If you ask many editors, they’ll tell you they can “do the audio mix for your independent project.” If you’ve spent any time watching the Pro Member Education you know that editors should not do your mix. Not only do they not have the right tools (Non-Linear Editors), but they usually do not have the kind of knowledge or experience to render a result which your project deserves.
Of course, if you’ve been to the Sound Advice Tour or become a member of this site, I’d trust those editors A LOT more – especially if they say something like,
“Sure. I can do that. I’ll dynamically link the audio to Audition and do the mix there. Did you want it in surround?”
I hear something like this, and all of a sudden I have a lot more faith in that editor’s ability to mix something which creates a $50 million audience impact. But otherwise, no.
I’ve placed two examples of the first trailer for our website below. Now, I’m not going to throw this editor under the bus, because he did a great job pouring over tens-of-hours of footage and getting our point across. He also knew that he didn’t have the skills to do the audio mix – especially given the very stringent requirements of a trailer – and he very forthrightly said, “I’m definitely not the guy to do this mix.” Love it, and thank you for your honesty, sir.
The first video below is the picture lock cut from the editor. He’d done a good job balancing sound and getting sound effects placed. Of course there is no color timing, so ignore the look of the piece. Just listen to how the sound turned out. Also take notice of the use of music and how it was edited. Lastly, take notice of the final sound effect “bangs” and how they occur to you.
The second video is the final version you’ve all seen and are familiar with. It was mixed by a student of the Cinema Sound education. Notice the difference in the use of music, the mix and balance of elements, the general loudness and frequency response, and of course the difference in the use of those sound effects at the end…especially as they layer with the music itself. Lastly, listen to the difference in how the dialog sounds and blends with the music.
What did YOU notice? Let us know here or Tweet about it!