The audio mix process can be a little nebulous for filmmakers. What is achievable from the post perspective, and what are some best practices for working with audio production houses? We joined the lead audio designer and co-founder of LA-based MelodyGun, Thomas Ouziel, for a quick Zoom conversation about giving notes to audio designers, how mixing is budgeted, and a few quick tips for navigating the audio workflow on your documentary, film or commercial.
Tips for Nailing your Audio Mix
The team at MelodyGun has worked on commercial projects for brands like Lexus, Ubisoft, and Popeyes — to name a few. Beyond that, they’ve mixed several feature films, including Arctic, Ms. White Light, The Good Catholic, and Dry Blood. Since their work spans a variety of genres from documentary to commercial and everything in between, I thought lead audio designer Thomas Ouziel would be the perfect person to help us with the tricky topic of post audio work.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Thomas:
- Involve the post audio team as early as possible in the production. This helps avoid “sound becoming a patchwork for the film.”
- Letting the sound team have a voice on-location leads to less need for ADR or additional dialogue replacement later.
- The best questions to ask while in the mixing room are often “feeling-based”: what is a characters’ motivation?
- Ask yourself this question: “How does sound enhance the imagery and go beyond it?”
Good audio can mean the difference between a stellar movie and one that doesn’t make a blip. Working with the right post team and asking the right questions is crucial.
What do you think? Are there any other best practices for working on the post audio mix that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments below!
Author Disclosure: The author of this article has worked on three features mixed by MelodyGun in a producing capacity.