MPSE Wavelength

Fall 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 81

M OT I O N P I CTU R E S O U N D E D I TO R S I 29 in three dimensions instead of just one. That's extremely important in the construction of a mix. That's not just in short-form, but film and TV projects too." Upon starting work in commercials, one thing that immediately stood out to me was how significant voiceover is to virtually every department. If the VO is not edited and mixed perfectly, it can create some big issues. "Articulation in voiceover is key. These are the key marketing points. The whole reason we're doing any promo is the delivery of information, the selling of a product. We need to be able to hear every bit of it. For the soft syllables, make them louder. And the hard syllables? You have to make them soft. I've used de-clickers, I've used plosive- fixing things from iZotope in the RX series. Not everything is just going to get caught by an EQ, a limiter, or a compressor. Remove the breaths, unless they're on screen and you can see them taking a big ventilation. If they're on screen, I leave them in, but lower them. I usually straighten out the VO before I touch anything else." Another unique component of commercials is that many versions of a mix are often required, each with different wording during portions of the video. Show-related promos need to be playable on multiple days and at various times of day, and this can require extensive versioning. It's a lot to keep track of. "The same way that you deal in long-form, you need to build backward from what your delivery is. Everything you're going to do, you have to build into your template. You ask the team, 'How many tags are we going to do? It could be one for tomorrow, tonight, a Thursday, next week, etc. Then from there, you figure out any potential stumbling blocks. These are your pre-production responsibilities. You have to talk with whoever's ultimately going to be receiving your deliverables. Figure out what they expect. What are the formats they're going to want? What's the LKFS average requirement? What's the peak maximum you can have? All of this has to happen in the first pass of your mix, because they might come in and take it from you in minutes. So you have to have it all set up properly. It's also possible the picture editor might come back to you three weeks later for a different version, or a new creation of that same ongoing campaign. Knowing where you are in the food chain and knowing what the deliverables are is hugely important, and it'll make it so much easier if you start from what they expect from you, and then build backward from that. If you build things the other way around, you'll always be playing catch-up." Organization and speed are recurring themes in this line of work. Like in film and TV sound editorial, a lot of the fun can still be tied to sound effects work. Commercials certainly have their fair share of it, but can require a different approach from long-form content. "In a 30-second spot, your sound effects work best when they're directly tied to the music. When you can, time them up to be at the same tempo, and even make them be in the same key. If you can use instruments (or instrumentally derived sounds) to create sound effects, it now sounds like you've enhanced the score. The less complicated the music is, the more license you have to add a musical type of sound effect in. Things have evolved a lot. With soft synths, you can really get in there and make it sound like your adds are intentional, like they're part of the score. It helps build

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MPSE Wavelength - Fall 2020