Jump to content

Welcome to Mathew Price


Jeff Wexler
 Share

Recommended Posts

Welcome to Mathew Price who just joined us today. For those who do not know Mathew, and I'm sure he will post something about himself at some point, he is a veteran New York sound mixer who, amongst other things, was the mixer on all of the seasons of "The Sopranos" (one of my favorite shows of all time).

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 12 years later...

I know this is a vintage thread but the wife and I, perpetually both being behind the times in terms of watching television series, are finally watching The Sopranos.  We're on the cusp of finishing the first season and I can't help but notice the amount of ADR.  I'm assuming this is just a byproduct of the fact that it was probably recorded with boom only (and maybe only wires in extreme circumstances) and onto a Nagra deck?  The show is great and I'm not criticizing the sound, just curious to know what the equipment and process was at that time period for the show!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe Mathew might chime in here, but I'm sure the gear was very traditional (as were all productions) and it needs to be said, again, that until the digital era got under way almost all productions used the same gear and the same traditional procedures. I would like to know how you reached your conclusion that Sopranos had a lot of ADR --  I certainly did not feel this was the case when I watched the series, first run, many years ago. If you came to your conclusions because there appeared to be lip sync issues, this may very well be a factor of the specific broadcast you were watching (or, if you were viewing off DVD, possibly some bad DVDs). As far as I know, the Sopranos in general did not have a lot of ADR.

As for being "recorded with boom only", many, many TV shows and movies were done with primarily boom and wireless only when absolutely necessary, and the majority of those shows sounded great and had little or no ADR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've been watching it on HBO Max streaming app which seems to be a 5.1 Dolby stream.  I've got a marantz amp and Klipsch 5.1 setup going with my Heresy III as L/R mains.  It's not terrible and overall the sound of the show is really good.  Like you said, definitely 99% boom.  My wife isn't in the industry but we have this running little joke where early on in our relationship, I'd whisper "ADR" whenever I could tell something was and over the last decade, she herself has actually become really, really good at spotting it and often beats me to the buzzer at saying "ADR!".  Yes, weird little dumb game we play and she knows that it is necessary but there's definitely dubbed lines.  I'd imagine in '99 this would have just been a stereo mix for broadcast and then they probably remixed for 5.1 when they went back to the 35mm negative for the HD masters / blu-ray and later streaming release.  Maybe also this is just an early season 1 thing?  Once again, show is great and we are hooked, just curiosity struck and I saw this thread so I was curious!

 

EDIT: So I googled "sopranos ADR" and a bunch of discussions on a few forums like reddit pulled up.  Mind you, mostly arm chair experts chatting and I didn't read much because they were talking about some later seasons too and I didn't want to see any spoilers.  If you have HBO Max, S01E09 with Artie and his wife in their garden is one people keep referring too.  Was it different in the original '99 broadcast?  I was only 11 so my parents didn't let me watch back then!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I guess I need to defend my honor here! Jeff is of course correct. For the most part it was recorded traditionally onto a stereo time code Nagra, although by the final season my Deva 2 was my primary recorder with the Nagra as backup. I primarily used Neumann KMR-81s and 82s with Schoeps MK41s whenever I could. And also a lot of wires so definitely not 99% boom although massive amounts of classic films were recorded with one mic only, usually a Sennheiser 416. (The CAS podcasts are a terrific listen for some great stories.) My wires were Audio, Ltd. 2000s which served me well for over 20 years. My lavs were mostly Sonotrims, which I still love and use all the time. They were great on all the Polo style shirts the boys wore a lot. Were COS-11s around in 97?

 

But, regarding ADR, it was very rare that any dialogue was replaced, mostly because David Chase hated looping as did most of the cast. There was, however, a ton of dialogue added in Post, mostly placed on someone’s back or off screen. They also replaced a lot of the cursing but that was really after the show was syndicated.

 

Below is proof of wiring!

202512B7-0178-49DF-8291-A05B8547B908.jpeg

834A7351-1708-490F-8F95-6D234D4DCF41.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Mathew for posting here  --  I wasn't sure you had any time to spend on these forums. I was pretty sure I got it right about the work on that show, I had forgotten that you were an Audio, Ltd. wireless user (the 2000 which is what I used for years until it could no longer function because of lack of frequency agility), and that the Deva II came into play at the end of the show. Stellar work on the Sopranos, always love to hear others talk about what sound recording was like before the digital multitrack wire everybody iso type work became the norm (where the boom was really the primary method)  --  these days the boom is lucky enough to record the slate! I have done talks and shown clips from movies I have done and so many really found it hard to believe that a scene they just watched was boomed. In all fairness, production procedures have changed so much  --  back in my day for the bulk of my career, it was always one camera, lots of rehearsals, there was discipline on the set (the least of which dictated by the cost of film raw stock!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan McIntosh informed me about the post so I thought I’d come on to respond. Oh yes, multiple iso tracks were definitely not an option and mixing multiple mics down to one or two tracks was always challenging and tricky considering there were no isos for post to go to. The expense of shooting 35mm definitely necessitated multiple rehearsals before rolling so that was a good thing that digital destroyed with repeated resets while never cutting. It’s one of the joys of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel that we rehearse a bunch and almost always take the time to get it right. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for replying, I find it always fascinating to hear about everyone's workflows and it's always fantastic to hear from people like you that are true experts at the craft.  It's pretty remarkable that going from The Sopranos to Mrs. Maisel in less than 20 years and how much has advanced in terms of how we record on set these days.  Comparing those two shows, both with huge casts, should be an article somewhere (695 magazine?) as like you mention the sonotrims, the value of rehearsals etc, some things have stayed the same but so much has changed over the years too. 

Thanks again for taking the time to reply!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Very interesting read, i started as many of us with a Nagra, just for my first project, but i continue then in DAT 2 tracks.

This thread gives me wanted to watch sopranos again, and push me back, when rehearsals were the way to go.

Thanks Mathew, and Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GREAT sounding show.   It is a little shocking to me how quickly that method of recording dramatic dialog went out of fashion, in favor of the nominally expedient "wire 'em all and shoot the rehearsal" method in use now.   I just got off a feature shot here in SF, and noticed that the grip dept only rarely did the complex sort of "fingers+dots+blades+nets+etc etc" kind of treatment to the lighting.  The gaffer explained to me that they have to do it all with programmable wirelessly controllable LED etc instruments and a lightboard on the set--the speed the shows want them to work at now demand this.  So, we in sound aren't the only dept to have lost a lot of the art and skill of our craft to a new paradigm that treats a movie production much more like a live stage show in how it deploys ( a lot more) technology, in the name of efficiency. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...