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X-Men: First Class – Dialogue Editing Techniques Part 2

July 22, 2011

Once again, please feel free to leave thoughts, comments and feedback below.

NB.  Still lo-fi I’m afraid:  A long overdue computer update is imminent over the next week or so at which point I’m hoping I’ll be able to improve capture size and resolution and avoid all of the image stuttering and audio glitching that you’ll notice in these vids.  Secondly, I tried to not say ‘er’ during the video but at Take 34 that went out of the window – man, it is hard!

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From → Post Production

7 Comments
  1. Ohk….so that’s how all the magic happen there….i am really amazed!!

  2. Enos Desjardins permalink

    Thanks again for some interesting stuff! I had never tried or thought of this! Might be an extra excuse to have to get my hands on some GRM stuff! I know they are quite popular…but nice tips there!

  3. sonicskepsi permalink

    (from @dieffe on twitter) Thanks for sharing. Again! ☺ I tried GRM, RX and Kyma (RE synthesis) to make synthetic fill tone and.. it really depends on….. the source material.. but I got the best results with RX, even if it is more time consuming, and more prone to artifacts. BTW, all those automation lines are yours (or from re-rec mix)?if yours,how the mixer feel about it?How is wide the gap between the editor and the mixer in the UK??

    • sonicskepsi permalink

      I found that with a bit of experimentation most fills could be matched very well using GRM. However, I’m intrigued how you used RX2 to do the job – care to share? I had a quick go after someone (I think it was @michalfocjik) mentioned using it. I must admit I couldn’t get results with it, but I’d love to hear your methods.

      Re: volume automation – most, if not all of the time on films, we mix into analogue desks such as DFC or Euphonix so our volume automation is separate from whatever fader control the dialogue mixer may wish to have. However, I have heard of issues with TV Mixers working on D Commands, etc wanting a ‘clean slate’ but haven’t dealt with this first hand so can’t tell you the solution (although I think the solution is for the mixer to have control of levels via auxes or vca’s?). For me, this type of precise volume automation is an offline process and so falls within the dialogue editor’s jurisdiction. If this automation is wiped it is not replaced with precise fader movements, it is replaced with a C4 hammering it harder than perhaps it otherwise needs to. Just my humble opinion!

      • Davide Favargiotti permalink

        I find that RX is really useful when I have only little material usable for fill. With the spectral repair it’s quite easy to remove all those impulsive things and troupe sounds (dolly, background hits,ecc) that make unusable those otherwise good parts.
        I use a lot the attenuate and pattern functions. Selecting only the offending frequency range (not all the spectrum) and the shortest time possible.
        It’s a lot a trial and error process, and sometime not so fast, but it works with every kind of background.
        I had good results with the GRM for internal room tones, not so good with exterior scenes. But I gonna try again and experiment a bit more.
        Those tool are quite fascinating: lots of possibilities! Great times!

        DFC and system5 are not analogue console! Are “analogue style” desk 🙂
        I work a lot on the level automations too. But I end up adding lots of small bit of automation during the premix sessions.
        I thought that on a big budget movie like x-men, all those automations, or most of them, were done in the mixing stage and that the dialogue re-recording mixer would like to take care of them. In Italy all the mixing stages have only one mixer: he takes care of everything, dialogue, music, deliveries (most of the time they don’t even have an assistant or is shared between two or three stages), so it usual for me to work on the dialogue computer with surgical automations, plugins, denoises, etc.

        With Icon based mix, I experienced two scenarios: a dedicated ProTools with only the aux tracks and the stem recorder or a single machine for playback, mix and record.
        In the first case, it’s like mixing on a DFC or SSL (yeah, not exactly the same… you know what I mean ;)).
        With a single machine system, VCA and aux are the way to go. My channels with my automation are linked with some VCA and all routed to a few aux tracks. One thing to watch out is that VCA automation is limited to the 12db of gain of the channels, so if I already rised a word by 9 db (with automation, not gain) in the premix there will be only 3 db..

        Do you always use multiband compression on dialogue tracks? I usually ask the mixer (if he doesn’t use it) to put a gentle (4 db max) multiband compression on the premixed dialogue tracks, to level it a bit (usually low and high frequencies). I don’t use it for de-essing (prefer to gain down the S or apply de-essing on the word) and use it a little for noise reduction (but usually in my studio, and then render everything).

        Ah, thanks again for taking the time to record these videos! 🙂

  4. sonicskepsi permalink

    Oops! Sorry, yes, clumsy writing by me – I meant, well you know what I meant, but ‘analogue’ is obviously completely the wrong word for describing it as different from a DAW controller.

    I’ll definitely experiment more with RX2 – I can see how it is useful as part of the process or as having another option but, unless I’m missing something, you can’t actually generate extra fill with RX2 like you can with GRM – you just clean up what you’ve got; is that right? All good extra tools in the arsenal though (check out @eesn’s recommendation of Notam Mammut too)

    As for C4, no not always used on dial tracks – depends on the job – sometimes the supervising sound editor takes on more of the premixing duties, other times he doesn’t. If it is used, it is automated to be active only for problem scenes rather than left at a standard setting throughout. The Eiosis de-esser and the DMG EQuality plugins are also the plugins of choice at the moment when we do take on more of the premixing tasks.

  5. sonicskepsi permalink

    (from @eesn on twitter) I was thinking Notam Mammut! You’ve been thinking GRM Freezing. That’s kind of cool.

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