We often speak to new clients who ask how remote audio post will fit into their workflow and how we overcome the lack of face to face contact. We have a very flexible workflow that can be adapted depending on your requirements and budget. In this article we thought we’d give you a run through of the tools we use for communication and the typical workflow for a project.
The following should serves to give you an idea of the options available. Your production may require some or all of them depending on your requirements.
Prior to a project starting we exchange emails, phone calls, video chats and have meetings until we come to an understanding with you regarding the scale and scope of work. Depending on the project and turnaround we may have a spotting session where we will watch the content together and make notes regarding the sound so we have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.
Once we have agreed on the brief all files for your project can be uploaded to our secure server. Typically this will be an OMF or AAF and quicktime movie. We will correspond directly with your video department or post house to ensure we have all the files we need and an email will be sent to confirm the project has opened correctly and the picture and audio are in good working order. Click here for a guide on exporting an OMF and AAF file from Adobe Premier and Avid Media Composer
Depending on budget, turnaround and complexity of the project we may divide the work out to our specialised sound team. With the brief in mind we will select the most suitable editors and mixers for the project. For smaller projects it’s not uncommon for one mixer to works on the entire project.
The dialogue editor deals with all the production audio ensuring it sounds as good as possible. This can involve removing unwanted background noise, choosing the appropriate microphone to use for each shot and smoothing out any jumps between sound sources. They may also look for alternate recording from other takes and if some lines need replacing an ADR list will also be drawn up.
Sound Effects Edit/tracklay
The SFX tracklay is where we will create the audio landscape for your picture covering sounds such as spot fx, atmosphere fx, Foley fx and sound design. These sounds may be from our extensive sfx library or recorded bespoke.
Some projects may require voiceover or ADR to be recorded. We can arrange this at our studio’s in Brighton where you are welcome to join us or you can dial into the session and direct it remotely. Alternatively we can book a studio local to you or the talent for recording.
Bespoke Music Score
Guide music may be added in the picture edit to be replaced by bespoke music. We have a number of highly talented composers who are versed in creating original compositions across all formats from high-end drama’s to reality shows.
This is where all the elements are brought together to form a cohesive, pleasing and dramatic whole, to the benefit of the picture and to the director’s wishes. Elements will be balanced, and panned, effects will be added and a number of other techniques employed to lead the storytelling to maximum effectiveness.
There may be several review stages throughout the lifecycle of a project and we have a number of options for doing this:
- Using Sound Connect we can stream the project, direct from our timeline, to your computer or device enabling you to watch it live and direct us with any changes you’d like.
- From the cloud you can watch, comment(at specific timecodes) and download your content all within your browser.
- Depending on budget and who you’d like to attend the review we can hire one of our affiliated studios located around the UK, this gives you a more client facing environment for when executive producers and others want to attend the final sign off in person.
The final deliverables will depend on what the specs are for your project. Typically they can be a stereo or 5.1 surround mix, music and effects(M&E) mix and stem mixes. All these will be delivered to you via secure FTP for you to download and perform the final layback.
Flexibility is the key to our workflow and we understand that each project and client is unique so we offer a number of options to suit your needs and budget.
Hopefully this article gives you an idea of how remote audio post could integrate into your workflow, saving you time and money.