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  1. JamesP

    Production Mix Structure

    Hello all! Long-time lurker, first time poster here. Firstly I’d like to say how grateful I am to you all for maintaining this amazing site, for people like myself just starting out it is a fantastic resource. The fact that I am only just posting here with questions now is a testament to the richness of debate that goes on here. Keep up the good work! So I’m going to be mixing my first low budget feature next week, I have worked mainly as a solo sound recordist and boom op so far and have very limited experience producing a mix track. This time I’ve got a great boom op and a sound utility gal working with me so I have an opportunity to get my head around mixing. I’m going to be using the Zoom F8 with the FRC-8 control, we have some decent boom mics and the option of a 2nd boom when needed. Also running 3 channels of wireless (G3’s with COS11s). I’ve read through these threads: http://jwsoundgroup.net/index.php?/topic/23938-the-importance-of-lavs-from-the-pov-of-post/& http://jwsoundgroup.net/index.php?/topic/24760-do-we-still-need-a-production-sound-mix-track-when-multi-track-recordings-are-requested/&tab=comments#comment-291328 I know that the post-production budget is small and there are no sound editors on board yet so I think that a good production mix will be really useful for this project. Besides coms and dailies I think there is a chance the mix will actually be used in the final film providing that I produce something of decent quality. I’m confident making a mix track from lavs; ensuring there is only one channel open at a time, this I can get my head around. But my questions are about the composition of the mix. I’m sure that most of the time my boom op will be in an optimal position (good boom skills, single camera, sound friendly crew), in this case would it be best to just push up fader 1 and make slight adjustments based on the dynamics of the scene? Leave the lavs recording on the ISOs but keep the faders down? My main problem with this scenario is that I can’t stand the thought of having tracks open that I can’t hear. How would I know if there are issues with these tracks? Do I set up a a monitoring situation where I can still hear the Lavs? Wouldn't this affect the quality of the mix? Maybe I don’t even need to use the lavs if I’m confident that the boom op/s will cover the scene? I can get my head around it more if the boom is in a less than optimal position, I would add in a little of the boom for air and then mix the lavs into the same track. In this situation how do you guys deal with phasing issues? My final question is about the structure of the mix, the Zoom F8 can produce a polywav with two mixtracks on channels 1 and 2 (L and R). I know in some cases mixers will send the boom to channel 1 and then a mix track of the lavs to channel 2 but whilst this seems useful for sound editors in post, it defeats the purpose of my mix for good quality dailies, a better experience for the picture editor and potential use in the final film. I don’t think that the zoom can be set to just produce a single mono mix track, if this is the case, and I want to produce a proper, usable mix, what do I send to the 2nd mix track? A safety mono mix at a lower volume? Do you use the pan control to set the levels here? I would really like to have my approach nailed down before I start the film so I can tell the DIT exactly what will be on each track, and keep it consistent throughout the entire film. Thankfully as this is a super low budget film it’s not a total disaster if I get this wrong, and I don’t think they are even expecting a mix, but I would like to use the opportunity to practice mixing and go beyond the expectations of production. Thanks again for all the great info on this site, I’ve spent many happy hours browsing through these threads and it’s great to get involved with some (hopefully not completely daft) questions. I have so much respect for you pros out there and I really want to honor the craft by giving us soundies a good name, and doing a great job on set. Any help on my journey is greatly appreciated! Peace! James x