November/December 2014

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47 NOV-DEC 14 / CINEMONTAGE mix and the third for fixes and print mastering," he says. "Our supervising sound editor Jerry Ross delivers the music, dialogue and sound effects elements as Pro Tools projects to the server." To which Hamilton adds, "I access those files in preparation for the mix session and import them into our mix templates on local drives in the machine room. We have four Pro Tools playback machines [two 48-track systems for sound effects, a single 32-track unit for dialogue/ADR and a 24-track unit for music] plus a 48-track master Pro Tools recorder [using 42 tracks for master stems and print masters]." During the past seasons, the team has developed a series of Pro Tools templates into which the editorial team pre-load the various elements in the layouts that Hiland and Rogers prefer. "I'll double-check to ensure that everything is ready to go for a 9:00 a.m. start each day," explains Hamilton. "I'll also look out for any picture changes and new materials, and get those ready for the room. I try to anticipate what Dan and Gary will need; after 18 years of working together, most of the time they don't even need to ask!" Rogers confirms: "We know each other inside out, and everybody knows what's expected during the session." "Prior to the start of Season 5, I checked with Jerry Ross, who supervises the show, to make sure that nothing major had changed in our workflow," Hamilton recalls. "When a new show comes to the stage, I intercept the Pro Tools editorial layouts and make sure they're consistent with our workflow preferences." Hiland adds, "If the layout exceeds our track count, Chuck will make sure that it fits." "Preparation and attention to detail are the keys to getting through the mix," Rogers stresses. "Handling 42 minutes of a Walking Dead episode in two nine- hour days is massive; we rely on Chuck's lead time to get the session ready. Is there anything different? Are the files on Pro Tools 9, 10 or 11? Am I going to have to convert the files? Has the music format changed? We need to know what's going on. It's all about lead time — solving oddities before they arrive here on the stage and potentially create a problem. Chuck is in communication with everybody, so we always know ahead of time." "If Chuck sees that Gary is working on some sound effects fixes, for example, he might tell me there are dialogue updates," Hiland adds. "So he'll ask me, 'Is it a good time to do it?' because he has to take my Pro Tools player offline while I'm not using it. That level of From left: Dan Hiland, Gary Rogers, Chuck Hamilton and Mike Jimenez. Photo by Wm. Stetz

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