Guest Contriubtion by Randy Thom
Acoustic Authenticity Versus Entertainment Value
When designing a set for a film, the art director tries to use what is good about the real world place where the scene will be shot, but also tries to avoid being straight jacketed by what is there. The cinematographer usually has a similar approach in deciding what to shoot and how to shoot it. The director may want to put some local people in a scene, but they probably won’t be leading characters.
Sound design should be the same, I think. With the proliferation of multi-channel microphones in recent years, some with “5.1” channels and more, the promise of being able to capture and reproduce the aural sensation of being in a real place with three dimensional acoustics is definitely closer to being real…but is it desirable? I’d say the answer is usually “no.”
Guest contribution by By Douglas Murray
OK, here is the ugly truth for film post, or really any surround sound work… Most reverb plug-ins do not sound natural for applications using greater than 1 or 2 speakers. What you don’t want: a reverb that jumps to completely different speakers from the source. What you do want: a reverb that spreads out from the sound and helps localize it and define the space it’s in. While I haven’t tried every reverb or surround reverb plug-in for Pro Tools, it’s a very exceptional reverb that sounds localized around the position of the source signal without having to pan the reverb return’s output. The focus of this article is localization of reverb in post for sound effects, dialog, and other discrete sonic events. Localization is of less concern for more enveloping sounds such as ambiences or music, which seem to tolerate more general spatial spreading.
In this article I’ll describe:
- why it is desirable to have the early reflections and reverb bloom outward from the direction of
- the source signal as in nature,
- how these principles must be exaggerated for the theatrical film sound environment,
- how stereo reverbs require panning to work in a multi-channel world,
- how most multi-channel reverb plug-ins largely disregard the direction of the source sound,
- how to simulate reverb localization with existing plug-ins in Pro Tools (more work and less accurate than it should be, today),
- And finally, I will describe a reverb plug-in that does what I want it to do. It seems so simple and obvious! Why is it so rare?
The April’s Issue of Mix Magazine (Digital Edition) is now available to download, featuring some nice articles for sound for picture:
- The Sound of “Fringe” – Featuring comments from supervising sound editor Paul Curtis, re-recording mixers Rick Norman and Mark Hensley, and sound effects editor Bruce Tanis.
- Multichannel Field Recorders Article - A comparison between the most used Multichannel Field Recorders in de market. A nice guide for those who are looking for a new recorder with more than 2 channels.
- Interview with Tom Sahara - Senior director of remote operations/IT talks about sur- round, loudness, streaming— and the need for TV education.
Mix Magazine (Digital Edition) April’s Issue