Join Michael Towe for an in-depth discussion in this video Talking with your sound mixer, part of Final Cut Pro X & Logic Pro X: 1 Audio Post Workflow.
[Instructor] - We're at a point where we're ready to export out our project, and hand-off to Sound. But before we do, I suggest that you save everyone some headaches, and have a conversation with your Sound Mixer first. Doing this will allow you to organize, and exchange needed information that can make everyone's job easier. So, what should you discuss? Well, here's a few suggestions. First, let's talk about the technical stuff. What frame rate are you working in? Is it 23.98, 29.97, 24, 30? If things are going to stay in sync, we all need to be in the same frame rate.
What sample rate are you working in? Nowadays, most of us are working in 48 kilohertz. But maybe you're working in 44.1. In this course, the project we're working with is in stereo sound. But what if you're working in surround sound? Is it 5.1, 7.1, Dolby, DTS? Remember, the problem with standards are that there's so many of them. Make sure both you and your Sound Mixer are working in the same standard. Levels are a big one. Are you delivering for broadcast? If so, you should have level standards from your broadcaster.
Make sure you give that information to your Sound Mixer, to ensure your levels meet the broadcast spec. If you're not delivering for broadcast, what will your main viewing environment be? Is your content going to be played in a theater environment with great subwoofers, or on a laptop with little tiny speakers? The environment can drastically change the Sound Mixers approach to his or her sound design. Handles, if we're delivering trimmed audio, which we'll be discussing later in this chapter, how much extra handles does your Audio Mixer want? I've worked with some that want lots, and others that only want a little.
And here's another big one. Do you want the files coming back to you to be a composite mix of everything, or do you want Dialogue, Music and Effects stems? This decision is going to drastically affect the way the final deliverables are mastered by your Sound Mixer. It will also affect the amount of work you need to do when laying the audio back to picture. In my case, I always ask for both. I'll use the composite mix for my deliverables, but what happens when six months down the line, the client re-names the product that you've created a video for, and you need to redo the voice-over.
Or your film gets released in a foreign market, and you need a foreign language version. If you have the stems, that's an easy fix. If all you have is the composite mix, you have to start again from scratch. Keep notes of things that can help your Sound Mixer from the start. If you think you might need ADR, make notes of the timecode of those segments. Your Sound Mixer can then take a look at those segments and let you know if they're fixable. Or, if you need to start scheduling ADR sessions. As we're about to see in this chapter, we're going to be able to do some organizing based on our rolls and sub-rolls, so that we can hand off an organized track stack to our Sound Mixer.
My default is to organize dialogue based on the most prevalent character at the top, and the least prevalent at the bottom. But this is a great question to ask your Sound Mixer. They may have a completely different way that they want you to organize the tracks to save them time, and we can do that quite easily before we export. And lastly, have an open mind when working with your Sound Mixer. As editors, we ask directors to be open to our creative input when editing. And we need to be open to that same creative input when working with a sound professional.
The best ones will take your edit, and bring it to the next level with a great sound design. But you have to be open and willing to collaborate. Keep in mind, the more you communicate requirements and needs up front, the easier it will be on everyone involved.
- What version of Final Cut Pro X should you use?
- Creating the 2-pop and tail pop
- Assigning roles in Final Cut Pro X
- Working with roles in the timeline
- Setting up your timeline for export
- Exporting to Logic Pro X via FCPXML
- Exporting to Logic Pro X AAF
- Working with the composite mix