. Hard to imagine many of the on set 'ambiences' (buzz tracks) i get to record would be anything some1 would want to use for creative purposes. I (we?) push for them when the location is noisy, maybe it helps a post person work a cut, maybe it helps 'explain' some of what we were working with on location. Plus buzz tracks are these beautiful moments where the rest of the crew get to enjoy a reflective moment in the realm of the sound department.

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Exactly Daniel

We can only record what's there, sometimes it's necessary, sometimes useful, or may be replaced.

Location guys have no contact with post they are on location to do their best despite bad location choice

and with no understanding of the post decisions will be weeks later  .

Even though we at time fight hard to get atmos tracks (I some times spend part of my lunch break to achieve stuff)

we can later find that music or even a score covers everything and negates atmos tracks.

 

mike

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As has been said, it is important to be realistic about what sort of tracks are useful to post, and how much of your energy and attention are worth spending on them, especially (as is usually the case) just getting all the scripted (or doco) dialog is hard enough.  It's easy to get distracted about what you as a location soundie think might be needed to make the sound cut of a scene work, and if you have time and space for A: recording that and more importantly B: labelling and data managing it separate from the sync dialog they are expecting, then rock on.  But don't be disappointed if something that sounded cool and useful to you doesn't make the cut.  It's not that they didn't like it necessarily, it's more likely that they never had time to audition it.   If what you got seems REALLY useful or important, then a call about it (not an email) to sound editorial is a great idea.  By this I do not mean room tone or ambiances etc, but specific really-hard-to-find prop SFX, vehicles etc .

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On 9/8/2017 at 2:55 AM, old school said:

Number one thing, above all else discussed here to date, be sure and hit the record button. A unrecorded mix and a recorded mix sound exactly alike, (hopefully good) until you try and play the unrecorded one back....    Double check each roll that you are indeed recording. Nothing worse than having to tell all you didn't get the take... If it does happen, cop to it right away and go again. Better to be a dumb shit now than not sleep all night worrying about being a "fuck up" tomorrow. 

CrewC

Brilliant advice Crew. I have been both the dumb shit, and the fuck up. I much prefer the former ;-)

 

James - watch out for end boards - make especially sure that you are running when it is and end slate ;-) sb

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47 minutes ago, Bash said:

James - watch out for end boards - make especially sure that you are running when it is and end slate ;-) sb

 

That's very important, too. I have made it a habit to watch my monitor and will never cut before the camera(s) has cut, too

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But try to persuade the camera guy who cuts the camera beforethe end board that head boards are best!

mike

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Really interesting discussion here guys, learning a lot. It seems to me that to get definitive answers to these questions then a conversation with post-sound will go a long way. 

 

So we wrapped the feature over the weekend and I have to say that at least sound-wise, it was a total success! The advice I got from you guys here helped me raise my game to a new level and the film sounds that much better for it. Thank you all! I also have lots of food for thought moving on now in terms of different approaches and conversations to have with production and post. 

 

My team and I had a blast the entire shoot, was a super fun experience for all of us and we definitely intend to work together again.

 

Cheers from the Sound Dept!

 

 

Sound Dept..jpg

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