Sound Mixing a Short Film: Post Production Walk Through

Recently I worked with Uphill Cinema on a short film where I was the production sound mixer and also post production mixer. In this episode, I walk you through the finished post mix in Adobe Audition so you can see how we did it.

See the short film Listen:

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio in Adobe Audition and DaVinci Resolve/Fairlight, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Gear used to record the film:

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone (B&H)

Audio Ltd A10 Wireless Microphone System (B&H)

Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder (B&H)

Countryman B6 Lavalier Microphone (B&H)

DPA 4160 Lavalier Microphone (B&H)

Tentacle Sync E Timecode Generator (B&H)

Sony FS5 (B&H)

ATOMOS Shogun Inferno

Get a free trial of the best music for your videos at Musicbed

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com, B&H Photo, or other affiliate links.

Sound for Video Session: Premiere to Audition with Dynamic Link & Mix vs Isolated Tracks in FCPX

In this week's sound for video session, we discuss two questions:

- How do I get a sequence from Premiere Pro CC to Audition CC and back again?
- I can record a stereo mix (L & R) plus isolated microphone channels on my recorder. When should I use which and how will those come through in Final Cut Pro X?

Gear used to record or discussed in this episode:

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone
Antelope Audio Orion Studio Computer Audio Interface - record with your pro-level XRL microphones directly to your computer
Sound Devices 633 Audio Field Recorder for film production - my main recorder for film/video

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Sunscape by Oliver Michael on One Moment. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link.

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Sync, Blending Mics, Recorder Setup, Mouth Noise, Loudness, Multicam

In this week's Sound for Video Session we discuss some of your questions:

- How to fix audio that drifts out of sync
- I have several mics, how do I blend them? When should I use which?
- How should I set up my Zoom F4?
- How can I manage mount noises in voice overs?
- How do I (batch) fix clips which are not the same loudness?
- How do I send audio from my MixPre to three cameras for a multi-cam shoot?

Previous episodes referenced:

Booming a camera-top Shotgun Microphone:

Loudness Export Option in Premiere Pro:

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

XLR Microphone Cable - Your basic 25 foot long XLR microphone cable

RODE VXLR 3.5mm to XLR Adapter - use this to adapt the RODELink receiver's 3.5mm output to XLR for input into your Zoom F4 recorder

Tascam DR-60DmkII Audio Recorder - Nice intro level audio recorder with 2 XLR inputs

RODE NT2A Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone - nice option for voice over work if you're recording in a room that doesn't have a lot of reverberation issues

Electrovoide RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone - Used to record me for this session. Better option if your room does have a lot of reverberation.

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Can You Mix Lights with Different Color Temperatures?

A few weeks ago we reviewed the Aputure Light Storm COB120d, an incredibly versatile LED light for video and photography. One specification of the COB that is a little unique is that its color temperature is cooler than others at 6000K. Many people have asked whether it is possible to mix this light with other daylight balanced lights which are rated with a color temperature of 5500 or 5600K.

In this episode, we look at cases where it is probably ok to mix them and other cases where you may not want to mix them.

In short, if you use each light to illuminate a different thing or different sides of a thing, you're probably ok to mix them. If you use two lights with different temperatures to light the same thing (e.g., one as a key light, the other as a fill), things can start to look at little strange unless you use the cooler light as the fill.

Gear used or mentioned in this episode:


Aputure Light Storm COB120d LED Light (6000K color temp)

Aputure Light Storm LS1s LED Panel Light (5500K color temp)

Photo Basics Barn Doors confirmed to fit the Aputure COB Lights

Panasonic GH4 m4/3 Camera - Still my main video camera

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens

Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens

Sound for Video Session: Mixing with Buses and EQ

This week we have another film mixing session where I show you a couple of basic tools for mixing in Adobe Audition: Buses and EQ.

With a bus, you can make adjustments to multiple tracks at the same time. Huge time and frustration saver. With EQ, we essentially make room in one track for another track, e.g., we reduce the midrange of the music so that dialogue is easier to hear without pulling the audio down so far that it is hard to hear.

Gear used to produce the short film and this episode:

Audio Technica AT4053b Hypercardioid Microphone - used this to record the interviews out on the street. Works well as long as you have a good shock mount and wind protection (see Cyclone below)

Rycote Cyclone Windshield and Shockmount - this is what prevented the wind from blowing across the microphone capsule and making that low frequency, distorted sound.

Sound Devices 633 Audio Mixer/Recorder - my go-to recorder/mixer

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone (Voiceover for this session was recorded with this)

Antelope Orion Studio Audio Interface (Voiceover for this session was recorded with this - couldn't be happier. By far, the best audio interface I've owned)

Demo: Mixing Sound for a Short Film in Adobe Audition

In this week’s sound for video session I demonstrate how I mixed a recent short film from my friend Levi Whitney with Uphill Cinema - http://uphillcinema.com

I recorded the production sound. Levi directed and DP’d.

In this demo, I quickly demonstrate the overall idea of mixing dialogue, music, and effects for a short film. For serious projects I would definitely spend more time on the details but wanted to give you a quick example to show the basics. I hope you find it useful!

Gear Used:

Audio Technica AT4053b Hyper-Cardioid Microphone (the dialogue and effects in the film were recorded with this)

Sound Devices 633 Field Mixer/Recorder (the film sound was recorded with the 633)

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone (Voiceover for this demo was recorded with this)

Antelope Orion Studio Audio Interface (Voiceover for this demo was recorded with this)

Sound for Video Session: Mixing While Recording

Why do the pro's actively mix while recording? That is, why do they bother adjusting the faders for each channel while recording? Not suggesting that all projects require this, but here are some thoughts on why the pro's often do:

  • Save time in post
  • Create a stereo mix for projects with a quick turn-around
  • Avoid phase and comb-filtering issues by attenuating mics that are not currently recording (e.g., reducing the level on talent that are in between dialogue lines)
  • Provide a mix track that the editor can use for the edit without having to munge through all the ISO tracks

Many of us solo shooters may not have the luxury of doing a mix while recording so we'll have to do much of the work in post. Or, if we're shooting in cases where we have cameras locked off on tripods, maybe we can!

In any case, it is good to understand the purpose of a proper mix.

We also talked about devices which lend themselves to mixing (Zoom F8, Tascam DR-60DmkII, Sound Devices 633) and those which do not (e.g., Zoom H4n) and why.