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rcoronado

a dialogue editing roundtable with some big names

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In my small world these days, I'm finding we use slates mainly when the director wants to impress the client or similar big wig. If the director's not on board, it's not worth the fight... 

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1 hour ago, Derek H said:

How clean of a recording is necessary an impulse response to be effective? That would be my follow up to the editor that mentioned the idea. 

 

Does it or have to be dead quiet for a few seconds to get the entire tail? How loud does it need to be? If there’s anything overlapping is it useless or is there some margin for error?

 

To be an effective impulse the clap has to be clean, loud and preceded and followed by silence--the reverb tail is very important to the accuracy of the impulse.  I've never had that much luck with impulse responses made from slate claps, the really usable impulses came from playing back Altiverb's "sweep" files on hifi speakers, pretty loud.

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I gave up trying to get clean slates, and am happy when it's audible, and on tape (aka camera doesn't roll and slate before the AD calls rolling).  I don't see it changing, but I thought it was an interesting request, and of enough use to him to point it out specifically.

I agree the sweep files produce much better responses, but a clean slate clap can be a quick easy way to throw some adr lines into the same room with decent results.

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20 hours ago, Wyatt Tuzo said:

 

Maybe I've been fortunate... maybe it's just the work I get, but I've literally only had this requested of me once (and I told them that maybe I wasn't the right person for their job).

 

In terms of beating w&t's

I wonder whether its a self fulfilling prophecy, born of asserting our expectations early on... or if it's just dumb luck, but I've really only had one DP give me a headache about this.

I feel like, in my experience, once people see that there is a reason behind what you're doing/asking, they are willing to work together toward the same end. After all... its a collaborative medium.

 

Generally speaking, It's my approach to try to cover a scene with as few sources as I can get away with. A mentor once phrased it to me: "it's our goal to sell the illusion that the entire scene was recorded with a single microphone". While he was talking more specifically about the production mix (and keeping bg levels and tone consistent), It's something I always strive for (and It's my taste to arrive there through the booms, first and foremost)

 

 

 

While I agree and I absoultely cover scenes with the least amount of sources I can.

 

I can’t tell you how many times when an AD sends talent to me to be wired without even asking me. And they just assume everyone needs to be wired.

 

The main question I get asked about my kit is “How many Lavs do you have?” It’s crazy, but inexperienced poorly planned productions sees wiring talent as a quick process that allows them to do whatever they want without preparation or consideration of camera placement, light placement or even coverage... etc...

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One small upside, charging per lav (and per ifb) is an easy justification to producers for the cost of our equipment.  While "wire everyone" may not be the way any of us would choose to approach production, at least we can charge for it.

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14 hours ago, Wandering Ear said:

One small upside, charging per lav (and per ifb) is an easy justification to producers for the cost of our equipment.  While "wire everyone" may not be the way any of us would choose to approach production, at least we can charge for it.

True. And i do. Easyier to do in L A commercials than TV or Film but I've...  let's say grown to see the value of that workflow $$$. Still not the right way in at least 50% of the scenes I record.

CrewC

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We should all start saying we charge per mic/TX/IFB. The boom is only one mic, one charge. 

 

Easier said than done. I appreciate all your ideas, input and experience allot on this subject. 

 

Thanks, 

 

 

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1 hour ago, rcoronado said:

care to elaborate?

Yeah. Basically they don't know what and why we do what we do in our jobs, and we don't know what they do or even who they are. Weird workflow but it seems to work better in practice than on paper.

CrewC

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1 hour ago, old school said:

Yeah. Basically they don't know what and why we do what we do in our jobs, and we don't know what they do or even who they are. Weird workflow but it seems to work better in practice than on paper.

CrewC

This is an aspect of USA-style filmmaking that's always puzzled me.  When I started in the biz I had the notion that I could be like the soundies who worked for some famous Euro feature directors: ie the soundperson the director picks takes the film from cradle to grave.  The USA movie biz is pretty hostile to this idea, for some good reasons ( multitasking, possibly higher levels of expertise thru specialization, the whole equipment thing) and some maybe not so good reasons (union-driven division of labor, a factory mentality, force of habit and entrenched methodologies).  One by-product is the lack of comprehension of what's going on in other related but separate parts of the movie-sound "chain of custody" so to speak.   Roundtables like this won't change the situation, but they do make things more understandable and thus a bit easier I think.  I too think a similar round table with some dialog editors that are at the level these folks are at joined by some happening PSMs would be something I'd really like to hear.

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Philip, that's the same thoughts and ideas RVD and I talked about decades ago. Wish it was a pathway to a creative endeavor. Oh well, I can't complain, only dream. 

CrewC

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Here's a video I stumbled on which is a great discussion from production to post sound work flow and an example of good communication. I think a very good listen.

 

 

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Very late to the party on this one responding as one of the podcast members, but I wanted to clarify that my frustration with ISOs and the amount of sorting through tracks while editing stems from ever-shortening schedules and budgets while having to accommodate more variables to deliver as pristine a track as possible to the mix stage. I know all departments have their own unique frustrations. I have nothing but respect for PSMs and their challenges - a thankless job so much of the time and one I wouldn't have the stamina to take on. The amount of ADR that has been reduced by the amount of ISO coverage is outstanding and the reasoning behind ISO coverage is understood. Definitely worth further discussion between PSMs, editors and re-recording mixers in general and on individual shows where it's possible to understand everyone's workflow, challenges, expectations and how best to accommodate.

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On 8/15/2018 at 4:35 PM, Jumper said:

Definitely worth further discussion between PSMs, editors and re-recording mixers in general and on individual shows where it's possible to understand everyone's workflow, challenges, expectations and how best to accommodate.

 

We're all in it for the art, otherwise we wouldn't be doing the hard work we do, right?

 

As a combined Sound Recordist / Boom Operator mainly for advertising shoots, I'm fighting tooth and nail to get as good production sound as possible. And I believe that goes for most everybody in the business.

 

That means walking around the set, making quick friends with everybody, the director, FAD, SAD, DoP, camera people, costume, lights, props, set manager, actors etc.  With only one thing in mind, to be able to get as good sound as possible.

 

Then by experience and by listening in headphones, identify all possible noise sources, and figure out a way to blimp them together with the set manager and props department.

It's an everlasting job to constantly be on toe, to get the best dialogue and sound.

 

If the booms are too far away from the action, it's because the director has decided to do multi-camera, it's not like the boom operator is lazy.

 

If the plant mics doesn't work, it's because they couldn't be positioned closer to the action, or more often, the actors were not sticking to their marked positions.

 

Regarding the phase issues that you will run into, trying to mix the boom sound with a couple of lavs, or just a couple of lavs close to each other. Well, it's your job to fix any phase issues or leave it for the mixer to deal with. Because, on set, all we can do is to make sure that all mics have the same phase, and that there isn't any added latency to any of the mics (like what will happen when mixing analogue and digital radio systems). Even if we could adjust the phase relation between two lavs, it would only be correct for a certain frequency range, and the phase would be altered as soon as someone starts moving about.

You keep out of phase issues by bringing down the lavs that are not active, and just keep the one that's being talked into, at any given moment.

But I understand that you will hear all kinds of phase issues, listening in headphones, and with all lavs open.

 

The reason why the location mix doesn't have much phase issues, is because the production sound mixer is actively mixing the lavs and booms, by following the script. Nowadays, auto-mixing functions like Dugan might help out a bit, adding yet another level of quality, by helping the PSM to open and close lav mics - especially in unscripted situations.

 

If you get tired of listening to phasing all day, I suggest installing the Waves Dugan plug-in, and put it on your lav channels.

 

Regarding wild tracks, I always try to get the chance to do one or two wild tracks after a scene has been finished. I mean, it just takes five minutes to do, and it will be my chance to get closer with the boom, but most of all, be able to record the dialogue without movement and sound generating props and cloths. Some directors understand the importance of wild tracks and some don't. For those who don't, well then I have to choose my battles wisely, and only suggest or rather demand a wild track when I really really need one.

 

Same goes for silent takes, with only the actors on camera speaking, and the rest miming. I always suggest it when I find it beneficial, some directors understand the importance of doing it, some don't.  

 

I suggest that the next time you're looking for a wild track, but can't find one, when writing to the production calling for ADR, do add "Due to the noise on the dialogue, and lack of wild track, this scene needs ADR". Maybe they will learn, maybe not...

 

I do sound editing as well, so I understand the stacks of tracks that you have to sort through. That's why I try to keep the amount of tracks recorded in my 664 constant, so that they don't move around when you put them on the timeline. Because I'd rather have empty tracks than tracks moving around in the project.

 

Anyway, I enjoyed listening to the podcast, and it was interesting to hear how you do your work and what's expected of you.

 

 

Have a nice weekend

Fred

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Hi all - firstly apologies (principally to Rene after he'd gone to the trouble to start the conversation) for taking such a ridiculously long time to reply to this thread.  It'd be great to pickup the chat where you left off last year.  I'll start off with just a couple of points relating to what's been discussed so far:

 

-  Might be mis-remembering the conversation but don't recall there being much condemnation of too many lav mics.  Personally I'm all for them as they increase my chances of avoiding ADR.  I think one of the negative comments may have related to feeling overwhelmed by all the material that needed phase matching.  However, now we have the Sound Radix plugin 'Auto Align Post' this isn't much of a concern anymore.  In terms of having a lot more material to have to listen through - it's undeniably more work but the payoffs for that time spent checking the lavs can be great.  I've known quite a few occasions where I've dug out a little sigh, grunt or even a little adlib an actor did that was only on the lavs, not the mix track, that the director was unaware of but ends up liking and wanting to keep.  Obviously have to use discretion with this so as not to muddy the dials with excessive, unnecessary detail though.  Kind of see all that labour as my job though:  to try and get the best out of the material I've been provided with by you PSMs.

 

- The other comment I'd like to mention is re the clapperboard.  I'm not suggesting getting a clean clapperboard for every take - clearly that's not practical.  I just need 1 clean clapperboard per location.  It doesn't even need to be a particularly pristine clap: I've managed to clean up a clap in RX before that had a bang or bit of voice on the tail.  It's just that often the clap has everyone moving around and chatting over it in which case it becomes impossible to make use of it as an IR.  So I would perhaps change my request to 'please try and get me 1 good clap in each location, as clean as you can - especially in locations where you're struggling with noise issues and think ADR may be necessary.' The way I use these IRs is not for pristine, perfect reverbs for the dials, they're just really helpful for dirtying up ADR.  It might sound odd but although they can produce quite scruffy, boxy sounding reverbs, they are often great for helping match in ADR if used judiciously.  Together with EQ matching (in RX or Pro Q, etc), it's a starting point for matching in ADR, then the re-recording mixer will do the final polishing in the dialogue premix.

 

So just a couple of points there, having read back through everyone's comments. Like i mentioned, sorry I'm late to the party but would love to pick up this chat if you're all still in the forum!

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