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Hiring a professional sound engineer for your project can be a very rewarding experience. You’ll notice that the sound, both the quality and the workflow, will be substantially better than your everyday amateur recording session. But there are things you can do to help them deliver the best work possible. This article will provide a checklist for 5 things to do while working with a professional post sound production team.

The experience of post production can be close to terrifying if not properly planned. A good post production team can help alleviate some of those worries.

Here are some of the things you can do to help your audio post production team deliver the best work possible for your project;

1.”Plan your work and work your plan”-Napoleon Hill

Involve the sound production team right from the start. This avoids unnecessary panic, extra costs and substandard work.

Many producers shy away from involving their sound team in pre-production meetings this early on. The belief is that the director wants to oversee the look, feel, and sound of the film, and having another person weighing in might be construed as an obstacle rather than a valuable information resource. This logic can be dangerous when it comes to budgeting your final mix. Many directors don’t think about the cost to properly mix an audio track until they are already in the middle of principal photography.

If you want a great sound mix for your project, don’t wait until the end of post-production. Get your sound team involved as soon as possible and make them a member of the production team. Prior planning and early contact with the sound production team helps the team understand expectations. This should involve project scheduling and timelines, sharing contacts of the team involved and key decision makers.

2. Communication is Key

We have looked at prior planning of the audio post production process and what lays the foundation for success is great communication. Sharing contacts of all the people involved in the production process makes the post production process easier. What is advisable is to create a platform on any communication channel for example, whatsapp or email where the production team is in sync. This reduces stress of handling many things at a go and the back and forth.

These are some of the contacts you can share with the sound team for a smooth process;

  • The picture editor for sharing all the audio files.
  • All the project major decision makers( directors, producers)
  • The project manager for all communications and scheduling.
  • Actors & actresses in the case of ADR (dialogue )Editing
  • The composer, if outsourced
  • The on site sound recordist or boom operator for the location and environment sounds(wild lines)

3. The files

The files are the most important part of it all. Any issues with the files can slow down processes and bring about a lot of back and forth. To avoid this, all mic channels recorded per scene ,per character and per shot should be recorded and included in the files. Issues with the mic channels slow down the dialogue editing process and eventually production quality and time.

These are the main files required for the audio-post production;

  • OMF Files-is a file format that aids in exchange of digital media across software applications and platforms.
  • AAF Files-used to import multiple audio tracks, inclusive of references to tracks, time positions, and volume automation
  • Framerate files- to keep all audio sessions on track.

4. Synchronizing schedules and timelines

Most producers have a difficult time synchronizing timelines and scheduling for different departments. As a result, the project suffers from various loses including lateness in delivery schedule or cost over-runs. It is to have everyone on board in line with the allocated schedule for all sessions. This should be planned prior any editorial work. Actors as well as the sound team might be having different projects running at a given time and so synchronizing is always important.

Hiring a project manager on board is something common of late and definitely reduces on the workload of directors.

5. The Contract

Signing contract with the audio post production team is an essential part of the process and producers and sound team are able to agree on terms of the production. Contract also includes stated agreed schedules and timelines as well as termination, review and intellectual property terms. Once there is mutual agreement and approval between both parties, a smooth working relationship is almost guaranteed.

In Conclusion

With all the above in mind, your next project will be a smooth process. All the different workflows of audio production process and expectations of the team, once well known and adhered to, everyone is good to go.

Need help in managing your audio post production process? Contact us today!

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