As the year continues, many of these posts will be philosophical in nature. Some will be in contradiction to previous postings. These are not intended as truths or assertions, they’re merely thoughts…ideas. Think of this as stream of consciousness over a wide span…
As I wrap up this live action VR/360 short I’ve been working on, I’ve been starting to postmortem the process in my head. One particular element of the project caught me a little off-guard…dealing with mic bleed in production dialog and production fx.
In normal film projects, this isn’t such a big deal. Most production audio is going up the center channel, so the most you have to worry about is phasing. VR projects really require panned dialog though. Not having it quickly breaks immersion. My partner on this project and I did consider this and planned accordingly, but the project required a more thorough approach than we had anticipated. I found myself constantly diving back into RX/editorial mode while pre-mixing; trying to remove PFX and dialog bleed from the different characters’ lav channels. Any time something sneaked through in a piece of dialog…and I do mean as part of the background noise under a line, not sounds around a line…the panning of other characters or objects would have this momentary shift in position. It was really hard to judge what would be an issue before the pre-mix stage. You could make guesses out of context, but it wasn’t until you actually start laying the production in against the effects and foley and get your reverbs roughed in that you could truly understand what would work and what didn’t.
If I take on another project like this in the future, I’m going to plan for some extra editorial time between the pre-mix and mix phase.