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.
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The great thing about recording and designing sound effects is that source material is near infinite. Fortunately and unfortunately, having such an incredible variety of sound sources makes each new recording session a technical and creative challenge, requiring forethought and experience. One of the decisions we must make is the format in which we will capture the sound; mono, stereo, quad-surround, 5.1 surround and ambisonic are all valid options depending on the source at hand. Sound effects are most commonly captured in mono or stereo, and today we will compare several common stereo microphone techniques for field recording.