I have been a sound effects editor and supervising sound editor for a long time now. But, I have recently begun mixing a television series here at Boom Box Post. I am enjoying how much I learn each and every time that I sit down at the board, and am my no means ready to start spouting mixing advice to anyone. But, I can say that I’ve come to appreciate certain editorial practices (and absolutely abhor others!) through my new vantage point as a mixer. Things that I thought of as a nice way to make your mixer happy have turned into practices that are essential to me being able to start my mixing day right. Seriously, these five things can be the difference of hours added to my predub day. So, here are five editorial practices that I’ve realized are absolutely essential to a smooth mix.
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I’ve been very fortunate to have the unique opportunity to see both sides of the post production coin, if you will. Being this sort of sound effects editor/re-recording mixer hybrid has really propelled my understanding of the post production sound process and has expanded the depth at which I create that sound tenfold. I’ve come to find that the two roles compliment each other and I find myself using skills from one discipline in that of the other (and vice versa) on a daily basis. First and foremost, I will always have an affinity for sound effects editing. The single most mixer-related skill that has improved that affinity, and one that I cannot edit without, is panning automation. More specifically, panning automation in a 5.1 or surround space.
Looking at the various jobs in the business of Post Production sound, re-recording mixing seems to carry an air of mystique. It’s an intimidating task, even for an experienced sound editor, to make the jump to the console. There seems to be so much that can go wrong. So many small factors that need to be accounted for simply to make the gear work. It’s true, there are hundreds of details to be aware of, but with some basic tips we can pull back the curtain on some of the more daunting technical aspects, allowing you to put aside trepidation and make the gear work for you.