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advice for quicker track sorting
Old 7th February 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
advice for quicker track sorting

One of the most painful task before i start mixing is having to sort out all the tracks. Sometimes small track count budget film takes more work than film with big track count but well organized and laid out.
Anyways, i 'm just curious how you guys do this. For example i'm working on a budget indie Sci-fi. The OMF has 16 tracks but all the tracks contain partially some music, Dialog, SFX, foley. I'm basically, playing through the entire movie small section at the time and reorder ( caamera sound, foley, ADR, music, sfx...) and renaming every sound file....very time consuming.
Old 7th February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hey Vudoo,
See my reply on the DUC

best,

Joe
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Sounds like you have a "disorganized editor" problem. I work with the same editors every day. One of them makes dream OMFs for me...the other is a bit of a nightmare and easily adds to my time, what with reordering all the little miscellaneous chunks. Editors should know to keep the same elements on their own individual tracks. So I'd say, you simply have an unnecessary time-consuming task on your hands now. Bleh. Sucks. Its a whole lot easier with an organized OMF. Seems like you shouldn't have to rename so much stuff as well. Eeek.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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soundboy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have to do it on every show I work on. It's just a part of the process now. Picture editors and assistants resent being sound assistants.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Worst are shows that have had several different editors (and maybe a few crashes and reconforms thrown in).

Philip Perkins
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Yes its a real pain when you have different segments cut by different people. I've all but given up on pleading with editors to have some sort of organization. I've tried to hand-hold and explain why VO and music should be on their own tracks respectively, and how it makes it easier for the editor as well. No dice. I've looked at sequences in both Avid and Final Cut that are disasters, and I don't understand why any editor would willingly work that way. I don't expect a perfect sequence laid out to my specifications. I just want some logic applied.

Its worse with a long form project, but at least you usually have more time to deal with those.

I'm not sure what you mean about re-naming the clips. Did the names not translate at all? Thats a different problem all together.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Lipflap's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don't undervalue regions whose names are already too long in the Avid/FCP, so that when they are converted to OMF files, and eventually to DAW sessions, vital information is missing. So a pix editing name like:

MY_SILLY_MOVIE_Scene_41_Shot_B_Take_#3_Merged_3_Aug_08.mov

Is truncated to:

MY_SILLY_MOVIE_Scene_41_Sho.mov

Lot's of useful info there!

Why not an original clip name like:

MSM_41B-3 or
MSM_41B-3 Ralph CU

Works for me.
Old 9th February 2009
  #8
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Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vudoo ➑️
One of the most painful task before i start mixing is having to sort out all the tracks. Sometimes small track count budget film takes more work than film with big track count but well organized and laid out.
Anyways, i 'm just curious how you guys do this. For example i'm working on a budget indie Sci-fi. The OMF has 16 tracks but all the tracks contain partially some music, Dialog, SFX, foley. I'm basically, playing through the entire movie small section at the time and reorder ( caamera sound, foley, ADR, music, sfx...) and renaming every sound file....very time consuming.
This is where dialogue and SFX editors come in. If you don't have any, nor the budget for at least one, then you end up doing it all on your own.

I've done the editing for someone else to mix, I've mixed projects someone else has edited and I've had to do both myself as well. Every project is different, but this is how I usually start when I'm editing.

I start by creating 8 mono DIA tracks and label them DIA A, DIA B, DIA C, etc... I create one DIA X track and I mute it (this is for stuff I delete or get rid of...more on that in a minute). I create 2 PFX tracks labeled PFX 1, PFX 2.

Then I create two stereo music tracks and Label them MX A, MX B. I create 2 mono and 2 stereo editor FX tracks, labeling them EdFX 1, EdFX 2, etc... And Finally I create 2 stereo and 2 mono tracks for background ambiences and called them BG 1, BG 2, etc...

As I start to go through the dialogue, I separate each region by camera angle (and timbre/tone) within each scene. If the same camera angle sounds different in different spots within the scene, I'll split it between two (or more) tracks. If there are any really LOUD or really quiet spots, I will also move those spots to their own tracks (like say in the middle of a line, the actor screams. The scream goes on it's own track directly below the track for the rest of that angle, and I try to fill in the hole where the scream was). Any other sounds in there I move to their respective tracks, if the editor put their own SFX in there I put them on the SFX, any music goes to music, any ambience gets moved to BGs. And if I need more simultaneous tracks than what I created, I add more tracks as I go.

After I get through the first scene, I look to see how many tracks I used for the DIA. If I used DIA A-F, I start the next scene on DIA G and split out the camera angles using DIA G as my top track and continue down from there (usually needing to create more tracks). Once I get to the end of the second scene, I try to start the third scene back up on DIA A. Checker-boarding the scenes like this gives you (or the mixer) time to overlap automation at the end of one scene into the beginning of the next. It allows you (or the mixer) to setup the automation at the top of the scene and write throughout as you playback. When you get to the next scene, the mixer can prime those tracks without effecting the automation written to the previous scene and so he starts playback into the second scene a couple seconds before the end of the first scene.

Anyway, after I get everything sorted I go back to the top and start editing the dialogue. I move any PFX sounds down to the PFX tracks... if any dialogue is muffled or bad, I look for alternate takes. If I find an alt take, I put that in and edit it to match sync, then move the original down to the DIA X track (I never ever really "delete" anything, I just move it to tracks that are muted. That way the mixer can quickly turn it back on and use it if the director hates the "fixed" line). I create fill when needed and try to smooth transitions between the different camera angles and scenes.

After that... I look to see what sound effects the picture editor added, and look to see if I have anything that sounds better (usually pic editors have the crappiest sounding FX libraries for some reason). I try to put in sounds that need to be there but aren't. If there is no budget to record foley I will try to put some foley in there myself from a sound effects library. and so on...

If I'm mixing it as well, I'll try to mix it a little while I'm cutting the sound to save me some time when I actually sit down to mix it. But if I'm just editing it and someone else is mixing it I don't try to do any "mixing" or automation whatsoever. Sometimes I'll print premixes/predubs but not always. Sometimes mixers like to do their own so they know what's what.

Anyway...that's basically how I do it (and how I was taught to do it). Hope that helps.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Jfriah's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundfx ➑️
Editors should know to keep the same elements on their own individual tracks.

Oh golly, another great quote. Thanks for that. I'm posting that on the wall at work tomorrow.

I mean, after all, with those 99 tracks of audio (for instance), you'd think they could at least put temp VO on its own track, maybe temp ADR, aw heck. Wishful thinking.

And don't even get me going on NAMING protocol.

Editors need to put in at least a day in audio post and audio geeks need to put in at least a day in video post. Fair is fair. But when *I* am the one telling the video editors how to put up a timecode burn on the screen so we can have code.



No offense to any editors out there reading. You know we'll always agree to disagree on pretty much everything. Ha. Ha. Ha?
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfriah ➑️
I mean, after all, with those 99 tracks of audio (for instance), you'd think they could at least put temp VO on its own track, maybe temp ADR, aw heck. Wishful thinking.
I once received an OMF from a TV show edit that already included the VO. The VO was all over the place jumping from track to track. Sometimes the VO was cut in the middle of a word and the clip would continue on another track. As you can imagine the rest of the audio was quite a mess too.

The fact that there were 21 channels of mics didn't quite help either... Nor did the fact that none of the recording equipment on set had been synced. Somtimes the original timestamp of synchronuous clips differed by hours... Oh glory!

Alistair
Old 12th February 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
This all starts with education. Now that Avids and Final Cut systems have 24 or more tracks of audio, the people who teach avid and FCP editors need to get on the ball and teach newbies how to do it right from the get go. One of the bad things about both Final cut and Avid is that you cannot name tracks, so everything goes on Audio 1,2,3, instead of Narration, Dialog, ADR, Etc.

Picture editors are doing more and more sound. With that, comes more responsibility. Producers and Directors also need to be educated on how workflow is changing rapidly.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
we need to remember most of these editors came from the 8 track absolute universe of Film Composer 1.0. It always was a dogs breakfast, and it hasn't gotten any better over time...
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