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Workflow : Picture Editor Export with isos VS Sound Editor Assemby
Old 7th March 2015
  #1
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Workflow : Picture Editor Export with isos VS Sound Editor Assemby

Big debate going on around my parts.

I have a lot of picture editors that want to edit to a mix track only and clear their timeline of anything else. I also have other picture editors that want to go through and choose mics for their edit, and again, get rid of everything else. They want their Avid timelines to be "clean". Neither want to edit with isos on the timeline , only one or two tracks of their choosing and then leave it up to audio post to re-link back to recorder files.

The team on the dub stage want AFF's to be coming in with all isos synced and ready to go.

So the question I ask is, which is the more common/better workflow?

Should picture editors be editing with all isos in sync and then export an AFF with everything?

OR

Should picture editors delete any tracks they don't want in their session and leave it up to a sound editor to do an AFF assembly using Pro Tools "Field Recorder Match" as in this video : LINK

Last edited by Jaymz; 7th March 2015 at 07:09 AM..
Old 7th March 2015
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymz View Post
Should picture editors be editing with all isos in sync and then export an AFF with everything?
Exactly that. And they should stop pining. I edit a lot myself and it doesn't hurt, it's not overly tedious, you can mute tracks in MediaComposer just like in any other software.
Nobody's asking them to do a premix or even apply fades with the isos, just as long as they're there.
So there's no reason not to.
Old 7th March 2015
  #3
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I only need two things.
That the editors NEVER delete the sound that belongs to a cut regardless if they want to hear it or not (or replace it with an alt).
That they make sure metadata is kept, and the audio AAF export is free of rendered effects as that destroys metadata.

And I do prefer to rebuild using edls rather than AAFs, so a clean orderly timeline where the dia, fx & music has dedicated tracks for each, and a nice edl export of the dialog tracks.

Asking a editor to work with 8-16tracks of dialog with all the ISOs kept just because it makes things easier on our end is ridiculous IMHO.
Old 7th March 2015
  #4
1.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikG View Post
That the editors NEVER delete the sound that belongs to a cut regardless if they want to hear it or not
...

2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikG View Post
Asking a editor to work with 8-16tracks of dialog with all the ISOs kept just because it makes things easier on our end is ridiculous IMHO.
Unless you can guide me to the secret Avid workflow solution where 1. is possible without 2., you're contradicting yourself.
Old 7th March 2015
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom chapman View Post
1.

...

2.

Unless you can guide me to the secret Avid workflow solution where 1. is possible without 2., you're contradicting yourself.
Sorry Tom, of course you are right I'll have to rephrase that. Changes underlined below. What I really meant was:

I only need two things.
That the editors NEVER delete ALL the sound that belongs to a cut regardless if they want to hear it or not (even if they want to replace it with an alt).
That they make sure metadata is kept, and the audio AAF export is free of rendered effects as that destroys metadata.

And I do prefer to rebuild using edls rather than AAFs, so a clean orderly timeline where the dia, fx & music has dedicated tracks for each, and a nice edl export of the dialog tracks.

Asking a editor to work with 8-16tracks of dialog with all the ISOs kept just because it makes things easier on our end is ridiculous IMHO.
Old 7th March 2015
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymz View Post
Big debate going on around my parts.

I have a lot of picture editors that want to edit to a mix track only and clear their timeline of anything else. I also have other picture editors that want to go through and choose mics for their edit, and again, get rid of everything else. They want their Avid timelines to be "clean". Neither want to edit with isos on the timeline , only one or two tracks of their choosing and then leave it up to audio post to re-link back to recorder files.

The team on the dub stage want AFF's to be coming in with all isos synced and ready to go.

So the question I ask is, which is the more common/better workflow?

Should picture editors be editing with all isos in sync and then export an AFF with everything?

OR

Should picture editors delete any tracks they don't want in their session and leave it up to a sound editor to do an AFF assembly using Pro Tools "Field Recorder Match" as in this video : LINK
#1 : I would recommend hiring a dialogue editor and not send cutting room AAFs straight to the dub-stage 'ready to go'. The latter isn't going to happen anyway. I've never seen a cutting room AAF that was mixable from the start.

A dialogue editor will 'expand to track' the missing legs of the recordings, make sure the best mic is picked and smooth out transitions and get rid of clicks, bumps and prep pfx tracks.

It's not possible to cut with 16 track wide originals. The avid only plays back 24 tracks. A/B two shots and you're already 32 tracks wide and haven't cut in a single piece of music or temp-fx.

The missing channels are conformed or 'expanded' in sound editorial before the track-lay hits the mixing theatre.
Old 7th March 2015
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom chapman View Post
you can mute tracks in MediaComposer just like in any other software
Beware though, MC 8.1 has a new mute function which also prevents the muted clip from being exported in the AAF. This can really mess up your workflow if some iso lavs are muted, you'll never know it was there.
Old 7th March 2015
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
I would recommend hiring a dialogue editor and not send cutting room AAFs straight to the dub-stage 'ready to go'. The latter isn't going to happen anyway. I've never seen a cutting room AAF that was mixable from the start.
Of course, dialogue editor is there, ready to work. They just want the AAF coming in ready for him to start his editing with and not for him to have to do an assembly session.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
It's not possible to cut with 16 track wide originals. The avid only plays back 24 tracks. A/B two shots and you're already 32 tracks wide and haven't cut in a single piece of music or temp-fx.
They never have to work with more than 5-6 tracks.

That said, if doing an AAF assembly is a duty that should be falling on the dialogue editor, then that's what they should be doing. I'm looking for what is more common in the industry and trying to convince them of that.
Old 7th March 2015
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymz View Post
I'm looking for what is more common in the industry and trying to convince them of that.
Not sure who you refer to saying "them"?
For dialogue editors it's common practice to receive anything from super-chaotic avid track-lays with everything crammed onto 8 tracks wherever the was a free space to organized 16-24 tracks 1-6 for production sound (usually mix tracks) 7-16 for temp fx and another couple of tracks for stereo music.

I only use the AAF as a reference and rarely use the audio in it to actually work with. Music is normally temp anyway. FX get replaced or refined and production sound get's conformed or expanded referring to the original BWAVs.
Old 7th March 2015
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
Not sure who you refer to saying "them"?
Picture editor(s) and the audio post team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
Music is normally temp anyway. FX get replaced or refined and production sound get's conformed or expanded referring to the original BWAVs.
This all happens currently. The only issue going on was what I mentioned initially, with the audio post supervisor wanting all isos delivered in the original AAF as opposed to a dialogue editor having to assemble from recorder files. The picture editors don't want to do that. I'm trying to help both of them reach a decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
production sound get's conformed or expanded referring to the original BWAVs.
If having the dialogue editor do this is more standard*, then that's what they should shoot for.

* Relative term though. We already have one comment in this thread saying maintaining isos throughout the edit and export should be the picture editors responsibility.

Last edited by Jaymz; 7th March 2015 at 03:40 PM..
Old 7th March 2015
  #11
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Are you on an episodic or other series or a big feature so a lot of work can be done once a workflow is established? I ask because I've had this done (and done to me) every possible way on one-off projects. If you are on something big then whatever the pic editor wants is what they'll get, and hopefully you can get to some sort of rapprochement with the assistant editors etc about who keeps track of the production sound how. But the discussion will ultimately devolve to time and money and whose budget covers the work and whose people do it, and I haven't found a hard and fast rule for this.

Last edited by philper; 8th March 2015 at 02:50 AM..
Old 7th March 2015
  #12
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It usually falls to the dialogue editor. Its nice to get all tracks from the editor but it easily gets out of hand on their end and ours.

I think its more productive to establish a workflow guide - ensure metadata is used properly and set the track layout. It will save hours. I love it when I can open an AAF/OMF/EDL/whatever, get rid of anything thats not dialogue, and reconform without any issues. Makes for a much happier day.
Old 7th March 2015
  #13
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Oh and also this way you can easily ignore the mix tracks - if you've seen the other thread you know we don't usually have any use for them.
Old 7th March 2015
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom chapman View Post
1.

...

2.

Unless you can guide me to the secret Avid workflow solution where 1. is possible without 2., you're contradicting yourself.


I think that applies to the picture dept. NOT the sound dept.
Old 8th March 2015
  #15
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If the picture editor does not want to cut with all the isos, just tell them that the production company will need to budget for an assembly and the extra time required to sort it out, that's maybe a couple thousand max, not the end of the world, or else they will have to live with the possible negative consequences, which you can't be responsible for. Put it in writing when you make the deal so that it comes out of their pocket.
Old 8th March 2015
  #16
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Cheers for the advice!

In your experience, Gary, is doing an assembly in sound editorial more common?

Last edited by Jaymz; 8th March 2015 at 11:44 AM..
Old 8th March 2015
  #17
Sound editorial virtually always does the assembly. It is the job of the assistant sound editor and not the dialogue editor. This is the normal expected workflow on a Hollywood feature in my experience. Usually the real battle with the cutting room occurs after they get temp mix stems in their avid and want to delete the original production tracks to maintain a clean audio timeline.
Old 8th March 2015
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
If the picture editor does not want to cut with all the isos, just tell them that the production company will need to budget for an assembly and the extra time required to sort it out, that's maybe a couple thousand max, not the end of the world, or else they will have to live with the possible negative consequences, which you can't be responsible for. Put it in writing when you make the deal so that it comes out of their pocket.
THIS +1

One way around it is the following - I work a lot of multi mic programming (talking 25 lavs + run n gun booms) and it's not feasable for editors to work with all that, and the turnaround time from lock to mix day can be not a lot too if the channel is stalling. The editor works with the mix tracks within reason, and then production hire an edit assistant to go through the sequences, cutting in the required material still inside the Media Composer World. It saves a huge re-conform/re-link task within Pro Tools, and for the most part you get all the ISOs you need. Sometimes it's a bit of a faff re-organising like a dialogue editor would do for you, but it's a cost efficient way of working that keeps both sides happy and quality up.

FF
Old 8th March 2015
  #19
Hey all! Sorry! Weekend was + (lakes, fishing rods, beer) - (computer, internet connection).
Eric G: OK, sorry, I get you now, but in fact it's EASIER for the editor to simply pass through all the isos. Plus, there's few picture editors I'd trust with selecting the best iso track for mixing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farhoof View Post
Beware though, MC 8.1 has a new mute function which also prevents the muted clip from being exported in the AAF. This can really mess up your workflow if some iso lavs are muted, you'll never know it was there.
Jeez! Didn't know that one yet. Typical AVID silliness. Thanks for the heads up, I'll have to include that in the specs document I send to the picture editors.
Old 8th March 2015
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom chapman View Post
Hey all! Sorry! Weekend was + (lakes, fishing rods, beer) - (computer, internet connection).
Eric G: OK, sorry, I get you now, but in fact it's EASIER for the editor to simply pass through all the isos. Plus, there's few picture editors I'd trust with selecting the best iso track for mixing.



Jeez! Didn't know that one yet. Typical AVID silliness. Thanks for the heads up, I'll have to include that in the specs document I send to the picture editors.
Why should they bother with all the tracks?
Mix track, oplus importing selected ISOs when needed is enough in my book.
The picture editors job is to build a story using shot material and a few bits and piecs of sound and music. It is not really to help us do our job, it's to make a film. As long as their workflow doesn't make our job impossible or extremely hard to accomplish then I don't think they really should focus juggling all those audio tracks while editing.

Media Composer is limited in regards to how many tracks it can utilise effectively when editing.

I much rather get a nice and tidy timeline than having all the recorded audio in there (but not all of it as there will be scenes requiring more tracks to deal with music and sfx and thus will not contain all the needed source material anyway).
I want to get a clear indication of dramatic intentions and as clear guidance as possible about the intended direction the editor and director arrived at during editing.
This will not be easily accomplished with a timeline filled with sometimes one track sometimes four tracks and at times eight tracks (or even more) of dialog for each and every slate/cut, especially when there are overlaps and or additional lines from alt takes.

It would just be a really messy delivery.

If I really had to get all the sounds via th AAF the only sensible way to deal with it would be to have the assitstnt editor go through all the material after final cut and auto match all the ISO tracks. But I bet I am (or any one in our team) a lot faster than most assistants doing it.
Old 8th March 2015
  #21
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Actually sometimes it is the picture editor's job. It all depends on the budget, which the producer sets but the picture editor is well aware of. I would always do an assembly if the budget allows, but for some projects it isn't an option and that means that the picture editor has to take an active role in the post audio strategy. The picture editor should be smart enough to figure out that if the budget is really low then post audio will have to rely on what they have supplied in the AAF.
Old 8th March 2015
  #22
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The editors I work with appreciate getting a split mix boom/lav mix to cut with, and may or may not deal with the isos, or only where they feel they have to. After that the negotiations begin about who will do the iso conform and for how much $, but usually the editors need to get temps edits out so fast and so often that they are very content with the split mix for their audio.
Old 9th March 2015
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikG View Post
I much rather get a nice and tidy timeline than having all the recorded audio in there (but not all of it as there will be scenes requiring more tracks to deal with music and sfx and thus will not contain all the needed source material anyway).
I want to get a clear indication of dramatic intentions and as clear guidance as possible about the intended direction the editor and director arrived at during editing.
This will not be easily accomplished with a timeline filled with sometimes one track sometimes four tracks and at times eight tracks (or even more) of dialog for each and every slate/cut, especially when there are overlaps and or additional lines from alt takes.

It would just be a really messy delivery.

If I really had to get all the sounds via th AAF the only sensible way to deal with it would be to have the assitstnt editor go through all the material after final cut and auto match all the ISO tracks. But I bet I am (or any one in our team) a lot faster than most assistants doing it.
I agree with Erik; as long as you inform/teach/beat-it-into the pic editor to cut with audio from the field recorder (rather than on-board camera audio) and show him/her how to export the aaf/omf while still retaining audio metadata, I'd much rather have a tidy timeline (where I can access ISOs via the field recorder workflow as needed).

Since I usually only have a couple of days to edit and mix, I don't want to waste hours on tracklaying and organizing. Then again I work on smaller projects with short turnarounds, so maybe things are different in the big leagues.
Old 9th March 2015
  #24
I understand that if you've got tons of tracks coming in from a field recorder, it would be too daunting for the editor to juggle those around. Then of course you need the time and budget to have someone reconform those tracks, sure.
My reality is usually: non-fiction documentary shoots with 4 channels direct from the camera, one mix, one or two lavs and a boom. I expect to see all those in the AAF (unless the channels simply weren't used) and none of the editors I work with mind at all, as long as they have a mix track to edit with and don't have to mind about sorting out which iso to use.
Also we only work straight from the AAF - no time or money for reconforming here, we need all that for adding atmo and mixing, and in my case sorting through 3 or 4 source tracks is not a problem.
However, sure, I wouldn't want to sort through 8+ source tracks either, agreed.
Old 14th May 2015
  #25
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Has any one out there run into issues with an AAF coming from Media Composer that has plugin effects throughout the timeline?

I had a show where the picture editor used time compression or speed ramps (not sure what it's called in MC) but essentially they sped up picture and audio in MC in various places here and there on words and parts of syllables and the time compression effects used in the MC timeline didn't carry through the AAF and into Pro Tools, even when you check the import rendered effects option. Non of this was known to anyone on the sound side that it had been done until the sound rolls were assembled and the dialogue editor started on the show. The editor carried all the isos but cleared the ones they didn't want leaving us with one mic throughout. Suppossedly we should have been able to click the clip in the timeline and see the corresponding iso mics in the clip bin, but they weren't included in the AAF either.

After working through it a bit we found out that having too many audio plugins in MC can either cause the AAF or Pro Tools not to import them all. We had to have the editor apply all the time compression effects to all the sound rolls on those effected clips and then render them as wav files and export that as a new AAF to even get the show in sync.

Has anyone else seen something like this before? I've been doing post for more than 10 years and this is a first for me. I know picture editors have been doing more and more sound work in their edits but is this something that post audio folks are going to see and have to deal with more often? Supposedly this is a common thing to do according to the editor and should have carried through color and online, but that still remains to be seen.
Old 14th May 2015
  #26
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I am not 100% sure i understand you correctly but a few comments:
Yes, when editors render fx on the Production sound the metadata is lost, so it becomes impossible to relink in PT using Field recorder workflow.
So to keep all metadata you have to export a AAF without rendered fx (checkbox in export options).
But this means that you won't get any of the fx renderings from editorial. If that is important for you or the project then editorial will have to either export dual AAFs, one with and one without rendered fx. Or they wil have to keep the source unaffected audio file next to the rendered file, not muted but lowered to infinity.
Both alternatives are messy and rather daft.
Best solution would be for rendered files to keep the original metadata, but that's not possible yet as far as I know.
Old 14th May 2015
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cunninghamaudio View Post
I had a show where the picture editor used time compression or speed ramps...
In my experience, at least when using conforming software with a picture EDL, time warp effects really mess things up for audio.

If a shot is time warped to play back at double speed the EDL will show that, for example, 24 frames of source material fits into 12 frames on the timeline. Understandably, when the conformer sees this and tries to conform the audio to the same bounds, it doesn't know how to achieve it.

My work around has been to omit motion effected clips from the EDL (Lines usually followed by M2), conform all the 'straight' clips, and then deal with the motion effected material manually within Pro Tools, using the EDL as a guide to how much it's been sped up/slowed down by. However, if they've used anything other than a straight speed increase/decrease - it becomes increasingly difficult.
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