In a recent entry in their interview series, SoundWorks Collection speaks to Mark Ulano, production sound mixer for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, The Hateful Eight. Take a listen and hear stories that could only originate from a Tarantino shoot, told by one of the best productiou sound mixers in the business.
This is probably evident to a lot of people, but your boss has a huge impact on how good your project sounds. I’m talking about the director, or the game designer. If you want to get any of your ideas into the project, you have to get them to buy off on it. This is probably an obvious statement, but how often do we remind ourselves of it? MPSE does an awesome job of honoring those directors who appreciate what good sound brings to their films. Kudos to them! Without the support of the boss, even the most skilled sound professionals will have a hard time contributing their best work. It goes deeper than that though.
I can clearly remember the first time I realized how important that top level boss is to making an awesome sounding design or mix. I remember hating that specific idea my boss wanted me to do…not try, do! It was an order. I remember the first time I realized that the problem wasn’t the request, but my approach to that request. That moment changed the way I did everything ever since. If we want our ideas entertained, we need to entertain the ideas of others.
Of course, that’s not to say that every idea that comes down (or goes up, mind you) is a good one, but there at least might be the kernel of a good one buried somewhere underneath.
Oh The Variables
When you consider the variables in play when dealing with audio, it amazes me that we’re able to create anything that sounds even half-decent to someone else.
- How the authorship software processes audio
- Digital-to-analog conversion quality
- Unbalanced monitors / headphones
- The acoustic space
- Monitor placement
- Mix position
- Your ears
- Your brain
Ethan (L) and Erik (R) on the mix stage. Photo by Greg P Russell.
On the most recent episode of the Tonebenders Podcast, the guys talk to experienced sound designers Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl about their long and varied careers, working philosophies, and recent films. Some of the recent films Van der Ryn and Aadahl have worked on are Transformers: Age of Extinction, Godzilla (2014), World War Z, and Argo, among others. Head over to the Tonebenders site to check it out, or listen on the go on iTunes or Stitcher.
In a new entry of their continuing series of film sound profiles, the fine people of SoundWorks Collection feature a discussion with Tomorrowland‘s sound designer, Kyrsten Mate, and re-recording mixer, Gary Rydstrom about their work on the recently-released movie. You can hear their discussion here.