Thread: audio post production workflow question

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  1. #1 audio post production workflow question 

    I'm trying to upgrade some of my workflows, and especially the audio editing/balancing part. but I'd like to keep it all inside the NLE. I have to do it all by myself.

    Talking about TV shows/commercials, or other productions which involves dialogue, it mostly comes down to a ''mouse'' based workflow. I click the desired clip, and i drag the volume down (right now premiere is my main tool). OR, i use the shortcut to add some db's. but the selecting part is the thing that slows me down the most i guess. either with shortcuts, or with the mouse.

    so yes, there are shortcuts, but mostly i have to deal with more then just 1 audio track (mic 1, mic 2, boom, setnoise, etc etc), and then it is mostly faster to just select the desired mic with the mouse, and drag it up/down set keyframes, and so on.

    i feel like this could be the part where i can still gain alot of speed.
    I would like to have the ability to adjust a clips' volume in the snap of a finger.

    after browsing the internet, seeing some mixers, first thing going trough my mind was, a (motorized) mixer with something like 8/10 faders, which will adjust to every single clip, might come in very handy. But im not sure if this is an existing/supported workflow.
    I have the feeling that faders are more or less designed for track-level adjustments and automation. but i think something on clip-level would cover my needs better.

    I'm kind of leaning towards different NLE's, like resolve, which i really start to like. but also because of some stability problems with premiere lately. but resolve is kind of a closed circuit when it comes to hardware. and i dont think the fairlight console is what im looking for yet (way too big and expensive). If Avid would come in handy, i would definately consider the switch. i dont really care what NLE it is, as long as its improving my workflow.

    To sum it up, i think i am looking for some kind of panel which has the ability to adjust a clips' volume on a specific track inside an NLE, without reaching for the mouse, or without the hassle of preparing your selection with shortcuts.
    just a knob/fader, and done. the compression will come later.

    does it exist?
    Last edited by Rick van den Berg; 05-16-2019 at 08:41 AM.
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  2. #2  
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    Resolve can also use some 3rd party audio consoles
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  3. #3  
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    Hollywood, USA
    To me, sound mixing & editing is a completely different function from picture editing, and you'd be better off doing this in a room with a system designed expressly for sound. The noise and chaos in a typical edit bay (or even a color room) is not quiet enough to do really good sound work, at least in most of the edit bays I see. Pro Tools is pretty standard for this on a lot of episodic TV and features, and I think there's good reasons why it still has a huge hold over the industry.

    The process of dialogue editing and mixing is complex enough on its own that you there are people who have pretty good careers just doing that 40 hours (or more) a week. I would point to the book Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures: The Invisible Art as a good source for information. Another good discussion group for info on dialogue editing, processing, and the final mix is the Gearslutz Forum's Post section.

    There are people using Fairlight from a few years ago for final sound editing and mixing, but I think Blackmagic is still working on the integration of Fusion into Resolve at the moment. I think you can make a very good case that virtually all network, cable, and streaming TV series and feature films are mixed on "virtual" consoles that control software, particularly Pro Tools' Avid Artist, S3, and S6 control surfaces. The Avid Artist is pretty affordable (under $1000) and can actually work well for small projects.
    marc wielage, csi colorist/post consultant daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  4. #4  
    I'm not a sound guy but i do take it seriously and take the time to understand. I've worked with a few post sound guys to varying degrees of competency, some which end up in total frustration both from a result and also the whole archaic pro tools export workflow. It's a budget thing, i know!

    I would never mix in Premiere.

    But on a recent short i did the dialogue/sound mixing myself in Resolve/Fairlight. This was up to 9 tracks from the sound recordist - lavs, booms, ambience - and actually i really enjoyed the workflow in Resolve. There were a couple of frustrating moments in Fairlight (you can dupe a track on the edit page but not in fairlight) but overall it was a positive experience. The layered approach when you open up a track and can stack bits and pieces of audio like you would a video track is really useful for getting bits and pieces of dialogue from the right place.

    So i would recommend spending more time in Resolve, there are things you can do in Audio that you simply cannot in Premier. Stop thinking of audio as linked to video clips and you can just lasso chunks from different places and move it around.

    There are nice monitoring features as well, being able to scan a couple of waveforms as you watch helps a lot too.

    However, and the caveat, i am not a professional so when you take it up a notch whether the tools are good enough is another question. What i did worked great in the cinema, no complaints and there was some tricky stuff in there as well.

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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Hugh Scully's Avatar
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    +1 on Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures by John Purcell. It’s such a great book. It shows you what you need to do and then how to do it. I wish there were a book like this for everything! It is that comprehensive.

    I use Pro Tools myself but what about Audition? I remember that it had some good tools for repair, etc. I don’t remember how it was for working on a long sequence. You can do it on the PP timeline but it’s way better to break it out and give yourself the tools and room to work - with a locked picture (sure, right!) ;)
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  6. #6  
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    Rick, I see exactly where you're coming from and what you're asking for. I'm in a similar position. Several years ago I did some small scale sound editing/mixing/design work. In the past year I've begun doing serious sound editing/mixing/design work. Just in the past several months I completed full 5.1 mixes for 2 different feature films, all in Fairlight (although I did some sound editing/repair work outside of Fairlight/Resolve). This included dialogue editing, ADR, SFX editing, and outputting the full mixes with separate stems, M&E, etc. And for one of the projects I was up to about 70 audio tracks. Fairlight has come a long way in the past year that I'm really comfortable using it for this serious level of work.

    I come from more of an editing and color grading background, and these 2 features came to me from clients that I previously color graded or edited for. And both films still needed editing work. It was hugely beneficial to be able to make edit changes to the films (including cutting scenes, adding new shots, rearranging scenes, etc) even on days where picture was supposedly locked and we were supposed to be just working on the final sound mix. And now I'm getting more work from producers who want me to edit, color grade, and sound edit/mix because they see the value in the ability to make major changes to the projects while color and sound work is happening. You really can't do that with other NLE's to the extent that Resolve gives you the ability. It would take a lot more time and cost a lot of money to tell a sound editor that he needs to reconform the ProTools session because the producers want to move a scene from the 15 minute mark to the 60 minute mark, and then add a few transition shots throughout. And when you make those changes, even in Resolve, the keyframe automation that you set with traditional virtual faders are track based, so the entire mix gets thrown off because those automations don't travel with those clips that make up the scene you just pushed to 45 minutes later in the movie, or move down 10 seconds when you splice in a new establishing shot that was determined as needed once you got hold of the music score.

    So, I agree with Rick... we do need a clip level based solution to quickly adjust the level of clips... faders that adjust the level of the clip (instead of the track) the playhead is over at that moment.

    Our post production world is changing and we need to adapt to it and start accepting new ways of doing things because of some of the things that are now possible (or a lot easier) that weren't before. Sometimes the old tried and true ways of doing things aren't going to be the best ways anymore, or at least not the best for everyone.
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  7. #7  
    Big thanks for all your helpful insights. Its good to hear that resolve ''works'' in a professional environment. Also nice to hear someone else on the same boat..

    I guess i'm gonna test some of those avid artists consoles, together with avid's clip mixer function, i think that would be my best bet.

    thanks again.
    Last edited by Rick van den Berg; 05-20-2019 at 01:06 AM.
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