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Nightmare with reverb!
Old 29th August 2019
  #1
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Nightmare with reverb!

Hi all,

So... I'm completing a score for a show produced by a large network.
It is my first big job as a composer so I accept I'm learning and don't have experience in this specific field.

Having said that have been working in studios producing, recording, mixing and mastering when necessary for the last 22 years.
Many tracks I have produced, mixed and mastered have been licensed and used - as they are- in huge well known shows and a few movies.
I have worked with many engineers in all types of studios large and small and I have never, ever ever experienced something like this:

The dubbing mixer (re-recording mixer) is putting reverb EVERYWHERE.
On final mixes, on separate stems, on bass heavy material, on stuff already full of reverb. Every single thing me and the surround mixing engineer has done has been drowned in "warm hall" or "concert hall" with 2.2 ms to probably 3 ms type reverb.

I am also talking about points of the score where there is only music. So there is no dialogue or particoular sound effect or foley to bring forward.
This is an important point IMO.

The funny thing is that there are a couple of tracks I have mixed and masterd which have been licensed to the show (not part of the score but stuff that has been already released) and those are being left alone (and obviously sound 100 times better then all the rest)

Unfortunately I'm not in a "political" position to say much. I have saved from total destruction a couple of tracks where a concert hall program has been put on the master of a track with fast percussion ,deep bass and fast changing chords. I had to be really firm and try to explain myself but it was a hard clash and wasn't a nice experience.

Also I noticed they sometimes use sound fx which have very very defined notes that often clash with the music. I had a hard time explaining them that the "cave sound" they put is actually a low noted pad which is a semitone away from the pad I use on that particular cue and therefore is a problem.

Is this normal or did I just work with a butcher?? Every single cue sounds worse. No doubts about it.

Does anyone here have any insights about the matter and how to deal with it please? I would love to hear.

Thanks !!
Old 29th August 2019
  #2
I have no insights or advise, but I just read that and thought: Ugh!

I'm sorry that's happening. It does sound like you're thinking clearly about things.
Old 29th August 2019
  #3
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Options:

1) Voice objection strongly with powers-that-be
2) Quietly put concerns on the record to CYA (cover your ass)
3) Not my circus, not my monkeys, collect paycheck
Old 29th August 2019
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Hi all,

So... I'm completing a score for a show produced by a large network.
It is my first big job as a composer so I accept I'm learning and don't have experience in this specific field.

Having said that have been working in studios producing, recording, mixing and mastering when necessary for the last 22 years.
Many tracks I have produced, mixed and mastered have been licensed and used - as they are- in huge well known shows and a few movies.
I have worked with many engineers in all types of studios large and small and I have never, ever ever experienced something like this:

The dubbing mixer (re-recording mixer) is putting reverb EVERYWHERE.
On final mixes, on separate stems, on bass heavy material, on stuff already full of reverb. Every single thing me and the surround mixing engineer has done has been drowned in "warm hall" or "concert hall" with 2.2 ms to probably 3 ms type reverb.

I am also talking about points of the score where there is only music. So there is no dialogue or particoular sound effect or foley to bring forward.
This is an important point IMO.

The funny thing is that there are a couple of tracks I have mixed and masterd which have been licensed to the show (not part of the score but stuff that has been already released) and those are being left alone (and obviously sound 100 times better then all the rest)

Unfortunately I'm not in a "political" position to say much. I have saved from total destruction a couple of tracks where a concert hall program has been put on the master of a track with fast percussion ,deep bass and fast changing chords. I had to be really firm and try to explain myself but it was a hard clash and wasn't a nice experience.

Also I noticed they sometimes use sound fx which have very very defined notes that often clash with the music. I had a hard time explaining them that the "cave sound" they put is actually a low noted pad which is a semitone away from the pad I use on that particular cue and therefore is a problem.

Is this normal or did I just work with a butcher?? Every single cue sounds worse. No doubts about it.

Does anyone here have any insights about the matter and how to deal with it please? I would love to hear.

Thanks !!
Writing and mixing score is a completely different animal than producing songs for licensing in TV and film.... completely different.

I mix the scores for 3 TV shows right now, I produce music for music licensing (I've done about 700+ albums), and I have worked with a lot of artists/labels in the past and I've been the re-recording mixer for films and TV shows in the past.

There are reasons they have to put reverb on the score. There are reasons you should never put too much reverb on the score when you are mixing it. If the mixer isn't putting verb on the score, then it brings the score forward to the forefront more and can (and will) fight dialogue more. Also the mixer has to constantly ride the music up and down around dialogue and sound effect... if the only verb is the verb you printed, then that verb gets ridden up and down as well and sound EXTREMELY unsettling and unnatural. Sending the score to verb helps make the drastic volume changes they are doing less obtuse because the ring of the verb smooths out the volume changes. Next time, don't put so much verb on your score!!!

You have to understand that music is NOT the most important thing. making a fuss about how the score is mixed is like the percussionist making a fuss about how his cowbell and shakers are mixed in a song. Music is there to support the mood of the scene. Even when there is nothing else going on. T

As for the sound effect of the cave... that stuff happens. My question to you, was that cave sound in the production/temp track you were given to score to? Sometimes stuff gets added at the last minute but with TV shows, the major sounds are usually in the temp. If you aren't checking your score against the temp track for potential problems, you should. But in the end, if the director can't hear the problem, then there is no problem.
Old 29th August 2019
  #5
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one can have much different thoughts on hierarchy, pratice and taste though...
Old 30th August 2019
  #6
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Is this normal or did I just work with a butcher??
This is normal. How "much" is enough or too much? That's the realm of the re-mix engineer. But rest assured, it's not out of the ordinary.
Old 30th August 2019
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Also I noticed they sometimes use sound fx which have very very defined notes that often clash with the music. I had a hard time explaining them that the "cave sound" they put is actually a low noted pad which is a semitone away from the pad I use on that particular cue and therefore is a problem.
Out of curiosity; what was their response to that?

I've worked on shows where the editor chose music and sound effects, or even stems from different music cues, that were clashing. At that point, as a re-recording engineer, I really have to 'zoom out' and look at the story telling from a larger perspective and try to understand if there's a point to the tension. I mean, it could be that the editor is tone-deaf, but it could also mean that they think it feels right...

I have a background in playing and writing so I feel your pain, but sometimes there's a motive behind the madness...

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Every single cue sounds worse. No doubts about it.

Does anyone here have any insights about the matter and how to deal with it please? I would love to hear.

Thanks !!
I think the others said it well. "Worse" is debatable "unfortunately". My main concern is "Does this work?". By "work" I mean does it take the viewer to the place intended by the director. If the answer is 'yes' then I don't actually care all that much about the individual parts that make up the final mix... because.. well... it "works"...

An example of something that might be easier for you to relate to since it isn't music: I just recently had a company fret over mic choice, preamp choice, position etc for VO recording for narration of a documentary series. Apparently sound quality of the hostess' voice was super-important to the quality of the show. Fine. We agree. Last episode I'm asked to match last-minute ADR done on an iPhone! So much for a quality production (major network btw). But in the end the story is helped more by the added line of dialog that guides the viewer than by an objectively better quality of voice... so.. it was what it was..

Music is "just" another ingredient in that (cake) mix... even if that's where my heart truly lies...
Old 30th August 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
one can have much different thoughts on hierarchy, pratice and taste though...
Agreed. It's just that it's hard to be objective.
Old 30th August 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Agreed. It's just that it's hard to be objective.
indeed! plus sometimes there are subtle but noticeable differences in the perception of any artistic expression which are beyond of what can be described or is very difficult to communicate, especially between different cultures - this can lead to an entirely different point of view and approach...

...and to get back to topic: i tend to work in a way that my mixes 'work' without much artificial reverb (or even without any for the orchestral parts if recorded in large halls) and i'm using efx devices much more in a way of what an engineer of classical music (for musical release only) does - thus, i guess i can understand the op's reservations!
Old 30th August 2019
  #10
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
thus, i guess i can understand the op's reservations!
I understand them too, but the thing is - the film is not about the music. If a composer is focusing on how their music is sounding, the perspective is wrong. You'll end up fighting directors / remix engineers the rest of your life. There's a sweet spot - a compromise.
Old 30th August 2019
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
...the film is not about the music. If a composer is focusing on how their music is sounding, the perspective is wrong....
This +1000!!!

If the composer is focusing on the sound of the music then they aren't focusing on the story and the film overall.

I bet after a couple years when the composer comes back around to this, and he watches for the first time with objective unbiased ears... he will have a completely different opinion about the sound of the music.
Old 30th August 2019
  #12
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...could be though that s/he'll come back and still think things got messed up big time!

not gonna argue: there's a specific pratice in each field and if someone wants to be part of that field, then of course s/he'll better learns to accept the terms and conditions.

i stand firm though that even if there is widely accepted practice of doing things in a specific way, chances are it will get perceived somewhat differently in different places and by specific groups. and then there are trends...
Old 30th August 2019
  #13
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Complaining about a SFX vs Music, Music will most likely lose. The music or the music pad stem will be dipped. Welcome to life. Sometimes the SFX editor or Re-recording mixer will re-pitch the SFX -- but that's usually only if the music is integral. A pad will not be that (think more melody.) I had the SFX team re-pitch a historically accurate train horn but that was because it got in the way of a long running grand music cue for a montage that the director valued more (and the horn wasn't in the temp SFX tracks.)

One doesn't need to CYA on dub mixes. The dub mix is approved by directors/producers (who should be there.) Sometimes the score mixer/composer is invited (I've always been but I usually have built up a relationship earlier to make the process smoother.) If you've got specific notes, you should NOT object strongly (that's a quick way to get shut out -- you are work for hire.)
A gentle comment is as far as you should go. If your comment is ignored, so be it. Don't harp or press on it.

The re-recording mix is about the director's vision about the film. Not about portraying your music the best. Learn to live with that.

Last edited by pentagon; 31st August 2019 at 04:14 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 22nd July 2020
  #14
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Hey...
For anyone that might be interested...

A long time has past since this post and the show I worked on came out.
Some here told me to wait until it comes out so I can get a different prospective on the matter. I did.
I have watched it on multiple devices...

I am sorry to inform you... that I was right.

I just had the bad luck of working with the wrong engineer.
Too much reverb, horrible EQ choices.
The person added reverb like it was a doctor prescription.
(I have been comparing it back to back with similar productions)

I have remixed a few tracks from my stems to be used as promo for my work and the difference in quality with what made it to the show is night and day. Staggering.

I also don't agree with some of the responses I got in the vein of "the cowbell player in an orchestra should never complain".
Every single part of film making has the stride to max quality. From costume designer to director of photography to screenplay writer, each one has to give the max and to try to make sure the work being done isn't being ruined at later stages, NOT because of personal ego matters (like I think some suggested here) but because if every aspect of production is the best it can be, the whole will be better. Are these professionals all "cowbell" players?
This is why productions hire people, because of their skills, that is why they hired me too.
The music doesn't MAKE the show/movie but it is an important aspect of it.
If a the hard work of a director of photography is destroyed by wrong color correction in the end of the production work I am sure the director would be interested to know what his handsomly paid director of photography has to say.

This has been my first major soundtrack work, and I felt unsure about some things as it is a different job then recording and mixing albums.
So I have tried to stay as humble and respectful of the more expert people and listen.

But I think SOME gave me the wrong advice and assumed, a bit paternalistically I have to say, things about me that were not fair such as not understanding that "it is not about the music"..
I am not a young kid anymore (unfortunately) and I understand these sort of dynamics.
I have also found taht some tracks are too just too loud compared to the dialogue and I tried to point it out at the time. So I would have LOWERED the volume on some cues. It wasn't about me wanting to be heard more.


I understand the general need to apply more reverb then you would on an album, there have been some really good explanations here (thank you for that!) especially the one regarding how it benefits transitions and volume automation.
As an experiment, I have tried to do a "mock up" re recording mix with the dialougue, FX and everything, to understand better the process. It makes perfect sense to put more reverb them I usually do, that - I have learnt, from some of you here, and from the experience. I do understand.
But... please...with criteria.
I still think that putting a super long reverb on program material which contains very fast (BPM) low freq content (like kicks and low percussion and bass) is a recipe for disaster and any non-video related engineer would get fired and never called again for doing something like that in a regular studio.
That is objective.

Thanks again everyone, most of our comments were really really helpful, I just felt I needed to point out some things.

Best regards people, and stay safe!

Last edited by audioloud; 22nd July 2020 at 05:46 PM.. Reason: grammer
Old 22nd July 2020
  #15
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k....
Old 22nd July 2020
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Unfortunately I'm not in a "political" position to say much. I have saved from total destruction a couple of tracks where a concert hall program has been put on the master of a track with fast percussion ,deep bass and fast changing chords. I had to be really firm and try to explain myself but it was a hard clash and wasn't a nice experience.
It sounds that you are risk-averse. You should do your job, keep quiet, avoid conflict, and let the people with the final authority make the hard decisions. Sometimes taking a personal loss means a win for the team.
Old 22nd July 2020
  #17
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pentagon's Avatar
 

You mention that
Quote:
This is why productions hire people, because of their skills,
and then proceed to ignore the fact that the director and producer also hired the re-recording mixer for the same reason.

You may not have liked how the sound turned out but did you check with the director or producer what their final feelings were? They're the ones who will rehire you (or not!) They are the client.

If you have enough clout with the production, then you could possibly have some sway on who gets hired for the re-recording mix.
However, if you feel really strongly, good luck with also becoming and getting hired as the re-recording engineer.

[Sometimes you have to learn to live with a director you work for who makes "bad decisions" from your perspective. That's also part of being a professional in this industry]

Last edited by pentagon; 22nd July 2020 at 10:52 PM.. Reason: missing word
Old 22nd July 2020
  #18
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i can't help but getting the impression we're talking about a fundamental cultural difference between the old and the new world, possibly even between the anglo-saxon and the latin world...
Old 22nd July 2020
  #19
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The only question to ask (and it's not one the OP is asking unfortunately) is whether or not the Director signed off on it, and whether or not the Director was happy. That's really the only question. Everything else is superfluous.

If the director is happy, then don't work with him again - that's totally valid.
If the director wasn't happy with the mix, then refuse to work with that re-mix engineer again - again valid, but kinda, eh...

Of course, doing either will tend to paint you as a prima donna, and seriously limit your work potentials. If you decide to go those directions, best to just turn down the job without a reason.
Old 23rd July 2020
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Hey...
For anyone that might be interested...

A long time has past since this post and the show I worked on came out.
Some here told me to wait until it comes out so I can get a different prospective on the matter. I did.
I have watched it on multiple devices...

I am sorry to inform you... that I was right.
Iโ€™ve run into this - the best way to deal with it is to print heavily effected stems separately; one dry, one just the wet return. Back off a bit on your other stems, default to a more dry sound. It helps if you talk to the mixer ahead of time - different engineers have differing preferences.
Old 23rd July 2020
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desire Inspires View Post
It sounds that you are risk-averse. You should do your job, keep quiet, avoid conflict, and let the people with the final authority make the hard decisions. Sometimes taking a personal loss means a win for the team.
A pity that it was a loss for ALL THE TEAM, because one component of the whole product was being ruined by someone too eager to touch s--t by default.
It is not only MY loss...

This is the point I am trying to make clear here.

The same scene with the original rough mix and the new final released worldwide mix do not achieve the same EMOTIONAL goal. The emotional goal that was approved and loved by the director in the first place.
That is what I mean, that is what I care about in this case.
Old 23rd July 2020
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
The only question to ask (and it's not one the OP is asking unfortunately) is whether or not the Director signed off on it, and whether or not the Director was happy. That's really the only question. Everything else is superfluous.

If the director is happy, then don't work with him again - that's totally valid.
If the director wasn't happy with the mix, then refuse to work with that re-mix engineer again - again valid, but kinda, eh...

Of course, doing either will tend to paint you as a prima donna, and seriously limit your work potentials. If you decide to go those directions, best to just turn down the job without a reason.
Hey there Dr! Thanks for the input.
I was trying to do my job... Not being a primadonna.
To make sure everything is up to the best quality possible
(on my part of the whole, I'm not going to say anything about the EQ on the dialogue or level or on the color of the dress of the main actor obviously) .
What is wrong with that?
On a musical level I assure you I did all what the director requested and often bowed down to musical directions I wasn't sure about or even hated just so that the director has what he/she wanted. I did my job.

I have the feeling that most people here assume automatically that I am wrong and that the re-recording engineer made 100% the right choices.
Obviously without having the audio available I understand you guys have to trust me on this hahaha....

I also do not think the director has necessarily the knowledge or sensibility to hear, for example, that sub150 Hz horrible buildup that is clogging totally a scene and why is that a problem etc, so they NEED to trust their mixer, rightly so...

I would love to work with the director again. if I am in the position I would try to influence the choice of re-recording engineer in case they get the same guy. I guess that is the conclusion.

Thanks
Old 23rd July 2020
  #23
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
A pity that it was a loss for ALL THE TEAM,
Was it a loss? Really? Does the director consider it a loss? Cause as much as you value your own opinion and preferences, it's way down the food chain compared to the director. If the DIRECTOR is happy - it's a win. Beginning-Middle-And end of story. Even if you don't dig it.

I remember having a purist attitude like yours. If you stay in this biz, it will get sanded down pretty quickly. Best of luck.


PS - unless the director specifically COMES TO YOU privately and asks you why things are muddy, or why the music doesn't speak right, it's out of your hands. Taking it INTO your hands puts you in EXTREMELY choppy political waters that are lose / lose IMO. You are going to loose. Integrity. A job. Getting called again. Reputation. Whatever, but you will lose. You might win a particular battle, you might even be right, but ultimately, you will lose the war. Once you hand over the music and it's approved, it's not your gig anymore.

Imagine how a contractor who builds a perfect house must feel when he hands over the keys, only to see that the new owners paint it pink with yellow accents two weeks later. He hates it, but it's not his house is it?
Old 23rd July 2020
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Hey there Dr! Thanks for the input.
I was trying to do my job...
To be blunt - your job is to deliver music that's appropriate, requested, and get it signed off on. And that's where your job ends. Your job is (almost always) not to try to influence the audio mix of the film. Yeah, the lines get blurred, but it becomes fairly obvious when you start stepping over them.

Sounds like you were working with amateurs on all fronts.
Old 23rd July 2020
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
You mention that
and then proceed to ignore the fact that the director and producer also hired the re-recording mixer for the same reason.

You may not have liked how the sound turned out but did you check with the director or producer what their final feelings were? They're the ones who will rehire you (or not!) They are the client.

If you have enough clout with the production, then you could possibly have some sway on who gets hired for the re-recording mix.
However, if you feel really strongly, good luck with also becoming and getting hired as the re-recording engineer.

[Sometimes you have to learn to live with a director you work for who makes "bad decisions" from your perspective. That's also part of being a professional in this industry]
Thank you for the interesting perspective...

I certainly would try to find out who would be the re-recording mixer before starting a given job...
I am sure I just had a bad experience and it's full of amazing people out there.
So hopefully I will be more lucky next time.
I am not qualified nor interested nor anyone in their right mind would hire me to be the re-recording mixer for sure! i just would have liked a bit of dialogue and having a possibility of influencing peacefully a few choices regarding the sound of the music.

I am absolutely a NO-ONE in the field (so I am not comparing myself to anything or anyone), but I'm sure a re-recording mixer would listen carefully to what a Hans or a John have to say about a sound in an X cue - or not?
Or they tell them to go back to their cowbell?
Old 23rd July 2020
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Was it a loss? Really? Does the director consider it a loss? Cause as much as you value your own opinion and preferences, it's way down the food chain compared to the director. If the DIRECTOR is happy - it's a win. Beginning-Middle-And end of story. Even if you don't dig it.

I remember having a purist attitude like yours. If you stay in this biz, it will get sanded down pretty quickly. Best of luck.


PS - unless the director specifically COMES TO YOU privately and asks you why things are muddy, or why the music doesn't speak right, it's out of your hands. Taking it INTO your hands puts you in EXTREMELY choppy political waters that are lose / lose IMO. You are going to loose. Integrity. A job. Getting called again. Reputation. Whatever, but you will lose. You might win a particular battle, you might even be right, but ultimately, you will lose the war. Once you hand over the music and it's approved, it's not your gig anymore.

Imagine how a contractor who builds a perfect house must feel when he hands over the keys, only to see that the new owners paint it pink with yellow accents two weeks later. He hates it, but it's not his house is it?
I hate pink and yellow!

I understand your point. I guess, following your advice, I would need to become more careless about what I deliver and let go...

On one side though I am still convinced that if I were to invite you guys who chimed in on this post for a beer or coffee in my studio, we are sipping and listening together to the 2 versions back to back you all would go: "ahhh sure I get your point!"...
But that's in my head, and there is covid too so...


Regards

Last edited by audioloud; 23rd July 2020 at 05:17 PM.. Reason: grammer
Old 23rd July 2020
  #27
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pentagon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
I am absolutely a NO-ONE in the field (so I am not comparing myself to anything or anyone), but I'm sure a re-recording mixer would listen carefully to what a Hans or a John have to say about a sound in an X cue - or not?
Or they tell them to go back to their cowbell?
Honestly (as I've worked with both) neither will go to the dub stage (or barely there to show their face.) They let the director make the decisions and mix his/her movie the way they envisioned it and hear back from the music editor about what's happened each day (feature films take a lot of days to dub.) If they hear from the music editor about a cue that has been "mangled" by being chopped to death, they'll call the director about a possible replacement/fix done at their studio. They don't sit there and get involved in the "mixing" side.
They have other projects to go to (usually already going) and meetings to deal with.

There is always the next movie if you're doing this composer-thing right. And it needs more attention than what is happening on a dub stage for your last movie.
Old 23rd July 2020
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Iโ€™ve run into this - the best way to deal with it is to print heavily effected stems separately; one dry, one just the wet return. Back off a bit on your other stems, default to a more dry sound. It helps if you talk to the mixer ahead of time - different engineers have differing preferences.
Thanks, yes exactly...
Towards the last episodes i was basically banning reverb from most instruments... Trying to reverse compensate..
Old 23rd July 2020
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Honestly (as I've worked with both) neither will go to the dub stage (or barely there to show their face.) They let the director make the decisions and mix his/her movie the way they envisioned it and hear back from the music editor about what's happened each day (feature films take a lot of days to dub.) If they hear from the music editor about a cue that has been "mangled" by being chopped to death, they'll call the director about a possible replacement/fix done at their studio. They don't sit there and get involved in the "mixing" side.
They have other projects to go to (usually already going) and meetings to deal with.

There is always the next movie if you're doing this composer-thing right. And it needs more attention than what is happening on a dub stage for your last movie.
Wow that's amazing must be great experience to work with them!

Again I guess my was a limit case in which I was unlucky.

I am imagining also, at their (and your) level, everyone is so amazing at what they do that they can blindly trust people to do a great job and not have to worry about these kind of things...
Old 23rd July 2020
  #30
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
I hate pink and yellow!

I understand your point. I guess, following your advice, I would need to become more careless about what I deliver and let go...

On one side though I am still convinced that if I were to invite you guys who chimed in on this post for a beer or coffee in my studio, we are sipping and listening together to the 2 versions back to back you all would go: "ahhh sure I get your point!"...
But that's in my head, and there is covid too so...


Regards

Careless, no. Absolutely not. You deliver the absolute best you can under the constraints of what the director wants. Which may put you into extremely musically compromised positions (in your opinion), but again, it's what the director wants. If it gets TOOOO outside your comfort zone, either quit due to "creative differences" or try to convince him/her mildly. If you don't make progress, just do the damn job and deliver it to the best of your abilities.

THEN..yes, let go.

I'm sure I'd hear what you hear, but again, it's not our gig. You sound like you're just coming into this recently, so let someone down the road further give you some advice. There have DEFINITELY been times in my career when I have been asked to do things that I vehemently disagreed with on a creative level. They were often at stylistic junctures in the musical fabric of society. Decisions that I felt degraded the music and/or the film. More often than once, the ones requesting what I hated and considered flat out "wrong" were game changing leaders in the industry. I learned a lot from them, and their requests which seemed so oddball now seem completely normal in the vibe of what film making is. So there is that.....

Other times, it's just people with lack of creative vision, amateurs, and hacks making your life hell. Dump those clients and move on. Lesson learned.

A composers career is defined MUCH more by who they have worked with than their innate talent.
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