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, B&H Photo, or other affiliate links.

Sound for Video Session: Split Poly Wav Files with 3+ Channels

How do you deal with poly wav files which have three or more channels when you’re working in post production, edit, and mixing?

In this episode, we show you how to split up a poly wav file using either Adobe Audition (one file at a time) or Sound Devices WaveAgent - a free app which can split up a bunch of files all at once.

Download the WaveAgent app for macOS or Windows.

Please consider my sound for video classes available over at Learn Light and Sound.
Gear used to record this episode: 

Shure SM7B Dynamic Broadcast Microphone (Amazon)

Universal Audio Apollo X6 Audio Interface

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd
Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd, Used with Permission

How to Improve Your Sound Featuring The Basic Filmmaker Part 1

My friend, The Basic Filmmaker, asked if I would help him improve the sound of his videos. I was flattered that he’d ask! Yes, of course!

So he recorded a short clip, sent it over to me, and in this episode I have my first two suggestions for him on how to reduce the reverb in his room when recording and how to remove mouth clicks using Adobe Audition. The next step is for him to apply these things and we’ll see where we end up. Maybe there’s even more we can do in Audition to make his sound even better.

There are a few bonuses with using sound blankets. First and most important, If you use sound blankets effectively, you shouldn’t have to do any de-reverb work in post. Yay! Save all that time and money to make more videos! Additionally, the Producer’s Choice blankets are black on one side, white on the other. This means that not only do they absorb sound, they also either reflect light or absorb it (depending on which side you have facing the light. This makes them very useful lighting tools in addition to solving the sound/reverb issue.

If you’d like to learn how to record and post process your sound, be sure to have a look at my sound for video courses at  My Dialogue Sound Post Processing with Adobe Audition course just launched at the end of August 2016. 

Visit us at for more updates on how to improve your lighting and sound for video. Also be sure to subscribe to get new episodes every week! 


The Basic Filmmaker

Original Audio Clip he sent to me:

His channel which is worth subscribing to.

The Basic Filmmaker University - free and paid courses on video production

Sound Blanket Episode:

Reducing Reverb in Audition with Acon DeVerberate Plugin: 

Acon Digital DeVerberate Plugin for Adobe Audition (VST)

Izotope RX Audio Editor - State of the art reverb reduction processing

Louder Sound with Audition CC

Many people, when they first begin recording and producing sound assume that if you get a nice microphone and camera, you can produce great dialogue sound straight out of the camera, no need for post production.

I haven't generally found that to be the case.

Without getting into arguments over what kind of gear you need, there's the reality that when you record, you need to leave headroom when setting your levels. But then when you're done recording, your dialogue isn't all that loud.

I typically use clip gain and compression to even out my dialogue audio clips. Once I've got it all leveled out, then I loudness normalize the dialogue. Then my audience isn't straining to hear the quieter parts or riding their volume control to hear everything.

Psychologically, louder sound also sounds better (a complicated topic that I hope to understand better some day). I don't mean audio that's so loud that its all crushed and distorted, of course, just, clear, present sound.

Izotope RX5 Advanced Audio Editor: Why I Upgraded

As you probably already know, I'm on a mission to learn the fine art of dialogue audio post processing. And on that mission, I've found myself using Izotope RX4 Advanced and Ozone 6 more and more often. I still use Audition as my digital audio workstation app, the hub if you will, but much of the heavy lifting is done by RX and Ozone. By heavy lifting, I mean noise reduction, compression, and loudness normalizing. But why, you may ask?

RX4 has some things that Audition doesn't have that I find important, maybe even critical to my workflow.

The first thing I'll typically do, if the particular clip needs it, is noise reduction. I like to keep it pretty light so that the audio doesn't start sounding robotic or evil which is often what happens when applied too aggressively. The dialogue denoiser is usually my go-to tool for this - only two settings to bother with and I often leave the threshold at its default and decrease the Reduction setting to about 5. If the clip is particularly noisy, I may do a second pass.

Yes, Audition has a good de-noise plugin as well but it isn't as quick and easy.

Asymmetric waveforms are the next problem I address and this is one that Audition doesn't have a solution for, at least not in its included effects.

Asymmetric waveforms have more amplitude (are bigger) above the - infinity center line than below. By itself, this is not really a problem and it sounds just fine. And it generally only occurs with male voice.

Asymmetric waveforms are really only a problem because they rob you of headroom. The peaks on one side are closer to 0dB than on the other. And this is problematic when you want to loudness normalize because you can only increase the amplitude so much before that one side is close to the 0dB limit. So you can't get all the loudness you may want. RX4s Channel Ops module has a phase rotation option that fixes this quickly and easily without messing with the quality of the audio.

Once I've run the clip through the phase rotator, I'm all set to use a compressor to manage the transient peaks - the peaks that stick out well above the body of the waveform.

I could just use one of the compressors included with Audition and sometimes I do. But if I'm already in RX, I pull up the Ozone Dynamics plugin which is a very nice compressor. It has three different threshold modes (peak, envelope, and RMS) as well as a soft knee and adaptive release options. These make dialing in a fairly transparent compression easier because I don't want the dialogue to sound compressed, just more consistent.

And then I finish that off with the loudness plugin that will put that clip at the exact standard loudness level I need (usually -19LUFS for mono dialogue, -16LUFS for stereo) and also ensures that any peaks stay below -1.5dB True Peak.

Audition has a loudness normalization feature they call "Match Volume" which works nicely but it is missing the critical True Peak Limiter that is critical to prevent clipping distortion after you export your final video. That will be coming, according to Adobe, in the 2015.1 release in the next few weeks.

So why did I upgrade for a hefty $299 USD?

The loudness plugin is now much, much faster than the older one. Also, Audition still does not have a way to manage asymmetric waveforms.

Is all that really worth $299? That completely depends on you and what you need to deliver to your clients. In my case, I don't want ANY clipping distortion and I want the dialogue to sound great because I truly believe that audio is incredibly important to telling stories effectively. Possibly, audio is a little more important than visuals.

Oh, and by the way, I paid for the upgrade and Izotope has never paid me anything.