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X-Men: First Class – Dialogue Editing Techniques Part 1

June 25, 2011

I have to apologize for the quality of this screencast; it’s been rather rushed to market while I’m simultaneously deadline chasing on my current project.  I’ve only just bought the screencasting app, iShowU HD, this evening so I’m not at all au fait with it yet.  I’ll probably re-do this screencast when I’ve got my head round it better.

However, enough with the excuses – here it is, warts and all, my first post in a short series outlining a few of the techniques that I used editing dialogues on X-Men: First Class earlier in the year.

Please feel free to leave comments below or tweet me….however you prefer to discuss; it’d be great to hear how other people tackle these processes too.  That’s the whole point of why I’ve done this.

Part Two to follow in the coming week or so.


From → Post Production

  1. Chris permalink

    REALLY INTERESTING practical TECHNIQUE, you do need to perhaps try to speak more confidently, and stop saying ‘er’ all the time. Maybe you should edit your dialogue track for the video 🙂

    • sonicskepsi permalink

      😀 Thanks Chris, yeah I’m hoping practice makes, er, well, better…..! Only joking – it is way out of my comfort zone but I’m hoping to get the hang of it because I really like the idea of using it as an alternative to written posts from time to time.

  2. didn’t mention in the twitter response that i tend not to use the “consolidate” tool in situations like this anymore. i work with region groups far more frequently. they provide a lot of additional flexibility…as it’s easy to ungroup, tweak and regroup without adding additional entries to your region list or files to your project’s audio folder. just something to consider.

    • @Shaun I still prefer “consolidate”. Don’t like that region groups can be extended beyond the length of the real regions contained and that when you “ungroup” all the fades between different region groups disappear.
      ALT-SHIFT-3 is my most used shortcuts ☺ (is even on one of my tablet quick buttons).
      Instead I use region groups a lot to help me remember and identify things in my sessions e.g. alt takes that I edited are grouped and color coded; specific edits that I have to check; ADR takes that I can mute (muting the grouped region) etc.

      • I can see why you might. I’ve just personally found that they fit my style of workflow better than consolidate does. I typically only ungroup if I find there’s some sort of edit I need to fix. I deal with the fades issue by pulling an extra copy of that region group from my region list (or option-dragging) onto a work track in my timeline. I ungroup, perform my edit, and then use the “regroup” command. It will then ask if you want to modify or copy. Modify changes all instances of that group on your timeline, including those that have crossfades. The crossfades and position of the original region group remain unaffected. I like that it gives me a lot of flexibility to fine tune things without having to potentially muck about with surrounding audio regions.

  3. sonicskepsi permalink

    For those who don’t tweet, some discussion you’ll have missed:

    @dieffe Thanks for the video. Doing exactly that right now.. ahahah. I’ll try with stripsilence: I have a couple of QK macros to cut and move regions forward and backward (like shuffle but work in both directions) and usually work through the files selecting and cutting stuff… this way I feel I have more control on the “smoothness” of the fill track.But I’ll try stripppin
    @sonicskepsi know what you mean Davide, though strip silence on lowest setting just gets rid of the loudest bits; so you can monitor loud safely.
    @dieffe Tried your “stripsilencing” thing while editing, today. With some kind of fill it works really well, more often when the bkg doesn’t change too much. Anyway thanks for sharing: a new weapon in my arsenal. 🙂
    @sonicskepsi I definitely need to get into quickeys(bad luck iPhone-tried to put quickies!)May be in touch in the near future to pick your brain!
    @dieffe QK changed my way of working(I’m dreaming of scripting in PT,please @avidprotools):go for it!I’ll be happy to help you with it.

    @DynInterference nice video, Michael. i like to build a little library of end consonants as well, usually as i’m working through
    @sonicskepsi oh wow, never heard of that before: which letters tend to come in most handy?
    @DynInterference “S” by far, and the voiced plosives (“P” and “B”), keeping a few to the side that have a proper tail out can be a life saver. “S” is pretty easy though, since it’s unvoiced. you can use one from a different actor and it usually won’t be noticed.
    @DynInterference meant to say voiced and “unvoiced” plosives on p and b still kinda groggy here. lol
    @sonicskepsi cool, & how do you organize them so they’re quick to find: On specific tracks or region groups or…?
    @DynInterference same way you do the fill. inactive tracks (one letter/sound per track), character/actor name and other data in filename.

  4. Enos Desjardins permalink

    Nice stuff to see you posting this Michael! Its always great to be able to openly share ideas and workflows with other sound people! Funnily I work pretty much in the same way! I’m not a massive fan of strip silence but do use it now and again as a quick first pass. But whether I use it or manually go through deleting unwanted specific sounds…I will always then select all the remaining fill and then drag them from the region list with the Timeline Drop Order setting set to left to right. It just works great. Then batchfade it all and check it out for any issues and if not its ready to go. I then usually consolidate it too and have a small “library” of fills for the film on a scene by scene and shot by shot basis…depending what is required to get it done well!

    I then love using my “paste to fill selection” shortcut to start dropping the fill as needed! Look forward to your next one 🙂

  5. Thanks Enos, yes, paste to fill is definitely a good call – why didn’t I think of that!

  6. Trevor permalink

    Thank you Michael and the other commenters for sharing…great tips!

  7. marc specter permalink

    Thanks Michael. We should create a Dialogue Editing forum – I would love to share tips and tricks. Does anyone know whether such a thing exists?

    • sonicskepsi permalink

      Good idea Marc. After a quick bit of research, a few thoughts:

      – A lot of forum software seems a bit ugly / dated to me, though Zetaboards perhaps seems quite cool?
      – Social Sound Design gets quite a few dialogue questions, though perhaps not the same as having a completely dialogue-centric space to discuss stuff. Would Facebook or Google + be good options? I think it would be important to set up anything like this as part of an already existing social network: I can’t handle yet more info sources to keep track of! Does Yahoo or Gearslutz already contain such a forum?
      – As a variation on the idea, an occasional Skype (or other suitable app) virtual ‘conference’ might be fun for group brainstorming, especially if it could be recorded / edited, etc then posted as a podcast on a blog.
      These are my first ideas that sprang to mind but I’ll keep having a think. Anyone else’s input would be very welcome. Cheers Marc!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. “X-Men: First Class” – Dialogue Editing Techniques
  2. Dialogue Editing Videos by John Purcell « Sonicskepsi

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