Sound Facts

As a successful, seasoned Re-Recording Mixer – Sound Designer – Editor, I have a great deal of hands on experience in all aspects of audio for film and video.  Whether recording vocals, voice-overs, narration, ADR – sound design – foley – noise reduction – editorial – through the final mix, my background extends to all aspects of sound. Over the last 17 years I have mixed and edited countless features, reality tv, on-air promo’s, episodics,  trailers, documentaries, Oscar/Grammy/Music/Live From the Red Carpet Awards, independent/short films, and corporate projects both domestically and internationally.

The basic method of Audio Post Production for film:

First we set up a spotting session, the process of viewing the locked cut and this is where the director and I (and possibly the film editor or composer) will gather and watch the film and make notes for Sound Design and Mix Approach. “Spotting for sound” is the general process of reviewing the film to determine work that will be needed on the soundtrack:

  • if and where any dialogue problems may exist and can it be cleaned or will it require ADR and note who and how long to be cued for each actor

  • where sound effects are needed and what kind 

  • what Foley effects will be needed in the film and where 

  • if sound design (the creation of special sound effects), will also be needed

  • deciding where the music score will be and where the levels should be set to carry the film

  • what is your target audience: Film, TV, DVD/Blue-ray, Radio, and Commercial. Each has its own set of deliveries and specs

Once Audio Post is started, we take the OMF/AAF and QuickTime (all the specs for these are under the “Delivery Specs”) and convert them into ProTools.  All dialogue, location sound, temp effects/music, etc. will be cut and split out to their own tracks. Next step will be to go through all the dialogue removing and cleaning up all pops, clicks, distortion, and making all cuts in a scene seamless. If any ADR is needed, they will be mixed in and matched to production dialogue. Next step will add in all atmospheres, room tone, backgrounds, and the necessary foley props and footsteps. Then I will add sound effects from a hard disk sfx library for instant auditioning and importing into the Protools system and also record custom sounds tailored to the scene/visuals. All these elements will remain flexible and controllable for either a stereo or 5.1 surround mix. From these core elements a sound track will be designed and built. Next will be adding all music as background source or as supplied by the composer, at this point using the latest Protools software and hardware, everything will be mixed and processed to make it sound bigger than life thus making your  film come alive. We will have a final audio mix, where final decisions are made before audio delivery. This process can take anywhere from 1 day to a week depending on the length of the project and audio specs: stereo, 5.1 surround, M&E (which stands for Music and Effects) track. M&E is essentially the film’s soundtrack with the English language dialogue removed and is essential for foreign sales since it allows foreign language versions of the project to be dubbed easily, while preserving the original music, sound effects and Foley (this is also a requirement of all distribution companies).