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.

Mixing Board Basics for Video/Filmmakers

Why are we talking about mixing boards on this channel where we normally cover sound for video? Because understanding the basics of mixing boards makes you a better location sound mixer for film/video! Here’s a quick high-level look at how mixing boards are laid out and how knowing that can help when you're troubleshooting sound issues.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Allen & Heath SQ-5 Digital Mixing Board - 48 channel, 36 Bus Mixer with Motorized Faders

Panasonic GH5S 4K Camera - works great when you don't have a lot of light. Much improved over the GH5, but alas, you give up the in-body image stabilization of the GH5 so it is a tradeoff.

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5S most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Mixing a Commercial - Foley, Effects, Music

In this week's Sound for Video Session we have a quick look at a commercial mix I’m working on at the moment. We run through each sound effect/foley, and music track, the effects applied and talk briefly about fader automation.

Links to gear we discussed or used to record this session:

Presonus Faderport Motorized Fader and Control Surface:

Focal CMS 65 Near Field Monitors - Same as the 40s but with 6.5 inch woofers and bass response that reaches a little lower on the spectrum. These are on closeout so a good time to buy if you’re in the market.

Focal Shape 65 Near Field Monitors - These are the newer versions of the CMS. Will be included in our upcoming comparison

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone (this is the mic I used for this session)

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface (This is what I used to record my sound for this session)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Mixing Headphones Compared

In this week's Sound for Video Session, we compare 6 sets of headphones for mixing film and video projects (plus a bonus set that almost nobody can afford, just for fun). We also cover why using headphones alone is not ideal and can make mixing a frustrating experience. We also underscore the importance of reviewing your mixes on lots of different playback systems: Near field monitors, hifi system, car sound system, smartphone earbuds, TV, etc.

Jump ahead to particular headphones:

06:55 AKG K240
12:37 Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro
16:10 Audio Technica ATH-R70x
20:09 Shure SRH1840
22:45 Sennheiser HD 800
25:23 Audeze LCD-X
30:40 Sennheiser HE 1 Orpheus

Gear discussed in this session:

AKG K240 Studio Pro Semi-Open Back Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro Semi-Open Back Reference Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-R70x Pro Reference Headphones

Shure SRH1840 Pro Open Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 Open Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S Open Back Headphones

Audeze LCD-X High Performance Reference Planar Magnetic Headphones

Sennheiser HE 1 Orpheus Headphones

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Mixing Sound for 2 People While Recording

Last week we covered microphone placement for situations where you’re recording 2 or more people at the same time. Placing the microphones strategically can help to reduce two issues: Microphone bleed and phase issues (comb filtering). In this episode we talk about how mixing the sound of two or more people can further reduce these two issues and result in a cleaner recording with less reverberation and noise.

In an upcoming episode we’ll also talk about mixing in post production in Adobe Audition. 

Gear used to record and featured in this episode:

Blackmagicdesign Ursa Mini Pro Digital Film Camera (talking head shots)

Panasonic GH5 4K Camera (for product shots and B roll)

DPA 4017B Shotgun Microphone (Interviewer)

Audio Technica AT4053b Hyper Cardioid Boom Microphone (Interview-ee)

Zoom F4 Audio Recorder

Zoom F-Control FRC-8 (mixing control surface for Zoom F4 and F8)

Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder (with automix)

Sanken CSS-50 Stereo Shotgun Microphone (Talking head shots)

Aputure Light Storm COB120t LED Light (Key Light)

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box (for COB120t key light)

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Sound to Director, Mixing Lavs, Crew, Gain, Wireless, Recorders

In this week's Sound for Video Session we run through several questions:

- How to get sound to a director?
- How to mix lavalier mics for dual talking head shots?
- Advice for working with crews?
- How to set gain for Senheiser G3 system?
- Recommendations for wireless systems in the less than 600 GBP range
- Affordable recorders for nature and concert recordings


Previous session: G3 Wireless hop to camera or director

Zoom H4n Pro - Affordable, decent stereo recorder for natural sound and concerts

Zoom H5 - Affordable, slightly better stereo recorder with better input controls

RODE NTG4+ - Shotgun mic with better rear rejection, slightly mid-range sound

Aputure Deity - Shotgun mic with slightly better sound but lets in more sound from the sides and back

The name of the iOS app which defines many of the terms you need to know when working on set of a larger production is Gobo. It looks like it may not longer be available in the US App Store. :(

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

The Music Maker

I am about ready to jump out of my skin because I'm so excited to finally show some of my work to all you who have been kind enough to watch my YouTube episodes!

My friend Levi Whitney asked me back in June last year if I would help him by doing the sound for a micro documentary piece on Joel Nowland, a guitar maker here in Utah. Joel makes amazing acoustic guitars which have been played by some big name musicians. But Joel is an incredibly humble guy who loves the craft of creating things for other people. And what's more is that he does it with a significant disability.

So here is what Levi and I made. I recorded all of the production audio for this piece with my trusty Audio Technica AT4053b hypercardioid microphone and my Sound Devices 633 audio recorder/mixer. I recorded a few foley clips with the Aputure Deity shotgun microphone, again with the Sound Devices here at my home.

Levi shot the piece with a Sony A7SII and graded and edited.

I hope you like it.

And I'd like to thank Levi for having the confidence in me to do the sound recording and mixing and Joel for opening his home, his workshop, and his story for the world to see and hear.

Levi will have a piece in the coming weeks over on his YouTube channel covering how we did the lighting. I've covered the sound from the film (both mixing and foley) in these previous Sound for Video Sessions:

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)

How to Mix Dialogue with Music for Film and Video

https://youtu.be/fvUn8l30VLc I’m mixing a scene from a feature length film and one of the challenges is that the dialogue and music in this romantic scene are sort of competing with one another which makes for a rather distracting experience. To help the two get along, I ended up using a technique that almost every music mixing engineer uses all the time: EQ. I just cut some of the mid frequencies from the music track to make room for the dialogue because the mid frequencies is where most dialogue sits. And now, they get along so much more nicely. The romantic scene feels romantic!

Check out ValdenseFilms.com for details on their upcoming film, Conflictus.