Since I’ve been sound mixing for the past three days, with three more to go (a double show), I thought it would be appropriate to post some tips on getting the best audio possible from Christian Dwiggins, Master Engineer and owner of Engine Room Studios, a sound production facility.
Here they are, from Christian:
- Good sound starts with good ears and a filmmaker who understands its importance.
- Don’t make the mistake of having only one sound designer when you can have a team. Four ears are better than two, just as two brains are better than one.
- The amount of money you spend on sound in pre-production will save you three times the amount of money in post. Most films don’t have the budget for ADR.
- When looking for a sound designer, look for someone talented and hungry – someone fresh.
- The best way to find a decent sound designer is at a sound engineer school, through blogs like this and referrals.
- In production your sound person should be acutely aware of what’s going on in the environment. Hone in on all the sound. Someone whose present. A bad sound tech won’t notice an airplane who went by and end up costing you a fortune later on. Remember, good sound design starts at the source.
- As a filmmaker it’s very important to find a designer who understands your process, your vision and how to work within your budget.
- The sound department, whether it’s a single person or a whole group, is an integral part of your crew and should be treated as such.
- Your choice in post can make the difference between sounding like a homemade film and sounding a blockbuster. It’s about talent, not about money.
If you’re in the LA area, here’s some more about Engine Room. Many thanks to them and Christian for these tips.