Q1 2023

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P H OT O : A P P L E T V 42 C I N E M O N T A G E T E C H By Jennifer Walden H a v e y o u h e a rd ? A u d i e n c e s a re complaining about unintelligible dialogue in non-theatrical content on their TVs, about having to use subtitles and having to "remix" content live using the remote to turn down loud scenes and turn up quiet ones. It's time to seriously address this issue. Where did it all go wrong? Why is this happening? And most important, how can this be fixed? Here to weigh in on the issue are some of the sound industries leading re-recording mixers: Karol Urban, CAS, MPSE, Lora Hirschberg, CAS, and Onnalee Blank, CAS, supervising sound editor Wylie Stateman, MPSE, and former sound editor/ re-recording mixer Eric Hoehn, CAS, who is now Manager of the Creative Sound P ipeline for Netf lix . They break down this multi-pronged thorn in everyone's side and offer up practical and big-idea solutions to making non-theatrical mixes more enjoyable. ASSET OUT OF CONTAINMENT Outside of the quiet and calibrated environment of a movie theater, there is no control over how a film is played back. iPhone? Soundbar? Earbuds? TV speakers? Fully-calibrated Dolby Home Atmos setup? PA speaker in the backyard for outdoor movie night? A viewer might even start a film on one device and finish it on another. All options are valid, and one mix won't work for all situations. Even with three typical nearfield mixes (5.1, Home Atmos, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? HEARING DIALOGUE CLEARLY HAS BECOME A PROBLEM IN THE STREAMING AGE. WHAT CAN BE DONE? and stereo) it's like throwing darts in the dark and hoping that one hits the mark. "We spend a lot of time, money, energy, thought, and skill on making the theatrical mix the best it can be. And frankly, a lot of people will never hear it. It seems a little bit invert- ed right now, the way people consume the content we create," said Oscar and BAFTA Award-winning re-recording mixer Hirsch- berg, at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, Calif., who has mixed huge Hollywood films for studios like Disney and Marvel and for top directors like Christopher Nolan and Guillermo del Toro. When creating nearfield mixes from the- atrical ones, Hirschberg moves to a smaller dub stage with smaller speakers. "But for speakers, what do we pick?" she asked "We can't dumb down the mix to the least com- mon denominator, yet we can't assume that everyone has the highest-end gear, so that's a huge challenge." Re-recording mixer Urban, currently the President of Cinema Audio Society, is known for her mixes on series such as "For Karol Urban. A scene from "For all Mankind."

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