Mixing for Television, Film and Games. - Gearspace.com
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Mixing for Television, Film and Games.
Old 31st January 2013
Gear Maniac
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Mixing for Television, Film and Games.

Hey Guys,

I was wondering if anyone familiar with mixing audio and music for Television (Shows, Commercials), Film, Radio and Video Games could enlighten me on a few points. I'm currently mixing music with a stereo setup much like everyone else, so i'm wondering exactly how majorly screwed I am when it comes to film, games and broadcasting.

1 - Since pretty much every single motion picture and video game release is now mixed in 5.1 surround or higher, what about television and radio? I'm curious to find out if more and more television and radio networks (like Sirius) will begin, or already are, recording and broadcasting shows in surround.

2 - When speaking of the world of TV and Radio, does it leave the freelancing engineer in the dust? Do television and radio networks only work with inhouse engineers on salary, or do they work with independent mixing engineers to save costs.

3 - Could you guys think of any other fields in the industry, other than music post production, where mixing engineers without a 5.1 monitor setup could work?

Thanks guys
Old 31st January 2013
Gear Addict
ramil's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Talking about games its entirely different beast. Roughly speaking as it is non linear media the mixing process is done in real time by games engine. What you need to do is to integrate audio into the game in certain way so game engine could make it sound right. Unless you are doing mixing for cut scenes where visuals are linear..

Talking about surround I know from reading AES papers that quite a few radio stations in Germany and Canada broadcast their content in mp3 surround format.

To answer your 2 nd question I believe it entirely depends on situation.

Without 5.1 you can focus on sound design, audio restoration, music for commercials, audio forensics etc etc...
Old 31st January 2013
Lives for gear
Boschen's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
You might try the new Film subforums.
That and the Post subforums.
Lots of game talk and film talk there.
Old 31st January 2013
Gear Maniac
๐ŸŽง 5 years
To answer your first question.
You really dont need to have a 5.1 mix to "fill" all channels in a 5.1/7.1 tv/film mix.

I work as a post production sound designer/engineer and composer. (I do more post production though).

Anyway, to The point. What I usually do with stereomixes (not stems) is setting up 3-4 busses LR/C/LsRs (and maybe a MaxxBass for The ekstra sub punch if necessary).
Sending the stereo mix to all, Lower Center a bit for The Dx to come through so it sits in the big screen. For my surrounds I have a short delay and phase shift by 180, Lower a bit in volume and depending on The score, set up a hall verb.
Works like a charm and translates to theaters as well as home setups.

If though, there is budget and time for it the mixer will Ask for stems of The separate mix, with verb and mix it as he/she wants in.

(When I get a project as both the sound designer/mixer and composer I usually send "myself" stems of What i need so I can separate it as I want, as I do not have a 5.1 setup where I compose).

But I would suggest you look in to a personal 5.1 to learn and hear for yourself how different surround music mix is. After learning how to compose and mix for it you will not regret!

- W
Old 31st January 2013
Lives for gear
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
for music specifically you do not need a 5.1 setup. Most music in films and TV shows, unless you are working on Transformers or a TV show like Once upon a time, is stereo.

Think of it this way... unless you actually have the picture and guide audio track and are writing and mixing to it, how do you know if an instrument you pan in the center is going to fight the dialogue? you dont!!! It's a bigger pain in the butt for re-recording mixers to try and mix 5.1 music into a film where the music wasn't specifically written and mixed for the film. Stereo music tracks are easy to pan into a 5.1 mix. But having to do crazy panning and volume automation on a 5.1 mix that was mixed "blind" in order to get the music to sit and not detract from the dialogue can be a pain in the butt.

One thing to consider, instead of trying to mix in 5.1, is mixing a stereo mix AND stereo stems. That way if whoever is using your music wants to go nuts with panning the music in 5.1 then can pan the individual instrument stems wherever they want based on the picture.

even big 5.1 films like the Dark Knight have all the music mixed to 5.1 stems (ie. big perc, little perc, high strings, low strings, solo strings, etc...), not one single 5.1 music mix. Some of those music stems are 5.1, some are 5.0, some are LCR, some are LR some are mono, etc... A solo cello stem (like the Joker's Theme in Dark Knight) for example isn't going to be in 5.1 since most of the channels will have silence on them anyway. the rerecording mixer can always pan it around the 5.0 and add a 5.0 verb to it when doing the final mix of the film.
Old 31st January 2013
Lives for gear
iluvatar's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
The bulk of game assets aren't produced in surround. In fact, quite a lot of them are mono, because of performance limitations and the engine's positioning it in real-time. Some of the ambiences may be done in 4+ channel surround, but that's about it.

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